Facebook has over 2.79 billion monthly active users worldwide, making it a high priority for marketers on audience size alone. In addition, the deeply insightful analytics suite makes it a favorite with brands looking to make it big with their social media campaigns.
It is precisely this popularity and ease of use. However, that also makes Facebook a highly saturated space to market in. Merely hoping for traction on organic content would not work on this revolutionary social media platform anymore.
What businesses need to do is have a targeted strategy, invest in tools and software as needed, and always keep their eyes and ears peeled for changes in how the industry is moving.
The business value of Facebook in digital transformation
Simply put, digital transformation involves the use of technology to improve a company’s performance or reach drastically. Rapidly evolving technologies, stiff branded competition, and pressure from consumers are forcing businesses to market more innovatively.
One powerful way through which businesses can accelerate their digital transformation is through Facebook. Research shows 84% of executives leverage the medium to make B2B buying decisions about their digital transformation initiatives.
Interestingly, they can gain the upper hand over their competitors on the platform by:
- Enhancing customer service by staying informed of customer feedback via every touchpoint of the customer journey
- Humanizing the company by the following the simple formula of posting 80% of consumer-related posts and 20% of business-specific posts
- Remaining agile to competitor strategies and market changes by receiving real-time updates on the platform
If you are looking to transform the way you conduct your business in 2021 and make the most of the functionalities that the medium offers, here are ten proven Facebook marketing tips that will help you stand out from the competition and boost your engagement exponentially.
1. Create engaging video content
A joint Buffer and BuzzSumo study revealed that the most popular Facebook posts are videos. That is not surprising since video posts also generate 59% more engagement on average than any other type of posts.
So if you are looking for ways Facebook gives you more engagement than text-only or image-based content, then video content is the path to take.
One idea is to craft square videos, which are more suitable for viewing on desktop or mobile than vertical videos. They fill up the entire screen space and can be intrusive. Check out the side-by-side comparison below. Which one did you like the best?
Similarly, Facebook Stories are a fun way to engage with users through short, catchy videos. Even if you upload one Story a day, that can help you expand your reach as 500 million users access this functionality every day.
Another innovative option is the Facebook carousel, which lets you add up to 10 video ads with different descriptions and calls-to-action for each.
Here is a hot tip: try to upload native Facebook videos rather than linking to YouTube or Vimeo, as native videos get shared 10X more often.
No matter what video format you choose, do not forget to use Facebook Pixel for audience behavior tracking. Set your ad parameters so that it is displayed to customers with the demographics, connections, and behavioral choices that you are targeting.
2. Go live frequently and interact
In addition to preparing video content, live streaming is a great way to create an authentic sense of community among your followers. In fact, live video streams on Facebook can get up to 6X as many interactions as regular videos.
They also tend to get higher priority in the Facebook algorithm. Be sure to invest in creating a live video experience that your users will want to keep watching and spark authentic conversations in the comments section.
You can share industry-related updates, show behind-the-scenes of a product launch, or even invite employees or clients to share their thoughts about your brand. You can use Facebook Live to connect with your audience in the most human way possible.
Wistia once used the functionality to give a sneak peek behind one of their video shoots. The strategy worked well because the company did not blatantly show off their culture but authentically showed how the Wistia team does things. It was also relevant to their product.
3. Study your competition thoroughly
If you want to outperform the competition, you first need to have a good grasp of what they are doing. Luckily, several resources are available to help you see what your competitors are doing on Facebook Ads.
Facebook Ad Library, for instance, lets you search for ads by topic or organization name, as well as by keyword. Type in a business niche, and you will find relevant company pages. You can even study businesses in other locations by changing the country name on the top right.
Bigsby is another free tool that gives you similar insights. Keep an eye out for trends and patterns in competing ads, such as the use of stories to create emotion versus a more benefits-oriented approach through bullet points or the use of single-video ads versus carousels.
Another useful tip is to look at the Google Ads your competition is running for ideas on the features they are highlighting, the kinds of visuals they are using, the percentage of video ads they are running, their ad campaigns’ longevity, and so on.
4. Appeal to customer emotions
One of the best ways to spark engagement on your Facebook posts and ads is by sharing content with emotional value. An HBR research on emotions that were most likely to lead to viral content, the top five are curiosity, amazement, interest, astonishment, and uncertainty.
Moreover, while positive emotions were more likely to make content go viral, negative emotions could do the same if the content evoked anticipation and surprise.
Therefore, invest in creating content that sparks interest and arouses the right emotions, and you will quickly see it get shared more frequently and show up higher on user feeds. Include an emotional narrative in Facebook posts.
For starters, consider your reader’s needs. Ask yourself why you are crafting the post. Find a purpose. If you want to help your audience, share content on trends or how-to-posts. Any content that proves you are cool as a brand will also resonate with them.
Is Adidas not socially aware and environmentally responsible? Of course, it is! Invite your audience to act. Make them feel involved to satisfy the need for action. Check out how Bid4Papers instantly captures the attention of book lovers without patronizing them?
5. Use a combination of paid and free tools
While working on bumping up your organic Facebook traffic is always a good idea, it helps to invest in tools that can amplify your marketing campaigns. There are some feature-packed paid and free tools to help you get the job done faster and smarter.
For instance, Qwaya allows you to A/B test your ads for every variable you can think of and schedule your ads for the time slots when they perform best.
AdEspresso is a great analytics tool with a simple, minimalistic layout and customizable dashboards to give you in-depth insights into your preferred metrics.
Hootsuite Ads is perhaps one of the most comprehensive tools out there for ad creation, promotion, and analysis.
Among the free tools, SocialMention lets you monitor keyword mentions in real-time online conversations. DrumUp can be used for post scheduling.
Fanpage Karma lets you do a competitive analysis of your page versus a competing one, and ShortStack enables you to build interactive campaigns from scratch.
6. Build a targeted brand persona on Facebook
A buyer persona is simply a representation of what your ideal customer looks like. Creating one is quite similar to building a Facebook profile.
You focus on four elements — the customer’s personal information and background, their goals and buying interests, reasons they would buy your product (and reasons that might be holding them back from buying it), and the best way to reach out to this customer and explain your solution to them.
Facebook Audience Insights will be extremely helpful in this regard, as most Facebook users already have a lot of these details up on their profile. You can create custom audiences and segment them as you need.
The easiest way to do so is by uploading the contacts on your brand’s email list to Facebook as a CSV file, as these are people who have already displayed an interest in your products.
Then, use the filters under the Custom Audience section in Facebook Audience Insights to note patterns in their interests and habits based on location, demographics, income, devices they use to browse the net, and the kinds of products they are most keen on buying.
After that, organize all of this information into a persona — templates like Xtensio’s User Persona Creator can help you with this.
7. Capitalise on trending tags and topics
Hashtags are used everywhere, and clicking on one shows you all of the public posts under that tag. Including relevant hashtags in your Facebook posts is a great way to share your content with people interested in the topics you post about.
Here are some other the benefits of using hashtags on Facebook:
- You will have the ability to monitor which Facebook hashtags and see what your target audience and competitors are using.
- Hashtags encourage users to interact with your posts.
- You can use a branded hashtag to enable your campaign to stand out.
Hashtags will also help them discover your brand if they have not already. You can also enhance the brand of your Facebook page by having your own branded hashtag and also have a unique hashtag to promote a particular event or a new product launch.
HashAtIt and RiteTag are two tools you can use to identify relevant hashtags for the business. WordStream has listed 100+ hashtags suitable for every day of the week.
8. Let analytics drive all your strategies
The Facebook algorithm is constantly changing, and the only way to keep abreast of the changes is by continually analyzing your performance.
A big part of this is competition benchmarking, where you keep track of how you are doing relative to your competitors. It would be best to have a clear idea of your page data, post data, and video data from Facebook Insights.
Then, dive deep into your performance on these fronts based on key performance metrics (KPIs) that you have previously identified. Some of the important ones recommended for every brand include Facebook Likes, post reach, link clicks, the number of engaged users, and video stats.
Once you have an idea, ask yourself the right questions about the type and frequency of message that resonates most with your audience. Analyze your previous posts — what worked and did not work. Focus on creating only that kind of content.
If you frequently run paid ads on Facebook, utilize the Facebook Ads Grader. This free tool will help you understand precisely where you stand with your advertising efforts and then optimize your Facebook account so you can generate more leads from the ads.
9. Utilise engaging integrations and customizations
Facebook’s custom integrations are ideal for the in-house development of your custom apps to do several things:
- Optimize campaigns
- Improve customer support
- Make backups of posts in groups
- Gained more significant insights into customers and prospects
- Automate processes and workflows (such as monitoring activity and posting content)
The benefits are endless, and countless integrations can happen on Facebook. For instance, using multiple cloud tools like Zoho, MailChimp, Shopify, you can create integrations to suit your needs. This can prove to be useful in many scenarios.
Let us say you switch CRM systems and want the data to keep flowing towards Facebook Custom Audiences. A cloud integration platform will allow you to integrate with the new CRM in a few hours. Similarly, cross-posting across social media is a time-consuming task.
By connecting your Company page to a scheduling tool like Buffer, you can ensure every time you publish a new post on Facebook, it gets automatically tweeted on Twitter.
Also, many businesses such as gym chains, car dealerships, and insurance companies run several pages — generally for localization purposes. Reposting the same content on multiple pages can be tedious over time — unless the workflow is automated through tools like Integromat.
Developers can also use tools like Webhooks or Graph API to build integrations between Workplace and other Enterprise tools. By developing a custom integration app, you can do a range of things and keep yourself ahead digitally. For instance:
- Keep employee information in sync and up-to-date with an identity service
- Switch on the auto-responder functionality to post on specific groups based on activity in another service.
10. Refresh and repurpose your content
Content does not always have to be made from scratch. If specific posts, photos, or videos got you a lot of engagement in the past, chances are it will do so again.
The key here is to repurpose it cleverly and to learn from any mistakes you might have made the first time around. For instance, you can share your repurposed content in a time slot that garners more engagement, or tweak the captions and hashtags.
Plus, be sure to update any statistics or current events that may have changed since the initial post. Content that lends itself best to repurposing includes how-to guides, comprehensive introductions to a specific topic, tutorial videos, infographics, and best practices.
In addition, use old images as backgrounds for quotes, compile several Facebook posts and convert them into a caption. Conduct a poll to fetch user data. Share earlier posts as a throwback. Turn testimonials into Facebook content. Save yourself time and efforts.
Wrapping it up
There is no doubt that Facebook is a multi-layered social media channel with a lot to offer to individual users, marketers, and brands. Irrespective of your business niche, you will find some benefits from Facebook.
From employee engagement and hardcore sales to timely customer service — you can use the platform to meet any of your business objectives.
Plus, with its advanced integrations, you can add value to your data and improve your workflows by seamlessly connecting different tools and systems. It only makes you more technologically powerful at the end of the day and thus gives you a competitive edge.
Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience in writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.