Potential customers are already looking for businesses like yours on Facebook. A smart Facebook marketing strategy is the only way to connect with them.
Here’s a status update for you: Facebook marketing is still a necessity in 2024.
With a staggering 2.93 billion daily active users, Facebook still stands tall (on a foundation of all those Minions memes your uncle posted) as the world’s most dominant social media platform.
For 54.9% of Facebook users, the platform serves as their primary hub for researching brands. In fact, a remarkable 66% of all Facebook users routinely explore local business Pages at least once each week.
So if you’ve got a business brewing, it’s time to take the Facebook plunge. And we’re here to dive in with you, swimming (okay, yes, we’re sticking with the metaphor) through the process to start your Facebook marketing journey with a splash.
What is Facebook Marketing?
Facebook marketing is the strategic promotion of a business or brand using the Facebook platform.
Facebook marketing can enhance brand recognition, expand your online audience, capture potential leads, and boost sales of products or services.
Facebook marketing tactics for business can include:
- Organic text, photo, or video content
- Paid, or “boosted,” text, photo, or video content
- Facebook Stories and Reels
- Facebook ads
- Facebook Groups
- Contests and giveaways
- Facebook Messenger chatbots or auto-responders
- Influencer marketing campaigns
- Facebook Shops
- Facebook Live video streams
How to set up Facebook for business
There are plenty of advanced techniques and paid services you can incorporate into your Facebook business strategy, but before you get there, you need to have a Facebook Page for your brand.
Then, if you really want to take things to the next level from there, you can get your account verified and set up your Meta ad account… but let’s take this one step at a time.
Set up a Facebook Page for your business
1. Make sure you have a personal Facebook profile before you begin. Then, click on the Pages icon (flag) on the left-hand side of the site and click Create New Page
2. Add your Page name and select the appropriate business category
3. Fill in your business bio information and click Create.
4. From here, you can fill in more details like contact and location; add profile and cover images; and edit the action button.
5. Invite your friends to follow your page, and click Next and then Done to publish your Page for all the world to see.
Find a more detailed breakdown of the Facebook Business Page creation process here.
Verify your Facebook Page for Business
This is totally optional, but having a blue “verified badge” on your Facebook Business Page may be beneficial for your marketing strategy. Having a verified badge indicates that Facebook has confirmed that, yep, this page is the official, authentic Page representing your brand.
Seeing a verified badge can put customers and fans at ease; it exudes trust and authority (and helps stop imitators and scammers in their tracks)..
Before you apply for verification, make sure your Facebook Page meets all the requirements for a badge. Your Page must be…
- Authentic: Represent a real business.
- Unique: Make sure your business only has one Page operating because only one Business Page per brand may be verified (with the exception of language-specific versions).
- Complete: Fill out your About section and upload a Page photo. (Hot tip: You also should have at least one post on your Facebook Business Page before you apply for verification.)
- Notable: This one’s pretty subjective and tough to fulfill, but Meta basically needs to deem you… relevant! Is your business well-known? Does your brand have an existing reputation? If you’re a start-up with no other online presence or a long-running business that’s operated under the radar, you might have trouble convincing Meta that you need a verification badge.
All set? Just fill out this Verify Your Page form and then sit around with your fingers crossed, hoping the Meta overlords approve your request.
Start an ad account
While you can absolutely build a thriving Facebook presence with organic content alone, if you’re planning on spending a few bucks to boost posts or activate campaigns, you’ll need an ad account for your Facebook Page, too. Here’s how to set that up.
1. Go to Business Settings
2. Choose Accounts from the left-hand menu. Click Ad Accounts.
3. Click the Add dropdown menu (it’s blue), and pick “Create a new ad account.”
4. Follow the prompts from there!
You’ve also got the option to add an existing ad account or request access to an ad account.
How to create a Facebook marketing strategy in 7 easy steps
1. Define your audience
Before you do anything, you must first define who your ideal potential customer is and what they want on Facebook. Then, create a marketing and content strategy around that.
Every article about social media marketing says this.
…Because it’s true.
At minimum, you need to define your target audience by answering the following:
- What age range do they fall in?
- Where do they live?
- What types of jobs or job responsibilities do they have? (Most relevant for B2B brands.)
- What problem do they have with [your industry/product]? (And how are you the solution?)
- How and when do they use Facebook? (At work, home, doom scrolling before bed?)
Not sure where to start? If you already have followers on your Facebook Page, check out Audience Insights inside Meta Business Suite to see the demographics of your existing audience.
Does your data line up with the customers you want to attract? Perfect, keep up the good work. Not so much? Adjust your content strategy accordingly and watch your Insights to see what works for shifting your audience to the one you want.
This data is also valuable for ad targeting if you want to explore Facebook advertising.
2. Define your goals
Why do you want followers? What do you want them to do? For most companies, the answer is, “Buy something.”
But it’s not always about money. Other common goals for a Facebook Page are to:
- Build brand awareness
- Improve customer service
- Maintain a consistent brand image across social media
- Bring in traffic to a physical location
Your Facebook marketing goals will depend on your overall marketing strategy.
3. Plan your content strategy
No need to overcomplicate this. Your content strategy is:
- What you’ll post
- When you’ll post it
What to post
Will you share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your process? Will you post exclusive discounts? Will you stick to business or include some fun and games?
Let your imagination run wild with ideas— Ha! Just kidding. You’re gonna post what your audience wants, right? From all that research you did in step 1, right?
Creativity is encouraged, though. Blend what you know about your target audience with what you think will perform well. (Psst—we’ve researched all the best social media trends, so you don’t have to.)
Think of your Facebook content strategy like buckets. Each bucket is a topic.
- Industry news
- Company news
- Tuesday Tips, where you share a short tutorial for your software
- New products and promotions
You get the idea. And you know what makes everything, including creativity, more fun? Rules!
A few classic social media content strategy rules to consider:
- The rule of thirds: One-third of your content is your ideas/stories, one-third is direct interaction with your audience, and the last third is promotional content.
- The 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should inform, entertain, and educate, and the remaining 20% can be promotional.
When to post it
Once you’ve decided what to post, deciding when to post it is the last puzzle piece.
As mentioned earlier, Facebook Audience Insights can help here, although our research has found the best time to post on Facebook is between 8 a.m. and noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Though, of course, that’s a massive generalization. Like everything else in your strategy, experiment! Try different times and see when you get the most engagement.
4. Optimize your Page
Whether you’ve just set up your Facebook business Page or have had one for a while, make sure you have:
- A profile photo—your logo works great—and a cover photo.
- A call to action button, such as Book Now.
- Contact information, including URL, phone number, and email address.
- A detailed About section.
- A pinned post with your latest promotion, offer, or FAQ.
- A custom Page URL.
- An accurate business category. (Ours is “Internet company.”)
If you have a physical business location, also ensure you’ve added a street address.
If you’re an ecommerce business, use Commerce Manager to display your products in the new Facebook Shop tab. Not sure how? Here’s how to set up a Facebook Shop.
6. Install Meta Pixel (formerly Facebook Pixel)
Meta Pixel is a small piece of code installed on your website to allow tracking, testing, targeting, and analytics for Facebook and Instagram ads. You only have to set it up once per website. (And wait, you’ve already linked your Instagram account to your Facebook page, right?)
To install Meta Pixel:
1. Log in to Facebook Events Manager. In the left menu, click Connect data sources.
2. Choose Web as the data source and click Connect.
3. Name it and enter your website URL. Depending what your website runs on, there may be a one-click integration available. If not, follow the prompts to install the code manually.
4. Select Conversions API and Meta Pixel or Meta Pixel Only as your setup option and follow the prompts.
If that’s not enough guidance, we’ve got a more robust set of instructions for installing Meta Pixel here.
7. Try Facebook advertising
Facebook ads can skyrocket traffic and sales, but launching a campaign can be overwhelming.
You’re also probably wondering how much Facebook ads cost.
So if you want to begin social media advertising, Facebook is the best place to start for most businesses. There’s a lot to learn, but our step-by-step guide to creating your first Facebook ad campaign makes it easier.
But… are you actually ready?
When to start using Facebook ads
The day after creating your shiny new business Page isn’t the best time to try out Facebook ads. But, letting someone else arbitrarily tell you when you’re ready isn’t the answer, either. (He he he.)
Yep, as with most marketing things, there isn’t one correct answer or KPI that can tell you when to start experimenting with ads.
We’d argue you should have these things first:
- A complete Page (don’t forget to add that profile pic!)
- At least 100 Page Likes (followers)
- Meta Pixel set up
- At least 20 Page posts (ideally more)
- Multiple creative assets for each ad
- An A/B testing strategy
You also should make sure advertising on Facebook aligns with your Facebook marketing goals. Are you interested in extending your reach? Are you digital-advertising curious? Do you want to find new customers? Do you want access to in-depth insights about those customers?
If the answer’s yes to any of these, you’re ready to dive in. But do you want to do this the easy way…. or the hard way?
The easy way: Boost a post
“Boosting” a post is Facebook lingo for taking a regular Page post and turning it into an ad.
Boosting is the gateway ad those senior content marketers warned you about. Side effects of success include conversions, audience growth, and a newfound appreciation for digital advertising.
When you should consider it: If you’re completely new to Facebook advertising and want to test the waters. Boosted posts are relatively cheap since you specify your budget upfront. (But remember: Cheap isn’t effective if the ad isn’t accurately targeted.)
When you should consider it: If you’re completely new to Facebook advertising and want to test the waters.
Boosted posts are relatively cheap since you specify your budget upfront. (But remember: Cheap isn’t effective if the ad isn’t accurately targeted.)
The advanced method: Create your first Facebook ad campaign
Ad groups, creative options, launch dates, awareness ads, conversion ads, multiple formats, copy options… A full Facebook ad campaign is a lot of work.
But we’re here to tell you: it’s worth it. The combination of organic and paid Facebook content is the secret sauce to achieving all your social media
When you should consider it: You want to build focused momentum for a product launch, event, or other promotion.
Paid campaigns can work with budgets of all sizes, but spend time honing your targeting skills first. Experimenting with boosted posts can help dial this in.
You know when you see an ad and think Wow, I’m the target market? Like when an ad for a Millennial-pink saucepan starring Carly Rae Jepsen drops in your Instagram feed? That’s how you want your ad’s viewers to feel: “This is for me.”
Consider hiring an agency or freelance consultant to help plan your first campaign. You’ll learn a lot and optimize your chances of success.
How much does it cost to market on Facebook?
To be clear, many aspects of Facebook marketing are free. You can create and post content all day long without spending a penny. All it might cost you to achieve successful reach and engagement is your time.
But there are absolutely ways to financially invest in your Facebook business marketing strategy, too, by paying to boost your content or creating an ad campaign. You set your own budget for this, so you could have a $5 ad campaign… or you could have a $50,000 ad campaign. It all depends on what type of ads you use and how far you want to reach. We get into all of the ad-price benchmarks here, but the TLDR is that your mileage may vary.
If you’re considering a collaboration with an influencer or creator, you might also want to budget for that too. But again, the amount you’d spend on that will vary wildly, depending on what you’re asking for, and who you’re working with.