Today, Facebook has more than 3 billion users, which is more than 37% of the global population. The platform is still growing, with thousands of new users joining daily. American Facebook users spend an average of 33 minutes on the site each day. It should be a key piece of your digital marketing strategy.
No social media platform can compete with Facebook when it comes to longevity and in many cases reach and diversity of demographics with a Facebook user. The platform turns 18 this year, and it's changed a lot over time.
That's what makes Facebook an incredibly useful tool for small businesses. When you're active on Facebook, you have a fantastic window into your customers' lives. More than 200 million companies already use Facebook to talk to their customers and advertise their products.
Still, using Facebook to market a small business can seem intimidating to many entrepreneurs. Here's what you need to know about how Facebook marketing works, how to build a solid strategy, and tips and tricks for marketing small businesses on Facebook the right way.
What Is Facebook marketing?
Facebook marketing uses Facebook's tools to advertise your business. The platform has created many tools that companies like yours can use to find potential customers and teach them about your products. You can use those tools to connect with new buyers and grow your business.
There are two main types of Facebook marketing: "paid" and "organic" marketing. Paid marketing is just what it sounds like - you pay Facebook a small fee to display your ads to people who match your preferences. Your ads then appear on people's feeds as they scroll through other posts.
Organic marketing is a little different. Instead of paying Facebook to share your ads, the goal is to get people to engage with and share your posts for free. When they share your posts, your content is automatically shown to their friends, too. It's "organic" because you're relying on your audience instead of paying for your posts to be artificially placed in people's feeds.
The best way to make the most of Facebook is by using both organic and paid marketing. A good strategy will include paid ads and regular posting. Your paid ads will help you get in front of more people, while organic marketing will help you build a loyal customer base.
Facebook marketing strategy
What does a Facebook marketing strategy look like? That's a good question. There's no single perfect advertising plan. The method that will work best for you depends on your business's needs. There are three steps to designing a strategy that will work for you:
1. Define your goals
Before doing anything else, you need to decide what you want to accomplish with your marketing plan. That will determine what you focus on, what kinds of posts you use, and how aggressive your marketing campaigns should be.
For instance, a startup and an established business will have very different goals for their marketing. The startup might want to win new customers quickly. Meanwhile, an established business might like to remind people about sales and upcoming events. Figure out what you want your Facebook marketing to do for your business, and you'll be able to make better decisions.
2. Research your customers
Next, you need to understand your customers and how they use Facebook. One of the great things about the platform is that it lets you choose who your ads are displayed to based on things like age, gender, and location.
So, do some research into your regular customer base. Figure out what kind of people are most likely to want to buy from your business. With that information, you can narrow down your Facebook ad campaign and avoid wasting time and money trying to advertise to people who probably won't buy from you.
3. Decide what you're willing to invest
The last step is deciding how much time, effort, and money you're willing to spend on Facebook marketing. If you're not social media savvy, it's probably worthwhile to get help from an experienced social media marketing team. They can help you set up your marketing without wasting time or money on strategies that won't work.
Facebook marketing for small business
What does Facebook marketing for small businesses look like? Well, social media is supposed to be just that: social. One of the main reasons people choose to use social media is to talk to other people and form a community.
That's why Facebook pages exist. They let many people who may not know each other form a community around a shared interest. You can create a Facebook business page about your company to make posts about your brand and market your products.
Once you've made that page, you're ready to start marketing. There are a few strategies that just about every small company needs to do to make social media marketing succeed:
The most important thing you can do for your Facebook marketing is to be consistent. You don't necessarily have to do a Facebook post multiple times a day. Just make sure you set a schedule and post at least once or twice a week. This keeps your audience from forgetting about you.
You can take advantage of the social parts of Facebook by ensuring that your posts encourage people to interact with you. Great ways to do this include:
- Ask questions: People like feeling like they're being listened to. Ask questions about people's days, their favorite ways to use your products, or what they're looking forward to. This can encourage people to comment on your posts and share them with friends.
- Respond to people's comments: Whenever people comment on your Facebook posts or page, respond to them. This can start conversations and make people feel connected to your business.
- Use images: Text posts can get lost on Facebook. Add pictures or videos to your posts to make sure people can spot and interact with them.
- Make "shareable" content: Give advice, offer tips, or share coupons in your posts. When you make this kind of helpful content, people are more likely to share it with their friends and put your business in front of more people.
- Host contests: If you really want to get more followers and attention, you can host Facebook contests like raffles. Offer one entry to every person who shares a post or follows your page, then give a small gift to a randomly drawn winner.
- Facebook likes are also currency you need to consider. The more Facebook likes you get the more the Facebook algorithm will show your Facebook post to a unique Facebook user that is friends with whoever liked your post.
All of these tactics help you build a community around your brand. They encourage everyone who's already liked your page to keep interacting with it, making a stronger connection to your brand.
Setting up a Facebook group
A Facebook group can be a great way to build more community and also have greater reach with your posts. Over the last several years organic reach of a Facebook post has declined, but for the most part when you post in a Facebook group the group will see what your facebook post is.
You can build community with a Facebook group and also encourage questions, product suggestions, or service suggestions. You can encourage people to engage with either your facebook post about a topic or to utilize Facebook messenger, the messaging app, to ask questions.
Chances are pretty high you have experience Facebook messenger. Its the chat app they have that allows you to have 1:1 conversations with your friends and brands you follow. It can be a great tool to add to your facebook page or facebook group to encourage support questions or comments to happen 1:1 vs. where the whole world can see. You an have a little bit more control over Facebook Messenger.
Facebook messenger also has some chat bot features worth looking into. You can setup answer to commonly asked questions like "when are you open" and the chatbot can answer for you vs. having to staff an employee to handle it.
Using Facebook ads
You can turn any Facebook page post into an ad, also known as a "promoted post." These paid ads can get your posts in front of hundreds or thousands of people. You can also define exactly what kind of people you'd want to see your ads to make sure you're not wasting money.
Promoted posts are great for helping people find out about your company or reminding them that you exist. If regular posts are about making your community stronger, promoted posts are about making your community bigger. To grow, you need to do both.
Tracking your performance
You'll want your Facebook marketing to help you accomplish your goals. The only way to do that is to track how people interact with your posts. Facebook has a bunch of tools that will help you understand things like:
- What posts people seem to like most
- When people visit your page most often
- What kind of people interact with you the most
- How often do people engage with your call-to-action (like visiting your website or making a purchase)
The Facebook marketing tool and the ads manager can be managed in the Facebook business manager. You can see what ads were clicked on, what led to conversions, and how much was spend. You will want to make sure to check and manage Ads Manager frequently and make sure your facebook ads are paused if you aren't able to manage them. This will help to ensure you don't spend more than you need.
It can also help to find a social media management company like Scorpion to help you with your Facebook ads manager account, social media strategy, facebook page management, Facebook group management, improving the value you get from Facebook Insights, and even explore ways you can become a Facebook Marketing Partner program to get better exposure.
Facebook marketing budget
If you're using Facebook ads, you should set a marketing budget for your business. Facebook will ask you how much you want to spend on ads and show you how many people will see them for each price point. You can set a budget as low as $10 or spend thousands a month. It all depends on what you want your ads to accomplish.
Facebook marketing: CPC or CPM?
There are two ways that Facebook charges for promoted posts. One method is "cost-per-click," or CPC. If you choose this method, you'll only pay when someone actually clicks your Facebook ad.
The other method is "cost-per-mille," or CPM. "Mille" stands for a thousand views. With this charging method, you pay whenever the ad is displayed, not when it's clicked.
The two methods have unique strengths and weaknesses. Usually, Facebook charges more if you choose CPC. However, with CPC, you know for a fact that the person saw your ad and liked it enough to follow the link.
On the other hand, CPM is usually less expensive but also less effective. If people click your CPM ad, you could save money. However, you could also spend lots of money on ads that no one pays attention to.
In general, CPC is the better option if you want your ads to get people to do something specific, like visiting your site. Meanwhile, CPM is a better choice if you just want more people to know about your business.
How to set up Facebook marketing
Setting up Facebook marketing is easy. The hard part is putting in the time and effort to make regular posts and build up followers. Here's how to set up your Facebook market tools:
Create a Facebook business page
The first step is to open a Facebook business page. This is as easy as clicking a few buttons. Facebook will walk you through the process from start to finish. When you're following the prompts, make sure you remember to:
- Add a profile picture of your company's logo
- Upload a banner (a picture of your storefront or products is a great first banner)
- List your business's location, hours, and contact information
- Invite people to like your page
Set up your ads account
Next, you'll set up your page to run Facebook ads. You can either go to your Facebook page and click the "Create ad" box or go directly to Facebook Ads Manager. You can choose to either create a new ad from scratch or "boost" a post you've already written. Either way, Facebook will guide you through creating your first ad and posting it. Your first Facebook Marketing Campaign should be focused on just learnign the Facebook ad manager product. You can scale with more money and investment later on.
Set up extra tools
Once you've made your first ad, it's time to start making regular content. Unless you're ready to dedicate hours each day to Facebook, then you probably want to connect marketing tools like a scheduling and chat system to your Facebook page. These tools will help you schedule posts to be uploaded in the future, monitor your page's performance, and respond to your customers right away.
These can be a great way to actually track everyone who watches your Facebook account. You will find that the Facebook algorithm will favor organic views of your stories over your posts as well. When you post a story you will want it to support a theme or even post you are going after. These Facebook stories can be a little more fun and quickly engaging way to promote your brand.
Facebook marketing tips
As you get used to Facebook marketing for small businesses, you'll become more comfortable. Here are a few tips for avoiding common rookie marketing mistakes:
You don't have to start your Facebook marketing experience with a bang. If you start posting multiple times a day and spend hundreds per month on advertising, you're more likely to burn out. It's usually better to start small, with one or two posts a week and a single ad campaign. You'll be able to learn about the systems involved and avoid wasting time and money.
Take the time to perfect your page
Your Facebook page is just as important as your website. Make sure your page looks professional, with high-quality images and well-written posts. Typos, incorrect contact information, or sloppy pictures will give potential customers a bad first impression.
Make the most of Facebook's tools
Facebook has tons of free tools for businesses like yours. Don't be afraid to explore options like selling products on Facebook Marketplace, hosting online events, posting Stories, or letting people book appointments through your page. As you get more comfortable using Facebook for marketing, these tools can help you make the most of the audience you build.
Don't be afraid to get help
Facebook's many tools can seem intimidating if you're new to social media marketing. Don't let that stop you from making the most of this great advertising opportunity. If you're not sure where to get started, you can reach out to the social media marketing experts at Scorpion to get help setting up your page and developing a strategy that will help you make your Facebook page the best it can be.