Facebook Marketing for Brands: What You Need to Know in 2018

February 13, 2018

With 79% of online Americans using Facebook, no digital marketing strategy is going to be successful without using the social media giant to reach target audiences. Facebook has always been a trailblazer in the digital space, and 2018 is shaping up to be another innovative year.

From how we make purchases to how we communicate, Facebook is a powerful tool for brands — if brands keep current with how to best use the platform. Learn how to leverage Facebook to sell your products and communicate with customers.

Get to know Facebook

Facebook was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and originally created for university students. By September 2006, it expanded registration so anyone could join, opening up communication avenues for people and brands alike.

As of September 2017, Facebook had on average 1.37 billion daily active users and 2.07 billion monthly active users, according to the company information page.

Facebook is huge, and it has an assortment of carefully curated tools for brands to use in their social media marketing. These tools provide multiple ways for businesses to interact with their target audiences, and the quantity and sophistication of these tools are growing each year.

Who’s using Facebook?

There was a time when your target audience might not have been active on Facebook, but social media has become such a major cornerstone of communication that today, they most definitely are.

Take a look at the numbers provided by Pew Research Center on U.S. membership demographics:

  • 68% of U.S. adults use Facebook; that includes 67% of U.S. men and 69% of U.S. women
  • Adoption is higher among younger U.S. age groups:
    • 88% of 18-29 year-olds
    • 79% of 30-49 year-olds
    • 61% of 50-64 year-olds
    • 36% of 65+ year-olds
  • 77% of college graduates are Facebook users
  • 76% of people who earn $75,000+ are Facebook users

With numbers like these, you can feel confident in assuming that your potential buyers are Facebook users. How you engage with them is a key factor in whether they become customers. Audience engagement on Facebook has changed a lot, but keeping on top of those changes can generate more leads, more sales and more dedicated customers.

Let’s dig into some Facebook do’s and don’ts for 2018:

Facebook do’s for 2018

Do…

Make your brand page a go-to resource

Don’t just talk about your company. Become a hub of interesting, entertaining information. Your audience wants education and thrills. How can you leverage your specialties and expertise to generate valuable content that people will want to consume? You know your industry. Share your knowledge with your audience.

Use video for content and advertisement creation

Video is becoming so popular that Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s VP of European, Middle Eastern, and African operations, predicted that Facebook will be all video in a few years.

TechCrunch reported that people watch an average of 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day. And that number is projected to grow.

Ignoring video would be a huge disservice to your audience. You can leverage Facebook in a number of ways for video production:

  • Go live with Facebook Live
  • Create and post short educational videos with captions
  • Share other brands’ videos that would be of interest to your audience (not direct competitors, of course)

Incorporate influencers in your marketing strategy

An influencer is an individual in an audience who literally has influence over that audience’s spending habits. A study by Linqia found that of the 86% of marketers who used influencer marketing in 2016, 94% found it effective.

Make a list of the people in your target audience who hold sway over everyone else. Who is using your products and services and persuading others to do the same? Read more about the five best tools to find influencers.

Earlier this year, Facebook rolled out new controls and capabilities to give companies the ability to amplify selected influencers’ posts. Your company can now quickly collaborate with influencers over Facebook and boost those influencers’ published posts as part of their own advertising for a specific product or service.

Prepare for virtual reality

Facebook is preparing to launch a virtual reality (VR) feature called Spaces in 2018, and Zuckerberg has already introduced the VR headset Oculus to the world.

VR and its 3-D, computer-generated environments, is still in its early stages and hasn’t become the norm just yet, but you should still be planning how to use VR as part of your future marketing strategy. You can use VR for powerful storytelling experiences and for taking people through tours of new sites and spaces.

Be responsive to customers

Facebook is a great platform for talking with customers. Don’t ignore the messages people send you on Facebook. Respond to them in a timely manner, whether they’re casual comments or questions. Some companies use Facebook messaging as their sole customer service platform because of the convenience and sheer number of messages they receive from customers. More people are turning to social media to connect with brands on a personal level and for support.

The “Very responsive to messages” badge on a Facebook page tells people that if they send a message, they can expect to hear back quickly. If you want to use Facebook for your customer service platform, be responsive enough to the point that you earn this badge.

Facebook don’ts for 2018

Don’t…

Forget to budget for paid reach and engagement

Over the last few years, the organic reach for Facebook pages has plummeted, and it may decrease even more. Facebook’s new Explore Feed could further limit your ability to reach your intended audience. The Explore Feed on Facebook also lets users discover content created by more than just the pages and people they follow.

With organic reach decreasing year after year, the incentive for advertising on Facebook is greater than ever. Make sure you dedicate part of your marketing budget to paid advertising.

Be boring

There are so many models online for creative messaging and content creation that there is no excuse to share mundane content on Facebook. Blogs, images and videos should elicit the kinds of emotions you want your audience to feel, such as excitement, hope and alarm.

Look for inside jokes that others in your industry will appreciate and use gifs to illustrate points. Even the more serious or technical content you share can still be compelling when you frame it from the customer’s point of view.

Rely on Facebook alone

Facebook is huge, yes, but it’s an omnichannel world. Your company must have a presence across all channels where your customers spend time. Narrowing your strategy to just one social media platform will limit your reach and decrease your chances of selling to the people who matter.

Prepare for change

This is not an exhaustive list of what’s on the horizon for brands using Facebook, and the best approaches to social media marketing are changing all the time. Video and VR are taking over the digital landscape. But following these do’s and don’ts will be a great start. Stay tuned for even more Facebook disruptions in the future.

Ready to learn more social media marketing strategies? Come to Digital Summit. These digital marketing conferences bring together luminaries, thought leaders and marketers from all over the industry. Register for Digital Summit event near you and hear firsthand just how to leverage Facebook and other social media platforms for massive revenue growth for your brand.