It’s rare for a day to go by without me scrolling through my Facebook feed. And I’m not alone: According to DMR, 65% of Facebook users log on daily.
As marketers, we know how critical it is to have a business Facebook presence, but we also know that it’s becoming increasing challenging to stand out among our peers. With over 1 billion daily active Facebook users, marketers need to be smart in terms of how they grow their audience and business through Facebook.
It’s tricky, but it’s not impossible! Here are 10 smart Facebook marketing ideas to help you stand out in the crowded social sea.
1. Target an Insanely Specific Audience
Did you know that you can target French and English speaking women, between the ages of 31-56, who live in a 10-mile radius of Boston, MA, who are “fit moms” of grade-school kids? Don’t believe me? Check out my article on the 11 unbelievably specific Facebook audiences you can target.
The super-sophisticated level of ad targeting is one of the main reasons to be excited about Facebook marketing. Hopefully, you’ve dedicated time and resources to analyzing your customer base and forming buyer personas; now you can put those personas to use and go after the people that are most likely to be interested in your products or offerings.
Caution! If you go too specific this strategy can work against you so, keep an eye on the audience definition tool to ensure you’re not getting so granular with your persona targeting that nobody sees your stuff.
2. Run a Simple Contest to Up Engagement
Facebook contests are nothing new. You’ve likely been exposed to many, and have potentially even entered some (I know I have). But have you actually tried running one yourself?
Running a contest with a tempting incentive is one of the best ways to spur ad engagement on Facebook. What beer lover wouldn’t want a free trip to one of the best beer-fests in Boston (see ad below)?
The best thing about running a contest is that it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Follow Harpoon’s lead for instance, simply asking people to submit photos with your product in them, and then choosing a winner at random for a fun trip.
3. Create Short, Enticing Video Posts
So, you’ve tried marketing your company with videos on Facebook, but people just don’t seem to be interested? This is likely due to one of two reasons:
- Your videos are too long
- Or, they’re just not engaging enough
Facebook users are looking to be entertained. They’re spending their time on a social platform, likely to kill time or stalk their friends, so you need to divert their attention quickly, with entertaining content. What better way to do that then through video?
Other marketers are catching onto this trend. The amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion, bewteen April and November of 2015!
Companies like BuzzFeed have figured out the recipe to driving video engagement – keep it short and sweet, with a visually engaging thumbnail. I spent about 2 hours the other night watching these short video recipe posts on BuzzFeed Food’s Facebook page.
As a bonus for you, the marketer, short videos are easier to film and edit! Here are 15 tips for filming and editing marketing videos.
4. Use Eye Contact in Your Images to Direct Attention
People follow directional cues from other people. If everybody in the room looks up, you’re going to look up too. This is human nature.
“Human beings have a natural tendency to follow the gaze of others, and we have been coached since birth to follow arrows directing us to where we should be looking/going,” says Help Scout’s Gregory Ciotti.
Take advantage of this fact to focus viewers’ attention toward the most important part of your Facebook ad. For instance, if you have a strong call-to-action, you could show an image with a person looking at or pointing to that text.
Check out Moz’s Facebook post below – the image shows a clear journey of where to direct your eyes, starting with Rand’s gaze and then following the red arrows.
5. Post Images of Dogs Acting Like Humans or Babies Acting Like Adults
I’m aware that this tip sounds bizarre. But it works! Why? Because who doesn’t love dogs and babies?
Oh, dogs and babies aren’t related to your brand? Who cares? Make them related to your brand by giving them hilarious, brand-related captions. Bark Box happens to be in the pet industry, but they truly excel at this with adorable images of dogs with human-like captions.
When you’re doing Facebook marketing, it’s a good idea not to take yourself too seriously. Inserting some playfulness into your posts will grab busy, distractible people’s attention, and this is the perfect formula to do just that: Baby + headset and suit + adult-like caption, always makes for a good laugh.
6. Target the Leads You Already Have on Facebook
Did you know that you can upload a list of emails right into Facebook and then show your ads to that audience? Through Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature, you can target the leads you’ve captured from your newsletter signup or other lead gen efforts, or perhaps a group of your current customers that you’re trying to upsell.
In addition to focusing on insanely targeted audiences (see tip #1) you should also be crafting ads to the contacts you already have, but in an even more personalized way. For instance, let’s say you have a list of people who downloaded a guide titled “Introduction to Building Your Own Website.” You can upload that list of people and target them with a highly specific ad that refers to that guide and what the next steps are to take their website to the next level.
7. Clone Your Main Revenue-Generating Audience
We’ve discussed a few strategies for creating relevant audiences; once you’ve acquired enough data, you can clone your top-performing Facebook audience. Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature allows you to take an audience you already have and expand your reach by finding new leads that have similar attributes. You can pretty much clone your best customers. It’s that simple!
8. Humanize Your Brand with Fun Employee Photos
Facebook is all about people. The original intent of Facebook was to interact with friends, not advertise your business, but it’s easy for marketers to forget this. The problem is, pushing solely product-related messages is only going to take you so far. You need to show the people behind the brand to connect with your audience.
There are a lot of companies that do this well – take Unbounce. The Facebook post below shows how easy it is to show off your employees in a humorous and relatable way.
9. Only Pay to Promote Your Best Content
You’re likely reporting on a bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis to see which content is resonating with your audience in terms of page views, shares, comments, and other engagement metrics. With all of this knowledge at your fingertips, you should be using this data to decide where to focus your promotion budget. Put some money behind your best content to get it even more exposure.
It might seem like common sense, but it’s easier then you’d think to let rockstar content fade away and acquire dust in the corner. Stop doing this, and run Facebook ads to give a second life to your content superstar performers. Evergreen content will still resonate with a larger audience if it did well when it was originally published. (This is especially effective for content that isn’t ranking well in organic search.)
10. Use Emojis in Your Facebook Marketing
In May of 2015 WordStream’s beloved data-scientist Mark Irvine found that ads with emojis get far higher click-through-rates than ads without. Unfortunately, Google quickly caught on and emojis are no longer allowed in AdWords ad text.
According to AdWeek, 92% of online users use emojis, and frequent users feel emojis express their feelings more accurately than words. Emojis are kind of like dogs and babies, people just like them. Moral of the story, use emojis in your Facebook marketing posts to add personality and emotion to your text.
It’s just that easy. Before you know it Facebook might become your fastest-growing marketing channel!