The social media powerhouse referred to as Facebook is known for personal communication nowadays, including sending messages to friends, posting images of your latest outings and keeping in touch with family who may live in another part of the country or world. However, this channel can be used for more than just personal reasons, businesses can leverage this social media channel to grow their audience, show their personality and increase business.
In previous blog posts, we have discussed different social media channels, such as Twitter and Instagram, and how they can be used as a marketing tool. We will continue the trend with this blog post, focusing on the social media channel that (arguably) made social media popular, Facebook.
What is Facebook?
Before we dig into using Facebook as a marketing tool, let’s give a brief overview of what Facebook is, how it has grown over the years and what it has evolved into since its inception.
History of Facebook
Facebook is a social media site, originally reserved for Harvard students, makes it easy for users to connect with family and friends online with status and image updates and direct messaging (and instant message).
The social media networking service, originally called “The Facebook” launched February 4th, 2004 by then Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommate Eduardo Saverin. Within its first 24 hours, the site had 1,200 Harvard students sign ups and after one month, over half of the undergraduate population had a profile on the networking site.
Over time, the site extended itself to other Boston universities and Ivy League schools, eventually finding itself spreading across all US universities. In 2005, it became known as Facebook.com. High school students were able to create their own profiles and UK universities found their way to the site as well.
Originally known to have just been for students, the site extended itself to anyone with a registered email address in 2006. Free to join, the site currently boasts over one billion active users.
The social networking site has different features provided to its users. Let’s cover some of those features, both common and obscure.
- A look through your Facebook history – think of this feature as a digital photo album of your life on Facebook. This feature shows you what happened in a user’s life on any given day in the past. This feature is called “On This Day.” It is a nice way to look back on what you were up to, with corresponding images to help you recall memories.
- Legacy Contact – a slightly darker feature, the legacy contact gives you options on what to do if you are to unfortunately pass away. You can choose someone from your list of Facebook friends, who can download an archive of your photos posts and profile information. Additional things your legacy contact can do is write posts at the top of your timeline, respond to friend requests and change profile/cover photos. You can also chose not to add a contact.
- Send money – a wildcard feature, Facebook isn’t known for sending money like Venmo and Apple Pay, however, it can be done. Users can send one another money, which can be used to purchase products and make in-game purchases on the social network site. Users can set up their debit card to make transferring money easier.
- Facebook Note – this feature is similar to blogging, where users can write personal blog posts consisting of paragraphs of texts and multiple images. Facebook.com/notes is where you can find notes from people you are friends with and adding your own note is simple. Search for “+ write a note” in the top right corner and publish your thoughts when you’re ready.
Marketing with Facebook
While this social media site seems to be one of the more personal ones, there is room for businesses to make their mark. In fact, according to eMarketer, Facebook is one of the most effective social media platforms used by businesses. Knowing that, let us give you a few tips on how businesses use this channel to market to customers, both potential and current.
Set up a Facebook business page – when you set up a profile for your business, you are creating a separate account for your business as if it were a person. Setting up a page is simple and helps customers find additional ways to reach out to you and follow what you are up to. Here’s how to create a Facebook business page:
- Sign up to create your page here: facebook.com/business. You will answer business related questions including the specific industry and address.
- Add images of your business logo, which will presumably be your profile picture.
- Add a description of your business. Be sure to include your mission statement for a clear understand of who your business is and what it does.
Optimize your page for likes and SEO – when a customer finds your Facebook page, it is their first glance at your marketing efforts. The goal of a business is to make their Facebook page easy to find in a search engine, meaning that efforts must be made in order to rank high. Not only do you want your page to rank well, you want customers to give it a like. Here’s how:
- Your username should be descriptive and consistent with all of your social media accounts. The URL given to your Facebook account should have the name of your business in it, so choose wisely.
- Use descriptive words in your about section. Accurately describe what your business does and include a URL to your actual website, which encourages users to click the link and give your site a visit.
- Use the correct category for your business when setting up your Facebook page. If you don’t, this can make it hard for users to find you for their specific needs.
- Optimize your images, including business logos. It is important to make sure the image quality is at its best because it is the look of your business. It will also be one of the first things a potential customer sees when they land on your Facebooks page.
Facebook Advertising – an old school way of advertising, this ads are typically found as side columns on the Facebook site. They come complete with an image and a link that takes users to your Facebook page or to your business site. This method is meant to increase likes and drive traffic to a company website.
Promoted Posts – promoted posts let page owners pay a specific flat rate in order to have individual Facebook posts reach a certain number of users. This increases the reach and impressions of a post. Promotional posts are different from Facebook advertising in that it is paid for and shows up on a user’s feed as opposed to the side of the website.