02 Oct 5 Best Practices For Marketing Your Business On Facebook
With Facebook’s constant changes in algorithm, businesses find themselves facing stiffer competition, as they try to stand out on the newsfeed. But it is pointless to obsess over pushing out quality content, without getting the foundations of Facebook marketing right. We hereby present you 5 tried-and-tested pointers to get you on the right track.
1. Videos are most effective in storytelling
Facebook gets 100 million hours of video views daily, according to TechCrunch in 2016. We need not say more to convince you to turn to video marketing – if you haven’t done so. Video is the most effective content format because it engages our visual and auditory senses, allowing us to better digest information, as opposed to only reading text.
As a rule of thumb, the ideal video length is 2 minutes and below. Also note that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without audio, so the imagery of your videos has to be attention-grabbing. Focus on perfecting the first 3 seconds because that determines if the viewer stays or leaves. Adding on-screen texts or captions would help too.
Case studies have shown that entertaining videos, or those with emotional appeal tend to be winners. An example of the latter is Gillette’s #TheBestMenCanBe campaign, where a short film titled “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” blew up and garnered 11 million views on Facebook in January. The ad featured an introspective reflection on toxic masculinity, amid global outcry on the #MeToo movement. Despite mixed public response, the controversial ad succeeded in tugging at viewers’ heartstrings, thereby increasing its shareability.
2. Reach the right audience through targeting
You can target your ads at a specific audience through Facebook Business Manager. This is especially important if your business is more niche. For a start, set parameters for location, age, gender, interests, etc to define your target audience. ‘Audience Size’ gives you a gauge of the broadness of your selected audience, and the potential reach, allowing you to fine-tune the characteristics of your audience accordingly. ‘Connections’ is especially useful because you’re able to reach out to an audience that has previously viewed your past posts, increasing the likelihood of engagement, or even conversions.
Perhaps you run a dog hotel, so you would want to reach only dog owners who are also frequent travellers. For location, you could target the whole Singapore, or even narrow down to those within 2km. Some keywords you could type under ‘Interests’ are: dogs, dog grooming, dog boarding, travel. This ensures that your content is reaching the right audience, which in turn leads to higher engagement rate.
3. Take note of technicalities
Sometimes new marketers overlook the importance of formatting, thus failing to present the content in the most digestible and aesthetically-pleasing manner. To counter this, you should decide what is the most suitable format for conveying your message, and avoid riding on trendy formats like GIFs for the sake of jumping on the bandwagon. Also include a clear call-to-action in your post, such as “Click on the link below to sign up!”
Pin the most important post to the top of your page, and update it from time to time, so as to draw attention to your key campaigns or events.
Here’s a summary of Facebook’s ad guide for your easy reference:
|Ratio||9:16 / 16:9||1 .91:1 to 4:5|
Recommended: MP4, MOV
|jpg / png|
|File size||4 GB (max)|
|Length||240 minutes (max)|
|Captions||Optional but recommended|
|Sound||Optional but recommended|
|Text||125 characters||125 characters|
|Thumbnail image||If more than 20% text, may experience reduced delivery. Check here.||If more than 20% text, may experience reduced delivery|
Resolution: 600 x 600px (minimum)
Headline: 25 characters
Link description: 30 characters
Recommended resolution: 1,080 x 1,080px
Headline: 25 characters
Link description: 30 characters
4. Aim for a win-win when running contests
Everyone likes to win. No doubt about that. Contests are great for facilitating interactions with your followers, and viewers of your ad. Remember to abide by Facebook’s contest rules to avoid getting your contest shut down. Methods such as “Share on your timeline to enter” or “Share on your friend’s timeline to get additional entries” or “Tag your friends in this post to enter” are prohibited by Facebook.
When planning a contest, don’t just aim for short-term hype. Contests should aid in building your brand in the long run. For instance, a dental clinic could run a contest that offers free teeth-cleaning for winners, and at the same time educate the public on how to better take care their pearly whites.
#MasterCardMuahMuah is an example of a campaign that successfully sparked conversations by leveraging user-generated content. Parents were encouraged them to share their favourite bonding activities with their kids, and why. The grand prize was an Annie The Musical VIP experience at MasterCard Theatres, plus a surprise trip to NYC. This campaign is worth learning from because it outdid the typical contest to provide an avenue of self-expression for its audience, and stood out by adding an element of surprise.
5. Leverage existing content from external sources
Creating quality content can be time-consuming, from the planning to the execution. The good news is, not all of your content has to be original. Besides, constantly posting about your brand can come off as overly-promotional.
You can always share relevant content from other sources on your page. Think informational videos and images, articles related to your industry, popular (and related) memes, etc. Always seek to provide edu-tainment.
When your audience feels that you’re well-aware of their interests and needs, they develop a stronger connection to your brand. Scoot does a good job of this. Instead of constantly promoting their services, the budget airline company often shares travel-related articles, photos and videos.
Getting the basics right
While there are endless possibilities in the world of marketing, and many strategies aren’t one-size-fits-all, we believe that the above-mentioned practices will aid you in nailing the fundamentals of Facebook marketing if you’re just starting out. Once you’ve built a solid foundation, you’re free to exercise your creativity in differentiating yourself from your competitors.