Facebook Marketing Strategy
If you’ve decided to build a Facebook Page for your business, you’ve made the right choice. In fact, you’ll be joining 70 million businesses worldwide who already market via Facebook Page — a number that’s jumped by 1 million in the last few years.
Before we get into publishing content and boosting posts with advertising, let’s rewind to the very beginning and walk through the setup process.
1. Create a Facebook Page
As you probably know, the majority of Facebook is made up of personal profiles. However, if you’re a business looking to establish your presence on the social network, you’ll need to create a Page instead.
Pages are Facebook’s equivalent of a business profile. Pages look similar to profile pages but show specific information only applicable to businesses, organizations, and causes. Whereas you connect with a profile by adding them as a friend, you connect with a business Facebook Page by “liking” it and becoming a fan. If you create a personal profile for your business instead of a Page, you run the risk of getting it shut down by Facebook.
To get started building your own Facebook Page, go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/.
There, you’ll have two categories to choose from:
- Business or Brand
- Community or Public Figure
Facebook offers two categories so you can better customize the fields on your Page. For the purpose of this introduction, let’s say we’re a “Business or Brand.” We’ll create a Page for a (completely fictitious) company called Boston Coat Company and categorize it as a Retail Company. (To choose a category, simply start typing and choose from the drop-down list.)
We recommend you choose the name for your Page wisely. Facebook will let you change your name and URL in most cases, but it can be a difficult and tedious process.
If you haven’t already, you’ll be prompted to sign into Facebook at this point. You must create and manage Pages from your personal Facebook account; however, your personal information won’t appear on the Page unless you add it.
Press “Get Started” and you’ll be automatically redirected to add a Profile Photo and Cover Photo for your new Page. (You can skip these steps and do them later, but we recommend getting them out of the way now.)If you do skip, however, you’ll see your new Facebook Page as well as a few tips for building the foundation of a business Page.
2. Add Photos
Add a Profile Picture
The first step to giving your Facebook Page an identity is adding a profile picture. This will serve as the primary visual for your Page, appearing in search results and alongside any of your content that shows up in a user’s News Feed. Most publishers suggest creating a photo that’s 180 x 180 pixels, however increasing this slightly will help maintain quality. If you don’t upload an image that is already square, you’ll be prompted to crop.
Think of your profile picture as your first impression, and be sure to choose something immediately recognizable (like a logo). If you’re a speaker or public figure, go with a favorite headshot. Local restaurants or shops may choose an image of their most popular offering.
Add a Cover Photo
Next, Facebook will suggest you add a cover photo. A cover photo is the large, horizontal image that spans the top of your Page. It should express your Page’s identity and can be updated often based on special offerings, campaigns, or seasons.
To upload a cover photo, click the “Add a Cover Photo” option in the welcome menu. The official dimensions of a cover photo are 851 x 315 pixels. However, if your photo is not exact, you’ll have the option to drag to reposition the photo. Press “Save”.
To change your cover photo in the future, hover your mouse over the white camera in the lower right corner of your cover photo and select “Change Cover.” It’s also a good idea to include a sentence of text and a link in the description if you are promoting a specific campaign in your imagery. That way, if your cover photo highlights a new parka, they can seamlessly jump to your winter product line to buy.
Finding the right balance between a cover photo that is both visual and simple can be a challenge. Try going with an abstract image or pattern to catch the eye, or a landscape shot with your product as the focal point. Often, the best cover photos are the ones that use negative space to their advantage.
3. Add a Short Description
Your Page is starting to come together with some beautiful imagery. Next, you’ll need a description to let your audience know what your business is all about.
Click “Add a Short Description” under “Welcome to Your New Page”to get started. Add one to two sentences (or 255 characters max) about your business. This description will appear both on your Page and in search results, so keep it descriptive but succinct. But don’t be afraid to show a bit of your brand’s personality!
Alternatively, you can edit your description by clicking on “About” in the left menu. There you’ll find the option to include a phone number, website, email, mission, and more.
4. Create a Username for Your Page
The last step on the welcome menu is to create a username for your Page. Your username will appear in your custom Facebook URL (also known as a vanity URL) to help people easily find and remember your Page. You’ll have 50 characters to come up with a unique name not being used by another business.
By picking @thebostoncoatcompany for my sample Page, people can automatically visit my Page at fb.me/thebostoncoatcompany or send me messages at m.me/thebostoncoatcompany. Keep your Page’s unique URLs handy. You’ll use them again when you begin cross-promoting your Page on your website, blog, and other assets to get more Facebook likes.
5. Add Your Page to Shortcuts
We finished the four steps from Facebook’s welcome menu, but there are still a few things you can do to customize your Page. For example, every Facebook user has a vertical navigation bar to the left of their News Feed. By adding your Page as a shortcut here, you’ll always have easy access. Go to your News Feed and click on “Edit” next to “Shortcuts” in the left vertical navigation to make it easy to navigate to your Page in the future.
6. Set Up Page Roles
With the basic skeleton of your Page complete, there’s an important step you’ll want to take before you send the Page out to the world … or even your co-workers. Remember how Facebook creates business Pages separate from personal profiles? One benefit of this is so multiple people from an organization can edit and post from the Page without sharing login credentials. But that also means you need to designate who has what levels of editing access. That’s where Page Roles comes in.
On the top navigation bar, locate “Settings.”
Then click on“Page Roles” in the left navigation bar. There are a few options when adding a collaborator:
- Admin: Admins can manage all aspects of the Page, meaning they can send messages, publish as the Page, respond or delete comments, create ads, see which admin published a specific post, and assign Page roles. This person would have all the same permissions as the creator of the Page. Choose wisely.
- Editor: Editors have the same permissions as Admins except for one key difference: Editors can’t assign Page roles to other people.
- Moderator: Moderators can send messages and respond to and delete comments, but they can’t publish as the Page. They do have access to create ads.
- Advertiser: Just as it sounds, Advertisers can create ads and view insights.
- Analyst: Analysts don’t have any publishing power whatsoever, but they can see which Admin published a specific post and view insights.
- Jobs Manager: Jobs Managers can do everything that an Advertiser can do as well as publish and manage jobs.
7. Customize Your Notifications
While you’re in the settings menu, jump up to “Notifications.” This section allows you to customize how you receive alerts for activity on your Page. For example, you could choose to get a notification every time there is activity or just get one notification every 12 to 24 hours.
8. Add a Page CTA
One of the top benefits of having a Facebook Page for your business is the ability to attract an audience you might not have been able to reach with a traditional website. However, the typical buyer’s journey doesn’t end on Facebook.
Starting in December 2014, Facebook allowed Pages to include a call-to-action button at the top of the Page. To create one, click “+ Add a Button” below your cover photo. You can choose from an array of choices depending on if you want view or book a service, get in touch, make a purchase or donation, download an app, or simply learn more.
Click “Next” and choose a link for the CTA to lead to, such as your homepage, Messenger, a landing page, or a video.
9. Organize Your Page Tabs
Want to take your business Page to the next level? Add custom tabs to tailor what content users see when they visit your Page. For example, when you visit Starbucks’ Page, there’s an option to browse photos, see open jobs, visit its Pinterest account, or find a store near you.
To change the tabs on your Page, go to “Settings” > “Templates and Tabs”. You can choose to use Facebook’s default tabs, or you can add additional ones. You can also create a custom app via the Facebook Developer portal.
10. Verify Your Page
Have you ever noticed a tiny gray or blue check mark next to the names of some businesses and brands?
Depending on how you categorized your Page, you could be eligible for a verification badge. A blue badge means that Facebook has confirmed an authentic Page for a public figure, media company or brand. Agray badge means that Facebook has confirmed an authentic Page for a business or organization.
A verification badge is by no means necessary, but it does add a sense of authority to your Page and business. This could be particularly important for businesses in ecommerce or online services looking to build trust with potential customers and initiate transactions online.
To ensure you’re eligible, confirm that your Page has a profile picture and cover photo. Go to “Settings” > “General”. There you’ll find “Page Verification” where you can enter your publicly listed phone number, country, and language. You’ll receive a call with a verification code.
The blue check badge is only available to some public figures, celebrities, and brands. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to request a blue badge.
How to Get Facebook Likes and Fans
Of course, you want your Facebook business Page to be successful. However, what success looks like on social media will vary based on your business goals. Your top focus could be launching new products, building awareness, driving sales, or collecting leads.
But no matter what, you need likes.
A “like” is how a user raises their hand and intentionally chooses to see updates from your business in their News Feed.
In this section, we’ll give you some practical strategies to get Facebook Page likes from the moment your Page goes live and how to grow that demand into the future.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy Facebook Likes
If you need Page likes to master Facebook marketing, that brings up a good question: Why not just buy them?
Don’t believe this is a real dilemma? Go ahead and Google “buy Facebook likes.” You’ll find pages upon pages of external services selling packages of likes for a flat fee. And for some, it may seem like a quick and easy way to make your business look credible.
However, the issue lies in where these likes actually come from. Companies that sell likes use click farms, fake accounts, or even compromised accounts to reach the promised number. That means it’s highly unlikely that any of these users who have liked your Page will ever engage with your content.
Remember: Not every Facebook post shows up in the News Feed. When Facebook decides what to include, the algorithm looks specifically at engagement rates — not your total number of fans. Over time, the lack of likes and comments on your posts (due to unengaged or fake fans) compared to the number of Page likes you have could prevent your content from being seen. The average user will likely also question your credibility with such a discrepancy.
If the long-term effects of a poor engagement rate aren’t enough to scare you, remember that Facebook has a team that watches out for this sort of suspicious behavior. They won’t hesitate to shut down your Page without warning.
Promoting Your Page on Facebook
Now that we’ve covered how not to get likes, let talk about how to get them — the right way. We’ll start with promoting your Page on Facebook and then through your other marketing assets.
As we mentioned in the previous section, take the time to thoughtfully fill out the “About” section of your Page. Fill your description with searchable information, but don’t overstuff it with keywords. Include an overview of what your business offers, proper categories, and a link back to your website. Here’s HubSpot’s “About” section as an example.
If you’re building a Page from scratch, consider sharing it with people you’re already connected to on Facebook. From your Page’s main screen, check out the section titled “Know friends who might like your Page?”
As you choose contacts, be cautious about over-promoting to people you know won’t be interested. Spammy Facebook marketing does more harm than good.
Also, don’t forget to invite your colleagues to like your Page. Encourage them to share it with their own Facebook friends or include the unique link in their email signatures. Employees in departments like sales, customer service, or HR who consistently email people outside your business are often a great fit.
Finally, be active. The best way to gain Page likes is to build an engaging community. Post helpful or entertaining content that your followers will want to like and share. Respond to messages quickly and interact with comments on your posts. Have you ever noticed some Pages have a green badge saying they’re “very responsive to messages”? If you’ve received a 90% response rate and an average response time of under 15 minutes over the last seven days, you too can earn this badge.
Securing Facebook likes isn’t reserved for the initial setup of your Page. You’ll need to build a consistent, lovable strategy to continue adding value to your followers.
Promoting Your Page Through Your Website
Promoting your Page doesn’t end on Facebook. Include social media follow buttons on your website and blog to make it easy for your audience to connect with you on Facebook.
You can also use a Page plugin to easily embed and promote your Page on your website. Facebook will build the iframe code that shows a feed of your latest posts. That way, visitors can like and share your Page without ever leaving your website.
Promoting Your Page to Your Customers and Email Contacts
Have a brick-and-mortar business? Think of creative ways to let your customers know you have a Facebook presence. Place a Facebook sticker with your Page’s name in the front window or include the custom URL on your receipts. You could even run a promotion where people get a discount if they like your Page on the spot from their mobile device.
Ecommerce businesses can do likewise. Don’t forget a Page link in your email marketing, whether it’s receipts, product suggestions, content updates, or customer service messages.
Promoting Your Page on Additional Social Media Channels
Sharing your Page from your other social media accounts is another option, as long as you do it sparingly. The key is not to annoy the Twitter or LinkedIn audience you’ve worked so hard to build.
When it comes to Facebook marketing, posting content is the core function of the job. Without a consistent flow of content, your Page exists solely as a source of information for people who are already aware of your brand.
In other words, it’s no different than the most basic of websites.
However, when you use Facebook to publish and share quality content, you extend your reach into the big blue ocean of Facebook’s users. Users discover your content and may choose to like your Page to continue the relationship. Over time, their trust in your brand increases, hopefully enough to make a purchase.
That’s the recipe of inbound marketing, after all.
How to Post to Your Facebook Page
To post on your Facebook Page, look for the white box below your cover photo that says “Write something …” and simply begin typing. When your update is ready to go (after a proofread, of course), hit “Share Now”. From this field, you can also add a photo or video, tag a product or location, run a poll, or schedule or backdate your post if you so choose.
To post an image, click the “Photo/Video” prompt below where it says “Write a post…”.
Facebook Image Sizes
If you’ve done any sort of social media marketing before, you understand the necessity of keeping image sizes handy.
As we covered in your Page setup, there are a few types of images you can post to Facebook, each with their own size specifications:
- Profile Picture: 180 x 180
- Cover Photo: 820 x 312
- Timeline image: 1200 x 630 (The ratio is more important than the size. Keep a 1.9:1 ratio.)
It’s no secret that the best Facebook images are highly visual. Try to keep a consistent style among all the images you post, and don’t be afraid to let your personality show.
One of the easiest ways to start populating your Facebook Page with content is to share the blog posts you publish. You shouldn’t share every blog post you create, but instead, pick those you know will resonate with your Facebook audience and hopefully get shared by your followers.
To post a link, begin the same way you would create a text post. Write a sentence or two and paste in your link. As opposed to summarizing the blog post in your copy, come up with a relatable or witty statement (as long as it’s in line with your brand voice) that would intrigue someone to learn more.
Before you publish, go ahead and delete the link to make your post look more clean and professional. By this point, the blog post should auto-populate below the white box with the title, meta description, and image. Hit “Publish.”
Speaking of, remember to include a compelling meta description with each blog post you write. Facebook automatically pulls this in to describe your link.
If you’re looking to tell a story on Facebook, video is likely your best option. Recently, video has gained a lot of buzz, especially considering the Facebook algorithm now prioritizes both live video and longer videos with high completion rates in users’ News Feeds. In fact, a Facebook exec predicted the social media platform will be all video by 2021.
To upload a pre-produced video to Facebook, click the “Photo/Video”, click the “Photo/Video” prompt below where it says “Write a post…” and select “Upload Photos/Video”.Select the file from your computer. We recommend uploading videos as an MP4 or MOV file.
Next, you’ll be prompted to add a title, tags, and some text to your post. You can also add it to a playlist. As with Facebook links, use this text to entice your audience to watch the video.
Click along the navigation on the right side to choose your video thumbnail and add subtitles and captions. Considering Facebook auto-plays videos without sound (and almost 90% of videos are watched without sound), SRT files are a smart choice to make sure your video is understood by those scrolling through their News Feed on a mobile device.
Facebook also allows you to run polls with your video (if it’s 10 seconds or longer), set up tags for tracking, and turn on 360º Mode (which allows your users to view the video like a panorama.
Because Facebook auto-plays videos, the first 5-10 seconds are prime real estate. As you brainstorm videos for Facebook, make the beginning as visually compelling as possible to encourage the user to view the full video.
Aside from pre-produced video, Facebook Live is another option to explore multimedia content. Facebook Live is a feature that allows live-streaming capabilities to users on their desktop or smartphone. It’s available to any Facebook user, but is particularly appealing to brands who want to capture the culture of their company and form authentic relationships with their followers.
To try it out on your desktop, go to your Page and click on “Live” under where it says “Write a post…”.
If you haven’t used Facebook Live before, you’ll be prompted to give Facebook access to your camera and microphone. Press the blue “Continue” button. Don’t worry — you won’t begin recording yet.
You’ll see a dialog box pop up on the right where you can choose where you want to broadcast (on your Page or on your personal profile), write a description, share your screen, and title and tag your video. Under the “Interactive” tab, you can also run a poll while you do your Live video. Once you click “Go Live” your Live video will begin.
On your smartphone, open up the Facebook app. Go to your Page and click on “Publish” as if you were going to write a new post, then select the “Live Video” option. Before you enter any information, go ahead and check the privacy settings. Under the description, you’ll see a choice to broadcast to the public, just your friends, or only yourself. If you’re testing out Facebook Live for the first time, we suggest using “only me” to ensure your live stream doesn’t show up on your News Feed.
Before you go live, write a compelling title that will show up alongside your live video. Then use the two arrows in the upper right corner to determine if you want to change the camera view to the selfie view or vice versa. Lastly, decide if you’ll hold your phone vertically or rotate it sideways to landscape. As you’d do on your desktop, press the blue “Go Live” to start broadcasting.
When you do go Live, keep your viewers engaged by asking questions and encouraging them to respond in the comments. Every few minutes, re-introduce yourself and explain the purpose of the video in case new viewers join. For inspiration, check out some of the best Facebook Lives we’ve ever seen.
When you’re ready to stop recording, click “Finish” to end the broadcast. The video will automatically stay on your Page like any other video post. You’ll also be given the option to save the video to your camera roll so you have a copy for safekeeping.
Facebook Instant Articles
Facebook Instant Articles are a feature that allows publishers to post text- and photo-based content in a format that loads on mobile without leaving the Facebook app. If you’ve ever been on your phone and clicked on an intriguing headline just to have the Facebook app completely freeze, you know how frustrating it can be to load mobile content.
That’s the main benefit of Facebook Instant Articles. They significantly decrease the time it takes to load content on mobile, while offering a seamless user experience. You know you’ve found an Instant Article if there’s a small gray thunderbolt below the title of the post.
When Instant Articles were first released, they were only available to a few select publishers. Now, any publisher can use them if they sign up at https://instantarticles.fb.com/. Facebook will walk you through submitting your first sample article and requesting approval from the Instant Articles team. Once you’re approved, you’ll be able to auto-publish in the new format.
While Instant Articles are definitely not for every business, they have helped some larger publishers monetize from native advertising. Because users are 20% more likely to click on Instant Articles and 70% less likely to abandon then due to poor user experience, publishers have a greater opportunity to earn revenues from native ads. However, the format has received backlash because the publishers don’t own the analytics.
Facebook Virtual Reality
Last but certainly not least, there’s virtual reality for Facebook. At least for the moment, Facebook’s main virtual reality offering is 360-degree video. Facebook 360 allows publishers to tell immersive stories that share places and experiences with their fans.
The 360-degree video experience works best on mobile, as viewers are able to tilt and turn their phone to reveal video content all around them. On a desktop, users can click and drag. The format is also compatible with VR headsets like Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR.