Facebook Marketing: 8 practical tips for beginners
Facebook is THE social network. According to its own figures, it has around two billion users - that's more than a quarter of the world's population! In other words, an unimaginable number. The potential reach is correspondingly large and above all international. In addition, Facebook offers plenty of opportunities for communication, interaction and promotion. Not a bad basis for spreading your content. Nevertheless, it doesn't work without a plan and care.
Nowadays, it is almost good form for a company or blogger to operate a Facebook page in addition to their own website. In most cases, users even expect it. In fact, Facebook is an excellent opportunity to expand virtually. Once you have built up a fan community, the users act as a natural multiplier: they share, like and comment on your posts - and your reach increases.
However, Facebook marketing is not a no-brainer. You must first actively build up your community and then keep it just as active. This requires a mature strategy, intensive support and, of course, content that offers sufficient added value. Facebook operates on a similar principle to search engines: high-quality content that users like is displayed. Other content disappears somewhere in the network nirvana. Logical in principle.
But how does successful Facebook marketing work? What do you have to bear in mind? Well, experience makes perfect, but a few tips for the beginning can't hurt.
A Facebook page does not run on the side
If you want to use Facebook as a channel for your own purposes, you should really want to do it and follow through consistently.
Just letting it ripple along on the side will not bring success in the long run - rather the opposite. A poor or even frustrating Facebook presence ultimately also reflects badly on the website. Randomly selected posts without plan and context, confuses users at best and annoys them at worst
Without a Facebook marketing strategy, nothing works. Think about it in advance:
- What do you want to achieve with your Facebook presence?
- Which target group do you want to address?
- What is your common thread?
- How do you create the connection to your website as well as the necessary differentiation for more exclusivity?
- How much time and, if necessary, other resources do you need for network care?
Posting is also a question of timing
Timing - when you share your content - is relevant to reach and success.
Don't assume that content will be seen at some point anyway, because that's not the case. People are active at different times. Research from Hootsuitefound that a good time to post on Facebook is generally between 12pm and 3pm on weekdays.
However, this is only a rough guide. Depending on the target group, the optimal time can vary greatly. The only way to find out the best timing is to analyse your published posts. When are your users online? When was there the greatest reach? Where were the interactions the greatest? You can use Facebook's internal statistics tool very well for this.Experimentation is part of it. Don't be afraid to try out unusual times. If you have an international audience, be aware of the time difference.
Sounds elaborate? Don't worry, with time you'll get a knack for good timing!
Do not make it the centre of online marketing
Facebook marketing should only ever be a spin-off of your online marketing and not the centre!
Unlike your website, you do not have full control over Facebook. Changes in policies, updates, etc. can have a significant impact on your success - a current example is explained in more detail in the last section. Therefore, do not bet all your cards on one network!
Win - and keep - real fans with real added value!
Not everyone who likes your page is automatically a real fan.
For the time being, he is only an interested party and it is up to you to convince him of your site and turn him into a real supporter. Pagelikes are therefore not everything and only say something about the success of a page to a limited extent. Nevertheless, they are of course important to generate a certain reach. Purchased likes, on the other hand, are of little use.
You win real fans through content that offers added value. IIdeally, these should not only be relevant and interesting, but also encourage users to interact. A "something-or-other" post does not lead to success.
Furthermore, you can use Facebook as a channel for exclusive contents that they don't publish anywhere else - neither on your website, nor on any other social network. Exclusivity combined with quality, relevance and a bit of variety "forces" potential users to follow your page because it's the only way they can get the information.
Facebook marketing starts on your own website
Furthermore, it is of course always important to link to your own website and to share the content there on Facebook.
You can now either manually share your new post on Facebook each time, or have this done automatically via a suitable WordPress plugin - for example SNAP. This can save a lot of time in certain circumstances.
You can and should optimise the "snippet" of your post shared on Facebook in the backend of your website: You can adjust the preview via the meta description. In no more than 155 characters, briefly and succinctly state what the article is about and what the reader can expect. In combination with a concise title, eye-catching image and supplementary text, you can arouse the necessary curiosity.
Show personality and presence
There is a very important difference between a website and a Facebook page:
The distance between user and operator is much smaller - at least it feels that way. Formalities play less of a role; personality, sympathy and direct contact, however, are all the more important.
Create the illusion that the user knows you (or your company) personally. That if he were to meet you on the street, he would even be inclined to shout "hello"! Although this does not happen in reality, personality, authenticity and "closeness" to the user are incredibly important. Therefore, ALWAYS respond promptly to comments and messages, involve your fans in decisions and create a respectful, relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Videos on the rise
A look at the private newsfeed makes it clear: videos are becoming more and more important.
A glance at the private newsfeed makes it clear: videos are becoming more and more important. This is not surprising, since video is the best way to generate and transmit emotions. Moreover, it is usually less tiring to watch a video than to read a text. Facebook also gives you the option of creating live videos - which brings us back to the point of personality and presence. Admittedly, videos are not for everyone. Nevertheless, it is worth thinking about!
Use Facebook advertising in a targeted way
There are basically two ways to increase your reach via Facebook:
- organically, via your shared posts and through fan interaction
- via paid Facebook advertising
Running ads on Facebook costs money, of course, but it is affordable compared to other marketing measures and you can set the budget yourself. Depending on your goals, you can choose from different types of advertising measures (e.g. generally promote your page, a specific post or an event). Always define the target group, such as age, gender, interests, place of residence, etc.. Conveniently, this works individually for each application in Facebook's advertising manager.
Update 2018: Newsfeed becomes more personal again!
Already at the beginning of the year, Mark Zuckerberg announced a Facebook update for the newsfeed. Private posts from friends and family should once again be given priority. Posts from public sites - such as news portals, organisations or companies - on the other hand become less present. The reason: the focus should be on social interactions again and not on "passive consumption".
As a social network, Facebook is not really announcing anything shocking. However, for those who want to use social media for marketing purposes or public relations, this change is not exactly good news. Because, conversely, it means: it is becoming much more difficult for public pages to achieve a good reach. Especially "small sites" with a still weak community will have to nibble at the changeover for the time being.
Nevertheless, this news is of course no reason to bury one's head in the sand and do without Facebook. However, it is all the more important to develop a marketing strategy that clearly focuses on social interaction.
- Only deliver posts with real added value, lots of personality and authenticity.
- Use it to stimulate discussion and interaction.
- The interaction associated with live videos is greater than with normal videos, according to Mark Zuckerberg.
- A thematically relevant Facebook group linked to your page helps to strengthen social interactions. In addition, as a private person, you can better disseminate your page content.
Make the best of it and see it as a challenge!
Facebook Marketing - Conclusion
With the right marketing strategy and implementation, you can become more successful with the help of Facebook. This will increase your overall presence and reach and also strengthen customer loyalty. However, be aware: Facebook marketing is not a sprint that quickly brings you maximum success, but a long endurance run. You build a strong, genuine community slowly and keeping it requires good stamina. Don't shy away from the challenge - it's worth it!
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