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Facebook Is Changing and Your Brand Still Needs to Be There

Facebook continues to change its news feed algorithm to reduce the reach of content published by brands, but this is no time to turn your back on the platform. With 2.2 billion active users, Facebook remains an important online platform for every brand.

As marketers, we need to understand the changes and adapt the way we promote our clients and business on Facebook.

Your Audience Is on Facebook

Facebook is one of the most widely adopted social media platforms. According to Pew Research Center, 71% of American adults are on Facebook. The numbers are large across all age groups, except the 65+ group. Since data was tracked in 2012, the number of users steadily increases year over year.

Facebook focuses on customer experience and being easy to use in a mobile-first world. Since it officially created a space for brands in 2007, it has continued to evolve the ways that marketers can engage with their audience.

Facebook Is Still Meaningful for Marketers

Opportunities for marketers include:

  • Audience: 2.2 BILLION USERS
  • ROI – Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional print, radio or TV ads and are more targeted.
  • Useful data via Facebook Page Insights
  • Social Proof: Facebook is an important way people get and give recommendations
  • SEO
  • Competitor research

Facebook allows your business to be available to people at a location where potential customers can engage with your brand and also see their network interact with you. This sets the stage for you to build strong, authentic relationships with them.

Start with a Solid Facebook Page

A Facebook Page, the business equivalent of a Facebook profile, is the central hub for a brand on the platform. Creating a Facebook Page makes your business discoverable in a Facebook search, allows you to connect one-on-one with interested people/followers, and gives you meaningful data to understand your audience.

Elements of a successful presence include:

  • Fully populate all options on your Facebook Page to ensure users get all the information they might want.
  • Build a following through personal invitations and engaging on the platform.
  • Provide varied content, from events to Facebook Live video to offers and posts.
  • Post unique and valuable content that is relevant to a target audience.
  • Engage by commenting, liking, and demonstrating a willingness to use the platform for two-way communication.

By developing a solid presence and approach with these free Facebook opportunities, marketers position themselves well to successfully layer paid advertising to solidify and increase reach on the platform.

Get Attention with Paid Efforts

Brands don’t get good organic reach on Facebook. You have to pay to play, but it is worthwhile.

These are the basic ad types:

  • Boost a Post
  • Ongoing Promotion
  • Promote a Business
  • Promote a Page
  • Get Website Visitors
  • Get Contacts

Spend some time reviewing Facebook’s ad help documentation before you create an ad. There are helpful videos as well as an outline of each ad type.

Generally, Facebook is looking for ads to have great images and little text.

For all ad types, Facebook walks you through a wizard that asks about your objective and what you want to accomplish. Do your research ahead of entering the wizard, so you can make the best choices and have the right assets on hand.

Facebook will recommend a budget once you select a target audience.

Consider each ad a learning experience. Look at the ample metrics provided to determine who you reached, the best timing, and more. You will want to tweak your target demographics using the data from each ad to refine your reach and budget.

Facebook Contest Rules Change

If you’re planning a Facebook contest in 2018, make sure you’re up to speed on the current rules. There are some general rules for pages and specific rules for promotions.

Here’s what you need to know.

What’s Considered a Promotion on Facebook

Contests are considered to be promotions on Facebook. These typically include:

  • Entry/registration
  • Element of chance
  • Giveaway or prize

Make it Clear that Your Promotion Is Completely Independent of Facebook

You must include language like this with your promotion: “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.”

Post Detailed Contest Rules on a Landing Page

You must offer a complete set of official rules to address things like:

  • Impact of a purchase or lack of purchase on eligibility
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Any exclusions of eligibility, including locations where the promotion is not legal
  • The identity of the host
  • Entry procedures and beginning/ending times, including time of day and time zone
  • A clear description of the prize(s)
  • Date and process for selecting winner(s)
  • Publicity rights regarding use of participants’ information and content
  • Explicit permission from users regarding use of any content they create in order to enter your contest
  • Liability limitations
  • Odds of winning

It is important to know the rules for the type of contest that you are running, both within Facebook and more generally where you reside.

Don’t Do This on Facebook

Facebook will not permit promotions that require:

  • Share the contest on a personal timeline and/or a friend’s timeline. People may choose to share your contest on their timelines, but you cannot require them to do so.
  • Tag friends to enter.

Move Your Contest to Your Website

With these rules (and more sure to come), a better idea is to host your contest on your website. You can write your own rules complying only with the regulations of your locality. You will get more traffic to your website and build a connection there.

Your Profile Image Can Make (or Break) Referrals

Have you considered the importance of your Facebook profile photo to the process of getting referrals? As someone who regularly refers the people and businesses I am connected with on Facebook, I have a message for you: make sure your page name and profile photo makes you easy to find!

When someone is on a smartphone and wants to connect a comment with a referral to you on Facebook, they don’t get much to look at. They start to type and get a few letters and a teeny-tiny image to try to decipher the right profile to connect.

Here’s a screen capture of my latest attempt.

The images are larger here than on my iPhone and  they are still tiny!

When people are on Facebook and see someone in search of a business exactly like yours or needing the exact service you provide, you want to make it easy for them to connect you to that opportunity. This is generally done by commenting on the post with a link to the Facebook page of the person or company.

Here’s my advice to make it easy for people to help you network and be connected to great opportunities on Facebook:

  1. Have a Facebook page for your company! Unless, of course, you are not interested in any business.
  2. Make sure your Facebook business page is named EXACTLY the same as your business name. That is what your well-meaning referrers will type. Don’t make the job harder by using a page name that does not match the name they know.
  3. Always use a profile image that helps someone know it is you. I know there are many causes to support and many cute pictures of your cat to use. Don’t. Do. It. Make sure that tiny little image screams “this is me!” all the time.