But one day, I came across this post from Jobvite:
It took about five seconds for me to share that post with my co-workers. As a team of dog-lovers, we instantly fell for Pancake and his squishy little face. We then spent more time than we probably should have exploring not only the Jobvite Facebook page, but also their Instagram, Twitter, blog, and website.
It then became a weekly tradition. We’d check Jobvite’s social media profiles looking for the latest Pancake update. And he never failed to brighten our day.
But what’s really interesting is what happened to our relationship with the Jobvite brand. Having clients who are in the HR tech game, of course, all of us were familiar with the company before we discovered Pancake. But their posts about him had converted us into true Jobvite fans, which is the ultimate goal of Facebook marketing.
While looking for our Pancake fix, we came across new Jobvite research, learned about their company culture, and heard about industry events they were hosting. We became invested in their content and brand in a way we never would have if not for that Pancake Facebook post.
Unfortunately, Pancake is no longer with us. Appropriately enough, we learned that sad news through Facebook.
But even though he’s gone, we still regularly visit Jobvite’s Facebook page. All because of Pancake…and their expertise at Facebook marketing.
Chances are, you don’t have your own Pancake to make Facebook marketing a breeze. However, you can still see the results you want for your brand. Here’s your ultimate guide to Facebook marketing like a pro in two shakes of a cute bulldog tail:
Your Facebook page
The beginning of any Facebook marketing journey is to have a page set up for your company. Being that it’s almost 2019, you probably already have one of those. But in the interest of being thorough, let’s double-check that you’ve got all your bases covered.
- The “About” section is completely filled out. This includes your location, website, company story, etc. If there’s a relevant blank, fill it.
- You’ve uploaded a unique profile and cover photo that’s true to your branding (more on images later).
- Review your general settings so Facebook users can engage with your page. That includes:
- Allowing visitors to post
- Enabling messaging
- Turning on the similar page suggestion feature
- Allowing users to review your company or product
- Your page is optimized for keywords you’d like to rank on in Google.
- You’ve chosen the best Facebook template for your company.
If that last point doesn’t sound unfamiliar, don’t be alarmed. Facebook rolled out its template feature for company pages at the end of 2016. If your page is older than two years and you don’t regularly check your page settings, you probably missed the addition. Templates allow you to choose a layout for your page that makes the most sense for your brand.
You can explore and change your template by going to your settings and clicking on the Template and Tabs option on the left.
Both templates allow you to rearrange the order in which the tabs appear on your page. That lets you decide if you’d like to feature your photos or videos more prominently by making them the first tabs a visitor sees.
The only real difference is that the Professional Service option makes the “Call Now” action button as the default primary button on your toolbar. You can, of course, still customize the button to encourage Facebook users to carry out other actions. It also gives you tabs dedicated to the services or products you offer.
Bonus Tip: Change your action button so it progresses visitors through your sales funnel in a logical way. By hovering over the button, you can click the edit button. From there, you can do almost anything from sending people to a landing page on your website to having them watch a product video or even download an app.
Profiling your Facebook audience
Potential customers are out there looking for your content. But the trick to great Facebook marketing is understanding who they are more deeply. Where do they live? How old are they? Who’s visiting your website from Facebook?
Luckily, most of this information is located on the “Insights” tab of your Facebook page.
By clicking on the “People” tab, you can see the demographics of people your posts have reached. It’ll break down their age, gender, and location. That will give you a better idea of what type of people are interest in your brand on Facebook.
From there, you can better craft your content and posts to their unique needs.
For instance, if your company caters to HR professionals and most of your audience is made up of millennial females, make an infographic about ways young HR professionals can get baby boomer executives to back their new HR initiatives. Then upload the image to your Facebook photos and write shares that highlight information in the infographic.
Bonus Tip: You can run regular polls on your Facebook page to keep up with what’s trending with your audience. Ask them about the biggest problems they’re facing or information they’d like to learn so you can better cater your content.
The heart of any great Facebook marketing campaign is its posts. How and when you share your content on the platform can make or break your efforts. The trick is getting into effective Facebook posting habits.
Luckily, after over a decade of existence, there’s a lot of research out there about what works on Facebook and what doesn’t. One of the most recent and extensive studies of Facebook success is BuzzSumo’s analysis of over one billion posts on the platform.
Let’s look at three of the biggest takeaways from that research and consider what it means for your Facebook marketing:
- Shorter posts do better on Facebook. On average, posts with less than 50 characters received more than 400 engagements. That’s almost double the interaction of posts with more than 300 characters.
- Pose questions and use images. Posts with one of these things received the most likes. However, if you’re trying to get more shares, embed a video in your post. Those posts got an average of almost 100 shares.
- Don’t post during the popular times. Huh? Most people think they need to share content when everyone else is online but, in reality, your post will stand out better and elicit more engagement if it’s posted when there’s less competition. The BuzzSumo study recommends between 10PM and midnight of your target audience’s timezone.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. If you find that people aren’t responding to your shorter posts, or if 10AM is when your content gets the most likes, edit your Facebook marketing strategy accordingly.
Bonus Tip: Don’t use hashtags on Facebook. The BuzzSumo report found that posts with hashtags received about 100 fewer interactions.
Using images effectively
Over the years, Facebook’s use of images has evolved from just a profile picture to being able to integrate your Instagram photos to your feed. But they still have some image rules you need to play by. These are the most current requirements for Facebook images:
- Profile picture: 180×180 pixels. Image displays as 170×170, thumbnail 32×32
- Cover photo: 820×312 pixels. A JPG file under 100KB is best for images with logos and text.
- Shared images: 1200×630 pixels. These appear on feeds with a max width of 470 pixels.
In most cases, the images you use are the first thing to catch a person’s eye. If your feed is full of stock images, it’s going to come off as boring or unimaginative.
While they might require a bit more work, there are plenty of tools online (some of them free) that will help you create and share quality visuals. Snappa and Designfeed.io are two examples, but a simple Google search will help you find the tool that best fits your brand’s needs.
Bonus Tip: Design graphics that share discounts or offers with followers. A 2014 Kentico survey found that 39 percent of people like companies on Facebook because they offer them something in return. For example, provide new followers with exclusive access to a whitepaper you’ve created.
Posting with Facebook Live
After it was released, Facebook Live quickly became a user favorite. A 2016 study by Ask Your Target Market found 59 percent of people have watched content via Facebook Live.
However, many companies are stumped for ideas about how to utilize it. To get the creative juices flowing, here are some ideas of events you can share live to better market your brand:
- Employee spotlights: You undoubtedly care about your employees. Recognize their hard work by giving Facebook users a behind-the-scenes look at what they do each day.
- Product demos: Give people an inside look at how your product can make their lives easier. If you need to share your screen during the demo, download OBS, which is a free broadcasting software. Pay attention to the parts of the video they react to because this will give you a better understanding about what aspects of your product speak to users.
- Expert interviews: Influencer marketing is a big trend right now in marketing. Reach out to thought leaders and interview them as a way to give your followers expert advice they can use in to improve their workplace.
- Customer success stories: Bring your case studies into the 21st century, by having your customers share how your product has helped their company reach its goals.
For many people, the idea of broadcasting live can be a bit intimidating. Put yourself at ease by practicing before you go live. This will eliminate any jitters and give you the chance to problem-solve any hiccups that might arise during the broadcast.
It’s also helpful to have someone behind the scenes monitoring the comments and reactions during your Facebook live event. Don’t try to balance your recording and viewers’ engagements at the same time. Instead, have a colleague watch the broadcast and work out a signal so they can alert you to any viewer questions or comments that warrant an immediate response.
Bonus Tip: Promote your Facebook Live events on other social media platforms and through email marketing campaigns ahead of time to get a bigger audience. If you’re featuring anyone else in your video, like an employee or an influencer, encourage them to share information about the event as well so you can tap into their network.
Analyzing Facebook insights
If you ventured onto your Facebook insights tab and immediately felt overwhelmed, don’t be discouraged. It can take some time to fully understand all the information the platform provides.
Let’s start by defining a few terms that many find confusing:
- Reach- this is the number of people who saw your posts. It’s impacted by several things like how many people have liked your page, the number of engagements a post gets, and how much competition your posts face. Facebook uses these factors to determine how many news feeds each post appears on.
- Post engagements- This is the total number of actions people have taken on your posts. It includes link clicks, likes, reactions, shares, and comments.
- Actions on page- This is how many times people have clicked on your contact information or your action button.
Depending on what your Facebook marketing goals are, you might want to focus more on specific metrics. If you have questions about what each insight is measuring, hover your mouse over the (i) of each section. That will provide a basic explanation of the metric. But in general, the most valuable data can be found on the overview and the posts tabs.
The overview page will give you a quick glance at your page likes, reach, engagements, and views. As a default, it shows you trends for the past week, but you can also look at data for the previous day or the last 28 days.
The overview page will also show you information about your last five posts and your competitors’. In the pages to watch section, you can add companies that are also in your space to keep an eye on how their Facebook marketing compares to yours.
The post tab lets you see how each of your shares are performing. It’ll break down the times, reach, and engagements of each post. This helps you identify when you should be posting on Facebook as well as what types of topics are resonating with your audience.
Bonus Tip: Connect your business goals with the analytics Facebook provides so you can see and track ROI. For instance, Facebook reach correlates with brand awareness. The more people who are seeing your post, the more exposure your HR tech brand is getting.