I don’t think I need to explain to you how big social media has become.
The leading social networks are usually available in multiple languages and enable users to connect with friends or people across geographical, political, or economic borders.
Social networking sites are now estimated to have 3.6 billion users and these figures are still expected to grow as mobile device usage and mobile social networks increasingly gain traction in previously underserved markets.
Today the human population has grown to over 7.8 billion and as of January 2021, Facebook has more than 2.6 billion monthly active users.
In this blog, I’ll give you a short history of how it came about, where it’s at right now, what the context of the platform dictates, and how to come up with great content for it.
Before we begin, let’s take a look at a few key social media terms you should be familiar with.
Social Media Terms
Content is whatever you decide to post. It can be a Facebook status update, a photo on Instagram, a tweet on Twitter, a video on TikTok, and so on.
Content comes in many different forms and you will need to custom-tailor it to each platform. What’s even more important than content, though, is context.
An idol of mine Gary Vaynerchuck stated that “If content is king, then context is God.” What I think Gary meant by his statement was that the content of what you are saying is only a small but important piece of the story. However, the context in which it is delivered and received is far more important.
Let’s use an example like Twitter. An amazing joke might blow up on Twitter, but if you were to use that same joke in a 4,000-word blog post a very few amount of people will get to see it.
Who knows if that joke would have the same effect as it would for your blog post readers vs your Twitter post readers?
And, the opposite is also true. Packaging your entire blog post into one tweet is hardly possible, so try a good call to action with some relevant hashtags instead. And that brings us to hashtags.
By now, they’re a very common tool that people use to add meta information on almost all social media channels. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok all use hashtags to let you describe the topic of your content or mark it as part of current trends.
They make your content easy for users to discover and therefore more likely that they’ll share it.
Shares are the best free currency in the social media world.
You will hear terms such as impressions, click-through rates, and potential reach. But none of these tell you whether people are enjoying what you have to say.
When people engage and interact with your content, that’s great. But, when they share it, that is the time when you should celebrate.
A great social media tool to measure shares and the overall impact of content is BuzzSumo:
The more shares, the more people love your content. It’s the best form of engagement that people can have with it. This brings us to our next term, Engagement.
This is a very general term that just means that people interact with the content that you produce. It can be a like, a reaction, a comment, or a share. All of these are good, but the shares are where it’s at.
Now that we’ve covered some definitions, let’s take a look at some social media marketing tips.
Social Media Marketing Tips
The social media world changes faster than any other online space.
And to keep up with it isn’t an easy task.
To help you out here are a few trends you’ll want to keep in mind. Most likely, these trends will impact not just this year, but also the future years to come.
Here’s what they are.
Organic Reach has Gone Down
Once upon a time, in what seems like an eternity ago, a social media user could post engaging content and easily grow their social media following.
After a few months, they’d receive tons of friend requests, comments, shares, and “likes,” all because of their amazing content.
But today, that’s not so much the case.
You ever feel good about a post you made on Instagram or Facebook and you know in your heart that all of your friends and family are going to like and comment on that post. But sadly it seems as though no one saw it or it didn’t get as big as you thought it would?
Let me make this clear, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! Most social media platforms are intentionally making it increasingly difficult to build an organic following.
Here’s the reason why. As the ability for you to reach your audience organically goes down, something else goes up.
Did you guess it: Ad Spend?
Of course, Facebook is one of the primary culprits that decreases the ability for you to reach your audience organically. But the truth is that it’s the same for every social media platform. They make it more difficult for users to grow their accounts organically so that businesses spend more money on advertisements.
Keep in mind that Social media platforms are businesses. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every single other social media space want to make money.
They do that by connecting you with paying customers. Ideally, they do that well. But ultimately, they are each in it for the money. So you have to be careful and measure your efforts to see what works and what doesn’t.
Social is Becoming ‘Pay to Play
Fun Fact – One change that Facebook made in 2016 caused a 52% drop in organic reach per post in just a few months.
As organic reach becomes more difficult to achieve, to get ahead businesses have to pay to play. The more that social media algorithms prioritize advertisements, the more that businesses are willing to pay.
This is why social media ad spend is rising rapidly. Ad spend on Facebook in Q3 2020 grew 27.6% compared to Q3 2019. This signals that while budgets may have tightened due to the effects of Covid 19, a lot more was shifted to digital channels.
To be honest that’s not very surprising, really.
It makes sense when you find out that social media companies make a ton of their money from advertisements.
In other words, social media is only free for users because advertisers are paying loads of money to reach those users.
The user is the product. But to reach them, you have to pay.
Fortunately, if you choose the right social media platform for your business to invest money into, that won’t be too big of a problem.
Most social media sites still have very reasonable advertising costs, particularly if you have thought through your advertisements well.
After all, the better your ads, the less you’ll spend.
Tools Are Merging
The social media tools we use are also merging.
You may have noticed that you can log in to a SaaS product with your Google or Facebook account instead of creating brand new login credentials.
As more tools flood the Internet, all of it becomes overwhelming and even may feel like clutter for the users of those tools.
Fortunately, marketing tools all around the Internet are working to integrate seamlessly with the giants of advertising.
Let’s use MailChimp, for example.
MailChimp is an email marketing software that lets their users create Facebook Ads natively from their MailChimp accounts.
This allows users to target their email subscribers or create a lookalike audience from their current email subscribers.
This Merging of online tools is a great thing for your business. The more tools that are integrated with social media platforms and SaaS companies, the easier it would be to market to your target audience.
As the first article in our Social Media Guide, I think it is only fitting that we start with the social media giant “Facebook”.
Known as a market leader, Facebook was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts. The company currently also owns four of the biggest social media platforms, all with over 1 billion monthly active users each:
Facebook (core platform)
Mark Zuckerberg and his co-founders built a website back in 2003 formally known as “Facemash“. The site was created in Marks Boston’s dorm room and was only made accessible to Harvard students. Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours.
Quickly the team realized the site’s potential and expanded to few other colleges including a couple of Ivy Leagues. Soon after Harvard administration shut down the site and Zuckerberg faced expulsion and was charged with breaching security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy.
Although the charges were dropped, in January 2004 Zuckerberg coded a new website, known as “TheFacebook” which he stated that A “Facebook” is a student directory featuring photos and personal information.
In May 2006 Facebook opened to everyone at least 13 years old with a valid email address and it completely exploded. By late 2007, Facebook had 100,000 pages on which companies promoted themselves.
Now, it’s the biggest social media platform out there. It offers marketers the most data and the most targeted ads. You can be as specific as defining what books your customers read down to their favorite socks.
With Facebook Ads, you can target management executives in the Houston area between the ages of 45 and 54 who play golf regularly and regularly spend money on golf equipment (thanks to credit card data).
Facebook actually gives its creators a ton of freedom when it comes to content. You can incorporate images, videos, text, and music to find out what works for you.
One quick tip! Facebook doesn’t play well with others. This means that instead of just sharing your content on Facebook, having your content integrate into the platform as much as possible works better.
For example, instead of just posting a link to a YouTube video, you can upload the video to Facebook’s platform. You can also go live, share stories and even sell items on Facebook Marketplace.
Try to keep your user on the platform as long as possible. People trust Facebook, and they don’t want to leave the comfort of “their homes.”
Facebook Business Suite (Formally know as Facebook Business Manager)
One of the first things you need to know about if you want to get started advertising on Facebook is the Facebook Business Suite tool.
This tool can be compared to a management hub. It allows you to simply manage your pages, advertisements, inboxes, and people all for free.
To Get Started
Go to the landing page for the Facebook Business Suite.
Click “Create Account” in the top right-hand corner.
Enter your business name and click “Continue.”
Then, enter your name and your business email, then click “Finish.”
That’s it, getting it set up is that easy.
You’ll now see your Business Suite dashboard. I would suggest browsing around to get a feel for everything it has to offer.
If you are someone that is serious about advertising and marketing on Facebook, this tool is an absolute must to master. It will give you a single place to worry about your marketing performance rather than having to jump from tab to tab.
Facebook Advertising Options
In my opinion, what sets Facebook apart from other social sites is how specific you can be when targeting your ideal customer. You can choose to target people based on their demographic, device, age, interests, and a load of other characteristics.
As a marketer being as specific as possible to reach a targeted audience is an extremely valuable benefit. It’s nice to know that after taking a ton of time to develop a customer avatar that you can use most of those points when targeting your audience.
To Get Started
- The first choice you get when creating a Facebook advertising campaign is the goal of your campaign.
- Do you want to drive traffic to your website, drive conversions, promote your Facebook Page, get engagement on your post, or something else?
- Just select the best option to fit what you want to do.
- Then, you will have the option to choose your audience based on their location, age, gender, language, interests, behaviors, and connections.
- Finally, you’ll be able to select the devices you want to target and where you want your ads to show up.
Facebook will recommend using auto ad placement, but if you do not agree, you can easily decide where you want your ads to go and what device you want them to target.
Most social media platforms will automatically make these decisions for you based on their algorithm. But Facebook allows you to be the captain of your ship because they realize that you will likely do the best job of targeting your ideal clients.
After all, no one knows your clients as you do!
Now that you have a better understanding of how to market on Facebook, let’s quickly go over a few ways to dominate.
Did you know that when you create an ad on Facebook, you can also run that ad on Instagram by clicking a single button?
Best of all it takes you no extra work.
You just simply click the Instagram ad placement button and choose either “Feed,” “Stories,” or both.
I would suggest that if you are creating a highly visual ad and you have younger people in your target market, then you should use Instagram integration.
With no effort, you can expand your reach.
Exploring Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences
What happens when you find the perfect audience to target?
Then you start raking in traffic and leads like never before. Hoorah!!
But it doesn’t have to stop there. To find your perfect advertising audience takes quite some time, so it’s only natural that you would want to make the most of it.
Fortunately, when you find your perfect audience, you can leverage it.
Facebook allows you to create lookalike audiences.
These are audiences that will mimic the characteristics of one of your current audiences.
That means when you get an audience that is performing remarkably well, you can create a similar audience that should also perform well.
The pros in the advertising world love this feature because it streamlines the process of finding and expanding your target market.
This is a feature you don’t want to be left sitting on the backburner.
Using Facebook Live
It’s just a fact that people love Facebook live. They don’t quite love it like they love their families, but maybe the love for a cute family pet is pretty darn close.
For a long time, marketers were in denial of how powerful video marketing could be. This was until a live video came on to the scene.
There’s just something about live video that makes it more appealing.
It could be the transparency. It could be that it makes us feel more connected.
I bet it’s the chance that people will mess up.
Whatever the reasons, the fact is the same we are drawn to watching live videos.
People enjoy live videos far more than they do traditional videos and that is especially true on Facebook.
Users spend three times longer watching live videos than they do pre-recorded videos.
In other words, a live video might be well worth your marketing time and money on Facebook.
It quickly engages people, and they watch it for longer than alternative video content.
This is just the beginning, life will evolve, so take advantage now!