The idea of marketing on Facebook is almost as old as the platform itself. But due to the massive amounts of users (over 1 billion active monthly) and the quantity of time those users typically spend on the platform (60 minutes a day), Facebook marketing is still the most popular social media marketing tool today.
Much has changed since businesses first started marketing on Facebook, including the addition of paid advertising in 2007. Still, businesses can accomplish a great deal with an organic presence alone.
If you’re looking to make the most of your Facebook presence, continue reading for the most important things to know about Facebook marketing and 11 tips for maximizing your organic Facebook presence.
Key Terms Defined
Just like every other social media platform, Facebook has its own lingo around marketing and ads. We’ve summarized the key Facebook marketing terms.
- Facebook Page: This is a business’ public presence, much like a user’s personal profile. Users can “like” and/or “follow” your Page to opt-in to seeing your content in their News Feed.
- Organic Reach: This describes the number of users’ News Feeds your content was displayed in. Unlike paid reach, your organic reach will never cost you anything.
A note: You might have noticed that your organic reach has dropped recently, and you’re not alone. For a few years now, third-party companies have been reporting on larger and larger drops in organic reach. Read how the new Facebook algorithm is affecting marketers & how you can adapt.
- Page Likes: They describe the number of people who have liked your business Page. This is different from post “likes”.
- Page Views: Refers to the number of people who visited your business Page.
- Reactions: These are the six different ways that users can respond to a post, including the classic “like.” Reactions also include “Love”, “Haha”, “Wow”, “Sad”, and “Angry.”
- Engagement: This metric measures the number of times a user took action on your post. Common forms of engagement include clicking a link, sharing, commenting, reacting, and more.
- Facebook algorithm: The name for the complex mathematical process that determines what Facebook posts are seen by who, and where they are placed in a user’s timeline. Facebook updates its algorithm every so often, so it’s best to follow the latest developments.
- Facebook Stories: Facebook Stories, similar to Instagram Stories, are full-screen vertical photo and video content. They appear at the top of the News Feed and disappear after 24 hours.
Now that you’re up to speed on the lingo, let’s dive in to our 11 tips on improving your organic Facebook presence.
How to Maximize Your Organic Presence: 11 Tips
1. Optimize Your Profile
Although Facebook makes it possible to create a business Page in a matter of minutes, it’s best to invest more time to create a Page that feels thoughtful, helpful, and interesting.
Your profile should communicate value, authenticity, and establish trust with users. In addition to your content, you can also demonstrate these characteristics in the following ways:
Carefully fill in the “about” section. Facebook gives you 255 characters to write a brief description about your business. This will show up in search results, as well as on your Page. This is an opportunity to quickly communicate your brand and value to people who might be learning about your business for the first time.
Create your Facebook username. Usernames help users search for your Page and also serves as a vanity URL for your page. They help make your Page easier to remember and search. This feature takes seconds to set up. If you haven’t taken advantage of it, what are you waiting for?
Add a Page call-to-action button. Since 2014, Facebook has given businesses the option to add a call-to-action button at the top of their Page. Facebook offers many options, including “Contact Us”, “Shop Now”, and “Sign Up.”
If you’re using Facebook to market your business, adding this feature is a no-brainer. You want to make it as easy as possible for users to interact with your business, both on and off of Facebook.
Decide the most important action you’d like Facebook users to take when visiting your Page, and add the appropriate call-to-action button. You can add your call-to-action button by clicking “+ Add a Button” below your Page's cover photo.
Organize Page tabs. After your call-to-action button, Page tabs are the second way users are most likely to interact with your Page. Located on the left-hand side of your Page, tabs are highly customizable.
This is an opportunity to highlight your most valuable content and make it easy for users to take favorable actions on your Page.
For example, retail company Travelon has placed their “Reviews” and “Shop” tabs at the top, making it easy for users to read about their products. They’ve also added “Offers”, links to their other social media accounts, and an email opt-in link. All of these tabs make it easy for users to search for and discover Travelon’s content.
You can create custom Page Tabs by navigating through “Settings > “Templates and Tabs.”
Users are more likely to follow and engage with fully optimized Pages because they feel they’re more trustworthy, informative, and carefully managed.
As a bonus, if you follow our suggestions above, your Page is much more searchable. Therefore, users looking for the kind of content, products, or services you provide are more likely to follow you.
Don’t underestimate the importance of these seemingly basic elements. Before anything else, make sure that you’re taking advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate your value to Facebook users.
2. Brand Consistently Across Social Media Platforms
If you have any other social media accounts, you should brand your various business accounts similarly.
Most simply, this means setting your profile picture to the same image across all social platforms. Typically, businesses use their logo as their profile picture to help build brand recognition and loyalty.
This can also include making sure any headers and cover photos (think Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) have a visual relationship to each other.
Note: You should still pay attention to optimum image sizes for each platform, to ensure the image looks its best. This might involve re-sizing your profile image and cover photo.
In more sophisticated terms, social media branding across platforms can involve using a consistent use of colors, filters, fonts, and other visual elements.
Strong branding across social platforms does wonders for increasing your brand recognition. In turn, that makes it much more likely for followers on another platform to follow your Facebook Page.
We’ll talk more about bringing followers from one platform to another in tip number 3: cross-promotion.
Social media marketing is all about leveraging the power of networks. Cross-promotion can naturally increase your Facebook following by encouraging people who already interact with your business to follow you on Facebook.
Ideally, you can promote your Facebook Page anywhere your audience is likely to see it. Add Facebook buttons to your website, blog posts, newsletter signature, and other social media profiles.
If you’re just getting started, it might be a good idea to share your business Page on your personal profile. Encourage any team members to do the same.
No matter how you do it, make sure that people can easily find your Facebook Page in a variety of ways. In addition to boosting followers, you will also increase your reach and possibly engagements with this simple technique.
4. Join Groups
Facebook recently commented on the importance of groups to the user experience, and the most recent algorithm update shows it.
Groups are great opportunities to engage directly with users interested in the topics you post about. Group posts also have higher visibility than News Feed Posts. But don’t be spammy! Start from a place of value. Always be respectful of each group’s purpose.
Offering your content as answers to questions or resources for problems are just two ways to share your content without appearing to deliver a sales pitch.
If you can find authentic ways to share content group members find valuable, you’re likely to start conversations, increase your engagements, and grow your brand awareness.
5. Make a Group
Creating your own group is the absolute best way to take advantage of groups’ growing importance in the Facebook News Feed.
You can use your group to share special offers, provide customer service, discuss industry current events, generate discussion, and build a sense of community.
Followers in your group have more than double the chance of seeing your content, since group posts generally rank higher than Page posts. Those followers are also more likely to engage with your content, since they’ve taken the extra step to join your group.
You might also gain followers from users who discover your group first. Think of groups as a cross-promotional opportunity within Facebook.
6. Create Great Content
This one might read as a no-brainer, but in order to create great content, you need a strong understanding of the benefits of each content type.
Below, we’ve listed some of the most common Facebook content types and offered some advice on each.
Text Post: These are the original and most basic type of Facebook content. They are exactly what they sound like, and we recommend using them sparingly since they usually have the lowest performance.
Photo Post: Photo posts usually build awareness or spark engagement. Generally, photos earn much higher engagement than text posts, since today’s users respond best to visual content. These can be a great way to highlight your products, share information, and start a conversation. Remember, photo posts can also include infographics, illustrations, and PDFs, so feel free to get creative.
Video: Video posts are one of the highest-performing post types on Facebook. Facebook’s newest algorithm favors videos, and especially native video (posted directly to Facebook). The longer people watch your video, the better the post performs in the algorithm. Put your strongest content first, and find creative ways to encourage continued viewing.
Live Video: Just as it sounds, these are live video broadcasts to your Facebook followers. Live video generally earns some of the highest rates of engagement, making it highly visible to your audience. The Facebook algorithm likes it too, which increases reach even more.
There are dozens of ways to use Facebook Live. These videos can be live Q&A sessions, webinars, behind-the-scenes shoots, interviews, and so much more. Thanks to their immediacy and informality, live videos can foster brand image, customer loyalty, and (if done well) even promote sales.
Links: Links can be a great way to drive traffic to your website, but they shouldn’t be used often. Facebook and mobile users especially prefer content that keeps them in the app. However, the occasional link post can help drive marketing goals when used appropriately.
When you use Link posts, remove the URL from the text of your post (otherwise it looks sloppy). Any web pages should be fully mobile optimized so that mobile users have a positive experience after following your link.
Facebook Instant Articles: This newer content format allows businesses to post their blog articles directly in the Facebook platform. But wait, why wouldn’t you want to drive Facebook traffic to your site?
Firstly, the majority of Facebook users are mobile. Regardless of how well you’ve mobile optimized your website, in-app experiences always feel smoother and speedier to mobile users. Additionally, Facebook Instant Articles also have more interactive features and get a boost in the current algorithm.
It’s best practice to use a mix of content format to keep your posts feeling “fresh.”
7. Post Consistently
Consistency is key in all social media marketing, yet it’s easily forgotten.
Once again, business Pages must strike a balance. Posting too frequently can irritate your Followers and cause them to un-follow you. But posting too infrequently means missing opportunities to reach your audience.
Facebook also examines posting frequency when deciding if and where to place content on the News Feed. If you post consistently, your posts are more likely to be shown to your followers.
A posting schedule or social media calendar can help you take full advantage of your organic Facebook presence.
8. Engage with Users
Once you’ve reached your audience, the next aim is earning post engagement. Strangely, many Pages stop there. Far too often, businesses fail to respond to their Followers, answer messages, or engage on their own Page in any way.
Don’t make this mistake.
Followers who find themselves talking to a brick wall will probably leave your Page in search of other, more responsive, businesses. Don’t lose the followers and engagements you’ve worked so hard for! Reply to every single comment and message as quickly as you’re able.
9. Post Facebook Stories
Since Facebook Stories live at the top of the News Feed, they’re immune to the algorithm. That loophole makes them an incredible opportunity to increase your organic reach.
And with more than half a billion people view, Facebook Stories are definitely worth the effort. They’re a great opportunity to share authentic content in real-time, and can be powerful tools to build trust, establish authority, and share your brand story.
Facebook Stories might not be as popular as Instagram Stories, but Facebook seems determined to push them. Many marketing experts believe that Facebook Stories are the future. If you add them to your social media strategy now, you might soon find yourself ahead of the curve.
If you’re already creating Instagram Stories, you can also share them directly to your Facebook Stories. If you do, be sure that your Instagram Stories are still very relevant to your Facebook audience.
Looking for ideas on how to use Facebook Stories? We’ve listed some examples below to help inspire you.
- live video broadcast of making or using your product
- tutorials or how-to’s
- host competitions
- comment on industry trends or events
- ask or answer questions
- behind-the-scenes photos/videos
- customer testimonials
10. Maintain a Content Mix
Facebook marketing requires businesses to flirt between promotional content and content that’s informative, entertaining, or otherwise valuable to audiences.
Social media content mixes help businesses juggle these two functions. There are several tried and true rules of thumb, including the 80-20 rule, the rule of thirds, and the 5-3-2 rule.
Once upon a time, these ratios were definitive rules for effective Facebook marketing. Nowadays, they work better as general guidelines.
The key is to make sure that your valuable-focused posts far outnumber your promotional posts. Facebook users are more likely to follow your Page and engage with your content if they feel comfortable with the frequency of your promotional posts.
11. Track Performance and Refine Strategy
Effective Facebook marketing requires constant assessment and refinement. If you only repeat your first plan over and over again, you’ll miss out on countless opportunities to improve your Facebook marketing.
Fortunately, all businesses have (free) access to Page Insights, so you can measure and track performance without spending a dime. In Page Insights, you’ll find an almost overwhelming amount of information. See which posts earn the most engagement, what actions users are taking on your Page, refine your customer persona through demographic data, and more.
Check in on your Page Insights regularly to see what’s working and what could be improved. You should be measuring success according to the goals set out in your marketing strategy.
Not sure which metrics to track? Key performance indicators (KPIs) will differ from business to business, but the following metrics are a great place to start:
- Engagement Rate
- Link Clicks
- Audience Growth
- Follower Demographics
Like all social media marketing, your Facebook marketing should be customer-centric. Focus on providing value, and you’re more likely to increase brand awareness, build trust, and achieve other essential marketing goals.
It’s all about balance. Use the tips above to find the balances in content format, posting frequency, and content mix that work best for your Page.
Never leave your audience hanging. Reply, engage, and interact. Engage even more by joining groups and creating your own.
And when it comes to content, don’t neglect the high-achieving photo, video, and live video formats. Stories and groups the future of Facebook marketing, so stand out from the crowd and add them to your strategy today.
Most importantly, don’t feel that you have to spend money on paid advertising to achieve your Facebook marketing goals. As long as you’re willing to invest the time to create, manage, and refine your Facebook marketing strategy, you’re sure to reach your goals.
Have our tips helped you master your organic Facebook presence, and now you’re looking to add paid content to the mix? Check out our complete Facebook Ads Checklist here.