The Essentials of Facebook Marketing

Photo of Facebook buttons
Facebook can be a valuable social media platform for personal service/products oriented businesses. But only if you use it strategically.
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It’s About Inquisitiveness and Boredom

I have to admit that I hate Facebook, its fake news, its business practices, its destruction of democracy, and most everything it represents. I dislike the type of people that are obsessed with it. Like nicotine and heroin, it is an addictive product. However, in business, you are not necessarily out to do what you like to do. You are out to help your customers and fellow man.
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So I am still (however reluctantly) writing this post about Facebook marketing. It is useful for some small businesses, especially those that provide personal services. And it is especially relevant for those who target hobby, gardening, household, fashion, exercise, and entertainment activities. Although for these I recommend their less evil sister Instagram.
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Graphic of why people use Facebook.

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Listening for the Passion

Not many professionals use Facebook for development or product research. If you are going to reach them, you will do so tangentially while they are using the platform for personal reasons.
Listen to what your fans are posting and sharing so you can discover their interests. You want to use emotion invoking strategies to tie your content into your fans passions.
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Entertaining is the Ticket

While Twitter is more of a communications platform and more mobile friendly, Facebook is more of an entertainment platform for small business. It is also heavily skewed toward use on mobile devices. Your website must be mobile friendly if you want your Facebook fans to visit the content you promote from there.
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Facebook is more shallow than most social media platforms. Most users are not there to be enlightened or educated. They are there to keep up with their friends and gossip. It is celebrity-oriented. Your content must be entertaining if you want to cut through the fluff and nonsense that makes up most of your fans’ timelines.
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Notifications are not quite as critical as they are for Twitter. Still, you may want to set them up. Go to settings and select how you want to be notified of your notifications.
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Driving Traffic to your Website

In an earlier post about blog posts, I noted that building significate traffic to your site via content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. The same goes for social media, and Facebook is no exception. In fact, doing it via Facebook marketing is more challenging and less rewarding than other social media platforms for most small B2B firms. You need to use Facebook smartly and strategically to succeed.
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You need to answer questions, demonstrate your expertise, solve problems, inform and more.
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Promote evergreen content from your site. You want your fans to trust your content judgment and value the original content you post. That will make them more likely to click through to your site and give you a chance to convert them into customers of your products and services.
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For better or worse Facebook is now a “pay to play” platform when it comes to small business marketing. At best only 2 – 5% of your page’s fans will organically see your posts in their timelines. If you want traffic to your site, you need to hand Facebook some of your cash.
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Acquiring Fans

Here are some tips and strategies for gaining fans:
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  • post great content.
  • use relevant #hashtags.
  • make sure you have a follow button on your website.
  • make sure you have share buttons on your website’s pages and posts.
  • guest post content on other companies pages that offer complimentary products or services to yours.
  • have links to your Facebook page on your other social accounts, in your email marketing, and in your email signature.
  • swap promotional posts with other companies pages that offer complimentary products or services to yours.
  • have experts in your niche answer questions from your fans in a special Q&A session.
The more you post, the more users you will get to like your page. Posting great, shareable content with strategic #hashtags is paramount to success. You will also need to share quality content via curation. There is more on that below.
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Setting up your Facebook Company Page

To optimize your page:
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  • fill out your entire profile.
  • make sure your images are the appropriate size and compelling.
  • have informative content in the about section.
  • use appropriate tabs and strategically sort them.
  • activate your CTA Button.
  • add apps as needed.

Types of Posts

 
You should determine the content of your Facebook posts based upon your business, marketing, and content strategies.
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Still, one thing is true about content on Facebook; positive content is much, much more successful than negative content. Be polite and steer clear of religion and politics. Save polemics for your personal Facebook account.
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Like most social media communication, your Facebook posts should do one of the following:
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  • inform
  • educate
  • entertain (this may be the best for Facebook)
  • answer a question
  • solve a problem
 
Posting video directly to the platform is exploding on Facebook. They are getting up to 8% organic reach, so if you have videos post them. And don’t forget to include a CTA in your video posts.
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Another visually appealing post type that drives engagement is the quote photo. Contests, seasonal content, polls, and pictures of you and your team are other useful post types.
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Experimentation and metrics analysis will help you determine what type of post works best for your small business. Some type other than those above may work better for you.
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Curation

As I mentioned in an earlier piece about Twitter, sharing relevant, useful, and informative content is curation. It is the reverse of promotion. Curation can gain you fans. Excessive pitching will cost you fans.
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To source content for your curation follow thought leaders and influencers in your industry. Reshare quality content from them with your fans. Be sure to edit their post descriptions and add a #hashtag. Rephrase their wording with something more likely to resonate with your industry and prospects.
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Newsletters are another great resource for finding content to share on Facebook. Use the social sharing buttons on the posts the newsletter links to for sharing content to Facebook or your social media scheduling service. Your browser should have a sharing function as well.
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Promotion

You do want to promote your company on Facebook. If you do so, products offerings with exclusive deals is a smart tactic to increase the chance of a click-through to your site. Product updates are excellent, and product videos are the best.
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For optimal results, you should post four or five curated posts for every post of your original content.
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Put an email sign-up form on your Facebook company page with a tab. The email marketing service, Mailchimp, has an excellent integration for adding a signup form tab. Be sure to move it to the top of your tabs. Facebook only shows your first four tabs. Timeline and About are one and two by default. Make your email sign up form number three.
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Amplification

Facebook is yet another platform to amplify your website’s content. As I mentioned about you will gain a limited amount of organic traffic to your site from Facebook posts. To guarantee traffic, you will need to use Facebook Ads.
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Make your content great if you want your fans to amplify it by sharing it with their friends on their timelines. Great content is not necessarily going to go viral. But, all viral content is great. If you are going to invest time in Facebook, give yourself a chance to benefit from doing so.
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Facebook Ads

If you want to get results with your Facebook marketing, you will have to advertise on the platform.
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One thing Facebook is good at is amassing a tremendous set of data on its users. This data lets you do some very specific targeting with your ad efforts.
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The type of advertising most relevant for content marketing for small business is the sponsored post. You will get the type of targeted audience you want for your sponsored content. Plus, if you create great sponsored content it will be shared by the audience you pay to expose to it. If it goes viral, the payoff can rise exponentially.
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The most common type of sponsored post is the page post link. Use it to drive an audience to a landing page on your site that is designed for conversion. Page post videos are good for engagement. Be sure to include a call to action for them.
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There are lots of things you can do with Facebook ads. Having a strategy in place before you start it is key to getting the best return on your investment. Use the Facebook ad creator to make and schedule your ads.
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Schedule your Posts

As I noted in that post about Twitter, you must be consistent with your social media posting. And as with any marketing, you want to experiment with the times you publish to find the best time to post. Tools like, the Facebook Insights link at the top of your page can help you analyze your Facebook activity.
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You can use tools like Buffer, Everypost, Hootsuite or Oktopost to schedule posts. Don’t post in bulk. Strategically schedule your posts throughout the day. And be sure to post daily.
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Use the scheduler software’s analytics capabilities to see what works best and drives the most traffic to your site.
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As with your blog or any social media, post at regular and consistent intervals. If you followers know when to expect your content, they will be more likely to anticipate it eagerly. It will also make them much more likely to consume it.
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Your blog’s evergreen content should repeatedly be posted. However, be sure to vary the times and days you post the individual pieces from your blog. Again, at best only 5% of your Facebook fans will see your post in their timeline. Give them as many chances as possible to find it.
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Your Posts’ Content

Your Facebook posts should be succinct. Write an enticing headline with a call to action. Include the URL of the content you want to share and add an appropriately sized image.
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Make it great. Post relevant and useful content.
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This advice will significantly increase the chance of your posts being consumed and shared.
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More Tips

  • invite your Facebook friends to like your page.
  • include Facebook CTAs in your blog posts.
  • send emails asking your list to follow you on their favorite social media platforms.
  • when someone likes your page, message them and ask them to select “See First” under the “Liked” button on your page.
  • ask them to “Get notifications” and “Add to interest lists” in the same place.

What will stay essential

1. Post relevant, useful, and informative content.
2. Curate content from experts and influencers in your industry.
3. Schedule most of your posts and post consistently.
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Summing it up

Whether you are a fan or not you should consider Facebook marketing. If you are in the hobby, gardening, household, fashion, exercise, and entertainment industry in can do great things for you. But you must be willing to spend money on it. Please contact us with any questions or if you are ready to take your marketing to a new level.
Facebook image courtesy of mkhmarketing via a creative commons license.

Reuben Walker

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Reuben is Ringmaster of Mobile Atom Media and its division Mobile Atom Code. In addition to his content specialties, he is also a full-stack developer.

An ABJ graduate of the University of Georgia and MA graduate of Georgia State University he lives in Orlando, FL with his wife and English labrador. He received his full-stack certification from the University of Central Florida.

For great curated and original content on entrepreneurship, content, design, and code follow him on the social media platform of your choice via the icons in this site’s footer. Or join the 42,318+ followers of his Flipboard Magazines.