Facebook marketing is a must for businesses that want to reach a wide audience on the internet, but effective Facebook marketing is not as simple as it once was.
“With the high volume of users who are always connected to social networks thanks to the increase in the use of smartphones, Facebook is an essential channel for companies”
“At the same time, Facebook has implemented changes to its algorithm and other measures that make organic reach increasingly difficult to achieve.”
Gone are the days of simply posting your latest blog post to your Facebook page and waiting for the clicks and likes to start pouring in. Today, effective Facebook strategy requires finesse, creativity, and ideally a budget. These fundamental practices are crucial to reaching your audience on Facebook.
1. Videos are the main thing on Facebook
Video was becoming a strategic way to engage audiences before it was a staple offering on Facebook, but since the inception of Facebook video they have become one of the most effective ways to reach audiences on the web platform.
In 2015, the number of daily video views on Facebook reached a staggering 8 billion, and videos are promoted more by Facebook compared to photos.
Videos on Facebook is not a matter of guessing. Facebook shows you important engagement metrics, allowing marketers to further refine their Facebook video strategy to meet the interests of their audience.
“From knowing who is watching your video content to determining which segments of your audience watch videos the most, whether they are watching your original video or accessing your content from elsewhere, and other important metrics, Facebook video analytics help companies to carry out strategies with precision»
2. Videos are better if they are live
If you thought the stats on video popularity were impressive, consider that users spend nearly three times as much watching videos that are live compared to pre-recorded video content.
In fact, live video content is so popular that Facebook made it more prominent in news feeds, and it gets about 10 times more comments than pre-recorded video content. In other words, if you want to be seen on Facebook, live video is the way to gain prominence on your followers’ feeds to drive engagement.
3. Post less often, but post better quality stuff.
Flooding your business Facebook page with a new post every hour used to be the way to ensure followers were exposed to content on a regular basis. But in recent years, businesses have seen a steep decline in organic reach, and organic reach continues to drop with all the posts being made throughout the day. What this means is that your first, second and third post in a day will have a much higher reach than your 10th, 11th and 12th.
To make the most of this phenomenon, it makes sense to limit your posts to just a few per day, but make sure the content you post is of the highest quality. If you have news content, much better. “If you’re among the first pages on Facebook to post newsworthy content (relevant to your audience), then you might get an organic uptick.”
4. Less is more when it comes to the number of words you write in a post.
Have you been tempted to share the same thing you write on your blog as a post on your Facebook account? Do not do it. After 400 characters, your message will be truncated anyway, and you need to get the attention of users scrolling on your notification wall. They (users) aren’t exactly likely to click on every truncated message on their notification wall just to find out if something is worth reading.
News Whip analyzed posts from the top five news publishers to measure the average word count of the 100 most shared links in June 2016.
Three of the pages surveyed – BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and BBC News – have very short descriptions. Of the 500 posts examined, 168 (33%) had ten words or less. 17 consisted of a single word.
5. Use targeting options to reach your ideal audience
One of the biggest benefits of Facebook for businesses is its robust audience targeting options, but you can also set targeting options for your organic posts. From your business page, go to settings and then select Preferred Page Audience. In this form, you can select a variety of targeting options to narrow down your ideal audience by location, age, gender, interests, and languages.
Using the Preferred Page Audience setting does not restrict access to your public content. However, it does allow Facebook to try to show your content to the audience that is most interested in it.
6. Sponsor you’re most important or popular content.
Not only can you and/or should you create Facebook ads or advertisements in order to tap into a larger audience on Facebook; you can and should also increase your organic reach of posts to get more exposure. The result is similar to an ad where you are paying to reach more people, although this content starts out as an organic post, and this sometimes feels more natural.
You also shouldn’t sponsor every organic post you share, instead consider boosting posts with important content or posts that are doing well organically. Facebook’s great targeting options let you refine your target audience so you don’t waste your budget on users who aren’t your ideal customers.
7. Use Facebook Insights to gauge your efforts and increase engagement
On Facebook, engagement is the most important thing. Thanks to Facebook Insights, it’s easy to monitor how well your posts and marketing campaigns are performing overall. Every business on Facebook should take full advantage of these in-depth analytics to complement their campaigns.
Clicking on the Insights tab brings up a dashboard that highlights the most crucial metrics for the page, including actions on the page, page views, hits, reach, engagements, posts, and videos. Clicking on any of these categories will give you a more detailed view of your data. You can even select “Posts” in the left navigation menu for a detailed analysis of how your individual posts performed.