We all know how big Facebook is. It’s the biggest social network for years now, still growing, and show no signs of slowing down.
So naturally, you’ll want to do your marketing on Facebook, because it’s where most people are and spend most of their time on.
However, the strength of Facebook marketing isn’t the amount of people or the amount of time they spend on it. The strength of Facebook marketing is in it’s effectiveness. Marketing on Facebook is far more effective compared to other mediums because it offers the best type of marketing, which is word of mouth.
How likely are you going to click on a link that is shared by your friends? Now compare it to how likely are you going to click on a link that is an ad?
High chances are you’re going to click on a link shared by your friends, that’s because humans are by nature social animals, we like to do what other people are doing, see what other people are seeing. We seek approval from our friends, family, society. We get sad and depressed when we get rejected.
Which is why Facebook is so successful, it satisfies many of humans need to be relevant, accepted, and be part of the society.
The Facebook Ecosystem
Just like marketing on any other social networks, marketing on Facebook isn’t just about spending more money to buy more ads. There is an ecosystem in Facebook and you’ll need to live by it if you want your marketing efforts to be effective on Facebook.
Before all else, you’ll have to create a Facebook Page for your business. Once you’ve done that, then you can start building your web presence through many of Facebook’s tools and functions. The most direct and fast way to acquire fans is through Facebook Like Ads.
The great thing about social media marketing is that you can engage with your fan base. By creating your Facebook Page, you are able to connect with your followers at a very personal level and can start engaging with them to deepen relationships and gain valuable insights.
Now here’s the fun part. When someone follow, like, comment, or share anything from your page, it gets published into their News Feed and all of their friends get to see it. These organic stories are extremely effective at getting others to engage and take action, and can be shared with a much larger number of potential and current customers by using Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories. Facebook Ads include the names of friends who have already connected to your business.
You could also use Sponsored Stories to increase the distribution of News Feed stories about your business. Paying for Facebook Sponsored Stories gives you the benefit of earned media, at the scale and predictability of paid advertising. This is the new word of mouth and research has shown it’s twice as effective at driving results.
How To Achieve Your Facebook Marketing Objectives
1. Create Awareness
Once you have created a Facebook Page that allows your unique brand to shine, it is time to create awareness of your Page, latest product, or current marketing effort. To do this, you can leverage Facebook’s tremendous reach and targeting capabilities with Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories. These products offer the benefits of earned at the scale and predictability of paid. That’s because they are shown with stories about friends who have already engaged with your business on Facebook. This is the new word of mouth and it’s twice as effective at driving awareness.
HOW TO CREATE AWARENESS:
Step 1: Create a Facebook Ads campaign that encourages people to take an action that will be seen by their friends. Keep ad destinations on Facebook. Encourage liking to build connections and make future campaigns more effective. Keep text simple, highlight special offers, tell users what to expect, have a strong call to action
Step 2: Integrate Social Plugins and the Graph API, such as the Like Button, into your website and mobile experiences. This allows the actions people take off of Facebook to show up in the News Feed and be amplified through Sponsored Stories.
Step 3: Post interesting content with clear calls to action that encourage interaction and sharing. Applications on Facebook can be used to build viral awareness campaigns. Promote launches or promotions with Deals or Events on Facebook.
Step 4: Run Sponsored Stories to promote people’s actions from the News Feed to the right column of their friends’ screen. Sponsored Stories for App Used allow you to amplify every time someone interacts with your app. Sponsored Stories for Page Posts can be used to ensure your fans see your posts.
Step 5: Use Facebook’s unique reach and targeting capabilities to optimize and iterate on your campaign. Try different targeting techniques: Likes and Interests, Friends of Connections and standard demographic. To maximize message recall, test different creative for each target group.
2. Drive Preference and Differentiation
Facebook is a great place to build preference and differentiation for your brand over competitors. On Facebook, people discover your brand through trusted referrals from their friends. Then drive preference by interacting with and rewarding your fans. Think of your Facebook Page as a key touch point that you can leverage to bring your brand to life for your customers in real time.
HOW TO DRIVE PREFERENCE AND DIFFERENTIATION:
Step 1: Understand what people currently think of your business and why they think it is unique and relevant. Listen to what people are saying about your business on your Page and use Questions to survey them. Use Page Insights to understand what they are interested in.
Step 2: Define the gap between your current perception and your brand’s desired perception or point of differentiation.
Step 3: Launch an integrated brand-building campaign to drive preference and differentiation. Create a campaign that supports your desired perception across your typical channels (TV, print, radio, Facebook, etc.). Create Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories with Friends of Connections targeting to show people how their friends have already interacted with your brand.
Step 4: Think about how to integrate Facebook into your products, website or mobile apps to make them more personal and unique. Use the Graph API to enable people to shop based on what their friends like. Use Social Plugins to create a social experience for people engaging with your brand. Use Apps on Facebook to bring your brand to life on your Page.
Step 5: Check in with your customers to understand what is resonating and whether you have been successful. Monitor your Wall and use Page Insights to see what’s working. Run a Nielsen Brand Effects study (where available) to ask questions or run polls to understand how perceptions changed post-campaign. Use your own brand tracking measurement tools.
3. Amplify Recommendation and Word of Mouth
Everything you do on Facebook is viral because all actions are published into the News Feed and are lasting. People expect to discover things on Facebook through their friends. Rather than thinking of driving recommendation as an independent objective, sharing should be built into all of your Facebook activities and campaigns. Here are some of the Facebook tools that help amplify word of mouth and recommendation.
HOW TO AMPLIFY RECOMMENDATION AND WORD OF MOUTH:
Step 1: Encourage people to like your Page. This opens the communication channels between you and your customers. It also creates an association between your brand and that individual.
Step 2: Create great content that encourages sharing and keep it fresh. Post video content to stimulate sharing. Use a publishing calendar that includes exciting product announcements and promotions. Be active in two-way conversations.
Step 3: Integrate Social Plugins and the Graph API with the Like Button on all of your online properties and at any point of purchase. This creates more opportunities for actions that will be published into the News Feed and content that can be used in Sponsored Stories.
Step 4: Use Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories to create word of mouth at scale. These products allow you to show your brand’s message to your target audience with stories about their friends who have already engaged with your business.
Step 5: Learn and iterate. Use Page Insights to determine the content people are most excited about engaging with and sharing. Use Campaign Reporting to determine what type of creative and targeting gives you the best results
4. Build Loyalty and Deepen Relationships
Facebook is fundamentally about relationships. The people who like your Page are saying that they want a relationship with you. This connection allows you to build and deepen relationships with your most loyal customers and allows them to spread the word about your brand to their friends. Because of the information people share about themselves on Facebook, you can create highly custom and personalized experiences to drive engagement and loyalty over time.
HOW TO BUILD LOYALTY AND DEEPEN RELATIONSHIPS:
Step 1: Remind people that you are on Facebook and there to communicate with them. Promote your Facebook Page in offline marketing collateral. Integrate Facebook into your website with Graph API to make sure your customers are part of your Facebook community. Use Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories to stay top of mind
Step 2: Develop an authentic personality and voice. Create a publishing calendar. Post stories that people care about, ask questions and encourage participation. Publish in the early morning or late evening.
Step 3: Ask questions, listen and be responsive, take part in a two-way conversation. Use Facebook Questions to drive engagement and learn. Appoint someone on your team to monitor your Page daily and interact with people in an authentic way.
Step 4: Use the Graph API and Social Plugins to create more personalized and relevant online experiences to build loyalty.
Step 5: Let your fans know they are special and reward them for their relationship. Thank them for their engagement. Run Deals and special promotions to your Facebook community. Provide them with exclusive information, updates, and events.
5. Increase Traffic and Sales
Facebook turns purchasing into a social decision by enabling people to show what they like and have purchased, both online and in the physical world. On Facebook, you can create viral promotional events, publicize offers or run Deals. Every time someone RSVPs, clicks, or checks-in, that action gets shared with all of their friends. This combination of word of mouth and your ability to deepen engagement with your customers at the point of purchase (either on your website or in store) is incredibly powerful at driving traffic and sales.
HOW TO INCREASE TRAFFIC AND SALES:
Step 1: Decide on a sales goal and the promotional activities that will help you get there.
Step 2: Run a creative campaign to share that promotion through Facebook Ads and Page publishing. Consider using an application or exclusive tab to create a promotion that requires people to like your Page or share the content. Use Sponsored Stories to ensure the friends of someone who interacts with your campaign, see that action
Step 3: Create a social experience at the point of purchase. Use the Graph API to allow people to like specific products. Integrate post-purchase sharing so that once a user has checked out, they have the option to publish to their Wall. Create Deals to drive people in store and have them check in so the action gets published back to their friends.
Step 4: Drive people to point of purchase online. Use Facebook Ads with offers that take people to the point of purchase – be transparent that clicking the ad will take you off Facebook. Every time someone likes a product on your website, boost the story with Sponsored Stories for Domains.
Step 5: Drive people to point of purchase off-line. Make sure your Page is connected to a geographic Place. Use Deals and Premium Event Ads to drive people in store. Run Sponsored Stories for Place Check-ins to amplify word of mouth.
6. Gain Insights
Facebook allows you to learn about your customers both by observing their actions and by engaging with them directly. It is a great place to learn who your customers are and what they think about you. Facebook makes it easy to incorporate your customers into your product development cycle and marketing campaigns and iterate quickly. You can do all of this in real-time, globally. When used actively, these insights can help improve your business by helping you stay aligned with the people you serve
HOW TO GAIN INSIGHTS:
Step 1: Use Campaign Reports for your advertising campaigns and Sponsored Stories. By testing different targeting options, you can learn more about your audience.
Step 2: Learn from Page Insights. See the demographic breakdown of who is interacting with your Page and what they are interested in.
Step 3: Learn from the two-way conversations that occur on your Page. Watch, listen and respond when you use Facebook Questions, Apps on Facebook or publish.
Step 4: Learn by integrating Facebook login and API with your online measurement tools. Track individual behavior, engagement and purchasing.
Step 5: Use advanced campaign metrics. When you run large advertising campaigns, use Nielsen Brand Effects studies (where available) to track the effectiveness of your campaign on brand building objectives.
Facebook is so big that it is part of almost everyone’s daily life. If you are not using Facebook for your marketing strategies then you should start right now. Almost every business can use Facebook to market themselves, just remember to live along with Facebook’s ecosystem to reap the most benefit out of it. Learn to utilize all the tools in Facebook and you’ll quickly master the art of marketing on Facebook.
Zhi Yuan is an inbound marketer who has expertise in both SEO and content marketing. He is on a never-ending quest to understand the mysteries of the search engine world, and sometimes, on his way to the ice-cream parlor.