Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms. With its large user base, businesses in any niche can use it to connect with their target audience.
If you want to use Facebook to reach more customers you need to know how the marketing platform works.
In this Facebook marketing guide for beginners, I will explain the ins and outs of how to do Facebook marketing so that you can start using it to grow your business.
What is Facebook Marketing and How it Works?
Facebook marketing is the process of using the Facebook platform to showcase your business to potential buyers. It can consist of a mix of both paid and organic marketing
With organic Facebook marketing, you regularly post content to grow your following and keep your audience engaged.
With paid Facebook marketing, you set up various advertising campaigns to drive people to your site and eventually convert them into customers.
Benefits of Facebook Marketing for Businesses
There are many advantages to using Facebook to market your business. Below are a few of the biggest benefits:
Large audience: Facebook has billions of users worldwide. Many of these people use the platform multiple times per day. By marketing on Facebook, your business has the potential to reach your target customers at scale.
Variety of ads: Facebook supports a wide range of advertising formats. You can create videos, images, carousels, and other types of ads to engage users in the most effective manner.
Advanced targeting: Facebook lets you get very precise with who you target with your ads. You can target users based on demographics, interests, past behavior, and other characteristics. The platform also makes it easy to remarket to previous customers.
How to Create a Facebook Marketing Strategy
- Setup a Facebook Business Page
- Create a Facebook Content Calendar
- Promote Your Business Page to Get Followers and Likes
- Learn About the Different Types of Facebook Ads
- Set Your Marketing Goals
- Identify Your Facebook Audience
- Setup Facebook Pixel and Conversion Tracking
- Create Your First Facebook Paid Campaign
- Monitor Campaign Performance
- Start a Facebook Retargeting Campaign
1. Setup a Facebook Business Page
The first step to getting started with Facebook business marketing is to create a Facebook business page.
This page is the public-facing profile where your business can connect with customers, post content and updates, and share contact information.
Setting up a Facebook business page is straightforward but you want to ensure you configure your page to make the most of everything the platform has to offer.
Here is a quick overview of the steps needed to create a Facebook Business page.
Start by going to facebook.com/pages/create.
You can then enter a name and description for your business in the left-hand panel. You also need to select a category for your page. As you do, the preview page will update so you can see what it looks like.
After you enter the core page information, add a profile picture and a cover photo.
You also want to add contact information so that people know how to get in touch with your business.
2. Create a Facebook Content Calendar
Next, you want to create a content calendar for your Facebook profile. This will allow you to plan and organize your page’s posts.
With a calendar, you can establish a process that improves the efficiency of your content creation. A content calendar lets you bulk schedule all your posts in advance, that way you don’t need to remember to log in each day.
Here are some of the things to consider when creating your content calendar:
What to post
When planning your calendar you want to focus on creating useful content. This is the type of content that your customers enjoy the most.
It should be engaging enough to catch their interest and should motivate them to learn more about your business.
Today, many businesses have whole teams of content marketing specialists making their content so you will need to come up with high-quality material of your own to stand out.
When to post
The timing of your posts is also an important part of your content calendar. When you schedule your posts will determine how many people actually see them.
You should consider the times that your customers are most active as this will be the best time to post your content.
How often to post
Another key consideration is how often to post from your account. You want to post enough to consistently appear in your audience’s newsfeed but you don’t want to post so often that they grow fatigued with your messaging.
The exact frequency will depend largely on your type of business. However, you should plan to post at least a few times a week at a minimum.
3. Promote Your Business Page to Get Followers and Likes
With a content calendar in place, you can begin marketing your Facebook business page to your target audience.
Your early efforts should focus primarily on growing your number of Facebook fans (the people that like your page).
There are several reasons for this. The simplest reason is that the more fans you have, the higher the number of people that will have the chance of having your posts appear in their feeds.
Additionally, having a lot of followers is a sign of social proof and shows that your business is popular and trustworthy. As a result, people that come across your page will be more likely to take it seriously and stick around.
Your fan count is also essential to expanding the reach of your organic content. Facebook can only show so many posts in someone’s newsfeed.
When given the chance, it will prefer to show content from more authoritative pages. If your page has a high number of likes, it will be more likely to surface in users’ newsfeeds.
This same concept applies to Google and how the search engine will treat your business website. It is widely believed that sites with a strong social presence perform well in the search engine.
You can get likes for your young Facebook page by sharing relevant content, running incentives, and launching paid ad campaigns.
One of the simplest ads you can run is to boost an existing post. With this, Facebook will display the post to people that currently do not like your page.
These ads are generally inexpensive and a great way to get more fans for your page.
4. Learn About the Different Types of Facebook Ads
Growing an organic Facebook following has many benefits but there are limits to how much exposure you can gain.
Over the years, Facebook has modified its platform to place a greater emphasis on paid ads.
As such, Facebook Ads are generally the most impactful way to grow your business using the platform.
Our Facebook Marketing Course will teach you everything you need to do about running paid campaigns on Facebook.
Before you set up ad campaigns, you should know how the advertising platform works. Facebook offers a wide range of ad formats.
Some of the most popular ones include:
Image ads – These ads are a simple format and include a picture, some descriptive text, and a call to action button. They are easy to set up as an effective part of your first Facebook strategy.
Video ads – These ads let you use short-form videos to capture and engage your audience. They are great for showing your products in action.
Carousel ads – These ads let you show a set of images or videos. They are a great way to show off multiple products or show the same product from multiple angles. Each image can have its own link so that you can send visitors to the appropriate page.
Dynamic product ads – These ads let you highlight different items from your eCommerce store. Facebook can automate the targeting for these ads to show specific products to users based on their interests.
Ad placements determine where on Facebook you want your ads to appear. Below are some of the available placements:
- Facebook Feed
- Facebook Right Column
- Facebook Instant Articles
- Facebook In-Stream Video
- Facebook Marketplace
- Facebook Stories
- Instagram Stories
- Instagram Feeds
Each placement only supports certain types of ads. You will need to review these when setting up your campaigns.
In addition to Facebook Ads, you should also understand Facebook Marketplace.
This peer-to-peer market is built into the Facebook platform. It allows users to sell most types of items.
Facebook Marketplace focuses on connecting local buyers and sellers but you can still sell your items to people across the country.
There are no fees to use the marketplace unless you ship the products to the customer, in which case there is a 5% fee.
Adding your items to the market is a great way to get organic exposure for your business. Facebook also makes it easy to run ad campaigns for your marketplace listings.
5. Set Your Marketing Goals
Now that you know advertisements work, the next step in building a Facebook marketing strategy is to set your marketing goals.
Setting a clear target will help you plan better. It will also give you a way to measure the effectiveness of your strategy.
There are all sorts of goals you can set for your Facebook marketing. The most appropriate will depend on the specifics of your business.
Here are some of the common goals companies set when building a Facebook strategy:
Drive website traffic – Facebook allows you to get people to your website to learn more about your products or services.
Generate leads – You can use Facebook as a tool to direct people to your site to give you their contact information or sign up for your email newsletter.
Drive sales and revenue – The most obvious use of Facebook marketing is to turn interested parties into customers for your business.
Increase brand awareness – Facebook is highly effective for getting your brand in front of your target audience for the first time. Once they are aware of your business, you can market to them using a variety of channels.
Re-engage past customers – Facebook’s targeting options make it easy to remarket to people that have previously bought from your business.
No matter what goals you set for your Facebook strategy, you need to set specific measurable objectives. Otherwise, you have no way to know if your campaigns are successful.
Facebook includes numerous performance metrics in its reporting dashboard. We will discuss how to use these to measure your marketing success further below.
6. Identify Your Facebook Audience
Facebook’s audience options are one of the biggest benefits of using the marketing platform.
Audiences are the groups of people that you target when running an advertisement campaign on Facebook.
They allow you to select a highly specific group of users for your marketing campaigns. This ensures that your ads go to the people most relevant to your business.
Some of the aspects you can use when building your audience are:
- Life Events
Facebook also offers more powerful audience targeting in the form of custom and lookalike audiences.
Custom audiences allow you to build an audience based on your data. This can be data from offline customers or data the Facebook pixel collects from online interactions on your site or Facebook profile.
Lookalike audiences consist of people that have never interacted with your business. You can create these audiences based on your custom audiences or previous site visitors.
With a lookalike audience, Facebook will look to find people that are similar to those that you use as the source audience.
The thought behind lookalike audiences is that if your business works well with a certain kind of user, it will work well with similar people too.
These can be highly effective in growing your customer base after you identify the specific interests of your users.
7. Setup Facebook Pixel and Conversion Tracking
The next step of your Facebook business marketing strategy is to add the Facebook pixel to your website.
The Facebook Pixel is a piece of tracking code that collects data. It enables you to create custom audiences as well as retargeting campaigns.
The pixel works by placing cookies on your site that allow Facebook to track the various actions people take such as completing a purchase.
Facebook refers to these actions as events. In total, there are 17 standard events that the pixel tracks:
- Complete registration
- Add payment info
- Add to cart
- Add to wishlist
- Initiate checkout
- View content
- Customize product
- Find location
- Start trial
- Submit application
Along with the Facebook pixel, it is important to enable conversion tracking.
Doing so will ensure that you capture all conversions so that you can accurately monitor your campaign performance.
8. Create Your First Facebook Paid Campaign
Once you get the pixel and conversion tracking enabled, you are ready to create your first Facebook campaign.
Here are the components you will need to configure:
Choose an objective
Each Facebook campaign needs to have an objective. This tells Facebook what you want to achieve with the campaign so that they can help you set it up for success.
Facebook Ads can have one of the following objectives:
- Brand awareness
- Website traffic
- App installs
- Video views
- Lead generation
- Catalog sales
- Store traffic
Select an audience
Next, you need to select your target audience. For your first campaign, you can define the targeting manually or you can use a custom audience if you’ve already gathered some visitor data from the pixel.
Determine the budget
The budget is the amount that you want to spend on the campaign. Facebook lets you set either a lifetime or a daily budget.
With a daily budget, Facebook will pace your ad spend according to the amount that you set per day. The daily spend will not always fall exactly on the mark, but over time the daily average will come in at the amount you set.
With a lifetime budget, you select a time period that you want the campaign to remain active. You then choose a total amount to spend over that period and Facebook will serve your ads accordingly.
The scheduling feature lets you determine what time of the day you want your ads to run. You can also set specific start and end dates for the campaign.
There are two types of delivery; standard and accelerated.
Standard delivery shows your ads consistently throughout the day. With accelerated delivery, Facebook will try to spend your budget as quickly as possible.
Create your ad
After you configure these settings, you can create your ad. Facebook will make suggestions on which format to use based on the objective you set for the campaign.
Upon choosing an ad format, you can upload your creative assets. The format you select will determine the design requirements for the assets. For instance, the resolution and ratio of the images as well as the number of characters in the text.
9. Monitor Campaign Performance
Once your campaign is up and running it is essential to monitor its ongoing performance.
The reason for this is simple. You won’t know if your campaigns are achieving their objectives if you do not check to see how they are doing.
Some of the most important metrics to track include:
- Impressions: The number of times your ads appear on the screen.
- Cost per click (CPC): The average amount spent for each person that clicks your ad.
- Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of people that click your ads after seeing them.
- Reach: The number of people that saw your ads at least once.
- Results: The total number of conversions. What counts as a conversion is determined by your campaign settings.
- Cost per result: The average amount spent per result.
If your campaigns are not performing as intended, you can make changes to boost their performance.
For example, if you notice that your campaigns have a high number of impressions, but a low CTR, it is a sign that your ads are not engaging. Or that you’re targeting the wrong people.
If you find that your ads are generating a good amount of clicks but not resulting in any sales, it could be a sign that you need to optimize your website.
10. Start a Facebook Retargeting Campaign
The final step in your Facebook strategy is to set up a Facebook retargeting campaign.
These campaigns specifically target the people that have already visited or bought from your site.
Previous visitors will be more receptive to your marketing because they are already familiar with your business.
Additionally, past buyers are more likely to buy from you again and you can build brand loyalty by continually engaging these people.
It is a good practice to always have a remarketing campaign active. This ensures that you do not miss out on interested traffic.
If you let too much time go between messaging visitors, they can easily forget about your business.
To run a retargeting campaign, you will need to have the Facebook Pixel installed on your site. This will allow Facebook to track and tag your site visitors so that it can serve them ads from your retargeting campaign.
Another approach is to create a retargeting campaign using a list. With this method, you upload a list of targets (usually their email addresses) and Facebook will show them ads from your campaign.
Pixel-based retargeting is typically more effective and is more efficient as Facebook will automatically determine who to target.
How to Learn Facebook Marketing
The steps above outline the basics of how to do Facebook marketing. To maximize your effectiveness as a Facebook marketer you should look to gain a complete and thorough understanding of how the platform works.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you do so.
One of the best options is dedicated Facebook marketing courses.
Facebook Ads courses compile everything you need to know about using Facebook for marketing into a single easy to follow resource.
The best are taught by experienced instructors who can provide unique experience and insights into how to use the platform successfully.
Another solid option for learning Facebook marketing is the Facebook Blueprint program, the official training program from Facebook itself.
In addition to educational courses, Facebook Blueprint offers several professional certifications.
These are some of the most respected digital marketing certifications in the digital marketing space.
Earning one of the certifications requires you to pass a knowledge exam.
The exam procedures are rather strict as you are not allowed to have any material on your desk. You also can’t open any other browser tabs while the exam is open.
This is part of the reason they are so well regarded.
If you want to pursue a career in Facebook marketing, the certifications can be an invaluable tool.
Facebook Ads specialists are expected to know the in and outs of Facebook marketing and earning one (or multiple) of the certifications proves your competency.
New social media platforms continue to emerge, but Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Knowing how to create a Facebook strategy for your business will allow you to tap into all the potential the platform has to offer.
Use the steps in this guide as a starting point and explore the extra resources we’ve included to begin mastering the art of Facebook marketing.