Facebook Marketing

By on July 10, 2015

Standing Out Among One Billion-Odd Users

Since it’s the world’s largest social network with one billion active accounts, Facebook is also a popular choice for social network marketing. The Company Facebook Account is a standard in almost any industry, and users are accustomed to seeing ads on both the sidebar and in their news feed. From an industry standpoint, a study by Tealium published in April identified Facebook’s Conversions, and the Custom Audiences feature, as the 7th and 8th ranking solutions for digital marketing worldwide, respectively. While we’re looking at the stats, Expanded Ramblings identified the total number of Facebook advertisers at 2 million as of February 2015.

This means marketing competition on Facebook is stiff. It’s not quite as stiff as on Google, the heavyweight in the digital marketing arena, but the level of competition on Facebook requires any company with marketing acumen to stay on top of current developments in order to be seen the way you want to be seen.

The Complete Package

Increasingly, good marketing does not simply come down to a numbers game. Quality content is the prime operator, the piece that plugs a page higher in Google’s algorithm puzzle for a better spot in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). This applies to Facebook, too. According to Quicksprout, posts with more than fifteen hundred words get 22.6% more likes on Facebook. This goes against the typical assertion that internet users have incredibly short attention spans. Why do posts with more words get more likes? Because the reader can tell the writer is truly invested in the content.

This goes hand-in-hand with what writers like Philip Piletic are saying about communicating the right message through intelligent content marketing, a content strategy in which “The content your company adds to its website and social media platforms should focus on building a connection with readers and their loyalty.”

While the typical Facebook ad markets a brand in a typical way, posting status updates with links to informative content housed on your blog (or elsewhere) achieves a different type of marketing. It bows to the “content is king” maxim we’re all hearing again and again, and by doing so it shows readers you care about their desire to learn new things. In turn, they are more willing to trust your brand, because you trust their intelligence.

Telling a Story

By upping the amount of content you post you’re telling a story about who your brand is. There are more ways to do this. Last year Facebook rolled out video ads, and now video autoplay cues up the video and rolls it as you’re scrolling down the page. Here again a company could be tempted to go about this the traditional way by simply posting a commercial — it’s a risk to roll out video content that doesn’t directly advertise the brand to the consumer. But this is social media, a place where people go to talk to each other and hear stories that are part of a continuum—and risks can pay off.

In a case that illustrates this, 1-800-Flowers.com was a launch partner for Facebook’s Sponsored Stories, a campaign they used to generate engagement from their fans’ friends. They ran the Sponsored Stories campaign alongside a Facebook Credits (Facebook’s virtual currency) campaign, and offered consumers fifteen percent off purchases from their website. Company President Chris McCann said the Sponsored Stories campaign helped generate a whole new level of engagement on their Facebook page, and the Stories reached two times the amount of people their ads reached. It also doubled their page fans to over 120,000.

The takeaway here is a diversified campaign, in which the brand is socialized and promoted. Ad campaigns and promotional/discount campaigns alongside Shared Stories allow a brand to breathe, putting a human face next to opportunities for the consumer to purchase products.

Instant Articles

Users can now access news stories from major publishers directly on the network, as opposed to clicking a link. Facebook’s new Instant Articles feature muddies the waters a bit, adding to the glut of content and diluting brand recognition. This is because brands aren’t a part of Instant Articles unless they go through a publisher like Buzzfeed, in a deal where Facebook is allowing Buzzfeed to upload Sponsored Stories in the Instant Article format.

This adds another level of competition for marketers in terms of content, but the good news is videos on Facebook have now eclipsed Youtube videos in terms of shares. A study by Socialbakers illustrates the rise of Facebook videos and also points out that Facebook prioritizes video content in the news feed.

This is good news primarily for users and for marketers who are savvy at telling compelling stories in their video content. Users will now see the most popular videos and news stories rise to the top of the feed. This will weed out marketers who aren’t interested in cultivating relationships with their audience through videos. It’s a tricky game, but the dividends will be huge for those who can empathize with their audience and realize the value of relationships by producing content that educates and/or entertains.

The Takeaway

As the competition on Facebook gets fiercer the stakes get higher. Better content equals more likes equals good marketing. Marketing on Facebook is now the equivalent of standing in front of a huge crowd with a bullhorn in your hand. In order to be heard, and followed, you’ve got to think carefully about what you’re going to say, what it has to do with the crowd, and how it ties back in to you.

About Daniel Matthews

Daniel Matthews is a Freelance Writer in Boise, ID. Daniel has written for Social Media Today, and he's also a contributing member of Smart Data Collective. You can find him on Twitter @danielmatthews0.
  • Fran

    This is one of the smartest guides to Facebook success I’ve encountered! Daniel clearly outlines excellent strategies for tackling the mysteries of marketing on Facebook.

  • Daniel Matthews

    Thanks Fran, I appreciate it!

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