Facebook is the most widely used social media platform, pulling in 2.29 billion daily active users. With the vast majority of people using Facebook daily, brands and businesses can achieve maximum visibility with a Facebook marketing strategy.
There’s more to it than just vacation pictures and humblebrags. Among internet users aged 16-24, social media is their primary source of brand research. In addition, 66% of Facebook users regularly check out a local business page.
Therefore, you should establish a Facebook presence for your business.
Nothing is easier than getting started, but we will help you get your Facebook marketing campaign off the ground with seven steps.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to start your Facebook marketing journey off right.
Table of Contents
What is Facebook Marketing?
Facebook marketing is the practice of promoting a business and brand on Facebook. Because Facebook provides features that are useful for both consumers and businesses, it has become an attractive platform for virtually all industries to achieve very specific business goals, such as
- Increasing brand awareness: Companies of all sizes are penetrating Facebook’s massive community with Facebook Social Plugins (for websites), Facebook Ads, and Facebook Pages.
- Launching products: Brands are using Facebook to announce new products with Facebook Ad campaigns and custom apps as part of their overall product launch strategy.
- Providing customer service: Brands are also realizing that consumers expect to be able to get their issues resolved by contacting the company via its Facebook Page.
- Selling products and services: Businesses like Threadless and JetBlue are selling their products and services on Facebook through the use of e-commerce applications that can be added to a Facebook Page.
Today’s successful brands must understand how to best use Facebook to market their brands.
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard about how brands like Harley-Davidson and Starbucks, as well as thousands of small businesses and nonprofits, are using Facebook to market their products and services.
Through a variety of strategies and tactics, these businesses are tapping into Facebook to achieve a variety of objectives:
- They’re increasing awareness of their brands through highly targeted Facebook Ads.
- They’re getting to know what their customers really want by having daily conversations with them.
- They’re launching new products and services with Facebook Pages and custom Facebook applications.
- They’re increasing new and repeat sales with coupons, group deals, and loyalty programs.
Part of the reason why these businesses are successful is that they understand Facebook isn’t just a static website; it’s a way for people to connect and be heard.
How to Set Up Facebook for Business
If you have a limited budget or none at all, you can do Facebook marketing for free.
Let’s start with your business’ Facebook page. It doesn’t matter if you just do this and share organic content, or if you also follow the rest of the tips in this article.
A business Page provides wonderful opportunities for marketing and promoting your business. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a bricks-and-mortar business or a virtual consulting firm that you run out of your car. This Page can help your business grow.
Facebook has deliberately tried to make business Pages as broad and useful as possible. You can create a business Page for all of the following:
- Local Business or Place
- Company, Organization, or Institution
- Brand or Product
- Artist, Band, or Public Figure
- Cause or Community
Create a Facebook Business Page
Step 1: Log in to Facebook with your personal account. If you prefer, you can also create a new Facebook account with a work email address. Your personal information won’t appear on your Page.
Step 2: Click Create, then Page from the menu (the nine dots).
Step 3: To create your Page, you need to enter the following information:
- Name: Your business name
- Category: Select the type of your business according to the available options. For example, if you’re selling skin care products, you might choose “beauty” or “cosmetics.”
- Description: Write a simple description of your business in one or two sentences. You can edit it later.
Step 4: Now that your page is live, you can click Edit Page Info to add more to your About section, add a website URL, etc.
Get verified on Facebook (optional)
Facebook verification is the process of verifying an account or page on Facebook. When a blue checkmark appears beside a Facebook account name, it indicates that the account has been verified.
Your Facebook account can be verified to prove your authenticity and credibility to your online audience. Also, the verification badge can help your Facebook Page rank higher in search results. By doing this, potential customers will be able to find your business more easily.
Verification can be requested for a Facebook profile or page. As part of the Facebook verification process, you’ll be required to provide a document that proves your identity. In this way, Facebook makes sure that fake accounts and impersonators are not verified.
After you submit your application, Facebook will review it and decide whether to approve it or reject it. Typically, this process takes between 48 hours and 45 days. Facebook will send you an email about your application regardless of the outcome.
Open a Facebook ads account (optional)
Facebook’s ad platform allows you to create your ad, select your target audience, set your budget, set a start and end date, and measure your results. Ads can be purchased at a cost per impression (CPM) or cost per click (CPC).
Even if you don’t plan on using Facebook ads right away, setting up an account is a good idea.
After you have set up your business Page, go to Facebook Ads Manager (which is now a part of Meta Business Suite). Follow the prompts to add an existing Facebook ads account or create a new one.
A campaign can be started automatically, you can create your own campaign, or you can promote (“boost”) existing content on a Page.
How to Create a Facebook Marketing Strategy in 7 Easy Steps
1. Develop Your Value Proposition
Why should customers buy what you’re offering?
When you’re developing a marketing plan, the first thing you need to do is define your value proposition. How is your product or service different from the competition’s? Why should people buy your product instead of the competition’s?
You may have a different value proposition for each audience segment you target or for each product or service you offer. Your marketing plan should detail the ways in which you plan to communicate these values to your target audience.
To understand your value proposition, answer the following questions:
How are you different from your competitors?
By knowing your competition and what separates your offering from theirs, you can begin to develop your product differential, a key ingredient that goes into your value proposition.
Knowing what makes your product or service different from and better than your competitors’ helps you create messaging that gets people’s attention. What innovations make your offering stand out in people’s minds compared with the competition? Are these differences important to your customers or only to you? How can you articulate these differences in ways that make people tell their friends?
What value do you provide your stakeholders?
Stakeholders are your customers, shareholders, employees, partners, and anyone else who is affected by your company. Understanding the value you provide is key to developing your messaging and communications strategy.
By having a clear picture of what you want to accomplish with your marketing plan, you open a world of opportunities for your business. The key is communicating your plan to your stakeholders. When your employees know your brand messaging, they can pass that information on to your customers in the form of knowledge and better service.
When your stakeholders know that you have a clear plan of action, they’re more comfortable with the direction in which you’re taking the company, which leads to greater support for your future ideas and plans.
What are your big-picture goals?
Some goals are more obvious than others. They could include increasing company sales or driving more traffic to your website, both of which you can do when you clearly define and communicate your value proposition.
Other goals aren’t as obvious, such as improving your company’s reputation or creating a more friendly face for the brand. Whatever your company’s goals, make sure that all your Facebook marketing activities align with these goals.
2. Understand Your Audience
Whatever your business goals are, always assemble the best information that you can about your audience. The better you understand the culture, desires, motivations, and viewpoints of your audience, the more effectively you can capture their attention and deliver your message.
Understanding the lives of your customers and prospects is the key to creating marketing messages that resonate with people so strongly that they take action, such as joining your email list, liking your Facebook Page, or purchasing your product or service.
An excellent example of a business that understands their audience really well is the Threadless T-shirt company in Chicago, Illinois. The business was founded on the simple idea of selling T-shirts based on designs submitted by artists and voted on by customers. These designs in turn get published on the company’s Facebook Page, where fans can share their favorite designs with their Facebook friends.
Facebook gives you some powerful insights into your fans. In fact, identifying and then reaching a specific audience has never been this exact and cost-effective. The Facebook Insights tool helps you find out more about who visits your Facebook Page, including a demographics-and-interests breakdown on your fans, and Facebook’s ad-targeting capabilities make it relatively easy to get your message to the right target audience within Facebook.
Understanding your fans’ psychographic profiles is an important element in knowing who they are. Psychographic variables (such as what music they love, politicians they endorse, or causes they support) are any qualities relating to their personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles.
Psychographic variables offer additional insight into demographics (such as age and gender) and behaviors (such as use rate or loyalty), and can help you better understand your customer segments.
3. Define Your Marketing Goals
When you have a better understanding of the makeup of your Facebook audience, you need to define a few goals for your Facebook marketing strategy. You may have other objectives for your business, but these four are the most common:
- Building your brand’s awareness
- Driving sales
- Forming a community of people who share your values
- Listening to feedback about your brand
Building awareness of your brand
A brand is how you define your business in a way that differentiates you from your competition; it’s a key element in defining your marketing goals. With a Facebook Page, you can build awareness of your brand with all your current and prospective customers.
A Facebook Page serves as the home for your business on Facebook, and it should be created with your company’s brand and image in mind. It’s a place to notify people of an upcoming event; provide hours of operation and contact information; show recent news; and even display photos, videos, text, and other types of content.
A Facebook Page allows for two-way interaction between you and your customer, providing her a place to post messages. It’s also a great feedback loop that helps you find out more about your customers’ needs.
Whether you’re a local, a national, or an international business, Facebook can help you drive the sales of your products and services. You can leverage Facebook in several ways to achieve your sales objectives:
- Communicate special offerings and discounts, and provide an easy path to purchase with a simple link to your company website. Some larger retailers bring the entire shopping-cart experience to Facebook. Others simply link their Page to an e-commerce page on their websites.
- Target your audience with a Facebook Ad campaign. In addition to creating a free Facebook Page, many marketers are discovering the potential of Facebook as a cost-effective advertising medium. You can test and launch targeted ad campaigns that employ traditional direct marketing techniques, such as ads with engaging copy and pictures that capture a reader’s attention. The most successful offer is an incentive that appeals to your audience.
- Create a Facebook event to generate buzz about a product. You can hold a new-product launch party or a wine tasting for potential customers, and you can throw a Facebook-only event for fans and allow them to network as well.
Forming a community with a Facebook Group
One of the best uses of a social network is to build a community — a group of people who have the same interests and passion for a cause. No matter what your marketing goals are, forming a community takes some effort. I generally think it’s arrogant for marketers to feel that they can build a community that people will flock to — the proverbial “build it and they will come” model. With a Facebook Group in addition to a Page for your business, however, that very model is possible.
A Facebook Group is about people’s shared interests or goals. With a Group, you can create a community focused on an existing cause or interest that matches your business goals, and you can give your group members the tools to communicate with one another on Facebook.
Another reason to create a group is to share an interest or hobby outside your business. If you own a hardware store and have a passion for building furniture, you can start a group for the purpose of uniting people who share your love of woodworking.
Listening to feedback
You can listen to feedback from Facebook members in several ways:
- Monitor discussions in your group. As discussed in the preceding section, a Facebook Group lets you create a community and have discussions with your members, but a noteworthy byproduct of forming a Facebook Group is the ability to get feedback.
- Search for discussions about your brand. Facebook is fertile ground for open, honest, peer-to-peer discussions about your business. Just plug any search terms related to your business into the Facebook search box, and see what comes up. You might be surprised to find other fan Pages devoted to your brand.
- Review postings on your Page Timeline. Facebook users can post comments, questions, and even suggestions to your Page. Make sure that you closely monitor those posts, and respond appropriately and in a timely manner.
4. Develop Your Content Strategy
Keep in mind that content drives engagement. Content is the foundation of people-centered marketing. As long as social media exists, content will be a primary reason (along with relationship to the referrer) why people share your product or service with their friends. This is why it’s so important to keep asking content-related questions such as these:
- How can you tailor your content to appeal to your fans?
- How can you provide useful, educational tips and other content?
- What assets do you already have (such as videos, tips, customer testimonials, and so on) that will enhance your brand while delivering real value to your fans?
When developing your content strategy, look at your different channels of communication — your website, Facebook Page, Twitter presence, e-newsletter, and so on — and then decide which content is right for each channel.
You may realize that your Twitter followers want a different stream of updates than your Facebook fans do, and that your website visitors would be better served with more product-focused content. Because you want different types of engagement across all your channels, the content you publish needs to address each audience’s needs and concerns.
Here are some powerful ways to develop your Facebook content strategy:
- Post to engage users. Although some content you post will be purely informative, such as broadcasting a particular price promotion to your fans, posts that are designed to encourage participation from Facebook will allow you to benefit from Facebook’s viral effect. Every time a fan comments on your Facebook Page, a story ends up in many of her friends’ News Feeds. These stories provide links back to the original post and often generate additional attention and interaction with that content. In this way, your fans invite others along for the ride.
- Provide discounts and special offers. Often, these offers are based on a prerequisite, such as completing a form or clicking the Like button. When developing a promotion, keep in mind that the offer must interest your target audience. Sometimes, the offer doesn’t even have to be tangible — merely the chance to have a shot at glory.
- Deliver content in a format that’s accessible to your audience. When developing your content strategy, it’s important to consider the range of media at your disposal. Facebook allows you to publish content in several formats (including photos and videos), making this content accessible directly through Facebook with a click of the mouse. Why not take advantage of the convenience of having everything in one easy-to-access location?
5. Optimize your Page
If you’ve created a Facebook business page, optimize it after you’ve finished setting it up. Here are some tips to help you:
- Add a profile picture. The profile picture should be at least 180 x 180 pixels (and square).
- Add a cover photo. Your page will look more attractive with a cover photo.
- Enable a custom URL or “username” for your page. Having a username makes your page easier to find and remember.
- Complete your “Description” field. Use all the allowed 250 characters for original content which helps your page rank higher.
- Add your business contact details (phone number and email).
- Add your other social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube, Pinterest, etc.).
- Include a brief list of your products.
- Include your professional awards.
- Add legal disclaimers.
- Add a short business FAQ.
- Select a pre-made page templates to help you optimize your page for the types of the business you are running.
- Select the Page CTA. Your page’s call-to-action is located below your cover photo.
6. Install Meta Pixel (formerly Facebook Pixel)
The Meta Pixel is a small piece of code installed on your website that allows tracking, testing, targeting, and analytics for Facebook and Instagram ads. The setup is only required once per website.
To install Meta Pixel:
- Log in to the Facebook Events Manager. Click Connect data sources on the left menu.
- Click Connect and select Web as the data source.
- Enter the name and the URL of your website. If your website runs on a certain platform, you may be able to integrate with one click. If not, manually install the code by following the prompts.
- Set up events to track them. To add events from your Pixel, click Add Events and then From the Pixel.
- Click Open website and enter your URL. With your Pixel, you can track buttons on your site as Events. Coding is not required. Each button should have a role, such as “Purchase,” “Contact,” “Search,” etc. For this to work, your browser must allow pop-ups.
7. Try Facebook advertising
Large advertisers, such as Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble, and Walmart, run ads on Facebook, but it also offers a great opportunity for many small businesses.
As of 2022, Facebook ads can reach 2.11 billion people, the largest audience of any social media platform. In other words, that’s 34.1% of the Earth’s entire population over 13 years old.
Having said that, if you want to boost traffic and sales using Facebook ad campaigns, it can be challenging.
For one thing, Facebook ad costs have skyrocketed over the years.
So, how much does it cost? The answer is it varies.
A budget for Facebook advertising is an extremely important consideration as part of your marketing strategy, particularly because the competition for eyeballs on the site’s content is ever-increasing, in tandem with the site intentionally decreasing organic (non-paid) reach – especially for self-promotional Page posts.
In fact, Facebook now deliberately limits the appearance in the News Feed of Page Post content that features only promotional messages – asking people to buy something, encouraging them to enter a sweepstakes, etc., which makes paid promotion even more crucial.
If you’re interested in running ads on Facebook, our step-by-step guide will help you create your first Facebook ad campaign.
8. Monitor and measure your Page activities
The last piece of the puzzle for an effective marketing plan is taking the time to monitor and measure your Page activities. Only through careful analysis can you figure out what content resonates with your audience, and because actions within Facebook are measurable, your Page’s metrics, or key performance indicators, can give you lots of insights into your fans’ interactions with your Page.
A marketing campaign is only as good as your ability to measure it. The number of people who like your Page isn’t worth anything to your business if you can’t peel away the layers to gain greater meaning into those people’s actions. You need to translate those analytics into real-world lessons that you can then apply to your content.
Facebook provides some powerful analytic tools to help you discover what’s really happening on your Page. It has an internal analytics system called Facebook Insights, through which you can gain greater understanding of your visitors’ behavior when interacting with your Page; it’s available for free to all Page admins.
By understanding and analyzing trends in your user growth and audience makeup, and by understanding which updates get the most comments, likes, and shares, you gain valuable insights (pun intended) into what strategies will create the most reach and engagement on Facebook.
Facebook Insights focuses on three areas of data: your fans, your reach, and the ways Facebook users interact with your content. Insights provides information on the demographics of your audience, and tracks the growth of fans on your Page and the number of likes and comments your content has received.
By keeping tabs on some key metrics, such as the increase in the number of fans over the previous week or the number of interactions following a particular post, you can eventually uncover networks and get an idea of what works. If you notice that several fans have opted out of being fans after a particular post, you might draw a correlation between the content you posted and the drop-off rate.
8 Best Facebook Marketing Tips To Grow Your Business
1. Pin important posts
Facebook allows you to pin a single post to the top of your page timeline for up to a week. Use this to showcase important content and make it more visible to fans visiting your page. Any new status updates will appear below the pinned post until it is removed (or a week passes), at which point it will revert to its original chronological position.
After you create a post, hover over the post until the pencil icon appears, click it, and select Pin. Posts that you should pin include, in particular, special announcements, content, promotions, etc.
2. Encourage clicks through call-to-actions but avoid “click-baiting”
To encourage higher click-through rates from Facebook and other social media to your website and blog, being specific about what you want your customers to do using a clear call to action is often a good bet, e.g. “Click here for more information [your link]”. Sometimes that little push can make all the difference between a successful status and one that sinks without a trace.
3. Use hashtags to encourage engagement and conversation
Hashtags are a way of grouping similar types of content together, and can be created by typing a hash or pound symbol directly before a word while composing a status update or comment on your Page or personal profile, like this: “What do you love about your local #walmart? Tell us using the hashtag #lovewalmart and we’ll choose the best to feature on our website” or “It’s Gap’s summer sale, with up to 50% off! Come take a look… #gapsale.” where “#walmart” and “#gapsale” are clickable.
Clicking on a hashtag will open up a feed where you’ll see stories from the Pages and people who have posted with the same hashtag.
People can use hashtags in Facebook search to discover posts related to specific topics or interests. Billions of pieces of content are shared on Facebook every day – peaking in the 8-11pm primetime slot – so hashtags provide a huge opportunity for brands and marketers to participate in conversations in a meaningful, relevant and timely way. While hashtag use hasn’t blown up in the way Facebook imagined it might, used sparingly they still can be of benefit.
4. Ask for Likes and Shares – and invite Likers to Like your Page
Ask users to ‘Like’ and Share your content when you post, so that it will be shared on their walls and in their News Feeds, therefore increasing exposure for your Page.
Don’t appear desperate by doing it too often (Facebook will limit the reach on these types of posts if you do, especially if the content associated with the post is poor), and word it in a way that endears you to your fans. Buddy Media found that action keywords like “post,” “comment,” “take,” “submit,” “like” or “tell us” are the most effective.
Be direct in your request, and fans will listen and take action. Enhance the experience by creating a community that encourages your fans to discuss topics and interact with each other within the comments.
5. Add Timeline milestones
Facebook allows you to add Milestones in the history of your business (past and present) on your Page by scrolling through and marking dates on your timeline (e.g. when the business was established, your 1000th sale, etc.).
These help flesh out your company history and can give customers a fascinating insight into your growth over the months and years (particularly if you were in business before Facebook rolled around).
You can even use upcoming milestones as a way to connect with customers and provide them with an incentive to remain engaged, e.g. “Here’s to each and every one of you for helping us reach 20,000 fans! Check back tomorrow at 6pm for a special promotion to say thanks!”
6. Create Facebook Offers
If at least 50 people have liked your Page, you can create an offer on your Facebook Page. When a fan claims an offer, they’ll receive an email that they can show at your business’ physical location or a code to enter online so that they can get the discount.
Offers aren’t free to run (there is a minimum spend of around $5 – $10), but they are useful in promoting special deals, rewarding loyal fans, and encouraging them to spread the word about your business to their friends.
To create an offer from your Page, click Offer, Event + and click Offer from the top of the status update box. Fill out the details to make your offer shine, including Headline, Image, redemption link, start date, and expiration date. Preview your offer in the top left and make any changes, then click Post Offer.
7. Use private messaging for customer service
Facebook Page owners have the option to allow customers to contact the page administrator directly (“Settings” > “Messages” option). If you have the resources to cope, you should definitely leave this option on, so that customers can get in touch, particularly if they don’t want to share their message on the public wall (and this may also prevent unsavory comments being broadcast to all of your fans).
8. Utilize Facebook Groups to build your business
Facebook Groups are a convenient way to network with peers, strengthen relationships with current customers, or attract new ones – whether you create your own or join one of the millions that already exist. To get the most benefit from groups which focus on discussions concerning your chosen industry, your aim should be to position yourself as an authority figure: be active, give help, and be genuine, i.e. no focus on selling.
Over time, your knowledge and influence will be recognized and this will help to pique people’s interest, perhaps enough to make them want to consider your product or service.
Another big opportunity for business is in local community groups that focus on buying or selling all manner of products and services; most people in built-up areas will be able to find one set up for their town or city. Find your local group, scope out how trade takes place, and offer up your wares in an appropriate manner.
Alternatively, if you create your own group, it can exist as a place to provide customer support, promote upcoming events, get feedback on upcoming products, and for customers to connect, collaborate, and share (valuable consumer insight for you!). Use the group’s About section to explain how the group works, and to steer the conversation and activity you would like to see.
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A great way to use Facebook for your marketing purposes is to run contests and giveaways. Now before you dive in, make sure you develop a strategy.