Content Marketing

The basics of Facebook for Marketers

Facebook, in many ways, is the pioneering social network. While we had sites like MySpace and Friendster before, we’d scarcely dare lump them in with modern platforms, many of which came about as direct competitors to Facebook. As marketers, we can’t overstate the impact it had — we first developed most of our techniques for online marketing on Facebook!

While Facebook has seen a decline in popularity in recent years, it’s still an important part of the modern Web. It remains the most used social networking platform in the world, and while young people might not be as interested in the platform as older generations, it would be a mistake to count them out completely. According to Statista, gen Z and Millennials still represent the largest age demographics on the site.

Every social marketer worth his salt should know how to do marketing on Facebook — it is, after all, where most of our daily practices originated, and to this day, learning the ins and outs of a new platform sometimes boils down to pinpointing the way in which it differs from Facebook. In this article, we’re going to briefly go over how to do marketing on Facebook — and how to do it right.


Making the most of your Facebook Business page

Your primary way of communicating with customers, both potential and established, is your Business Page. Notice the word “business” — this is a completely different beast than your private profile.

A Facebook Business Page contains important information tailored specifically for companies — your address, business hours, phone numbers — as well as a couple of features that will help you capture more customers. These are things like letting people message your brand directly from Messenger, or targeting your posts to certain audiences. Over the years, Facebook established itself as one of the friendliest social platforms for businesses — and it did so through features like that.

While optimising your Business Page is crucial for anyone doing marketing on Facebook, it is an extremely broad topic, and as such can’t be adequately covered in an introductory blog post such as this. Here’s however, a simple checklist to get you on the right path:

  • Don’t use a private Facebook profile as your Company Page
  • Let people message you through Messenger — and maintain a very short response time!
  • Find out when your followers are active — and schedule your posts accordingly. 
  • Photos and videos get more engagement than text updates — prioritise those!
  • Keep your page updated — don’t let it languish for months without an update!
  • Use a social media reporting tool to discover the weak spots in your Facebook marketing strategy


Facebook Ads — the feature that defined an industry

Ads are Facebook’s primary source of revenue. They bring in over a hundred billion dollars of revenue each year, which might seem like a ridiculous amount. It does start to make sense, though, when you consider that Facebook essentially reinvented online advertising through its Ads platform — and it did so by offering brands an unprecedented amount of options.

First of all, the targeting. You can target Ads on Facebook much better than regular Web ads, as the platform has access to much more data on each customer. If you wish to target young women between the ages of 20 and 35 living in a specific city, it’s the matter of a couple of mouse clicks. By now, this is commonplace and expected, much like the electricity and hot water in your home. Try living without it, though! Good ad targeting is an essential, non-negotiable skill for any Facebook marketer to possess.

Then there’s the ad types. Some products are a better fit for still images, some are better for videos. Others still benefit the most from carousel ads. Facebook lets you choose the best fit for both your products and your audience.

Finally, ad campaigns on Facebook always have a certain objective. Do you want more conversions and sales? Are you looking to get the word out about a political campaign — are you after impressions? Do you want to reach as many people as possible? Facebook lets you choose your objective and tailors the cost of each campaign accordingly, letting you achieve your goals much easier.


Social listening — Facebook monitoring for fun and profit

Social listening is the practice of capturing online statements on any topic, and then analysing them on a large scale. This has incredible implications and should be a key part of any Facebook marketing strategy.

For instance, by letting a social listening tool — such as our own SentiOne Listen — monitor your Facebook page, you can capture all of the posts, comments, shares and @mentions related to your company. Then, all of that data goes through analysis algorithms. This lets you discover valuable insights. What percentage of your mentions is positive? How many comments about you are negative — and which product do they concern? What’s the most common context in which your company gets brought up? Social listening can answer all of those questions.

And, of course, it can go much further than just monitoring your Business Page. You can capture mentions from anywhere on the public web, letting you pinpoint prominent locations and influencers discussing your brand. This gives you access to an incredible wealth of customer opinions and feedback.

Furthermore, social listening lets you keep a close eye on your industry at large — your own brand, media outlets, your competition. By regularly analysing the data generated in this way, you will be able to accurately track and predict consumer trends.

We know it sounds like a dream — but this is cold, hard reality. Learn more about social listening with SentiOne Listen and take your Facebook marketing game to a completely new level.


Facebook Groups — still as crucial as ever

Recent changes to Facebook’s algorithms have caused a decline in organic growth numbers. Simply put, not as many people are discovering and engaging with content served by the algorithm as they used to. This isn’t the end of the world — it just means you have to adjust your Facebook marketing strategy and seek engagement elsewhere.

Facebook Groups is one such place. Groups are still used by nearly two billion people every month, which makes them a great way to reach out to and engage with customers. As they require users to opt-in, receiving deals on a Facebook group feels less invasive than promoted ads. 

However, showing off your new deals isn’t the only application for Facebook Groups. If you’re in the market for talented employees, groups for different professionals — creatives, marketers, programmers — provide an easy way of reaching out to interested parties during recruitment drives.

Of course, it should go without saying — always read the rules of any group you join. You don’t want to step on anyone’s toes!


Facebook Marketplace — not just for getting rid of your old sofa

We know, we know. Facebook marketplace? Isn’t that just for selling old furniture and buying retro video games? That’s what everybody thinks at first. As it turns out, however, Facebook Marketplace does have a specific niche for certain brands — those offering artisan products or conducting retail arbitrage.

For those companies, Facebook Marketplace offers a significant advantage over platforms such as Etsy or eBay — its extremely low overhead cost. If you’re selling locally, then Facebook doesn’t charge any fees for your listing; if you offer shipping, then you only pay 5% of the sale price. 

There’s a catch, however — you have to use a regular, personal profile to access Facebook Marketplace. This might change in the future, but for now that’s where things stand.


Closing thoughts

All of this, of course, is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Facebook single-handedly changed the internet since its inception in 2004, and with it, the social marketing landscape. As such, the full range of possibilities for brands on Facebook is vast. This is but a brief sampling of what Facebook can do for you — but we don’t need to tell you that. There’s a reason it’s still the #1 social media platform online.

What we do need to tell you, however, is how crucial social listening is, or should be, for your social marketing strategy. We briefly touched on it earlier in the article, but it bears repeating: SentiOne Listen will help you take your Facebook marketing strategy to the next level. Get in touch with us and book your demo period — and discover just how many possibilities lie at your fingertips.