When you think about Facebook, what’s the first thing that comes up in your mind?
To an ordinary user it’s just a platform, where people can connect with each other. People nowadays use it for all kinds of stuff, mostly for chatting, sharing and generally relaxing.
When Facebook first came to be, it wasn’t so full of life as we can see it today. Back in the day Myspace was dominating social media space with close to 76 million unique visitors per month. And after April 2008, Facebook started to become the reigning champion of social media channels we know today.
As time passed, Facebook got more and more features. For example, like button was probably one of the most revolutionary features that didn’t shape just Facebook but every social media channel out there. It was a simple gesture and yet, its impact was tremendous. And let’s not forget, that was only one feature in a long line that made Facebook awesome as it is today.
How can we use Facebook for marketing?
According to Statista there are 2.271 billion active users each month. If we’re trying to build a business, it would be foolish if we ignored what Facebook has to offer to us.
So, what is the first step at building a brand on Facebook?
We can’t use our personal profile for purposes such as building a brand, so what we need is a Facebook page.
Pages are basically “profiles for businesses”. When someone likes and follows your page, they will be able to see updates and new content that will be posted there.
If you haven’t created a page before, fret not, Facebook has streamlined the creation process so it guides you through every step to make it simple as much as possible.
Create a page
You can start by clicking on the Create button on the top of the screen and select Page. At the beginning of the process, Facebook gives you a choice between Business page or Community page.
Now, what’s the difference here?
Business page is intended for brand growth and sharing content that is related specifically to that brand. Meanwhile community pages are meant for growing communities that take interest in whatever your page is about.
I’ve created a community page for Busy on Internet. This page was created for discussions about blogging and marketing. Come check it out and drop a like, comment and share the page with others so our community of aspiring entrepreneurs can grow.
After you decide which type of page you want to create, you need to input all the necessary information.
When Facebook creates your page, add a profile and a cover photo to give it more soul. And don’t forget about description and a custom button at the top of the page.
Great work! You now have a page that is ready to accumulate a fan base and begin creating a thriving community.
But now you might ask yourself, how do I get others to follow my page?
Content is king
First of all, you need to start creating some content. It’s a good practice to plan out your posts in advance. And for other people to follow your page, your content needs to be good. You shouldn’t post content just for the sake of posting. You need to give other people a reason for them to stay.
So my advice is, create quality content that will draw attention and engagement. People engage in the comment sections all the time.
For example, you might have seen a funny meme with tons of people tagging their friends below it. That engagement is all natural, because people share a laugh with each other. And that’s the value they appreciate and consequently follow that page they found that content on. So when the next opportunity, to do it again, arises, they don’t miss it.
You will need to create a plan. A plan which involves creating content weeks or possibly months in advance. It will give you time later on for dealing with marketing shenanigans on other channels.
We need traffic
So after we’re done with content, next step involves getting the word out. Organic traffic on Facebook has become really inefficient, since there have been massive changes in Facebook algorithm throughout the years.
Facebook algorithm in its first stages was simply an algorithm that showed content in reverse chronological order, showing the newest posts first. But ever since there’s been so much content and different pages, profiles and groups posting all the time, Facebook had to make some significant changes to its algorithm.
Nowadays posts are sorted based on their engagement, or more accurately the engagement of the page they’re are coming from.
So if a thought of buying likes has ever crossed your mind, I’d advise against it, because it could hurt your page on the long run if not even getting it banned.
So rather than just letting all that quality content, we’ve worked so hard on go to waste, we have to consider getting paid traffic. If we want our brand new page to succeed, we have to turn to Facebook ads.
Ads are a functionality within Facebook, that gives you the option to advertise a creative of your choice. This creative is similar to an ordinary post. You can’t create an ad with just text, you need to add a visual like an image or a video.
The first thing you need to do to begin with ads is to create a campaign. Click on that Create button you did before when you were creating a page and instead of choosing Page, select Ad.
It will take you to Ads Manager. First you will have to select the objective for the campaign you’re going to create. Objectives from which you can choose fall into three main classes. Objective of your ad can be to boost awareness, consideration or conversion. Since we want to boost engagement on our page, we choose Engagement objective, which is in the Consideration category.
After we select engagement option, we will be able to see that space below extends and gives us more options to set up our campaign.
When we’re done with campaign settings, we need to create an ad set. In this step of the process, we set which page we wish to promote, what audience we want to target, set the placements of the ads and how big is our budget.
Targeting audience can be tricky here. We need to ask ourselves, what kind of person we’d want to show our ads to. Imagine an ideal customer. Where do they come from, how old are they and what do they like. This should help Facebook narrow it down to a certain type of people from which we’d expect some engagement. After that, let the Facebook take the wheel and let it optimize that targeting on its own.
You can save audiences you’ve targeted and reuse them when you’re creating other ads by simply selecting the name of saved audience in the Use a Saved Audience tab.
When setting ad placement, we will have 2 options. Either choose automatic placements or edit placements on your own. I’d recommend choosing automatic placements when first starting out with ads, since Facebook will optimize these placements so you get the most out of the budget you provide.
Pay to play
And for the final step in creating an ad set, we need to set our budget. We can set a daily budget or a lifetime budget. With daily budget, the amount we set will be spent each day, so be careful not to accidentally blow all your money away in one day. If you have a fixed budget for how much you’d like to spend overall, you should select lifetime budget.
Besides the money, you will need to choose the scheduling when your ads will be run. You can choose to run ads all the time until your budget is spent or set the dates between which your ads will be run.
And now for the final stage of our ad creation and initialization, we need to make the creative that will be shown when advertising.
We can set a name for each ad we create and with which page will our business be represented in ads.
Now for the main part of this section, let’s say a few words about visuals of our ad. As you will be able to see, we can choose between 3 types of content formats. We can choose between a single image, a video or a slideshow.
Single image format is pretty much self explanatory. There is a cool feature that Facebook provides, which are templates for videos. We can use these templates to create videos from images. So if I had limited amount of images at my disposal, I’d rather use these templates to create short videos than use single images.
Don’t get me wrong here, it’s important we explore all types of possible forms of ads and experiment which performs better.
According to Buffer, videos get twice as much engagement than other type of posts. So those templates can really make a difference here if we utilize them right.
And if we move onto the last section of ad creation, we need to add some text to our ad. It would be pretty dull if we posted only an image or a video, so adding some text doesn’t just make it more informative. It’s an important ad real estate that would be wasted if we left it empty.
When we’re done shaping our ad, we can preview it how it’s going to look on desktop and mobile news feed.
We’re not done just yet
We’ve covered how to create an ad from ground up, but there are still more options that Facebook can offer us.
We can see on your page if we go and scroll through it, that there are buttons such as Promote and Boost Post. These options will allow you to advertise either the entire page or just a single post.
You will be able to create a normal ad with just a few clicks, if you choose to promote the entire page.
But when we’re trying to boost a post, that isn’t the case. Boosting a post will show your post more often to the people who are already following your page. This exists, because people aren’t active on Facebook all the time, so there’s a good chance they’ll miss it.
So when we boost a post, we advertise it just like a normal ad, the main difference being that our targeted audience will be limited to the existing followers of our page.