Guest Post: How to Take Advantage of Facebook Marketing
If you are marketing on social media, there’s a pretty good chance you’re using Facebook as a platform to do so. Facebook is genuinely the go-to social network for marketers to start testing the social media waters.
There is no set formula on how to successfully market to your target audience on Facebook, though there have been hundreds of blog posts offering guidelines to follow.
Recently many marketers are taking the next step in their Facebook marketing strategy and incorporating advertising.
Many marketers may be asking, “Why should I advertise?”
Well, here’s a break down for you…
As marketers, we all know that just because we post something on Facebook doesn’t mean it will show up in all of our fans’ feeds. Facebook’s algorithm, EdgeRank, determines where content is placed in a user’s news feed.
With the changes made to Facebook’s EdgeRank a few months back, it has become even more essential to post engaging content. Generally, this means images, videos or other forms of rich media. Rich media has always dominated the news feed, but with the latest changes, it has become even more necessary to utilize this type of content.
It is increasingly more difficult to get a simple link to an article or a blog post in front of fans.
Why did this happen?
Is it a surprise Facebook did this?
No. They are a public business now and want to please shareholders.
Facebook is attempting to make a better business model. Facebook’s price per share is still not as high as it was the day the company went public.
In the past quarter, however, they’ve started to make a turnaround. Facebook sales jumped 38% in the first quarter of 2013. This jump can largely be attributed to advertising.
Why did marketers start advertising? To combat the changes made to EdgeRank and get their posts seen by more of their fans.
What does that mean for your Facebook marketing efforts?
It may be time to invest in some social media advertising.
First and foremost, before jumping into Facebook advertising, make sure you have an established Facebook social media strategy that is in line with your brand. Promote content your audience generally engages with, even if that audience is small.
Once you have a successful Facebook marketing strategy, then you will want to throw advertising into the mix.
7 Facebook Advertising Guidelines:
- Determine an objective and a budget. Make sure the objective(s) you are aiming for are realistic in terms of the budget you are allocating.
- Use promoted posts. Promote existing posts on your Facebook timeline. To decide which posts to promote, look to your past posts and choose the posts that have the highest levels of engagement. This will help you keep your Facebook advertising inline with your original Facebook strategy.
- Make sure these posts have some sort of engaging photo and prompt further discussion. Getting people to like that photo is great, but getting them to comment or share is much better.
- Don’t blatantly try to sell your product through an ad. If you have an eBook, whitepaper, or something you can GIVE away for FREE in exchange for an email address—that may be of greater value in your overall marketing strategy.
- Create content that is compelling to your target audience! This seems obvious, but when promoting posts, make sure they are posts that your target audience will actually engage with, not just treat as another uninteresting post.
- Test your ads. Facebook allows you to run multiple ads at a time. Select several different posts to promote. Keep the ones that perform best (i.e. have a high click-through rate) and test them against one another. Generally, when starting your advertising efforts, checking on your ads a couple of times a day is a good way to keep a close eye on their performance. After your ads are performing up to par, as long as you have a daily budget set, checking on your ads once a day should be sufficient.
- Analyze. Start with a small budget and analyze your engagement. Set a daily budget to keep your funds in check and take time to analyze and switch out your ads if necessary. Watching the click through rate is a good tool to help measure ad performance, however you should also keep in mind what your end objective of advertising was. Are you meeting THAT objective?
What does this mean for the future of Facebook Marketing?
We’ve heard an increasing amount of complaints from users about the platform’s intrusiveness when it comes to ads in user’s newsfeeds. Turns out Facebook was listening.
Facebook recently decided to clean up their advertising options by reducing the amount of ads available to advertisers.
Facebook has built a business model that looks to increasingly please shareholders. Facebook marketing and Facebook advertising aren’t going away any time soon.
Generate a strong Facebook marketing strategy with clearly established objectives and enhance your strategy with advertising as your budget allows.
Melissa Leiter (@mfearon4), inbound marketing manager/ social media strategist at Palmer Ad Agency. Palmer is a full service ad agency in its 25th year. Since joining the Palmer team, Melissa has contributed to expanding the inbound marketing and social media marketing strategies for the agency and their clients.
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/FrameAngel