What Facebook Marketing Is & How To Create a Successful Campaign
B2C and B2B businesses can build brand awareness through Facebook marketing. The trick is knowing which of Facebook's many free and paid options are best for your company—and finding the right audience.
This comprehensive guide to effective Facebook marketing will help you better understand:
- What is Facebook marketing?
- Why should you use Facebook marketing for your business?
- Setting up your Facebook business page
- What should you post on your business Facebook page?
- Types of Facebook posts
- Post engagement: likes, shares, and comments
- How to create a Facebook marketing strategy
- Start a successful Facebook marketing campaign
Whether you're starting a small business, or are seeking to grow a large company's social presence, these Facebook marketing tips can help.
What is Facebook marketing?
Facebook marketing is a targeted approach toward connecting with potential customers. It involves promoting products or services through the social media platform. A Facebook marketing strategy can include a mix of organic posts and paid advertisements.
Why should you use Facebook marketing for your business?
Many businesses find that Facebook is an important and useful part of their social media marketing plan. This is due to the sheer reach and popularity of the platform. Over 2.8 billion people worldwide use Facebook every month. It’s the world’s third-most visited website and second most popular app download after TikTok.
According to social media scheduling platform Hootsuite, Facebook content has the potential to reach a pool of users that is:
- Young: 55.9% of users are between the ages of 18 and 34
- Global: just over 90% of Facebook users live outside of the United States
- Mobile: nearly 80% of users only use Facebook on their phones
Facebook marketing isn’t limited to static posts, either—brands can also interact with their audience through Facebook Messenger. Hootsuite reports that there are over 10 billion messages sent to or from businesses on Facebook's social network every month.
There is no charge for business owners to create a Facebook account, post feed content, or send messages. While it will cost money to run paid ads or boost posts, Facebook utilizes a pay-per-click (PPC) model. When running PPC ads, you only pay for the clicks or views—also called impressions—that your ad generates. This makes it an accessible form of advertising for companies of all sizes. All you need to get started is a Facebook business page.
Setting up your Facebook business page
In order to create a Facebook business page, you’ll need to start with a personal account. The personal account acts as an administrator for the business listing. (Your personal content will remain separate from the business page.)
First, log into your Facebook account on a desktop or laptop computer. Click “create” and then “page” at the top of the screen. Then follow the steps below to completely set up your new business profile:
- Choose a name for your page: It’s a good idea to give your Facebook business profile the same name as your business. If you are a sole proprietor who works under their legal name, you could title your business page with your name plus what you do, such as “Jane Smith Web Design.”
- Pick a category: You will need to select between 1 and 3 categories for your business page. This selection has an impact on the features available to your account, and can help interested people find you on Facebook. If you don’t see your specific industry listed, pick the closest available match.
- Set a username and URL: After creating your page, you can click “create page username” to assign your page a handle—ours is @Upwork. This handle will allow other people to tag your company on Facebook. It also becomes your new Facebook URL.
- Write a description of your business: During page setup, you’ll have the chance to add a description of your business and services or products. Try to keep this short—a few descriptive sentences should work. Your page’s “about” section also has space for your company mission and website; you don’t have to pack everything into the description.
- Add contact details: Be sure to include information about how people can contact your business. If you have a physical storefront, you can include the address and hours of operation.
- Add photos of your business and products: You’ll have the opportunity to select a business profile photo and cover image. Choose images that reflect your business, its logo, or your products and services. If you’re not sure what to put here, Canva has a variety of free Facebook cover templates.
- Set up user permissions: Because you created your business page, you act as its default administrator. However, you can grant access to other people who will be helping you maintain the page. Facebook business user permissions include task-based roles like editor, moderator, advertiser, and analyst. This makes it easy to work with an independent social media manager or Facebook Ads specialist.
- Configure notification settings: Decide what information you would like Facebook to notify you about, such as comments and messages. If you decide you’re getting too many notifications at any point, you can scale them back.
- Add a CTA to your page: Every business profile includes a call-to-action (CTA) button that encourages visitors to do something specific. You can customize this button to direct people to book an appointment, send a Facebook message, make a phone call, sign up for a mailing list, visit your website, view products, and more.
What should you post on your business Facebook page?
To use your Facebook business page as a marketing tool, you’ll want to regularly post updates and content. Business pages are great for sharing:
- Company updates, such as a change in business hours or location
- Blog posts, including posts on your company’s site as well as guest posts for other outlets
- Promotional codes for holiday sales or new customer discounts
- Products and services information to introduce new followers to what your business does, or share new offerings
- Events, including in-person and virtual gatherings
- Engaging, relevant photos and images like behind-the-scenes shots or fun video announcements
Incorporating a mix of all the above into your feed can help to keep your page engaging and attract new followers.
Types of Facebook posts
Unlike TikTok or YouTube, where content exists in one form, Facebook allows business owners to share a variety of multimedia items. You can post any of the following to your page:
Text posts can be anywhere from one word to several paragraphs in length. They aren’t a replacement for blog posts, though. It’s a good idea to keep your Facebook content short, succinct, and easy to read on a mobile device or computer. Buffer, another social media scheduling platform, suggests that Facebook posts perform best when they are only 40 characters long.
You can share any URL as a link, and Facebook will format it with an attractive preview. Links may be part of a text post or shared on their own.
As with links, images can stand alone or include a text post as well. To make sure that your images post correctly on the page and followers’ feeds, use files with dimensions of either 1200 x 1200 or 1080 x 1920 pixels. If you upload more than one photo, Facebook will display them in a clickable grid or gallery view that looks great in News Feeds.
Videos and Lives
There are three ways to share video content on your business Facebook page. You can:
- Upload a pre-recorded and edited file
- Link to a YouTube video
- Stream video to your followers using Facebook Live—you can save the recording and share it on your profile afterward for repeat viewing
Videos posted to Facebook business pages should be at least one minute long.
Facebook Stories are another way to share content with your followers. Like its counterpart, Instagram Stories, these short form videos and graphics disappear from view after 24 hours. Followers will see new stories above their News Feeds and can also access the stories through Facebook Messenger. This can be a nice way to share behind-the-scenes footage, daily updates, or super short videos that don’t meet the 1-minute threshold for page posts.
Post engagement: likes, shares, and comments
There are several ways that your page followers can interact with the content you share. Keeping an eye on these responses is a great way to gauge how well you are connecting with your ideal audience. The three methods of engagement are:
While a “like” truly used to just mean a like —the iconic blue “thumbs” up icon many people associate with Facebook—there are now multiple reactions available to users. They are, from left: like, love, care, haha, wow, sad, and angry.
Facebook describes these reactions as “a quick and easy way to express how you feel.” Keeping track of the number and type of reactions your content receives is a useful way to see if your posts resonate well with your audience.
When a Facebook user shares one of your posts to their News Feed, it expands the reach of your post. All their followers may potentially see the post as well. If any of those users engage with the content, its reach spreads further. This is how content goes viral. While not all content will reach the viral point, it’s great to see any number of page followers sharing your posts. This kind of user-driven content distribution can also be very beneficial for your company's growth marketing efforts.
Logged-in Facebook users can leave comments under posts, where they are visible to everyone. They can also send you private comments in response to a Story.
Engagement is a very valuable part of how your content gets distributed to Facebook users’ News Feeds. If your content has a strong engagement rate, the Facebook algorithm may favor it and show your posts to more users.
How to create a Facebook marketing strategy
A successful Facebook marketing campaign involves more than making the occasional post. As with many digital marketing initiatives, Facebook marketing requires preparation, strategy, and continual evaluation.
1. Set goals and KPIs
The first step in developing a Facebook marketing campaign is to decide what your goal is, and how you’ll measure success. The latter is often defined as a key performance metric, or KPI.
Many Facebook marketing strategies focus around one or more of the following goals:
- Awareness: Facebook is a useful tool for building brand and product awareness. Engagement metrics like shares and comments are a good way to track whether more people are becoming aware of your brand.
- Traffic: You can use Facebook to drive visitors to your website and track this traffic through Google Analytics and other content marketing metrics platforms. You can use your tool of choice to view the total number of people who arrived on your site after clicking a link on Facebook, or use campaign tagging to track URLs shared in specific posts.
- Conversions: A conversion is the completion of a specific action. This may be purchasing a product, clicking a link, or entering information into a form. If you’re running paid ads, you can track conversions in Facebook Business Manager. You can also gather this data using analytics software and tagged links, as noted above.
- Prospecting and lead generation: Facebook’s wide reach means it’s a great place to find new leads for your business. You can connect with new followers on the platform, through Facebook Messenger, or by inviting them to join your email list.
2. Define your target audience
Once you have decided on your first Facebook marketing goal, it’s time to consider who you want to reach on the platform. Identifying exactly who you're selling to is a core part of a go-to-market strategy. It's also essential for Facebook marketing success. Many Facebook users include demographic information about themselves on their profiles—including name, location, age, school, and job. This means you can narrow down your audience based on specific traits. The resulting groups are your target audience.
Anyone can follow your page. However, gearing your ads and content toward a target audience will help increase the chance of gaining qualified leads and sales.
3. Develop personas
One way to make reaching your target audience easier is to develop personas.
Often called audience personas or buyer personas, these documents are profiles of fictional people that represent your ideal customer or client. You’ll use the demographic information you collected in step 2 to create these profiles.
Start by creating groups of similar data points, such as:
- People under the age of 25, enrolled in a college or university
- People over the age of 35, with at least one child and a job in the sciences
- Anyone living in the United States and employed as a teacher or professor
After creating one or more persona groups, give them descriptive names, like “Professor Paul” or “Student Sara.” Then, use the details you have about each group to build out the fictional profile. Our guide to creating buyer personas has lots of great tips and examples to help you get started.
4. Use correct content mediums
Knowing your ideal target audience also allows you to create the right kind of content to reach them. For example, if you’re attempting to reach a young, social-media focused consumer audience, you may want to use a mix of:
- Short video Stories
- Image posts
- Pop culture or meme content
If you’re trying to reach a business owner or executive, though, you may achieve better results by posting:
- Written client profiles
- Case study data
- Links to news articles
5. Develop engaging posts
No matter what content medium you choose to use, your posts should inspire the viewer to engage with it in some way. This can include a click, a like, or a share. There's just one catch: you can’t explicitly ask your followers to take that action. They must be inspired to click based on the content they see or the emotion it brings them.
Facebook provides its business users with ample data around the way page followers and ad audiences engage with your content. If you see low engagement on an organic or paid post, it could be due to the:
- Type of content
- Content medium
- Day of the week
- Time of day
- Selected demographics (for ad audiences)
To correct low engagement, try changing one of the possible variables and monitoring the result. If engagement is still low, tweak something else. It’s also a good idea to target most of your posts during periods of high engagement. According to Sprout Social, it’s a good idea to post during the late morning or early afternoon on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday.
6. Amplify and boost Facebook posts
Boosted Facebook posts are a quick way to create an ad and reach your target audience. This type of Facebook advertising uses a post that already exists on your company’s page. The process of boosting the post displays it as an ad in other users’ News Feeds, even if they do not currently follow your page.
If you see an organic post performing well, giving it a paid boost can be a great way to quickly get your content in front of more eyes.
You don’t get quite as many customization and targeting options for boosted posts as you do when creating a new campaign in Facebook Ads Manager. If you’re very serious about using this social network for marketing, you may want to run some full Facebook ad campaigns as well as boosted posts.
7. Use Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads appear in different spots around the platform, and some may be cross-posted to Instagram. When Facebook Ads appear in the News Feed alongside organic posts, they’re marked as ads by the addition of a small “sponsored” label.
There are several different Facebook ad formats:
- Videos: Facebook video ads appear in users’ News Feeds, similar to an organic video post. You can set video ads to automatically play when a user scrolls across it. Sound and video captions are optional, but can often be helpful. Sound can catch a viewer’s attention, while captions provide context if a video auto plays with sound off.
- Images: Facebook image ads appear as in-line News Feed posts or along the right-hand side of a user’s desktop browser window. The size of a Facebook image ad depends on its placement.
- Carousels: Image ads that appear in the News Feeds may be carousel ads. Each carousel is a scrollable array of up to 10 images, and every image can have its own clickable link. These types of ads can be a great way to showcase different products for sale.
- Collections: Collection ads also appear in News Feeds. They are another good choice for showcasing e-commerce products. You can use a mix of videos and images in a collection ad. Each collection features a large cover image or video and three smaller product images. Clicks on collection ads lead Facebook users to Instant Experience pages that load in-app.
- Slideshows: Facebook Slideshows are video-style ads made with still images. you can create and edit slideshows in the Facebook Ads Manager. Advertisers may upload their own images or choose from a selection of stock photos. Facebook also provides a variety of music tracks for advertising use.
Facebook makes it simple to use ad captions and creative elements across more than one format. In the example below, you can see that we used the same video in 13 different formats to create ads that fit all across the Facebook platform:
8. Leverage sponsored Stories
Facebook Stories are short, vertical video clips designed for optimal viewing on smartphone screens. Facebook Stories Ads also appear between organic Stories. Facebook reports that these sponsored Story Ads drive consumer interest in products and services, with 62% of people indicating their interest in a brand increased after viewing a story.
9. Use Facebook Messenger to connect with prospects and customers
According to Meta, over 1 billion people use Facebook Messenger every month. Messenger ads appear in line with messages from users’ connections. You can decide what you would like to happen when someone clicks on your ad. This can include sending users to your website or opening up a new message conversation with the help of a chatbot. Plus, if you plan to run any other Facebook Ads, you can re-use the same creative elements to quickly create Messenger ads.
10. Create Facebook Groups for owned community
Facebook Groups are another great way to build your brand on Facebook. By creating groups around specific topics that align with your brand strategy and target audience, you can cultivate community and owned media. You can also provide your group members with special updates and offers—similar to how you might approach the same audience through email marketing.
11. Use analytics from Facebook Insights to measure campaigns
It’s important to monitor and track analytics for all of your organic posts, paid ad campaigns, and Groups. This data will allow you to establish whether or not your efforts are working. It’s also useful when developing a predictive marketing strategy to enhance future advertising campaigns.
Meta for Business provides information on both an overall account level and on a per-post basis. You'll be able to see:
- Page performance metrics
- Trends in reach
- Total ad spending
- Engagement rates on organic and boosted posts
- Where the people who like your Page live
- Demographic details about the people who like your Page
You can also see Instagram post data in the same spot, if you use both platforms.
Start a successful Facebook marketing campaign
Upwork’s work marketplace is the place to go to hire independent professionals who can help you launch a successful Facebook marketing effort. Whether you’re looking for a social media manager, a graphic designer, or a marketing consultant, start working more strategically by posting a job on Upwork today.
Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.
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