Best Practices for Facebook Marketing

Facebook is an essential tool for promoting your brand on social media, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating to work with. Many marketers, bloggers, and small business owners face pressure to perform and drive traffic through this network, despite a constantly-shrinking reach and increased competition.

At last count, the average Facebook reach for brand pages fell between six to 16%, meaning a brand page with 50,000 likes might struggle to engage with more than 3,000 fans. Furthermore, recent algorithm changes meant to promote in-depth discussions have left many page managers wondering about the future. Will their reach continue to decline? 

To combat this uncertainty, some pages are turning to promoted posts/ads. For a small fee, brands are guaranteed to reach certain audiences and get in front of a specific number of people. If you’re considering moving some of your ad spend to paid Facebook marketing, follow these steps to engage with customers and maximize your efficiency.

Take Advantage of Specific Audience Targeting

Photo via facebook.com

Facebook promoted posts follow a similar process as Google Adwords targeting. You can narrow your demographics by age, location, gender, and a variety of other lifestyle factors. There’s no need to blow your budget by targeting everyone within a 20-mile radius or every woman on Facebook who is older than 18.

Consider creating multiple target audiences based on interests, page likes, and activities. You can even create a whole campaign targeting people who engage with your competitors but not you. Your marketing dollars are precious and you shouldn’t waste them on generic ad targeting.

Create Separate Campaigns for New and Existing Fans

Along with specific target audiences, make sure you separate audiences between people who are already engaged with your brand and those who aren’t. People who already follow you take less effort to convert and already know what you have to offer. These posts should have a higher ROI and better engagement. Brands share promoted posts with existing fans when they want to expand their reach beyond six percent.

Meanwhile, people who don’t follow your brand need to understand why they should. These campaigns have a lower ROI but serve as top-funnel tactics to increase awareness and grow brand engagement.

Both audiences are important in Facebook marketing, but need to be kept separate for better results.

Photo via fishpond.com

Promote Only Your Best (Or Most Important) Content

If a post flopped when shared organically, why do you think it would be a hit when shared with more people? Some marketers are convinced that their content could be a hit if only enough people see it. While you’re welcome to test this theory, most social media experts recommend choosing your best posts for promotion.

Not only does this continue to snowball the success of your content, it also isolates a variable in your ad strategy. You already know the content is a hit, so if the promoted posts don’t work, then you can look at other factors to increase their chances of success.

Frequently Update Your Promoted Posts  

Try to update your promoted posts every few days to change up what people see.   Many businesses share one Facebook promoted post and never change it. They only share one post during their entire campaign and continue trying to grow their engagement over time.

Not only is this a quick way to annoy users who keep seeing the same content, it also makes it hard for your social team to understand what content worked and why. You will struggle to see which days perform well and which types of content beat out others.

Test Ads Against Each Other

There’s an additional benefit to updating your posts often: you can test ads against each other. Create two campaigns that reach the same audiences at the same time to see which ones have higher sales and engagement rates. Then keep the winning ad and share a new one to compete against it. This way you are always putting your best ad forward and pushing to do better.

Illustration via facebook.com

Balance Ad Frequency to Prevent Burnout

One of the key metrics you will notice in Facebook’s promoted post interface is ad frequency. This is the number of times a user sees your ad on average. This number requires a delicate balance between staying on top of your user’s mind and annoying them with the same ad.

If your ad frequency is higher than one, it means people typically see your ad more than once. If they skipped it the first time, they might remember it or click on it a second time. However, if your frequency is too high, then people are seeing your ad multiple times and likely not clicking on it. This is a waste of money for you and quite possibly a negative move by annoying customers.  

Base Your Optimization Setting Against Your Goals

Screenshot via adespresso.com

Other ways Facebook promoted posts are similar to Google Adwords campaigns are the optimization settings and bid options. If you bid too low, then your ads won’t be seen. However, if you bid too high then you will waste money. To strike a delicate balance and help users, the social network has optimization settings based on different targets:

  • CPM – Cost per Impression (ideal for targeting awareness and eyeballs)
  • CPC – Cost per Click (ideal for driving traffic)
  • CPA – Cost per Acquisition (ideal for tracking conversions)

Make sure your paid Facebook marketing campaign is based off of these bidding goals. You don’t want to pay for thousands of impressions, only to generate a few clicks and zero sales, unless your goal is simply to share your message with people. These settings will help you balance your efficiency and create targeted goals.

Build A Promotional Strategy Off of Your Test Posts

While the first few posts can be used to get your footing on Facebook and understand what kind of engagement you can expect, your promotion strategy needs to be based off of data, not gut feelings. Challenge yourself to reach new goals with your promoted posts, whether you want to increase engagement, improve efficiency, or simply generate more sales.

Paid Facebook marketing is a great way to build your audience and increase engagement. When done right, it will support your organic efforts and help your unpaid reach.  To learn more about how Facebook can help drive your marketing objectives, please contact us for a confidential discussion.