Facebook is evolving. What started out as a place to share cat photos has turned into a network of 1.79 billion active users. That's billion, with a 'B'.
And for marketers, the platform has changed as much as it has for users.
The platform has changed completely in just a few years, and staying up to date with those changes can be a challenge. That's why we're highlighting some new marketing tips for Facebook in this article. These ten Facebook marketing tips take into account the way the platform has changed into 2017, and highlight the features and strategies marketers need to use going forward.
1. Get Comfortable With Shooting Video
Video on Facebook accounts for just 0.9% of all posts. Here's the crazy thing about that: these same 0.9% of posts account for 7.15% of all reach on the network. And that number is growing.
Video posts are dominating social media, with Facebook emerging as YouTube's largest contender for video uploads. If you haven't started marketing with video on Facebook, now's the time to begin.
We're seeing huge reach in industries across the board. You don't need to be a professional videographer to capitalize on this either - all you need is a smart phone, some good lighting, and maybe a few goodies from Amazon. Here's a step by step guide to shooting pro quality video on your mobile phone.
2. Set Up Saved Audiences
Saved Audiences can be extremely useful - especially if you want to target a specific market.
Within Facebook's Business Manager, you can create custom audiences based on set parameters. This enables you to advertise to specific groups of people, making sure that your niche content meets the right demographic.
For example, we recently wrote an article that was specific to mortgage lenders - not, by any means, the bulk of our Facebook fans. By creating a Saved Audience, we were able to target a group of mortgage lenders within the USA who were also interested in marketing with our niche piece of content. This drew the right audience to our content, drumming up business for our company and eyeballs on our brand.
Test it out for yourself - it's 100% free to set up, so you can see how large your audience is before you start paying for advertisements.
3. Try Your Hand at Retargeting
If you own a business and you have a website, you absolutely must start a retargeting campaign - it's one of the most profitable forms of advertising online.
In a nutshell, retargeting enables you to advertise to people who've already visited your website. All you have to do is install Facebook's tracking pixel on your website, and wait for visitors to roll in.
4. Add Captioning to Your Videos
Facebook recently announced that they're expanding access to their automated video captioning tool to all users, but we're slightly skeptical of this option.
YouTube has similar software, and to be honest, it's pretty bad.
And here's the thing: your captioning matters. 90% of viewers on Facebook watch videos without sound, meaning that your captions are going to be read by a majority of your viewers. Either add the captions yourself or do what we do: hire someone on Fiverr to do it for you. For about five bucks you'll get an accurate SRT file that you can upload to Facebook in a couple of clicks.
5. Add a Call To Action on Your Page
Facebook added this functionality and every page owner should take advantage.
On your Facebook Business Page, you can add a call to action that sits in the bottom right-hand corner of your cover photo. These buttons make it easy for your fans to get in touch with your business - don't miss out on some extra site traffic.
6. Upload Your Email List
If you have a large e-mail list, you need to upload it to Facebook. Once it's finished loading, you'll be able to advertise to every single e-mail that's associated with a Facebook account.
Similar to retargeting, this practice is great because it enables you to utilize multiple touch points with your potential customers. Take advantage of their past interest in your brand, and try running a Like or engagement campaign to encourage them to interact with you on social media.
The more ways you can reach your audience, the better.
7. Be Responsive To Messages
There's more and more evidence indicating that Facebook is calculating response time into their algorithm, so be sure to respond to messages. Your response time will also be live on your page, so fans will be able to see how quickly you interact with them.
When I gave my Social Media Predictions for 2017, one of the main points of focus was on the adoption of Messenger for business. At Cave, we're seeing B2C interaction moving towards social messaging in great numbers this year, so be sure to buck the trend and respond as quickly as possible.
8. Embed Your Facebook Content
If you see a good fit to sneak your Facebook content into a blog post (or anywhere else online), I highly recommend you take advantage of the opportunity.
Mixing together different forms of content is a great way to create more touch points with your potential customers.
Facebook also makes it easy to embed content - just click in the upper right-hand corner of your post, copy, and paste (you can see a real world example of this tip in point nine below)
9. Shoot Live Video
Video production is going to be a major theme for social media in 2017, and live video, in particular, is going to grow greatly.
Don't get us wrong - you need to be able to master staged video first, but once you get the hang of it, stepping in front of the camera and shooting live has a ton of advantages.
The most important reason to test out live video is the increased reach. Live videos get a boost in Facebook's algorithm, giving you a push into more and more people's feeds.
Here's a video we shot on Facebook Live, going over a few tips for using the live feature.
10. Have Fun
I say this every year, and 2017 will be no exception.
You need to be social on social media. It's not a soap box, it was built so that individuals around the world could connect with one another.
If you want to increase your reach, commit to being personal - talk about what your know and your experiences, and have some fun with it. There's a reason we drink beers at the beginning of every episode of In The Cave - we enjoy it. If we're having fun, there's a better chance our viewers will be having fun too.
Hopefully this gave you some ideas about how to use Facebook to market your brand online in 2017.
This article originally appeared on Cave Social.