Stand back billboards, 30-second radio plugs, and all-too-expensive TV ads. There’s a new marketing platform in town, and it so happens to be one of the most popular social media companies in the United States.
Facebook isn’t merely a place to boast about your two-week vacay in the Maldives or post adorable pictures of your beloved feline companion. It’s also a marketing platform, bigger than Snapchat’s, bigger than Pinterest’s.
With 2.38 monthly active users and hundreds of ad targeting options, Facebook–and Facebook interest lists–present ample opportunities to grow your business and fatten your pockets. In fact, there are five ways you can market your business on Facebook.
Paying for ads is currently the best way to market on the social network’s platform. In January of 2018, Facebook changed the algorithm for the third time, favoring the posts of friends and family over the posts of publishers, public figures, and businesses, much to their dismay. You have to pay to play—that’s the truth of it.
However, Facebook ads are a good investment. The social network strives to improve its advertising service so that you may achieve your business goals at the lowest cost. At the heart of Facebook ads are four components: objectives, targeting, bidgs, and placements.
An example of a Facebook video ad.
Each ad has an objective that you choose. Think of this objective as your ad’s goal, what you want it to achieve. For example, if you want to grow leads, you can create an ad with the lead generation objective. If you want to drive people to your website, you can choose the website traffic objective.
With targeting, you can choose the people to whom you want to serve your ads. If your business caters to women aged 18 to 25 who are lovers of music festivals and beauty trends, you can target that exact demographic. Targeting ensures you serve your ads to the right audience, to an audience most likely to respond to your marketing messages.
Facebook advertising is a bid. That is, you get to choose the amount you want to spend per day, per week, or per month. For example, you can choose to spend only $1,000 a month on your advertising campaigns. Or, if you’re feeling confident, you can spend $10,000 a month. The choice is yours.
Your ads will appear where you want it to appear. Your choices include Facebook News Feed, right column, and Marketplace, Audience Network, and Instagram Stories and feed.
Sure, paying for ads may be the best way to advertise on Facebook right now, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the free ways to market your business.
Maintain a Business Page
With a business page, you can improve your brand presence and credibility on social media. Think about it. Have you ever done research on a company and became suspicious after discovering that it didn’t have a Facebook page? These days, a Facebook page is almost as important as a website.
However, with a business page, not only will you improve your brand presence and credibility, you will also grow your exposure to Facebook users and current followers. You can do this by cultivating customer reviews and posting regularly. You can post content such as articles, announcements, and giveaways. The more active you are, the higher your chances of developing a relationship with both current and prospective customers.
When Facebook users RSVP to an event, Facebook lets the friends of those users know about it. For example, if my friend Katy marked herself as “going” to a food festival on Facebook, I would receive a notification for Facebook encouraging me to check out that event too.
By creating an event, you’re further expanding your reach not only to your current followers but also to the friends of your followers. Anyone who looks up activities to do within your area will find your event in Facebook’s search. Creating events is also a great way to drive people to the physical location of your business. And if the event went well, those people might just turn to loyal customers.
Maintain a Facebook Group
Facebook users join Facebook groups for many reasons: to connect with like-minded individuals, to buy or sell used items, and to find people with common interests. However, many users also join Facebook groups to gain insight into an industry they are interested in. For example, there are numerous Facebook groups related to marketing, social media, and digital advertising, where people start discussions, share tips, and answer questions.
By creating a Facebook group, you can establish your credibility and expertise in your industry. For example, if you manage a Facebook advertising agency, you can create a Facebook discussion group where you and employees can share helpful articles, as well as answer any questions members may have. Your group could then inspire members to check out your company by visiting your website or Facebook page, the URLs of which you can provide in the “About” section.
An example of a Lead Ad
Remember the ad objectives I mentioned earlier in this article? Facebook has one particular objective, lead generation, which lets you increase your leads. This ad is called a Lead Ad, and it appears in the News Feeds of your target audience. Once clicked, the ad will open a lead form, with pre-populated information Facebook pulled from the profiles of your target audience: first name, last name, number, and more.
Facebook presents ample opportunities to grow your business. However, these five ways to market your business on the platform is only that—five ways. There’s so much more, and with all those possibilities come responsibilities. For that reason, it may be prudent to partner with a Facebook advertising agency to manage your ad campaigns.
Nonetheless, whichever marketing method you choose—organic or paid—you can grow your business on Facebook.