Over the past decade we’ve seen Facebook grow from a simple social networking site to a social media giant with over 1.6 billion users monthly. Since Facebook’s IPO 4 years ago, it has undergone tremendous change. Faced initially with a sea of doubt about its ability to monetize its massive — but free — social network it has since transformed itself into the most advanced ad platform among the major social platforms, rivaling and even surpassing Google in some key areas like demographic segmentation and audience targeting.
With the increasing sophistication of ad buying and new plethora of products now available, the social media giant is probably the best opportunity for companies seeking increased brand awareness as well as good old fashioned lead nurturing.
Here is a quick overview of the new rules of Facebook marketing for those just realizing the incredible value of the platform’s ad potential:
While organic posts are useful to create brand loyalty with fans, paid posts are an absolute necessity when trying to grow a brand’s reach and (in some cases) drive actual leads. There are two types of ads you can use in order to be seen in news feeds: boosted posts and news feed ads. Posts that are boosted or promoted allow you to choose the target audience, with the latter providing more control and options. These types of posts will be shown as “Sponsored” posts, while news feed ads appear as regular ads with a direct link to whatever it is you’re advertising. You can target these ads to not only fans, but friends of fans as well as users in the geographical area.
Key takeaway: The bigger ad spend, the more reach your post will get.
Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm was put in place so that viewers see posts that Facebook believes will be most interesting to them. The downside of that logic is when users have many friends and follow lots of pages and groups, they will likely only see the most popular, or top-ranking posts from the past few days, leaving a great deal unseen. In order to show up in a news feed — aside from boosting your posts, that is — you need to know your target audience and hone in on their interests. Facebook Insights provides information on user preferences to help you create posts for your page that will stand a better chance of making it into your target audience’s news feed.
Key takeaway: Understand the algorithm and know your audience.
Content is king, and it’s even better if that content comes in the form of video. The future of media (or maybe the future is now?) is social video networking. Facebook is by far one of the leaders in the social video space. In fact, Facebook recently surpassed YouTube in the number of video views. It should come as no surprise then that video posts have some of the the most reach when it comes to content on the social media site. With features like Facebook Live and 360 video there are numerous ways to engage in video content for your business. Another feature to keep in mind when creating video content is the auto-play feature. Videos will automatically play when a user is scrolling through their feed; but, auto-play video must be watched for at least 3 seconds to count as a view – meaning your video has to successfully hold an audience’s attention for at least three seconds. Now whether a 3-second count is sufficient to measure a meaningful ad impression is open to debate. Facebook seems to think so, and they’ll charge based on it.
Key takeaway: Video is a big part of Facebook’s future so dive in sooner than later.
It’s estimated that 54.2% of Facebook users are accessing the social network exclusively via a mobile device. That being said, if your Facebook marketing strategy isn’t geared towards mobile, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. To reach the greatest amount of prospects your content needs to be tailored to fit the needs of mobile users. Why? 45% of shopping includes some form of mobile interaction, from research to purchasing. For instance, if you’re an ecommerce shop that targets consumers, it’s imperative you make it easy to navigate from your Facebook page to your shopping site to maximize your conversions. Another way to market your business on mobile is to use Facebook ads to promote an app download and include things like mobile-exclusive deals. The key to marketing on mobile is accessibility and nothing is more accessible than Facebook these days.
Key takeaway: Make sure your Facebook strategy is geared towards mobile users.
Do you know of any new marketing techniques for Facebook? Let us know in the comments below.
About Sam Lauron: Sam Lauron is a PR associate with Manzer Communications, a tech marketing and PR communications agency based in Austin serving international clients. Sam specializes in helping clients with their social media, blogging and media outreach needs. For more information about Sam or the PR over Coffee blog, email us at info(@)manzercommunications.com or tweet to @ManzerComm.