Some students stick their noses into textbooks to study for upcoming exams in dimly lit Harvard dorm rooms, while some invite their peers in for a party.

Others strive for a perfect mix of the two–an online platform to improve test scores while simultaneously forging closer connections with classmates. Why sacrifice for one when you can have both?

During the climax of the MySpace era, Mark Zuckerberg found his perfect pair by creating a place that helped him pass an art history final by riding the connection wave.

How did his secret society platform turn into a great marketing tool, or as we’ll call it, Facebook marketing?

CourseMatch was secret and exclusive

Facebook (then called “CourseMatch”) wasn’t always a public platform. In hopes of passing an art history final, Mark Zuckerberg built a study–or networking and dating tool. He tells many different stories–exclusive to Harvard students. After slowly trickling into other ivy leagues, like Yale, Columbia, and Stanford, it was offered to high-school students in 2005.

Everyday, 1.56 billion people actively scroll on Facebook. It’s their source of news, pictures of uncle Johnny, and more than ever, eCommerce. In 2020 alone, Facebook brought in $27.2 billion through ad revenue–a 31%  year-over-year increase. No wonder 200 million small businesses use Facebook for marketing, helping 78% of American consumers discover retail products to purchase.

As you can see, the impact of social media on a business’s success has been proven ten-fold. Even so, navigating social media can feel daunting. Despite what the data says about success, how are business owners supposed to learn social media as a marketing tool as the algorithm has likely changed during that process?

The good news is that following a few basic rules can turn a static Facebook page into more than just a digital yearbook–it can serve as an active branding asset. And anybody can do it.

Facebook and inbound marketing–a match made in heaven

Facebook compliments an inbound marketing strategy perfectly. The inbound methodology guides clients to your business without you hunting them down and tricking them into a sale. Inbound marketing is the long game, keeping your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds when they are ready to make a purchase. This is accomplished through genuine relationships and adding value. Take your ability to add value on social media to the next level by considering a few best practices:

  • Short and conversational

For most users, Facebook falls more on the personal side of the spectrum than LinkedIn, which is squarely on the professional end. Find a good middle ground between texting lingo reserved for close friends and a professional business report—you’re aiming for knowledgeable but approachable. We all know that conversations are a two-way street, so leaving followers on “read” isn’t a great business tactic.    

  • Consistency counts

Facebook’s algorithm tailors each user’s feed by giving priority to posts using a complex ranking system. The likelihood that a user will engage with a particular post is vital in the ranking equation. For example, if users have liked or commented on previous posts from a specific channel, they’ll be more likely to see future posts. This is just one of several essential components of the algorithm that rewards consistency.

  • Take a picture, it’ll last longer

In everyone’s back pocket or purse, you’ll find a camera. The twenty-first century has moved chiefly away from three-ring photo albums that collect dust in the basement and moved towards digital yearbooks. Even those who could care less about marketing online share photos this way. But businesses can significantly reap the benefits–MDG says, “content paired with an image attracts 94% more views.”

  • But videos last the longest

91% of marketers admit that video content has only increased since the pandemic entered the scene. Pandemic aside, ClearPivot emphasizes the importance of video when they tell us, “We have found our clients to have 20 to 30% more conversions when utilizing video over images.” Instead of scrolling past an image, video prompts users to take an extra second and actually devote attention to what is being said.

Make sure you’re walking the walk

Before you start to willy nilly post all over Facebook, take a moment to strategize and make sure you’re “dressed” and ready to open. You’d do this for a physical storefront, and if you want to utilize social media to sell, you should treat it similarly.

  1. Create a business page – not a personal profile. Facebook business pages look similar to a personal profile but include helpful business tools that provide insight into what people want and how engagement is doing.
  2. Match your handles – If your business is established on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, striving to have the same Facebook handle will help people find you more easily. 
  3. Leave no trace – of blank space. Every area of content that can be filled in, should be. For example, fill in your bio with what you do and how you help people, upload a high-quality profile and header picture, and provide other contact details like email and your actual website. Again, uniformity works, as it will help people recognize your profile and remove any hesitation to follow along.

Get in, we’re going marketing

What do Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok have in common?

To properly serve as a marketing tool, they should be treated like one. How do you treat your other marketing strategies? With consistency, strategy, and attention to detail.

Red Mallard provides our clients with comprehensive Facebook strategy and management services geared toward growing engagement and furthering the brand story. Is Facebook doing enough for your business? Give us a quack and let us know.

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