With over 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the most important social network in the world and, if used correctly, one of the most effective platforms for marketing and promoting your brand online. Facebook provides companies with a wide range of tools, options and functions that allows you to achieve your goals and targets. In this article, we offer you a complete overview of Facebook main features, strategies and useful tips to promote your brand effectively, as well as a preview of upcoming updates.
Facebook is outdated.
Who hasn’t read or heard this before? Since 2018, some marketers and users have been convinced that the Zuckerberg-owned giant is now in decline. However, the statistics show something else: Facebook is more alive than ever, it is the third most visited site globally, its number of monthly active users exceeds 2 billion and that of new users is constantly growing.
Since 2005, the year of its foundation, to date Facebook has continued to perform its main function: connect people, not only privately (as it might have been initially), but also at a corporate and commercial level. Facebook has indeed become one of the main platforms that brands take into consideration in their social media marketing strategy as, if used in the right way, it allows you to achieve various objectives – for example, increasing your brand awareness, acquiring new customers, generating leads, etc.
However, as we have already seen with LinkedIN, it is important to know all the tools and features available to be able to use social media effectively.
Promoting a business on Facebook: 6 things to do
1. Create a business page
The first step to take when starting to use Facebook on a business level is to create a business page. It is a very easy and intuitive operation: after entering your personal profile, click on the down arrow and select “create a page” from the drop-down menu.
Then just choose the name to give to the page, write a brief description of your company and other general information to provide users with an in-depth overview of the business. A great company page should also have a good visual impact and be able to convey the brand image: many companies choose to use their logo as their profile image and the cover image to illustrate the products or services offered.
Once you have finished the actual creation phase of your profile, you can invite your network of contacts to interact with your page, by liking or following it, thus laying the foundations of what will become your community. Finally, you can add a call to action to push visitors to perform a specific action, for example, visiting your website, calling your company headquarters, contacting you on WhatsApp etc.
2. Configure Facebook Business Manager and Business Suite
Facebook provides marketers and professionals with a free management tool through which you can organize, schedule, monitor all the activities of the Facebook pages and account. Through Business Manager it is possible to perform a series of operations: create advertising campaigns, create and save a specific audience to target our ads, monitor the published posts and the related statistics in terms of coverage, interactions and shares, and have an overview of the posts that have been scheduled and will be published in the future.
If, in addition to having Facebook, your company has also an Instagram profile, you can manage both social networks on the Facebook Business Suite: a single platform accessible both from mobile and desktop that offers brands all the tools necessary to grow on Facebook and Instagram. Currently, with Business Suite you can manage posts, stories, messages, statistics, and advertisings.
3. Publish quality content on a regular basis
Always posting the same type of content or publishing the same post several times will surely bore your audience, who may decide to stop interacting with your page, or even stop following you and remove the ‘like’. The cardinal rule to always keep in mind is that your audience wants to read relevant and interesting content.
For this reason, it is recommended to set up an editorial calendar with which to plan the contents you want to post and the topics you want to deal with.
Regularity is another very important factor that you must keep in mind if you aim to promote your business in an organic way. If you want to retain your fans and encourage them to interact with your page, you must strive to publish content frequently and at regular intervals. Remember, however, that between regularity of publication and quality there is a fine line: you do not have to post content just to increase the number of publications, but only when you believe that they are really useful for your audience.
To be successful on Facebook it is very important to connect and interact with other pages and with their fans in order to create a real network.
Find the pages closest to yours, perhaps starting by looking for other companies with which you normally interface with, whether they are customers, suppliers or partners. “Like” these pages, mention them in your posts, actively interact with their content, trying to gain the attention of their followers, who are likely to fall within your target.
Since you are using a company page, it is important to decide which style and tone of voice to use to be in line with the style of your company. In fact, posting on social media for a brand is not as simple and immediate as it can be when using a personal profile: you must always take into consideration how and what you want to communicate.
In addition to publishing organic posts, Facebook offers a wide range of advertising formats – images, videos, carousels or a combination of these elements – that meet the needs and tastes of each company. Before choosing which format will best suit your needs, you must ask yourself what is the goal of your advertising campaign.
Choose the objective
To choose the right objective, ask yourself what result you want to get from every single ad. It could be to increase the awareness of your company or to increase sales on your website or generating leads. Here are the three objectives that Facebook makes available, regardless of the format you choose for your campaign:
- Awareness: advertising campaigns that aim to increase the perception and awareness of a brand and to generate interest in a product, service or brand within an audience that potentially does not know you yet. In this type of objective, we find both those that push on increasing brand awareness and the reach.
- Consideration: ads that allow you to generate interaction with customers by increasing their consideration for the brand. Within this objective, there are campaigns that aim to increase traffic to a particular website, engagement (likes, reactions, shares, comments or likes to the page), generate contacts, encourage audiences to install apps or send you messages in Facebook Messenger.
- Conversion: campaigns that aim to generate conversions and push users to purchase a specific product and service. This category includes ads that encourage visits to a specific store, the sale of products from the catalogue, ideal for those who have an e-commerce, and the generation of conversions (for example, filling out a contact form, subscribing to a newsletter, downloading content).
Types of advertising
Once you have established the objective you want to achieve, you can choose the format.
Photo ads let you promote a product using a simple but impactful format which allows you to show high quality images or illustrations, with text and a specific call to action.
This is one of the most popular advertising formats for the public: a Facebook study showed that a series of photo-only ads performed better than other ad formats in terms of increasing unique traffic.
Facebook gives us the opportunity to promote our products through video ads – another advertising format that is considered one of the most engaging and capable of attracting public attention.
Video ads can be viewed in the feed section, in-stream (short advertising breaks that are shown before, during or after watching a video on Facebook), or in stories. This category also includes slideshow ads: a sequence of images combined with audio and text.
One of the newest formats, which, for some years now, has been among the most preferred by social media users, are the Stories, short videos of up to 30 seconds displayed at the top of the News section, in a very visible area.
Stories are highly appreciated by the public for several reasons: first of all, they can help developing deeper connections between users and brands in a more frequent, authentic and informal way. Additionally, Stories do not force the user to change the way they interact with their mobile as most users spend 90% of their time holding their mobile upright and Stories are optimized for full screen portrait view.
The data released by Facebook shows us that they are one of the most chosen formats in recent years and the number is bound to rise: 62% of people in the United States have stated that they plan to use stories even more in the future than they already do.
Carousel ads let you show up to ten images and/or videos within a single ad, adding a link for each content. This format offers more space in which you can showcase different products, highlight specific details of a product or service using all ten units of the carousel. Furthermore, it’s an engaging format as it prompts people to scroll through your content to find out more.
Ads on Messenger encourage your target to start conversations with your company, establishing a more personal relationship with current or potential customers. This type of advertisement is displayed in the Chat tab of the users’ Messenger app. When they tap on an ad, they will see on Messenger a call to action that will redirect them to the landing page you chose when creating the ad, which can be a web page, an app or a chat with your company on the Messenger app.
Collection ads make it easier for people to discover, browse and purchase your services and products. This type of advertisement includes a cover image or a video, under which smaller images of the products are displayed. When the user clicks on the ad, he is directed to a full-screen page where he can discover the entire product catalogue.
6. Use hashtags
Anyone with a good social network experience will surely have noticed that hashtags on Facebook, unlike social networks like Twitter or Instagram, do not play a primary role. However, that doesn’t mean they should be automatically excluded from your posts.
The main task of hashtags is very simple: to catalogue the posts that contain a specific hashtag within the same page and to ensure that people can find the posts related to the topics of their interest.
Be careful though not to use too many hashtags: a maximum of 5 per post is recommended.
2021 Facebook updates
With the arrival of the new year, Facebook has announced the introduction of a series of updates that will change the way brands interact with their community and allow them to achieve new business goals.
The first big news is the disappearance of the “like” button on company pages and the elimination of the so-called fans. They will be replaced by followers, a term that those who use Instagram already know very well.
Facebook will not turn all our fans (i.e. those who have clicked the “like” button in the past) into followers, but they should select the “follow” option. So, in order not to lose all the fans acquired over the years, in this transition phase, companies should both invite all fans to follow the page and create dedicated posts to communicate this change to their audience in order to ensure that it continues to join the community and receive the updates.
Another update aimed at brand and community interaction is the introduction of a dedicated feed page. Until now, business pages could only interact with other pages. Now Zuckerberg lets us know that the new feed page will allow companies to participate in users conversations and interact with them directly.
Finally, Facebook is implementing a new feature to respond to the success that Clubhouse, the new US social media based solely on audio communication, is having. It has been rumoured for weeks that Zuckerberg’s social media is studying an option that will offer users the ability to “gather” in so-called rooms and interact in real time with other users using only the power of their voice. We will give you an update as soon as Facebook releases more information on this!
Which platform do you use to promote your company? Have you already implemented Facebook in your social media marketing strategy? Tell us about your experience in the comments and contact us to know more tips and best practices to better promote yourself on social networks.