Facebook marketing is booming right now, and it’s booming in a big, big way.
In 2016, the platform made $27 billion on advertisements alone. That’s a 53% improvement from the year before. So if you feel, as we do, that businesses vote with their wallets, then the results are in – and they’re unanimous; Facebook may well be the single best way to market your brand.
If this wasn’t the case, there’s no way so many businesses would be rushing to hand over their money for some Facebook ad space.
The trouble is, keeping up with Facebook’s marketing trends can be a bit tough – especially if you’re a small or mid-sized business without dedicated social media managers.
For example, did you know that you can now upload 360-degree videos to Facebook?
Or that according to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is now a video-first platform?
How about that Facebook Live videos are viewed 4 times as longer than regular newsfeed ones?
You very well may have known some of these points, but chances are you didn’t know them all.
What we’re trying to say is that Facebook is constantly changing, and it can be hard to figure out what makes for effective marketing at any given point in time.
To help you avoid this problem, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of Facebook marketing ideas that cover all the best you can showcase your brand on Facebook, with a particular emphasis on techniques that are becoming more and more effective with the rising predominance of videos on Facebook.
To make things simple, we’ve broken the list down into 3 sections:
The first section will help you optimize your Facebook page and account, and the rest will give you specific ideas that you can use to immediately turbocharge your Facebook marketing.
So without further ado, let’s get started with…
Planning and Preparation
By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail
Benjamin Franklin said that, and even though he probably wasn’t talking about social media, his quote is still 100% applicable to your Facebook marketing efforts. A clear strategy and a conversion optimized page are must-haves, and the points below will help you make sure you’ve got both.
1. Establish Your Goals
What are your global marketing goals – and how can Facebook help you achieve them? Figuring this out is one of the best things you can do for your marketing. It will influence your on-page call to action buttons, the ad types you run, and even your content strategy. To do things right, set SMART goals that are focused on lead generation, making sales, getting subscribers, and other such objectives that will have a direct impact on your bottom line.
For example, the goals we set for our Facebook Posts are: Lead Generation, Awareness and Engagement.
2. Identify Your Audience
To run successful marketing campaigns you need to figure out exactly who your market is. Facebook offers a handy way to do this if you’ve already posted anything to your page.
Go to Insights > Posts and see which of your posts has been performing the best in the past:
Funnily enough, you can see the Posts that contain contests engage users up to 600% more than normal Posts on our page:
3. Create A Strategy
How often are you going to post content? What types of ads are you going to use? How are they going to help you reach your goals? How much monthly ad spend can you afford?
It always helps to scale your spend up as you see traction in specific areas. Don’t go all out with a bang and spend everything in an area that doesn’t perform well.
Try to spread your budget across:
- Running contests
- Boosting posts
- Sidebar ads
- Main feed ads
- Original content (posts & videos)
To succeed at Facebook marketing, you need to answer all of these questions, as well as any others you may have, before launching your campaigns.
4. Set Your Facebook Page CTA
Your Facebook page is your social media “basecamp”. It’s the most widely used social media platform, and as a result, it should be where you’re driving the bulk of your traffic – and if you don’t want that traffic to go to waste you must have an effective Call To Action button.
Beardbrand is an online retailer – so their Call to Action is “Shop Now”.
Yours may be “Call Now”, “Learn More” or “Make a Reservation”. It all depends on what type of business you’re running, and what action you want your leads to take.
5. Optimize Your Page Header
The header of your Facebook page is essentially free “billboard space”, so make sure you don’t let it go to waste. Your profile picture and cover photo are the first things people will see when they visit your page, so don’t shy away from using them to their full potential.
Just take a look at the page header put together by Wet Shave Club.
Using only their profile and cover pictures they managed to display their name, logo, website, and an appealing assortment of their products while also providing information about the service they provide and a special offer they are running.
This just goes to show that you can achieve a whole lot using only your page header. So if there’s any key information you want your audience to be made aware of right away, consider incorporating it into your profile picture or cover photo.
6. Make Sure You Provide Accurate, Relevant Information
Having your phone number listed on a website improves conversions. Your Facebook page isn’t a website – but it’s still the center of your social media marketing, so optimize it for conversions by providing as much company information as possible. You can include your address, phone number, and anything else you think might be relevant. This will increase trust and make it easier for users to find your business.
7. Customize Your Page URL
Your page URL is a free branding opportunity. Make sure it matches your other social media accounts and your website. Your brand should be instantly identifiable by your URL.
Brands like Wet Shave Club and Flyte Socks have managed to secure URLs that perfectly match their brand names, and this is what you too should strive for.
If you’re not lucky enough to obtain a URL which perfectly matches your brand name, try to find something that is still highly relevant and easily identifiable. Frank Body found that @frankbody was unavailable, so they opted to use @frankskincare instead. This URL still allows for easy brand identification, and it even manages to include a brief brand description.
8. Use The “Pin To Top” Function
If you’ve got an important marketing message and you want to make sure people see it then put it in a Facebook post and pin it to the top of your page. Pinned posts can be anything you feel is important for your audience to see. They can be posts that alert viewers of important brand information such as upcoming events and product launches, or they can simply be a photo or video that truly captures the essence of your brand. Posts that are pinned to the top of your page are like free ads that will be seen every time someone visits your page!
We pin our highest performing post at the top of our Facebook page:
9. Create A Call To Action / Shop Online Tab
If you want to improve conversions, then you’ll need to find ways to get users to your website or store. Facebook Tabs allows you to create such a page – and although Facebook’s new rules limit what you can ask for and disallow you from driving all new visitors to the page, it’s still a great tool to have in your arsenal. Just check out this opt-in page created by Cotton On to drive their Facebook audience to their online store.
Once you’ve followed these pieces of advice your Facebook page should be properly set up to accommodate all of your marketing goals. All the pieces should be in place for you to start using Facebook to market your brand, business and offer. Now that you’ve got your page up and running, you’ll need to figure out what you’re going to say to your Facebook audience in the form of organic marketing messages, or “posts”.
Bonus: Build Your Email List With FB Traffic
My favourite tip for making the most of Facebook is a very smart way of ensuring that all traffic you send from your Facebook posts, marketing or ads have a chance to join your email list. Thus giving you access to market to these users whenever you want.
To do this we use our nifty Capture app to create a targeted opt-in form that only shows when a number of specific conditions are met.
Firstly, we need a way to know when a user is visiting from Facebook. You can do this in a number of ways however I’ve found the most effective is to tag all of your Facebook links with a simple source (you can name it whatever you want):
Now when anyone visits our website, we can use a simple set of rules inside our Capture app to show a targeted opt-in form to the user.
And of course we can style or design the form itself however we want, but here’s something we put together in a few minutes.
Want to see it in action? Simply visit the link below then try to navigate away from the page.
Effective Posting Ideas
Perhaps the most impactful component of your Facebook page is what you’re posting. So to help give you an idea about the types of content you should be making to engage your audience and promote your brand we’ve put together a list of highly effective image, video, and text posts.
One of the first types of posts you should try out are posts which…
10. Highlight Your Product
If you don’t remind people exactly what you’re selling, they may soon forget. Emphasise your offers and products with posts like the one below, and don’t be shy about adding links or purchase CTAs.
11. Make & Post A Quiz
Quizzes are a surefire way to engage your audience, generate interest, and promote social sharing of your brand message. Take advantage of this by using them in your Facebook marketing with apps like Qzzr.
If you need some inspiration just take a look at this quiz created by Viki which both entertains users and promotes the brand’s service.
12. Run Special Offers And Discounts
When people like a new brand on Facebook, it’s usually because of a promotion (34% of users) or a free giveaway (21% of users). Running these types of offers and liberally posting about them is a fantastic way to build awareness and encourage the trialling of your product. This strategy is particularly effective if you’ve got an e-product that costs nothing to gift.
13. Respond to People Who Post On Your Page
When you’re running a Facebook page for your business you will get existing and potential customers making posts on your page. These posts can be anything from questions and queries to compliments and complaints. Whatever it may contain, if someone makes a genuine post on your wall it is imperative that you respond promptly and courteously.
Posts on your page provide you with an outstanding opportunity to directly interact with your consumers, build a more personal relationship with them and cultivate a positive, personable brand image in the eyes of a wider audience. Because of this, it’s important that you always nail your responses.
If someone uses a page post to ask you a question you have to be ready to politely and thoroughly answer it.
And if someone decides to post something relevant to your brand make sure you make them feel good about their post. Rewarding people for engaging with your brand is a great way to encourage further interaction.
14. Respond To Comments
Much like responding to posts on your page, responding to user comments is a great way to build a rapport with your audience.
Just look at how Slyde Handboards engages in friendly exchanges with commenters…
Taking part in interactions like these are quick, easy, and it can go a long way when it comes to increasing brand familiarity and building positive associations.
15. Promote Your On-Site Content
Facebook’s organic reach is lower than it used to be, but it is still there. So as long as you’re generating free traffic you should be trying to convert it into customers. A particularly effective way to do this is by driving traffic to your on-site content by sharing it on your Facebook page.
If a piece of content is particularly excellent, pin it to the top of your page until the traffic stops rolling in or you have a more important message to share.
Contiki frequently uses Facebook to drive traffic to their on-site travel blog, and their readership is booming as a result.
16. Promote Your Secondary Social Channels
56% of all online adults use more than one of the five major social media platforms: Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This means most of your Facebook followers are active on other forms of social media, so it’s definitely well worth your while to engage them across multiple platforms.
However, if you want to captivate your audience on a variety of social media platforms you’ll have to make sure they know you exist on a variety of social media platforms, and this means you’ll need to devote some of your Facebook posts to promoting these secondary social media channels.
17. Images. Images Everywhere (And Some Video)
Every marketer knows that images improve engagement, but how many of us actually bother to add them to every social media post we make?
A lot less than we’d like to admit.
Luckily this is an easy fix. Up your Facebook game by taking a page from the Game of Thrones marketing team and add still images and gifs to your posts as often as possible. It will make your posts stand out in the social media landscape and engage your audience on a new level.
Games of Thrones also utilises video perfectly to show trailers for upcoming episodes:
18. Behind The Scenes Content
Social media provides brands with an excellent platform to keep fans and customers engaged with marketing content. Although this can be difficult to do sometimes, as content can be very time and resource-intensive to produce.
One way to overcome this issue is by sharing behind-the-scenes images, videos and articles that cost nothing to produce and serve as a treat for your most loyal followers.
19. Tell Visual Stories
The popularity of Snapchat and Instagram perfectly illustrate how many modern users engage with visual content, especially when there’s a captivating storyline behind it. Visual stories are a step up from singular images, and using multiple images to tell them is a great way to share an engaging story with your Facebook following.
20. Add Hashtags
Hashtags aren’t as big of a deal on Facebook as they are on Instagram or Twitter, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t still matter. So research and use them. Incorporating both branded hashtags and whatever’s trending is an excellent way to get an engagement boost and reach a wider audience that doesn’t cost you anything.
For an example of how to use hashtags take a look at STA Travel, who use trending hashtags to garner attention on notable occasions…
Or use branded hashtags to maintain cohesion between a series of posts or brand message.
21. Highlight Current Events
If you don’t always have time to make your own content from scratch, a useful workaround is taking current events related to your industry or audience, putting your own spin on them and firing away. This type of content is likely to be of great interest to your audience, and even though posting about current events won’t directly promote your brand or product, it will help you earn and solidify a spot as a valuable addition to your audience’s social media landscape.
This will make it far easier for you to maintain a loyal social media following, which I’m sure you know is invaluable to the sharing and promotion of your brand and its products.
22. Tag Other Brands & Influencers
When you tag another Facebook page in a post you create a newsfeed event that will reach the audience of their page as well as yours. This can drastically improve your organic reach. Just make sure you’re spamming; always keep things relevant and timely.
Birchbox have done this by tagging brands they feature in their beauty parcels in related posts. This can earn the brand tremendous amounts of additional exposure, especially when they tag brand pages with large followings such as Benefit Cosmetics.
If a brand or influencer has a following that’s part of your target audience, try to create content with them and cross-promote it by both posting the content and tagging each other in it. To illustrate what we mean, take a look at this example of Intel teaming up with Lady Gaga for a cross-promotion:
24. Product Use
When someone first sees or likes your page, they may not even realize what your offer is. Even if they see your product, who’s to say they’ll figure out what it does?
Exactly – nobody.
Luckily you can remedy this by showcasing images and videos of your product in action. This will illustrate the uses and benefits of your product while providing some visual oomph to improve brand perception.
25. Advanced Product Use
In addition to showing people how your offer should be used, you can also come up with fun, creative or advanced uses of your product and highlight them in your Facebook content. Here’s how Freefly Systems did this with a clip that shows their drone being used as a surfing aid:
This tactic is commonly used to great effect by cosmetics companies who highlight the impressive capabilities of their products by showing what professionals can achieve with them.
26. Host A User-Generated Content Contest
Contests are arguably the single most effective thing you can do to engage your users and drive new leads. When it comes to running a contest on Facebook you have countless options at your disposal. We go over all of these in great depth in our Ultimate Guide to Running a Contest on Facebook, but for now we want to focus on one particular type of contest you can run.
A User-Generated Content Contest.
This type of contest involves you asking users to create and submit content based on a set of guidelines you outline. UGC Contests can be hugely beneficial to your brand as not only will you enjoy all the benefits of a standard contest, but you will also be left with hordes of UGC which can be used as future marketing material.
When you run a UGC contest you can ask for content in a huge range of forms including written stories, videos and images. A content contest doesn’t need to be anything overly elaborate. It can be as simple as this Weather Channel contest which offered a cash prize the best photo.
This is a highly effective way to drive engagement and get users actively involved in your brand, just make sure you write the terms and conditions in a way that allows you to keep the content you collect. You’ll need it for this next tactic…
27. Share Fan-Created Content
Facebook is a social network, so why not engage your audience in a more social way and let your audience contribute to your promotional efforts?
All you have to do is collect user-generated content by either running a contest, promising some kind of reward or flat-out asking. Once you’ve got enough, start sharing it on your page as marketing material, but don’t forget to acknowledge the original creator.
Learn More About Running Photo Contests
Find out everything you need to know about setting up your own engaging photo contest and displaying submissions in a stylish gallery. Read More...
28. “Add a Caption” Mini-Contests
Do you have a photo with great engagement potential?
Get users to pay attention to it by asking them to add a caption. This is an old tactic that’s been used on message boards and in print media for a long time, but it works just as well on Facebook. These mini-contests will not only encourage greater user engagement but also improve the reach of the post by spreading the photo around the commenter’s newsfeed.
You can get people to caption photos…
Or take it to the next level by offering prizes to the fans that come up with the best captions.
29. Fill-In-The-Blank Posts
This is a spin on the “add a caption” idea, except it’s not visual. Write a sentence, but leave some space for user-submitted short replies. Here’s an example of Eucerin doing it:
We know, we know. When you think of people posting quotes on Facebook you think of pretentious teens and frequent misattributions. That’s fair. But if you pick a relevant and engaging quote then you very well may be able to put out some highly shareable content.
One smart move is to add brand appropriate quotes that are relevant to current events – or quotes taken directly from current events. For example, sharing perpetually relevant quotes such as this excerpt from a Martin Luther King Jr. speech (which was posted on the anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) takes mere seconds to make and creates an immediate lightning-rod for user engagement.
If it’s a holiday, your audience is likely to be feeling a little bit festive. They’re also likely to have more free time to spend on social media than usual. Capitalize on this by posting holiday-themed content.
Just be careful to ensure your posts are appropriate for the holiday. For example, Jewish people don’t use electricity on many of their key holidays so you may want to make posts relevant to these holidays prior to them actually happening.
32. Reviews & Testimonials
88% of people trust online reviews written by others as much as they do real-life recommendations. This is great news for you, because 74% of B2C and 91% of B2B customers identify word of mouth as key to their buying choices. All you need to do is take the positive reviews and testimonials you’ve earned and highlight them with your Facebook posts.
You can source reviews from online authorities like Frank Body have done by sharing this piece from Teen Vogue…
….or you can simply post positive feedback from an everyday customer, like Beardbrand have done in this post:
33. Users’ Results
In addition to sharing written reviews you can also share your clients’ success stories. This has the same effect as a testimonial with the added benefit of being visual, and generally quite heartwarming.
Fitness business pages tend to do this extremely well. Just check out P90X’s post to see what we mean:
34. Provide Value
The law of reciprocity states that we want to give back to those who gave us something. Leverage this by using your posts to provide your users with valuable or entertaining content instead of only thinking in terms of “I want these people to buy my product”.
For a brand who emphasise entertainment in their Facebook posts looks no further than Old Spice, who have essentially built their brand image around being entertaining.
35. Elicit Positive Emotions
If you watch T.V. news reports, you may know that they’re often very threatening, sensationalistic, and urgent. As a result of this, it’s easy to think that this is the kind of content that gets shared around on Facebook…
Only you’d be totally wrong.
A study recently found that the 4 emotions that go viral the most often are awe, joy, laughter, and amusement. This means that in order to gain online traction and hopefully go viral, positive posts, not negative ones, are what you want to highlight as often as possible.
This could be something simple like a cute post featuring a pet, a motivational quote or reliving a fond memory (like a specific Team winning a game).
36. Always Look For Better Post Ideas
Facebook changes so quickly that writing down a full list of effective marketing ideas is beyond the scope of any one article. The only way to be completely up to date is to keep an eye on what is working for other players in your industry, as well as what type of content people are responding well to.
So while we’ve filled this post with loads of hugely valuable effective Facebook posting ideas, it’s imperative that you’re always on the lookout for new (and better) ways to do things.
And speaking of new ways to do things…
Whether you know it or not, Facebook is focusing on videos more than ever before. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg is using the terms video first to describe the platform’s strategy for the next 5 years.
And it shows, videos are currently highly favoured by Facebook’s algorithms.
One particular Facebook Feature that’s getting a massive push is Live: the platform’s video streaming service. Last year, Facebook gave Live content creators over $50 million – and while that may not last much longer, you can bet that live videos will get preferential treatment when it comes to organic reach and on-site SEO.
To help you take advantage of this, we’re going to spend the next section covering…
Facebook Live has the potential to be the next big thing, and Facebook’s going to keep investing towards this goal for the foreseeable future. Here’s how you can get on top of this growing trend with your Facebook marketing messages.
37. Q&A Sessions
Facebook Live allows you to stream a video while users comment underneath in real time. This enables 2-way communications and makes it easy to host Q&As for your fans. In fact, the very first Facebook Live feature was a Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg – and that got 10m + views which shows you the outstanding potential this format has!
A lot of the charm an interview has comes from knowing that it’s unscripted and unrehearsed. As a result of this, interviews are the type of thing that people enjoy seeing in real-time. Thanks to Facebook Live, broadcasting real-time interviews on social media is now possible, and you don’t need any fancy equipment or tech knowledge. Just make sure you’re set up in advance; you don’t want people watching 5-10 minutes of you fiddling around with microphone and video settings.
The NBA actively posts live interviews to their Facebook page, broadcasting post-game press conferences with great regularity.
Did you know that 2 in 3 adults actively use Facebook to get their news? It seems a little odd, but it’s true. So since people are already engaged with this type of content, you should be using it in your marketing efforts.
You don’t have to be filming the news in person. You could simply use Facebook to broadcast yourself sharing news that you’ve obtained from another source. As long as the news is interesting and relevant to your brand and audience, then you’ll have some highly engaging content on your hands.
And if the news is your business, then reporting the news live on Facebook can be a great way to generate a lot of interest around a story.
40. Views & Places
If you find yourself somewhere particularly beautiful or exciting, let your followers know. Not every piece of content has to be advanced; sometimes a little eye-candy will be enough to make your viewers happy and keep their attention on your brand.
Photographer Trey Ratcliff has turned this very concept into a series of live videos called “Quick Live from a Cool Spot”. His followers enjoy it, and chances are yours will too!
Live videos are a great way to showcase your product. In a classic example of doing this right, Tastemade streamed a video in which food is prepared using tiny utensils. The clip was so popular that it ended up going viral, generating 39 million views to date.
42. Live Events
So you know Facebook allows you to stream live interviews and Q&A sessions with ease, but you can also take things a step further and stream live events.
It almost seems too obvious, but that doesn’t stop it from being a clever marketing tactic.
Live Events have become a staple of ESL’s Facebook activity. The eSports company have begun using Facebook Live to broadcast their competitions on a regular basis, and they’ve been able to capture the attention of a large audience as a result.
At this point, you’ve got just about everything you need to run organic marketing campaigns on Facebook. You’ve got a page that’s optimized for conversions, all kinds of post ideas to use, and you’ve even got a bunch of ways to use Facebook Live, which is absolutely booming right now.