While Facebook isn’t the only social media app on our phones, the statistics show that it’s still the king. According to Statista, there are nearly 2.5 billion active monthly users Facebook.
This means that Facebook is three times as active and Twitter and Pinterest combined. And over twice as active as Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
In addition to Facebook’s sheer size, Facebook groups are popular and Facebook Ads tools are some of the most advanced you’ll find on any platform. For all these reasons, promoting your business on Facebook is still a smart idea in 2020.
But to get the most bang for your buck, you’ll need a well-thought-out Facebook marketing strategy.
You can learn how to promote your business on Facebook for free by creating a Facebook business page, creating engaging organic posts, and interacting in Facebook Groups.
If you decide to spend money on Facebook Ads, take advantage of tools like the Facebook Pixel and Custom Audiences and run A/B tests to improve your conversion rate.
How To Promote Your Business On Facebook: 8 Smart Strategies
Whether you want to know how to promote your business on Facebook for free or you have a 6-figure monthly ad budget, Facebook marketing can help you grow. Below we share a few completely free ideas before diving deep into how to create profitable Facebook Ads campaigns.
Related: These Are the 25 Best Free Advertising Options for Small Businesses
1. Create Your Free Facebook Business Page
Creating a Facebook business page is the first step small business owners who want to promote their business on Facebook should take. It only takes a few minutes to set up your page and it’s completely free.
Not only does having a Facebook business page allow you to begin building brand awareness and connecting with your customers for free, but you’ll need one if you decide to run an ad campaign down the road.
There are three main ways to create a Facebook business page:
- Create your Facebook business page from scratch
- Convert your personal Facebook profile to a business page
- Claim an unmanaged page if one already exists for your business
As you’re building your page, make sure to include as much relevant information as possible, such as:
- Website name
- Contact info
- Pictures of your business location or top products
- Menu or services offered
As a business page manager, you’ll have the ability to send direct messages back and forth to your customers. And you can create custom “call to action” buttons that direct page visitors to do things like visit your website or call your store. For a step-by-step tutorial on how to set up a Facebook business page, you can check out the video below.
Learn To Create A Facebook Business Page
2. Find Creative Ways To Engage With Your Audience
For many businesses, the entirety of their Facebook Ad strategy consists of simply throwing a link to their latest blog post or making product and event announcements. And while there’s nothing wrong with using your Facebook business page in those ways, those kinds of posts are unlikely to get much, if any, customer engagement.
Why Engagement Matters
Here’s why that’s a problem.
Facebook prioritizes a user’s News Feed by people or businesses that they’ve engaged with before. That’s why if you regularly comment or like a particular friend’s posts, you’ll start to notice their posts being placed near the top of your feed. But the opposite can also happen.
If Facebook notices that you always scroll past a certain friends’ posts, they’ll eventually start to push them further down your feed.
When you understand how Facebook builds News Feeds, it’s easy to see why increasing engagement is so important for businesses. If no one ever interacts with your posts, Facebook will slowly begin to bury them under posts that its users seem to care more about.
But higher News Feed ranking isn’t the only reason why you should focus on increasing engagement on your posts. It’s also just a great way to build a solid connection with your audience and keep your brand near the forefront of their minds.
How To Engage Your Audience
Do your best to come up with creative ways to engage with your audience. Open-ended questions and polls are one great option.
For example, if your business is in the coffee industry, you could create a poll that asks your followers how many cups of coffee they drink per day: 1, 2, 3, or More than 3.
To get even more interaction, you could tag certain people on your post who you happen to know are huge coffee drinkers. You could also tag companies that you mention in your social media posts or blog posts. And, most importantly, be sure to respond to all comments in a timely manner to keep the conversation going.
3. Schedule Your Posts In Advance
It’s hard to come up with creative and interesting Facebook posts on the fly each day. That’s why creating a content calendar is so important. Just budget a few hours each month to brainstorm post ideas. Once you have a list that you’re happy with, schedule all your posts for the week or month in advance.
It’s easy to schedule a post on Facebook. Navigate to the Facebook Publishing Tools Page. Then create your post, select “Schedule,” and pick the date and time that you want your post to go live.
If you only plan to promote your business on Facebook, then the built-in scheduler may be all you need. But if you’re planning to use multiple platforms, social media management tools make it easy to manage all your profiles in one place. Here are a few of the most popular social media schedulers:
Most social media management tools also provide analytics reports and will allow you to respond to comments and messages from all your social media profiles in one interface.
Check out our full guide to growing your business using social media.
4. Interact In Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups have long been one of the most popular features of the platform. These are safe spaces for people to brainstorm with people who have similar interests or work in the same industry. And, for many people (like yours truly), Facebook Groups are the primary reason why they log into their Facebook account each day.
As a business owner, you can take advantage of the popularity of Facebook Groups in two ways.
First, you can join groups that discuss topics that are related to your business. For example, if you own a pet salon, you’d probably want to look for a few Facebook groups geared towards pet owners or veterinarians. Another option would be to launch your own public or private Facebook group.
For example, a friend of mine who offers college prep consulting services runs a Facebook page where parents can ask each other for advice on college scholarships, grants, SAT testing, and more. The group is incredibly active and has over 75,000 members!
So by simply creating a Facebook group, she’s created a community of 75,000+ parents who are also highly likely to consider her products and services whenever she promotes them.
5. Don’t Press That Boost Post Button
Whenever you publish an organic post on Facebook, you can pay to guarantee that your post will reach a larger audience by clicking the “boost” button. But while boosted organic posts are technically part of the Facebook Ads system, the options at your disposal are far less than you get with a full-fledged Ad.
Most importantly, boosted posts have far fewer targeting and retargeting options than Facebook Ads. You also can’t customize your placement options, when your ad is shown (there is no “day parking” option), or what you’ll optimize for (impressions, post engagement, or daily unique reach).
Yes, it’s convenient that you can create a boosted post right from your News Feed (skipping the somewhat complicated FB Ads manager). But if you’re going to spend money on Facebook marketing anyway, it’s worth it to spend a little extra time building a solid ad that has a stronger chance of converting.
6. Get Familiar With Facebook’s Ad Pixel Tool
Facebook’s Ad pixel is a tool that keeps track of who visits your site and makes it easy to target those customers with your future Facebook Ad campaigns. Facebook’s Pixel tool can also create a profile of the type of person who’s most likely to engage with your ads based on site visitors.
If you ever want to build ads that use web conversion campaigns, custom audiences from your website, or dynamic ads, that will only be possible if you’ve added a pixel to your site. But you can add a pixel to your website to start tracking visitors even before you create your first Facebook Ad.
To create your first event pixel, navigate to the Facebook Events Manager. “Pixels” will be one of the top options on the hamburger menu. Click the green “Create a Pixel” button and you’ll be on your way. Once you’ve created your pixel, you’ll need to add it to your site. Facebook has step-by-step guides explaining how to do this. Or if you work with a site developer, they can handle his for you.
Once you’ve added Facebook pixel code to your site, Facebook will send test traffic to your pixel to make sure it’s working correctly.
Next, you’ll choose which of Facebook’s 17 event options you’d like to track. Finally, you’ll need to add a notice informing site visitors that your site collects data through cookies or other methods.
Learn more about Facebook’s Business Tools Terms.
7. Build Custom Audiences For Your Facebook Ads
Facebook’s ad targeting tool is an incredibly powerful too that can help you promote your business on Facebook to the right people. It can build a Custom Audience for businesses based on a variety of factors such as a consumer’s:
You can even target users who have previously watched one of your video advertisements. Once you’ve created a custom audience, you can save it as a template to use for future ads. It’s also possible to create a Custom Audience based on your website visitors (using your pixel data) or engagement on a mobile app that you own.
Finally, you can create a “customer list” Custom Audience. With this option, you can import a data file that has the names emails, and other personal information of everyone from your email list. If you use Mailchimp as your email marketing tool, you can just provide your login credentials to import names and emails directly.
Keep in mind, however, that if someone unsubscribes from your email list, you’ll need to remove them from your Custom Audience as well. Learn more about the rules surrounding building “customer list” Custom Audiences.
Related: Why You Should Be Using Text and Email to Market Your Business
8. Run A/B Tests On Your Facebook Ads
If you decide to promote your business on Facebook using Facebook Ads, running split tests could be critical to your campaign’s success. A/B tests allow you to compare ads side-by-side to see which one performs better.
Run these tests, again and again, helping you refine your Ad design and copy over time. Examples of variables you’ll want to test include the:
- Copy text
- Custom audience
- Ad placements (News Feed Ads vs. sidebar Ads)
Once you’ve decided which variables you’d like to test, Facebook will equally divide your budget to randomly split exposure between each version of your Ad. Then Facebook will measure the performance of each Ad strategy on a Cost Per Result basis or Cost per Conversion Lift basis.
Facebook recommends that business owners run their tests for at least four days for the best results. For budget reasons, they discourage businesses from running any splits for longer than 30 days. However, they also say that one day is the absolute minimum that they recommend for a test, as tests shorter than a single day may produce inconclusive results.
Check out all of Facebook’s Best Practices for A/B Testing.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you’re just looking to get some free exposure or build a detailed paid marketing plan, there are numerous smart ways to promote your business on Facebook. But, ideally, Facebook marketing should only be one component of your overall small business marketing plan.
When it comes to promoting your business, you’ll want to avoid putting all of your marketing eggs in one basket.
Think through how your Facebook efforts fit within your overall social media strategy. And you’ll want to continue building your email list and/or creating strong SEO content even as you work to raise your Facebook game.