Using Facebook as a Marketing Tool

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There are many different ways a business can acquire new customers online.  Social media is becoming an increasingly popular option for doing so.  Facebook is the largest social media company in the world.  Using Facebook as a marketing tool makes a lot of sense for your business.


The first thing that a new business will want to do is set up a Facebook Fan Page.  This becomes the gateway for your business on the social network.  The goal is to get as many followers as possible that are genuinely interested in your brand.  This can be utilized sort of like an email or SMS list to continue to keep your brand at the top of mind and generate a higher customer value over time.

Note that you should concentrate on getting legitimate followers.  There are some services that will sell tons of fake followers on Facebook as a way of demonstrating social proof.  The problem is that doing so can cause problems down the line if you want to use paid advertising to reach your legitimate fan base.  The last thing you want to do is to pay for ads to reach an audience run by a fake computer driven bot.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of your Facebook Fan Page, you will want to post relatively frequently.  Three to four posts per day is a good target to shoot for.  One of the reasons why is that Facebook will not show all posts that you make on your page.  Only a small percentage will make it through to a follower’s timeline.  By having a higher post rate you maximize the chances of your message getting through.  Note that posting at an even greater frequency might be interpreted by Facebook as spam.  The quality of your content is also likely to be diluted if you post too often.

One of the key things that makes Facebook marketing so compelling is the ability to drive viral content.  This is content that is so compelling that users prospectively share the information with their friends and family.  Then they share it with their friend and family, and so on.  The result is that the reach of a post can be expanded exponentially.  If you are using paid advertising, this technique can be used to dramatically decrease your cost per impression.

One great way of getting viral traffic is to run contests.  There are several types of contests that you can use.  You can deliver some reward such as a product discount for people who like, share, or comment on a post.  You can also have contests that award a prize for the best pieces of online content that feature your product.  The key is to give away some compelling benefit that will induce people to interact with your brand and get their friends on board supporting them.

Ultimately, you will probably have to do more on Facebook than just posting updates on your business.  Facebook over the last several years has been displaying fewer and fewer organic posts in the News Feed.  There have been a number of factors contributing to this.  One is that Facebook wants to get people to pay for News Feed ads.  The second is that there are so many different businesses competing for the same space on users’ timelines.  There are several ways of confronting this problem.


The first thing to do to expand the effectiveness of your Facebook marketing beyond the organic reach is to aggressively collect emails on your Fan Page.  Offer an incentive like a valuable free report or product discount in exchange for subscribing to the mailing list.  Once on the list, you are not reliant on Facebook to get the message out to these individuals.  You can just email them over and over again.  Just try to keep the frequency down so that you do not have them unsubscribe from the list because they view your message as product spam.

Another important way of expanding your Facebook reach is to use paid ads.  These can be used to expand the reach to those who are already your Facebook fans.  More importantly, they can also be used to bring new customers to your page.  In fact, to obtain a critical mass of likes and interactions to your page, this will almost always be necessary.

Facebook ads have become one of the most popular pay per click (PPC) vehicles on the internet.  One of the reasons why is that you can reach a massive audience at the click of a button.  Unlike traditional media buys on television, radio, or billboards, you can better target your ads to the consumer group most likely to purchase your products.  You can filter the reach of your ads to reach people of a certain age, sex, and gender within a certain location.

You can also filter by interests.  This feature is particularly powerful for getting the right target market.  For example, if you are selling power tools then you can literally target only people who have “liked” various power tool brands or home improvement sites.  You can even filter by people who have a history of purchasing online or those who are in certain professions.  This ability to target makes spending on Facebook ads one of the most profitable investments your business can make.

Using Facebook as a marketing tool makes a lot of sense if you are trying to expand your sales. If you are not on social media, then chances are you are missing out on a lot of potential new customers.

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