There is no rule set in stone on how to master Facebook marketing, but there are Facebook marketing best practices to help start-up your brand awareness on Facebook. These practices ultimately depend on your audience and you will have to make your own path based on what works for you and on what they need from you.
Taking a close look at successful brands on Facebook, you will notice that they do not spend their whole time preaching and trying to sell to their fan base. What they do is engage with them. Facebook marketing is not that different from the real world because customers can figure out which salesperson is truly interested in helping them with their needs, and which salesperson just wants to make sales.
Below are 10 approaches to guide you on Facebook marketing. Keep in mind that you can adjust where necessary to suit your audience.
1 . POST FREQUENTLY AND TIMELY
Posting every day may seem excessive to you, but as your audience make more friends and like more pages, you may become extinct if you stay in the dark for too long. Posting only once or twice a week creates too much gap and may make your audience lose interest in your page. Studies show that posting between 3 – 5 times a day is the perfect amount for a page. These posts, of course, are to be different from each other and take note of your statistics so you can find out what is more interesting to your audience.
A. POST IN THE AFTERNOON OR EARLY EVENING
Most people tend to log into Facebook at lunch or at the end of the day. So the best times to post are between 1 pm and 4 pm. Avoid posting at the same time every day so you don’t come off as a robot managed page. The use of Sprout Social’s Viral post is a feature you can utilize to your advantage as it posts your Facebook content when your audience is most likely to be available.
B. STAY RELEVANT WITH TRENDING TOPICS AND HASHTAGS
A great way to promote your brand is by trend jacking. This is one of the hardest of Facebook marketing best practices as it often backfires, so care should be taken when trend jacking is being utilized. Another way to know your stand is by the use of hashtag tracking tools as these allows you to know what people are saying about your business on social media.
C. INCLUDE IMAGES AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
Facebook posts that include visuals have an 87% interaction rate over text posts. This is a clear indication that visuals are important for Facebook marketing. Care should be taken as you make use of visuals because the quality of images you use can destroy your reputation. Using poor resolution images or stretched images passes the wrong information about your brand to your audience.
D. INSIST ON PUBLISHING HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT AT ALL TIMES
It is not just about posting frequently, but the quality of your content can spike the interest of your audience or discourage them. Good content shows that you are putting in much effort on your page and people tend to be dedicated if they see you strive to provide them with goodcontent always.
2. ENGAGE WITH CUSTOMERS
One of the top Facebook marketing practices is engaging your potential customers. Ignoring them never brings good results and you should as much as possible reply to their questions as soon as they arise.
The following are statistics for brands who leave their customers waiting on end for responses on social media:
- 1 out of 3 customers go to a competitor brand if they are ignored on social media
- 89% of messages from customers are ignored by brands on social media
- 34.5% of customer choose social media support as their top choice for customer care service
From the above statistics, it is obvious that the success of your brand above your competition also depends on your availability when your customers need you. Ignoring your social media messages and comments can kill your social media traffic and send your audience somewhere else. A tool that can help you keep track of all messages so you can respond timely is the Sproutsocial Facebook management tool.
3. WORK TOWARD PAGE LIKES
A very important Facebook marketing practice is to be visible by all means. You can’t sell to people that are not there. Increase your page’s visibility and the number of followers you have.
One method of driving traffic to your page is by making it easy for those you interact with to find your Facebook page. This can be done by adding your link to your email signature, newsletter, and other channels. Have your web designer incorporate the Facebook page like and share buttons so that people can easily find, follow and share your page with just a click from your website.
Since sharing your page link is the best way to expand your organic reach, you have to make sure the content on your page is highly shareable. According to a study by New York Times Customer Insight and Advertising Groups, “marketers should be focused on providing content that enhances customer relationship with one another.” This implies that you have to post entertaining and valuable content that your followers will gladly share with their acquaintances.
4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Knowing your Facebook demographics tells you everything about your audience. In order to know who to target, you need to study this group properly. Facebook demographics are dynamic and so you need a tool to keep track.
Third-party social media management tools go beyond what Facebook provides. They give you a deep insight into user demographics. Asking certain questions about your followers are important practices in Facebook marketing as it helps you discover if you are truly targeting your audience or not.
Find out your followers’ gender, income, age, educational level, language, and location. This information is vital for Facebook marketing so do not ignore it.
What content does your audience enjoy best? Find out which posts received the most likes and shares. This will guide you as to what content your audience enjoy most and look out for so they can stay glued to your page.
Do all your adverts on Facebook have the same aim? You have so many advertisement options but try to streamline our plans and ensure all your advertising campaigns have the same goal.
How are you looking as compared to your competition? This question will help you make changes where necessary so you can better and unique among the rest.
5. CONSIDER YOUR CONTENT MIX
After setting your Facebook marketing goals, the next step is achieving them. In your plan to reach your goals, you will need to have the right content mix. You can either make use of the 80 – 20 rule or the social media rule of thirds.
The 80 – 20 rule implies that 80% of your Facebook posts should be to educate, inform, and entertain your audience, and the remaining 20% of your post will be for your brand. Facebook is firstly about relationships, and establishing one with your followers will open the doors to their hearts so they can be interested in your products and services. So strive to create value before you bring in business.
The social media rule of thirds also talks about the mix of valuable content against promotional content. One-third of your posts should be about ideas and stories, one third should be about your personal interactions with your followers, and you can promote your business with the remaining third.
From both strategies, it is clear that more attention should be given to creating value and entertainment to the audience to get their interests, before chipping in the business talk. Besides, sales that are pushed too hard will be penalized by the Facebook algorithm. What you should aim for are posts that will get enough likes and shares because these will put your brand in front and give you a wider reach.
6. CREATE A FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE
Once you have figured out your target audience and your goals, you need to create a befitting Facebook page.
Facebook describes your business profile as the cornerstone of your online identity. It is where you can reach out to followers and post your mix of content. It doesn’t cost anything to open a Facebook page and this is an upside to promoting your business especially if you have a limited budget.
There is no fixed number of Facebook followers you need to have on your page for you to count yourself as successful. Just get as much as you can and do what you must to keep it climbing.
In order to fully utilize Facebook marketing best practices, you need to have these at the back of your mind when opening your page:
Make use of a brand name that is search friendly
Use a custom URL that is consistent with your handle on other social media platforms
On your page’s about section, provide key information about your business including your contact info so your followers can easily reach you.
Your cover and profile photos are the first things your followers get to see and they create an impression about your brand to potential customers. Make sure the pictures are encouraging and accurately represent what your brand stands for.
Add a call to action button on your page that allows customers to easily get in touch with you, and also start shopping at will.
7. START POSTING
There are different types of content that you can post on Facebook. All these content are essential in keeping your audience occupied and entertained as you market your products using the rule of one thirds or 80 – 20.
A. FACEBOOK TEXT POSTS
Text posts are the most basic form of posts on social media. A post of only texts is not enough to drive a crowd to your website or create conversions, but it is enough to engage visitors on your page. A tip on having people more involved is to end with a question.
B. FACEBOOK PHOTO POST
Just like a text post, a photo post also creates awareness and sparks engagement rather than support business goals. According to a study published in journal management science, adding photos to text posts boosts significantly the number of comments, likes, and shares so based on these, photo posts have a lot to offer in the success of your page.
Images can cause a lot of copyright issues, so you have to be careful of the images you post. Also, take note of the fact the image you post does not necessarily have to be a photo. It could be any image ranging from an infographic, illustration, or any other form of visual representation.
C. FACEBOOK VIDEO POST
Facebook videos have grown significantly in popularity in the last few years. People go on Facebook for engaging content and business owners can use this as an opportunity to keep their audience entertained and informed. In 2015, Facebook video posts increased by 75% per person and have been on the rise ever since. This implies that more people are viewing and posting videos every day. Based on the rate of consumption of Facebook videos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated publicly that Facebook video will be the most consumed form of content in the future.
Video shares on Facebook have seen a tremendous rise of over 100% in the last year. This is a pointer to you to take advantage of this form of content to further drive engagement on your page. Facebook videos have a wider reach of 135% than posts that only involve an image. An interesting fact is that the videos do not need to be complex and complicated. Even on a tight budget, you can have videos that will drive traffic.
An important aspect of your videos is the use of subtitles. Subtitles have proven to keep your viewers more interested in what you have to offer. A discovery by Digiday showed some brands reporting that more than 85% of their videos were watched without any sound. This silent method of watching videos is mostly done by users who go online in public places and avoid the attention of sound from a video. They still pay attention and get the information from the videos without losing interest because of subtitles. Videos do not have to be over thought. Just input the basic elements and you are good to go.
D. FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO
Facebook live video is a way you can connect with your audience and let them in on everything about your brand, company, and products. This way, you can also share announcements in real-time and it allows your followers to get firsthand information from you. Before you go live, keep in mind that a lot of things can happen. You may not get it perfect the first time but research and consistency will help a lot.
E. LINKED CONTENT POST
A linked content post is a type that takes your audience out of facebook. It is a type of post that only comes after you have gained the trust of your followers because people are scared of visiting just any website.
Creating a linked content post is very easy and only requires you to copy the web URL and paste in your status box. Facebook makes it look good by pulling out the site media and information, and displays it appropriately in the best light. The last step is using a text post with this to let your followers know why they have to click on the link. Your linked post is a good way to advertise your company’s website, but it shouldn’t only be about business. Always remember the rule of one-thirds and the rule of 80 – 20. Also, the contents must not be yours. You can also share links to other secure and trusted websites that will provide your followers with the entertainment and information they can benefit from.
A great way to find out what to post is by paying attention to what your customers and potential customers are saying.
F. PINNED FACEBOOK POST
A pinned post is nothing out of the ordinary. It is simply a post you pin at the top of your page so that new content doesn’t push it down. Pinned posts are usually contents that are captivating and puts your brand in the best light. It lets your potential followers know what they stand to gain by following your page.
Apart from putting your brand in the spotlight, you can also use pinned posts to share important information or raise awareness about a campaign. You can have just one pinned post at a time but you can change it as often as you like.
8. INCORPORATE FACEBOOK ADS
The Facebook algorithm prioritizes posts from those you are close to like family and friends. This implies that only a few of your followers may get to see your posts organically. Reaching out to the audience you have in mind is not impossible however because you can make use of Facebook ads to bypass this problem.
Facebook ads are just like any other advertisement where you pay for content to be shared among a particular audience. It is about putting your brand out there and getting good conversions.
9. KEEP POSTS SHORT AND SPECIFIC
Facebook is known for its unique way of posting images, videos, and texts of many characters. The fact that you can post something lengthy doesn’t mean you should. Many marketers have reported that Facebook posts get more likes and shares when there are short and straight to the point. Besides, short contents are best at keeping your customers occupied and interested.
The following are statistics showing followers’ interests based on the number of characters in a Facebook post:
Link titles on Facebook with more than 100 characters are cut off from business pages on Facebook
Posts of 40 characters get 86% engagement over longer posts
Posts of 80 characters get 66% engagement over longer posts
Facebook posts that ask questions between the 100th character and the 119th character are more engaging
10. UNDERSTAND YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE ANALYTICS
When it comes to Facebook marketing best practices, analytics are a major factor to be considered. Some important metrics you need to be familiar with include:
- Impressions: impressions here refers to the total number of times page contents have been seen in the newsfeed or by visits to your page.
- Post Engagements: post engagements shows the number of actions that a post has received. This includes comments, likes, shares, and other reactions.
- Link Clicks: this is the total number of clicks on links that are in your post content.
- Organic Likes: this shows the total number of likes from new through organic reach
- Unlikes: the total number of users who unliked your Facebook page
- Net Likes: this is the sum of paid or organic likes excluding the number of page unlikes
- Total Fans: the total number of users who liked your page from the last report