Originally published on Aug. 16, 2016. Updated on July 30, 2021.
Creating, running, and optimizing your business’s website is a challenging task. From laying it out in a user-friendly way to publishing content that attracts and converts, you’ve got a lot of factors to consider.
And it’s not enough to create and operate this website, either. You have to promote it and ensure that the right people know about you and your content. Luckily, the age of social media we live in can help you market your business, and many social media marketing strategies share a common tactic: Facebook.
A giant in the social space with nearly 3 billion daily active users, Facebook can be incredibly effective — if you use it the right way. About 80% of marketers use Facebook to distribute content and promote their business, yet less than half rate it as effective.
If you want to run a great marketing strategy on Facebook, increase engagement, and improve your effectiveness, there are five things you must remember.
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1. Humanize your business.
As opposed to more business-oriented networks like LinkedIn, Facebook gives you the natural opportunity to humanize your brand — so take advantage. Present your company as multidimensional by sharing employee-centric photos and other content.
Take photos during breaks, company retreats, team-building events, happy hours, and more, and share them to paint a clear picture of your team and foster employee engagement online. This will help your audience connect with you on a personal level and strengthen your relationships with them.
2. Share content worth sharing.
Like most content marketing initiatives, your Facebook content should be more about quality than quantity. Worry less about posting a certain number of times each day, and put more thought into the variety of content your audience would love to consume and share on their own pages.
In addition to written content you’ve curated from your own blog and external sites, consider sharing relevant GIFs, infographics, and images with your audience. Visual content is highly shareable, which means you’re more likely to engage your audience and expand your reach.
3. Include video whenever possible.
Videos are conquering the digital world: Online video services from YouTube to Netflix to Hulu are on their way to replacing traditional television, and Facebook is no stranger to this video domination.
Facebook boasts more than 4 billion video watches per day, and with its continual introduction of new video features, it continues to offer brands more opportunities to engage followers directly via video content. Take a look at a few great examples of video marketing on Facebook to inspire your next video campaign.
4. Invite people to opt in at the right time.
Remember that the main goal of your social presence is to build an audience and ultimately attract customers to your business. To do this, you should never spam your followers with requests to opt in to your email communication, free trials, consultations, etc. This kind of indiscriminate salesmanship will prompt your audience to quit following you.
Extend these invitations at the right times and in the right ways. Send followers in certain geographic locations invites to in-person events or webinars you’re hosting, or share a link to valuable gated content. Those who are interested will provide their personal details, making this approach a natural way to grow your list and nurture prospects.
5. Focus on engaging your audience.
Unless all of your current and potential customers and audience members check your Facebook profile every day, they rely on their news feeds to find your content. And as Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice president of product management for news feed, explained at Facebook’s F8 conference, the news feed is designed “to help people connect with the stories that matter to them most.”
The news feed considers a lot of factors to determine what those stories are: the type of content, who posted, when it was posted, how many interactions it has earned, etc. To expand your reach without relying exclusively on paid advertisements, consider how your content’s engagement affects its chances of appearing in news feeds.
Personal content may take priority over business content, but when personal connections interact with business content, you can find opportunity. The likelihood of your followers’ connections finding your content in their news feeds increases when your content is relevant to them and when your current followers react to, comment on, and share your posts.
Additionally, if your followers comment on your posts or leave business reviews, your community manager should actively follow and contribute to those conversations, too. This interaction can help increase engagement and draw even more eyes to your content — and your website.
If there’s one constant about social media, it’s that it always changes. Continue to measure and optimize your efforts, and remember that simply being present isn’t enough to generate record-breaking numbers of followers or leads. To improve your social media marketing effectiveness, remember these five practices.