Why is Facebook Important?
Facebook is the world’s top consumer social networking site in 2020 with:
- More than 2.7 billion monthly users
- With 60% visiting the site every day
- More than 90% of its users access the site via mobile devices
- More than 80 million businesses use Facebook Business Pages
- More than 400 million people participate in 10 million Facebook Groups
- 86% of US companies market with Facebook
- Facebook video views are estimated to exceed 8 billion views a day
- The average paid cost per click on Facebook was estimated at $1.72, so successful organic traffic generation has high equivalent value
- Given the high reach and frequency, it is an effective platform for top-of-funnel exposure and middle-funnel retargeting.
Social networking sites have become key online sources people use to learn more about products, organizations, artists, and world events. Facebook presents a potent marketing opportunity for businesses through the creation of Facebook Business Pages.
Marketing on Facebook has a viral effect as information shared spreads through networks exponentially among the billions of users.
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There are two primary organic ways for companies to market on Facebook. The first is through Facebook Groups, and the second is through Facebook Pages or Business Pages. Groups are more focused on bringing together groups of people who share common interests, whereas Pages are vehicles where users can interact with a particular brand or product.
Because Facebook Pages are typically the starting point for organizations to promote themselves on Facebook, we will focus on Facebook Pages in this article.
Learn how Milestone can help you with your Facebook Page as part of an integrated omnichannel solution.
Read our recently updated Facebook FAQs at the bottom of the article
Benefits of Using Facebook
- Customer Interaction – Facebook pages provide a forum for dialogue between customers and the brand, giving companies the opportunity to build better relationships with target audiences and current customers.
- Reputation Management – Facebook allows a company to gain a deeper understanding of how the brand is perceived online – through direct feedback and also by monitoring what users are saying about the brand.
- New Customer Acquisition – Each time a Facebook user becomes a fan of a Facebook page, a notice is posted as news item for all of that user’s friends to see. This creates an opportunity for a Facebook page to go viral and reach new viewers.
- Feedback Mechanism – In a service-based sector like hospitality, customer feedback is vital. Facebook allows users to communicate their experiences directly and give the company the opportunity to respond.
- Branding – Facebook can be used as a medium for creating brand awareness in addition to a company’s corporate website. It provides brand exposure to a potentially new audience and gives organizations the opportunity to position themselves in new and unique ways.
- Drive Web Traffic – As a Facebook page grows its fan base, traffic to the company website will increase. Facebook pages also appear in Universal Search Results.
1. Creating your Facebook business page
Step 1: Create a Facebook Profile:
Go to http://www.facebook.com and sign up, using company details in the optional fields
Step 2: Create a Facebook Page:
- Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/#/advertising/?pages for step by step instructions and an overview of how to create a page. Click on “Create a Page” and start filling in your company or brand details.
- Select a category for your business, (Local, Brand or Product, or Artist, Band or Public figure). If you enter your business as a Brand or Product, you will be able to enter more detailed information about your company than if you enter it as a Local business.
- Once your page is created, add company information and upload an image or logo to use as your profile picture.
Step 3: Edit and Update your Facebook Page:
- Facebook Pages can be managed through the page manager, which provides traffic statistics and access to all of your Facebook Pages. The page manager is found at the bottom of your browser page:
Step 4: Add Applications
Click on “Applications” at the bottom of your browser window to view a list of your current applications. Click on “view more” to browse for additional applications to add to your page. Not all Facebook applications are available to be added to business pages, so look for a note from Facebook that says “You can add this application to some of your Facebook Pages”.
The best applications are ones that will allow you to share unique information about your organization and increase interaction on your Facebook page.
- Reviews: Allows fans to leave reviews of your business or product
- RSS-Connect and My Blogs: Display your blog feed on your Facebook Page.
- YouTube Video Box: Share YouTube Videos
- My Flickr: Share your Flickr photostream and link to your Flickr account
2. Promoting Your Facebook Page
The main goal of creating a Facebook page or any other social networking profile is to develop a community through interaction with the public. You can do this through:
Add social media links to your website. Make it easier for people to share your content with their networks by adding links to the pages. Remember to test and optimize the links.
Build your Fan Base. You can start by connecting with friends and family and current clients or business associates and inviting them to be fans of your company’s Facebook page. Whenever a Facebook user becomes a fan of your business, their friends on Facebook (some of which are likely potential customers) will see a message in their home page and have the opportunity to become a fan of your page as well.
Create a Dialogue. Creating compelling content and interactions on your Facebook page is the best way to entice Facebook users to become a fan of your page. The goal should be to turn away from the typical monologue of mainstream marketing and turn towards creating a dialogue with customers.
Offer a Special Deal. Another way to encourage participation is to offer special promotions available only to fans of your Facebook page. You can send a message to all of the fans of your page with a special promo code for a freebie or invitation to an exclusive event. Then, use the Wall or Notes section to publicize the winner of the promotion.
Once your Facebook page begins to develop a following, it is crucial to continually update it with new events and news to continue to build your fan base and keep current fans interested and engaged.
The most successful business pages (if you measure success by the number of fans and level of interaction) are those that foster and encourage customer comments and reply to those comments sincerely whether they are positive or negative.
So, in conclusion, don’t be afraid to go out and join the community, interact with your customers, and most importantly, listen to what they are saying about you, your organization, and your competitors.
Learn more about Milestone social media services and social media analytics.
Will Facebook work only for B2C or also B2B?
While Facebook is a great platform for B2C companies to offer sales, promotions, and discounts to spurt their revenue, the same approach cannot be used for B2B companies as they have long sale cycles and the goals to generate revenue are different.
This is possibly the primary reason why B2B companies overlook Facebook as a marketable platform. That said, Facebook is a crucial platform to have an impact on the sales funnel, especially in the ‘Awareness’ stage.
Targeting a specific audience, B2B companies can use Facebook as a platform to create awareness of their products and services, upcoming events or webinars and generate a lead pool and expand their existing clientele.
Using the ‘Custom Audience’ feature, B2B companies can target their campaigns at a specific work category, employers, job titles, and relevant groups or communities.
In addition, the feature allows B2B companies to upload their existing clientele data, and can generate new leads using email signups for courses, product free trials, webinars, etc., and retarget lost customers – those who failed to click on your website or on-page CTA.
Learn how Milestone can help you with your Facebook Page as part of an integrated omnichannel solution.
What is the difference between a business page and a regular page?
A Facebook business page is meant for a business, brand, organization, etc., to create awareness of its product and services, engage with existing and potential clients or customers, share thought leadership content, etc., while a personal or regular page is for an individual to connect with family and friends.
Facebook’s policy disagrees with a personal page being used for business purposes or vice versa. Users can like and follow a business page, while on a personal page, the individual has the option of sending a ‘friend request’. A business page will have tabs such as About, Services, Review, Photos, Videos, etc., to include all the required information of a business.
Using a business page, a brand or organization can build loyalty by creating awareness of new products or services, and followers can post reviews, feedback, and experiences of the business’s product and services.
What is the step by step process for setting up a business page?
A business page can be set up in just a few minutes. Follow the steps to do so:
Step 1: Click on the + sign next to your personal account name on the top right of the page.
Step 2: Under the ‘Create’ drop-down, click on ‘Page’.
Step 3: Enter page information, such as the page name, category, and description. Click on ‘Create Page’.
Step 4: Choose a business cover photo and image and click on ‘save’
The page will then be created. You can choose to add a CTA button, choose to manage your Instagram and Facebook profiles together using ‘Business Suite’, optimize the page by adding services, set up a Shop, add other business details under the ‘More’ drop-down, invite your friends and create your first post.
In addition, optimize your business profile by entering the location, website URL, phone number, email, business hours, and services.
Which businesses or brands are doing a good job marketing on Facebook?
Despite Facebook having a credible number of users on its platform, its organic reach has proved to be quite a hurdle for brands, B2B/B2C companies. That said, we’ll list out certain brands that have excelled in creating a loyal following that runs into millions and what they did and are doing to keep them engaged:
Nudging to almost 11 million followers on Facebook, GoPro is a brand that has become synonymous with adventure sports. Like most big brands, they don’t use their page to make hard sales, rather they give their following the experience of the product – which is enough to push conversions.
Their strategy is pretty straightforward and is bent on images and particularly videos of the experiences of their customer base. To get likes and a strong following, engagement is key and their recent #GoProMillionDollarChallenge that resulted in 40,000 plus videos uploaded on their page showcases that this brand has that box ticked.
With 34 million plus followers, it’s safe to say that Nike slam-dunked to be one of the biggest sporting brands across the globe when Michael Jordan strapped on his Nike-endorsed shoes. Rarely going for a hard sale, Nike has a perfect content mix that drives engagement on Facebook.
From success stories of the biggest names in sports to their advocation to science and research playing a part in the design of their products, to voicing their charitable acts, Nike has cemented their brand voice and identity on Facebook.
With over 2.8 million followers on Facebook, Fitbit is certainly becoming a brand to reckon with. The brand uses its page to market new products and engages its audience with fitness campaigns, advice and motivation to get healthier, and lots more within its space.
While for obvious reasons B2C companies and brands have excelled on this platform, B2B companies have remained in the shadow. That said, keeping engagement as the key factor to grow followers on Facebook, implementing some of the strategies of the aforementioned brands and others is crucial for B2B companies to use Facebook as a platform that could impact their sales funnel.
Live videos, use of hashtags to collaborate on different platforms, and links to downloadable content or redirecting the audience to your main landing page are some strategies to attract a following within your space and industry.
How important are original images and videos?
According to BrightCove, videos get 1200% more shares on Facebook than images and text. Original brand videos drive engagement in the form of likes and comments while brand images prompt clicks. This is precisely because videos and images provide visual appeal to customers helping customers grasp your content faster than text.
In addition, brand recall is higher when the content has visual content and is a source of truth as customers are sure of what they’re in for – either the product or service. That said, according to Social Bakers, uploading native videos on Facebook have a 10X more reach compared to videos that are shared from other platforms, such as YouTube and so on.
Does Facebook live stream work? Is it effective?
While it might get hard in terms of organic reach for businesses on Facebook, the live stream feature has proved to be the best option for businesses to reach an audience even beyond its circles. When Facebook rolled out the live stream feature in 2016, it tweaked its algorithm to rank live videos higher than other formats.
As a result, according to Facebook, live videos have a 3X higher engagement than videos that aren’t and have 5X more engagement than image posts. To drive their organic reach, businesses have inculcated the live stream feature into their marketing strategy and it has proved effective.
How often should a business post?
Businesses should post once a day with a maximum of 2 posts per day. However, based on HubSpot’s study, posting twice a day reduces engagement by 50% per post, hence posting once a day is ideal with a minimum of 3 posts per week using insights to choose the time (based on the region of your target audience) to post.
What are the Marketplace and Shop and how should businesses use it?
Facebook Marketplace was launched in 2016 and is a platform to buy and sell products or services locally. Click on Marketplace on the left of your screen when logged in.
Based on your region, Facebook will display products that have been sold and those that are trending.
On the other hand, Facebook Shop is for a particular business or brand selling its products. For example, by clicking on the ‘Shop’ CTA on Fitbit’s homepage, the user is redirected to the products landing page on its website.
In addition, business can link their Facebook and Instagram Shops, list their products on the page, categorize them, and have the ‘add to cart’ and checkout options.
What is the difference between Community on a site and Groups?
Community pages are auto-populated by posts of people with similar interests based on what they like, follow, and click on, and the priority of posts or what’s featured cannot be controlled by a single user or admin.
On the other hand, Groups are created for a specific purpose and interest and is administered by the person or people who own the Group. Based on the settings, Groups can be open to the public, users can request to join or members can join based on invite-only.
What is the difference between Likes and Follows?
When it comes to a page and not an individual profile, when a user is interested in a particular page (business, public figure, band, organization) and likes it, he automatically follows the page.
Now at some point, if the user wishes not to see posts of the page anymore, in that case one can ‘unfollow’ the page but still continues to ‘like’ the page. Hence there could be a discrepancy between the number of likes and follows for pages.
Can I push a message to my followers?
Page administrators do not have the option of pushing a message to masses or message broadcasts, however, a post will be visible on the timeline of your followers. Another option is adding up to 150 recipients on Facebook Messenger and push a message.
How do Facebook hashtags work and how should a business use them?
Facebook hashtags are a great feature to connect people who are talking about the same topic or looking for a similar topic. In addition, it helps in connecting the topic on different social media platforms add posts to a thread possibly created by the page owner or a trending topic.
Businesses need to use hashtags in a meaningful way and avoid using too many hashtags as a measure to improve the visibility of the posts. Experts recommend using a maximum of 4 hashtags that are relevant to the post (a good mix of branded and popular) and studies have proved that the lesser the number of hashtags used, the higher the interaction with the posts.
Just like how you would search for something on Google using keywords, like Twitter, Facebook has URL tracking to the hashtags. For example, if you use #NFL on the Facebook search bar, you will be directed to the page and you will be able to similar posts that had the same hashtag.
Does it help if a business follows other businesses and is active?
The biggest benefit of one business following another business is for business owners to keep their business separate from their personal account. In addition, smaller business can keep an eye on bigger brands and their marketing approach as well as interact with businesses that have similar interests.