Over the past few years, Facebook has become one of the valuable and important marketing tools on the Internet.
As the largest social networking site in the world, there are dozens of ways that Facebook can help you market your business, from its highly targeted advertising to the valuable SEO link building that comes from sharing your content.
Of all the ways to use Facebook for marketing, these are without a doubt the top seven.
The Facebook Fan Page
The most elemental way to market your business on Facebook is to have your own fan page. This page allows your business to identify itself, not just as a listing of its services, but as a content sharer that is able to establish a sense of character and personality for your business. The Facebook fan page can be used for virtually any marketing objective, from improving fan engagement with your content to driving visitors to your site.
Like the Facebook fan page, Facebook ads can be used to help you further several diverse marketing objectives. For instance, you can use it to drive traffic to a landing page, increase the number of likes on your fan page, and just about anything in-between.
Facebook advertising is an especially potent way to market your business because of Facebook’s powerful demographic targeting. Their constantly improved advertising platform allows you to target users by their age, location, interests, and even recent behavior. You can set detailed ad budgets that help you keep a close eye on your ROI, and Facebook contains everything you need to keep track of your progress with ad performance tools.
Social Media Contests
Contests and other types of social media promotions has become an age old tactic for increasing your fan base and building brand awareness. Due to several recent revisions to the Facebook contest rules, it’s much easier for brands to launch a contest without having to worry about working with third party applications or too much oversight from Facebook. If you’re new to the world of social media promotion, there are several free contest templates available online. The two most noteworthy are ShortStack and Pagemodo.
Open Graph is a little known Facebook feature that allows businesses to apply a label to the specific actions of their fans. Businesses who connect to their readers with a third party app can post on that user’s Facebook wall whenever they perform an action through the app. Whenever a site asks someone to sign into Facebook, it’s usually to connect them to Open Graph. For instance, when you log into Spotify with your Facebook account, Spotify can post information about the songs you’re listening to in your news feed. This allows businesses a way to deliver their branded message directly into the newsfeed for all that user’s friends.
Another little known Facebook feature, Facebook Exchange is a means for advertisers to combine targeted advertisements with real time bidding. In Exchange, advertisers target a specific audience on the basis of their Internet history. If someone visits a product page but doesn’t follow through on that visit with a purchase, the retailer can run an ad on the previously visited product through Exchange. These re-targeted ads allow businesses to generate leads and retain customers simultaneously.
It would be remiss to ignore the SEO ramifications of having an active Facebook profile. Facebook is the largest social networking site on the Internet, and that’s a big deal. Search engines like Google use sites like Facebook to help figure out where content should rank in a SERP, and being active on Facebook is one of the easiest ways to capitalize on that organic traffic. Due to its size and ubiquitous nature, virtually any long term marketing effort on the Internet almost necessarily requires Facebook in order to make your business visible online.
Whether you’re talking about offering a coupon or an eBook, providing gated content on Facebook is a great way to create engagement with your brand while building your fan base. It’s also a great way to create incentives for customer conversion, and it requires little work to perform. If you don’t know how to create a gated page, there are gated content creators that can help with every step of the process, like the Facebook Coupon App. Several of these automated gateways even allow you to post on a user’s wall after they participate to spread the news.
There Are More
With a little bit of elbow grease, just about anyone can capitalize on nearly all seven of these ways to market your business on Facebook. If you’re looking for instant gratification, you can see immediate results with Facebook advertising. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a long term investment, Facebook has at least half a dozen different ways for you to build your brand. There’s really something for everyone at Facebook!