Facebook is big. As the largest social network in the world, it has more than 1.23 billion active users, 62% of whom log in on a daily basis.
With such a large user base, ignoring Facebook really isn’t an option for most marketers. You can bet your ideal market is using Facebook nearly every day. The question is: how do you target all of those users with your marketing?
The good news is that the Facebook advertising platform allows you to zero in and specify the type of people you’re looking for. You can target by location, demographics, and interests.
Facebook marketing is not the same thing as Facebook advertising. Yes, your Facebook marketing strategy can include advertising (more on that below), but since Facebook is, after all, a social network, your marketing should also include efforts to build lasting relationships and ongoing engagement through valuable content that’s not about making the sale.
Think of your Facebook Page as the equivalent of a Facebook profile for your business. It’s where you post content, engage with followers, and generally participate as a brand in the Facebook experience. It doesn’t cost anything to set up a Facebook Page or post content, which is great if you’re working with a limited budget.
But keep in mind that the Facebook algorithm prioritizes content from users’ friends and family, so you can’t assume that all—or even a majority—of your followers will see your posts organically (that’s where Facebook Ads come in).
That said, setting up your Facebook Page is the first step to creating your business presence on Facebook. You’ll need a Page before you can start working with Facebook Ads.
Just how big can a Facebook Page following get? Coca-Cola has one of the highest brand follower counts, currently sitting at more than 99 million.
Think of Facebook Groups as the online equivalent of the office water cooler or your favourite coffee shop. They provide a place for people to get together to share information and ideas with like-minded users in an online community environment.
Creating your own Facebook Group can be an effective way to gather your fans in one place and encourage them to interact with one another, building an active community of people talking about your business. It’s also a key way to gather customer intelligence: what are people really saying about you? It’s like a focus group with unlimited members, and you can dive right in to facilitate conversation or ask questions.
It’s also a prime way to source brand evangelists and showcase your expertise. You can even position a Facebook Group as an added benefit for existing customers—after all, it’s a chance for them to interact directly with you.
Entrepreneurs with a compelling message, personality, or brand story can make especially good use of Facebook Groups. For example, Josh and Jill Stanton of Screw the Nine to Five have more than 25,000 members in their Screw the Nine to Five Community Facebook Group.
Much like an ad on any other channel—traditional or digital—a Facebook Ad is basically content that you pay to share with a specific, targeted audience: it’s all about getting your brand in front of the right eyeballs and achieving your conversion goals.
For example, Dos Equis ran a series of Facebook Ads to highlight its “Dos de Mayo” promotion (the brand’s answer to the Cinco de Mayo holiday). The beer company’s ads were displayed only to males aged 21 to 34 and to an audience identified as beer buyers. The campaign resulted in three times return on the ad spend.
Facebook isn’t just powerful. It’s flexible. No matter what type of company you run, it has enough different marketing options that you can tailor your marketing efforts to fit your company, your budget, and your time constraints.
Yes, it can take some time to get to know all of its features, but it’s worth it. Facebook still is growing at a rapid pace, and every day it becomes a more indispensable part of social media marketing.
It’s also important to strike while the iron is hot. For the moment, companies that are savvy about Facebook marketing still enjoy an early-adopter advantage. Once more traditional marketers start transitioning into the space, competition will increase, advertising prices will rise, and users will become much pickier.
If Facebook is not a current part of your marketing campaign, it should be. Set aside some time to tinker around, start a few test campaigns, and see what happens. Like anything, it takes practice to get good at it.
My advice: get started now!
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