The Ultimate Guide To Facebook Marketing

Facebook marketing, is it dead? Despite what you might have been told, Facebook can still be a powerful tool when understood how to use it. Without a solid strategy, it can feel like you're shouting into the void so we're going to cover everything you need to know to get the attention your brand deserves.

The three types of promotion

The three components to promoting your business on Facebook are:

  1. Groups
  2. Brand pages
  3. Ads

The first two are your free options. It costs nothing to set up and run a Facebook group or page for your business, however running Facebook ads can end up costing a lot of money if not done effectively.

Facebook Pages

A Facebook page is your foundation to the strategy. If you are planning on doing any promotion for your business then you'll need a separate page other than your personal account.

To set one up you will need:

  • A clear logo for the display picture
  • A landscape image for the cover photo
  • A brief description of the business and categories it falls under

Your page will be the host to any content you post and will allow your audience to follow it to see more of your content.

The algorithm

It is now rare that people seek out a Facebook page to read its content and instead just consume the content served to them on their homepage feed. For your content to appear in this feed, Facebook needs to believe that it'll catch the attention of your audience and get them to interact with it.

Facebook no longer serves every single piece of content from friends and pages to someone's feed and so it uses an algorithm to filter the best pieces to ensure everyone has a good experience of Facebook and stays on it for longer - therefore consuming more ads!

Once you understand this, you'll begin to understand how and why you need to tailor your content to ensure that it gets attention.

How it is judged

So how do you ensure you get attention? You need to show Facebook that your content is valuable. The way it figures this out is by:

1. Understanding your content before anyone sees it

2. Judging by the reactions of a small group of people

Facebook will read your post and image and make a guess at the content and how good it is. Facebook knows that videos hold more attention and so it is more likely to give space to a post with a video. It also knows that images with less text perform better and so it will scan your image to judge its quality.

Once posted, Facebook will put your post on a selection of your audience's timelines. Based on whether they stop scrolling to view it, how long they look at it for and if they react to or comment on it it will decide if it's going to appeal to the rest of your audience.

What should you post?

So how can you ensure that your content is judged to be good quality? Reverse engineer the algorithm. If you know that reactions and comments will boost your post, what can you do to elicit this response?

Of course, you can use your effective hooks & call-to-actions but you can start with the reaction you want first and then create the content based on that. What could you encourage your audience to comment?

  • Their opinions
  • A friend they'd share with
  • An answer to a question
  • Their favourite gif

Don't make your content too gimmicky or irrelevant to your brand, but find opportunities to create a unique reason for your audience to comment. A beautiful photo of your product might get a like or two but followed with the question, "what colour would you like to see next?" creates an invitation and a reason for them to interact.

Consider how long someone is spending looking at your content. Facebook is counting the seconds. Consider longer videos or a gallery of images that creates more opportunities to consume the content for longer.

When should you post?

Not only do you want to consider the type of content but also when to post it. You could post your greatest piece of content yet but if you post it at 3 am when your audience is asleep or barely paying attention as they mindlessly scroll trying to get to sleep, it's unlikely to land.

If you haven't posted on Facebook for long or at all, take an educated guess at when your audience is online based on your consumer profile.

Defining Your True Consumer

Once you have posted for at least a month or two, you can use Facebook analytics to show you the times that your audience is online. Try to post your content on the peak days of the week and times of the day.

Facebook allows you to schedule posts in the business tools so you don't have to worry about being live for those peak times.

Facebook Groups

It's likely you've joined a few Facebook groups for niche hobbies or local forums but if you haven't, a Facebook group is a dedicated space within Facebook that people can join to share and engage with posts from that community.

Anything posted within a Facebook group is shared to the timelines of the members.

The groups are run by an individual or business Facebook page and can have admins and moderators to help keep them running smoothly.

They may also be private or open with various options that allow the posts to be viewed by non-members or strictly members-only.

Facebook groups are great for promoting your business in two ways:

  1. They allow you to build a community around your brand and give you direct communication to your audience
  2. You can tactfully build your personal brand within groups that are already set up and thriving

The strategy: creating your own group

Depending on your product or service, you should be able to find a niche topic within the industry that would engage your audience. The group isn't to be viewed as a sales page for your brand, it's a hangout for your customers that you are in control of and can serve valuable content and communication to.

If you're a yoga instructor, you may create a mindfulness group to share inspiration and advice and free weekly yoga videos.

You can then use this group as an exclusive place for people to join to get access to the videos. Every part of the process is free for them but it makes them take that next step into your brand and get to know you and your brand's personality.

The more they build this connection and receive value from the group, the more likely it is that they'll invest financially.

The strategy: engaging in other people's groups

This should be done with care and with respect to the owners of the groups. Most groups will have a list of rules that members must follow so be sure to read those carefully before making any posts.

The key to this strategy is seeking out where your audience already exists. If you have a niche around your brand, chances are that relevant communities in that niche already exist on Facebook. You can then join these groups in an effort to better understand your consumer and also to boost your name in the community.

Rather than posting your product or service, try to be as genuinely helpful within the group as possible. Make yourself stand out as an inspiring member. As people begin to recognise your name, they'll build a rapport that'll be extremely influential when you find the moments to relate to your brand.

Down the line, a simple reference to your business will intrigue people to know more. You may even, with permission, be able to link to helpful content (not sales) on your own website that'll allow the members to explore further on their own.

Facebook Ads

Facebook advertising can be a little intimidating and can end up burning through your budgets if not done effectively. If you are just starting out in your marketing journey, we'd recommend giving them a miss until you are more comfortable with social media marketing. However, we do have a few tips to point you in the right direction...

  1. DON'T BOOST YOUR POSTS. Facebook will keep prompting you to boost a post to reach more people. It'll entice you by telling you how well your post is performing and that just £10 could reach so many more potential customers. But the problem is, it doesn't have the control you need to spend that £10 wisely. Facebook ads allow you to tailor them to get as close to your true consumer as possible and also select how and when you want to pay for your content to be seen or engaged with. It is these parameters that make your money go further and your ads more effective.
  2. Don't target the world. We've seen it done. Go through your consumer profile and pull out the key details that identify your target consumer against others who wouldn't spend their money. Targeting a particular area of London will mean that your ad will be seen by more or the relevant people than if you targeted the UK in general.
  3. Get specific. If you really know your consumer, you'll know all of the other specific elements of their life that'll help Facebook identify and target them - even if they don't seem relevant to your brand. These can be interests, hobbies or demographic criteria.
  4. Keep it simple. Don't try to cram lots of information into the post or text on an image. Keep it simple and eyecatching. Grab their attention with an effective hook.
  5. Be directive. Tell them exactly what you're sharing and what they should do after viewing the ad with an effective call-to-action.