For all the bad press Facebook has gotten recently in regards to fake news, Russia, and the removal of advertising options, it’s still one of the first places you need to go to start your social media strategy.
So why use Facebook?
- 79% of American adult internet users are using Facebook (Pew Research Center)
- 76% of Facebook users log in daily (Pew Research Center)
- As of July 2016, there were over 2 billion searches per day on Facebook (TechCrunch)
- For my local readers – approximately 68,000 people in Bulloch County alone, ages 18+ on Facebook (which also translates into approximately 51,680 Bulloch County residents logging in each day to Facebook).
Of course, you do not need statistics to tell you why you need to use Facebook to market your business. I could list over 100 statistics to show you why you need to be on there. Simply ask people how they stay in touch with people and how they find out what’s going on. I guarantee you more than half of your answers will be ‘Facebook’.
That being said, I’ve put together a short and sweet primer below on Facebook Marketing 101, which originated from a Facebook Marketing class I taught at and for my local Chamber of Commerce. Let’s get started.
If you are going to use Facebook (and you should), where do you start?
Start with your “WHY”. Why are you using Facebook in the first place? Like anything you do on social media, everything you do on Facebook should come from your “why” and every goal you set should help you achieve it. If your actions to not attribute back to your “why”, start over.
If you are using Facebook, who am I going to target?
When thinking about who you are targeting, think about your “why” from above. Ask yourself these three questions:
- Why are you targeting them?
- Will targeting this group help you reach your goal in using Facebook?
- Is this group someone you want to actually spend money with you? (Remember, not everyone is your client/customer)
Like I mentioned above, if these groups do not help you achieve the goal of your ‘why’ statement, start over.
Now that I’ve decided to market on Facebook, what do I post and how often?
Think about your target audience – their likes, interests, etc. – and craft your content strategy around that. What is your online voice? Your Facebook presence is the digital extension of your brand. When establishing your voice – are you fun or serious? Sarcastic or punny? Are there common phrases your business uses? Take all of this into consideration.
Facebook did research this year into what people are looking for in their Facebook content. First, they found that people on Facebook want and value meaning, informative stories.
In their algorithm, Facebook looks at a user’s personal signals, such as “how close someone is to the person or page posting, stories they’d want to talk to their friends and family about, spend time reading, and videos they’d spend time watching.” Also taken into account is the post’s overall engagement.
People value content that is informative as well. Think about what you take time to read or share, or even comment on. It is content you find meaningful and informative. You should put yourself in the your audience’s shoes and post the type of content they will spend time on, much like you would.
Watch out for promotional messaging. 46% of Facebook users will unfollow a brand on social for posting too many promotional messages (Sprout Social). A good ratio to keep is 80% educational/20% promotional. For every self-promotional messages you put out, you need 8 that are not. You can share articles relating to your industry, tips, behind the scenes of your business, etc. Just do NOT publish sales pitch after sales pitch.
Second, Facebook found that people on Facebook value accurate, authentic content. Facebook users have told Facebook that authentic stories are the ones that resonate with them the most, so Facebook ranks those types of posts higher in the News Feed. Some tips from Facebook include:
- Clear headlines – do not mislead the person viewing the headline.
- Spam – “do not deliberately try and game the News Feed to get more distribution.”
- Accurate Information – make sure what you are posting is true.
Be friendly and helpful in your posts, not snarky and sarcastic. Emotional connections drive Facebook shares. The science behind a viral post rests on our knee-jerk emotional reactions to it. The more extreme our emotional reaction to it, the more likely you’ll share it. In psychologist Robert Plutchik’s wheel of emotions concept, he identified the emotions that drive our sharing behavior. The inner circle denotes the eight emotions to think about when creating content.
Make sure to respond. People want you to respond to them. 68% of consumers want brands to participate in conversations they’re mentioned in, and 83% want brands to respond to them (Sprout Social). And the percentage of posts that go unresponded to? 86%.
Create your own graphics and if you do not, know where you are getting them from. Make sure any graphics you use are on-brand and most importantly, make sure you own the rights to them! You can create your own at Canva (a personal favorite!) or download free graphics at Pixabay, UnSplash, or Pexels.
Let’s briefly take a look at the six main post types on Facebook:
- Status – simple updates, seen more commonly from your friends than pages.
- Links – Trick: Post the status you want, then the link, remove the link preview altogether and add a picture to the post. This will get more reach than simply inserting a link and having the link preview on. Keep in mind, you can no longer edit the link preview!
- Products. If you have a Facebook Store, you can add products into your posts.
- Take action: Sign Up, Get Messages.
- CTA posts to encourage your fan to take action immediately. Use sparingly.
Your post frequency depends on your business – it’s not a one size fits all, so be weary of every “Best Time to Post” article you read online. My recommendation? Post minimum 3-5 times per week, no more than twice per day, unless you’re at an event. To find out the best times for your business, look at your Facebook Insights to see when your fans are online and schedule/post around those peak times. (see example below).
What about Facebook Advertising?
Everyone is doing Facebook ads, you honestly, you may as well too. With Facebook’s algorithm, it’s almost a requirement to boost some posts in order for your content to be seen. But don’t worry – it will not bust your marketing budget.
On Facebook, desktop ads have 8.1x higher click-through rates and mobile ads have 9.1x higher click-through rates than normal web ads. Social media advertising is the most cost-effective way to advertise in this day and time, with Facebook leading the way with the various, and amazing, options available to businesses.
Here are some easy steps to setting up a Facebook Ad –
- Step 1: Figure out what you are promoting and select an ad type. When running a Facebook ad, you need to know what you are promoting and why you are promoting it (much like your overall social media and/or Facebook strategy).
- There are three decisions to make –
What are you promoting?
Will your ad run via auction or reach & frequency?
What type of ad will you choose? (Hint: Awareness ads are best for small budgets)
- Step 2: Select an audience. Selecting your audience is the most important part – more important than the ad itself. When selecting your audience, you are narrowing in to target the ideal customer/client.
- Your choices are to either –
Create an audience from the options you are given (which can make unlimited combinations).
Use a custom audience.
Use a lookalike audience.
- Step 3: Ad Placement
- Your choices for placement are:
Desktop Right Side
Audience Network (this lets you extend your ad campaigns beyond Facebook to reach your audiences on mobile apps, mobile websites and videos. We use the same Facebook targeting, measurement and delivery to make sure each ad on Audience Network helps you reach your campaign goals at the most cost-effective price.)
Instant Articles (See more here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/825186870955247 )
If you’re not sure, Facebook will recommend using the default placements for your objective:
Brand awareness (including Reach & Frequency buying): Facebook and Instagram
Engagement (including Reach & Frequency buying): Facebook and Instagram
Video views (including Reach & Frequency buying): Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
App installs: Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network
Traffic (for website clicks and app engagement): Facebook and Audience Network
Product catalog sales: Facebook and Audience Network
Conversions: Facebook and Audience Network
For more information on ad placements, visit: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/175741192481247?helpref=related
- Step 4: Set an ad budget and schedule
- Ah, the budget. Here’s where you determine how much you are going spend for your ad. You have two choices: daily budget (how much you spend per day) or lifetime budget (how much you want to spend for the entire campaign). Yes, you can run an ad for as little as $1/day but not every ad will let you do that. Here are the spend minimums:
- If the ad set gets charged for impressions, its daily budget must be at least $1 a day
- If the ad set gets charged for clicks, Likes, video views, or post engagement, its daily budget must be at least $5 a day
- If the ad set gets charged for low frequency events like offer claims or app installs, its budget must be at least $40 a day
- For more information on ad spend minimums, visit: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/203183363050448
- Step 5: The ad. Now the second-most important part of the whole process – creating your ad. You can choose an existing post as your ad or you can create one from scratch. If you are creating an ad from scratch, you have 5 formats to choose from –
Note: Formats will vary based on the ad objective you have chosen.
- Step 6: Track your ad. How do you know if you Facebook advertising is working (or did work)?
- You can view the results of your ads in the Campaign Dashboard and view each ad (as shown above). You can customize your reports through Columns and Breakdown.
If you’d like a more detailed guide to Facebook Advertising, you can download my Facebook Advertising 101 Guide here.
Of course, how do I know if my Facebook efforts are working?
Welcome to Facebook Analytics!
There are many programs on the web that can pull detailed information for you about your Facebook page and your Facebook content (Sprout Social, Simply Measured, etc.), but Facebook Insights work just as well.
Here are some main metrics to track:
- Clicking a link, sharing your post, making a reaction, or leaving a comment
- The more people interact with your content, the more they will see it and the more it will show up in Facebook’s algorithm because it signals to Facebook it’s popular.
- The number of people your content is seen by by either paid or organic efforts.
- How many times your posts were seen (does include multiple views by a single person).
- On your website – how much traffic Facebook is referring to your site. You can view this in Google Analytics.
- Page Likes & Follows
- Look for growth each month. Give yourself a goal of 5-10% growth each month.
- Video Metrics to track:
- Video retention – how long people are watching
- Video engagement
- Advertising Metrics to track:
- CTR (click-thru-rate). Average across all industries is 0.9%. When Facebook sees your ads are getting impressions but no clicks, it logically assumes your audience doesn’t find the ad relevant. This can result in paying more per click and overall poor performance.
- CPC (cost per click) & CPM (cost per thousand impressions). Average CPC across all industries is $1.72.
- CPA (cost per action). Average cost per action across all industries is $18.68.
- Ad frequency
That was A LOT of information thrown at your about Facebook Marketing. But it’s not all that hard and it’s easy to manage. Here are some tips:
- Schedule Posts on the Page or through a program such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social.
- Check analytics at least once per week.
- Have a Facebook advertising budget.
- Do not be afraid to go out of the box and try something new!
Facebook can be a great place for your business to see success in the social sphere. If this still seems daunting to you, don’t worry – we offer Facebook management in our social media management services and would be happy to talk with you about it!
Did I leave anything out? If you have questions about your Facebook strategy, contact me or comment below!