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Nov

22

2017

5 Super Quick Ways to Get More Messages on Your Facebook Business Page

Published by in category Daily, Facebook | Leave a Comment

You’ve probably heard some buzz about Facebook Messenger of late, but most brands still don’t understand how to leverage it effectively. With 2.4 billion messages exchanged between businesses and people each month, it’s time to make the most out of the channel.

After all, 53% of people who message businesses say they are more likely to shop with a business they can message. And 67% of people say they plan to increase their messaging with businesses over the next 2 years. And, messages you send through Messenger will appear on a user’s locked phone screen — so your odds of reaching a user are greatly increased from sending a follow up email.Click here to download our free guide to attracting customers with Facebook.

So, how can you make the most of this network? We’re outlining five quick wins you can start using today.

5 Ways to Get More Messages on Facebook

1) Optimize your page for messages.

Having a Facebook page that encourages users to message your page is the first — and easiest — way to encourage visitors on your business page to message your brand. It seems overly simple, but just optimizing your page to point users towards messaging you can have a huge impact on the number of messages you receive from interested or curious potential customers.

Try:

  1. Setting your default Facebook Page CTA to Message Us.
  2. Prompting visitors to message your page with the copy in your business description.

2) Setup response assistant.

Response assistant is Facebook’s own version of a “baby-bot” and can help you field incoming messages — even when you aren’t around to catch them personally.

Response assistant allows you to: 1) set instant replies 2) stay responsive when you can’t get to your computer or phone and 3) set a messenger greeting. In each of these you can use personalization tokens and greet those who message your page with a personalized message. You can also include a link to your contact us page, FAQ, or even your phone number in these messages.

3) Comment on posts with your m.me link.

Facebook has a new feature that allows you to comment on posts with your brand’s messenger link. If you run a Facebook ad that people are asking questions about, be sure to reply with this link to continue the conversation within Messenger.

4) Run a “Send to Messenger” ad.

Messenger Ads are Facebook’s newest ad type. They allow you to target audiences just like any other ad, but you can encourage them to message you directly from the Ad. Keep in mind, you’ll want to have your inbox modified to ensure it is money well-spent. But, as this is a new Facebook Ad type — the best time to experiment with these ads is now.

5) Commit to actually using it daily.

The best way to make the most out of Facebook Messenger is to monitor the channel just like you would monitor your own inbox, or your favorite Slack channel. The nature of the conversational channel encourages on-demand action, so the more responsive you can be, the better.

Finally, keep it light on the channel, after all, it is conversational. Messenger is a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality using GIFs and emojis that appeal to your audience.

download our free facebook business page tips 

 
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Nov

10

2017

75 Creative Facebook and Instagram Video Tips

Published by in category Daily, Facebook | Leave a Comment

It’s no surprise to any marketer that video is critical to growing a business. But how many times have you sat at your desk with a free hour and said to yourself, “let me just create this quick video to use in our next event registration email.” 

If you answer “yes” to this question, you’re on the right track: video doesn’t have to be time consuming, hard, or take any certain production expertise. 

Get your copy of

But if you often answer “no” – we’re here to help. Know that getting over the initial hump of realizing video doesn’t have to be hard will be game changing to the next time you have a free hour at your desk. It CAN be fun – and we’ll show you how with this guide on 75 Facebook and Instagram Video Tips in partnership with Wistia and Venngage. 

Why Facebook and Instagram? At this point, social media is basically synonymous with video. Facebook alone boasts 8 billion daily video views.

And – nearly every mainstream social media channel has started to optimize for video content—whether it’s the ability to upload natively or include video-specific features that are unique to each platform.

Regardless of your business size or industry, you’re likely already using at least a few social media platforms, which means you know that no site is exactly the same: there’s no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to using video with social media.

We break down the elements of coming up with a successful social video strategy as we dig into two of the biggest, most far-reaching platforms out there: Facebook and Instagram.

Free Download 75 Facebook and Instagram Video Tips

 

Apr

8

2017

The Facebook Ad Types: How to Choose the Best Ad Type for Your Goals

HSCM - Lead Ad Types - featured image - blog post.png

Did you know that people in the U.S. spend 20% of their mobile time on Facebook or Instagram? And there are over 1.8 billion people using Facebook every month?

With so many active users, Facebook Ads are a no-brainer for any marketer looking to reach new audiences in a place where people are already spending a significant amount of time.

Facebook’s business platform has grown to be more and more sophisticated, giving advertisers more options to reach new audiences and retarget previous site visitors back to their brand. However, with so many different options, it can be difficult for advertisers to figure out which Facebook Ad type is best for any given campaign objective.

In this post, we’ll walk through each of the different Facebook Ad types and help you figure out which ads you should run for different campaign goals.

Special note: One ad type, Facebook Lead Ads, is increasingly useful for inbound marketers because it allows Facebook users to fill out lead generation forms directly within the Facebook app. 

Want to dive deeper into Facebook lead generation ads? We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on the Facebook lead ads type and how to use them. 

The Facebook Ad Types: What Are You Options?

App Engagement

App engagement ads are meant to generate activity within an app among your current users, or highlight app features before asking a new user to download. Here’s an example of an engagement ad below:

App Engagement Ads

While this ad example could be targeted towards new and existing users, the ad’s copy and call-to-action focus on specific features, which encourages activity within the app — rather than just a download or install.

App Installs

While app engagement ads are intended to highlight specific features to drive in-app engagements, app install ads are focused on generating new users. Instead of calling out specific features, app install ads are more likely to showcase the app’s core purpose and main functionality. 

App Install Ads

Brand Awareness

At some point, you may want to use Facebook ads to expose as many people as possible to your brand’s name and products. If that’s the case, use the brand awareness Facebook ad objective.

Facebook’s brand awareness ad type could technically be used for any campaign. But it’s meant to be used for remarkable content that drives brand awareness by enticing Facebook users who are scrolling on their news feed. For brand awareness campaigns, don’t just think about what you want to get out of it. Instead, focus on creating remarkable content that makes users who view it want to know more about your brand.

Brand Awareness

In the example above, Spotify’s ad uses a creative, colorful video that focuses on finding new music and playlists for users to enjoy. While a user might see the add and decide to sign up for Spotify immediately, Spotify used the brand awareness approach to create compelling content to draw the user’s attention.

Store Visits

While some brand awareness campaigns are meant for wide-ranging audiences, other businesses might be focused on acquiring customers in a specific location.

Store visit ads allow you to create campaigns that target users in a specific geographic location. If you have multiple locations, you can use the same creative template and target Facebook users who are spending time in each of your localities, too.

Local Visit

To use the store visits ad type most effectively, Facebook requires you to set up a locations structure on your business’s Facebook page. 

Local Awareness

Whether you have a new store opening or just want to boost awareness for one of your store’s exisiting locations, use the local awareness ad type to drive brand awareness in specific geographic regions. This ad type is largely the same as brand awareness ads, but will be more oriented and targeted via location than larger overarching audiences. 

Local Awareness

For example, Cold Stone Creamery used a local awareness ad to target people in a geographic area when their store in Bangladesh opened. Notice how in this ad Cold Stone chose to use a video as the creative asset featured in the ad. This is a great way to engage users and entice them to stop scrolling down their newsfeed. 

Website Conversions

While brand awareness campaigns might be more high-level and goaled with long-term attribution, website conversion campaigns are meant to encourage users to click on ads and convert on your website immediately. 

Website Conversion

Website conversion ads are meant to drive specific actions on a specific page on your website, so make sure to use them correctly. Instead of simply encouraging the user to click on your website to “learn more,” use website conversion ads to drive sign ups to a newsletter, start a free trial, or download an offer. 

For example, Lyft used a website conversion ad to encourage users to become a Lyft driver with a special offer. The add encourages conversions by using a specific “Apply Now” call-to-action and creates a sense of urgency by showcasing the offer as being for a “Limited Time” only.

Clicks to Website

Many of your campaigns will be goaled on getting users to take specific actions, like filling out a lead generation form, while other ad campaigns might be goaled on generating traffic to your website.

For traffic-oriented campaigns, use the clicks to website ad type. This ad type allows you to send users to specific blog posts, site pages, or product offers in a variety of creative formats. For example, Wikibuy used a website clicks ad to drive traffic to one of their blog posts hosted on Medium:

Clicks to Website

With the click to website ad type, you also have a variety of creative options. You can include a carousel of images to send users to different links, or canvas mobile ad feature to tell a story with your ad.

Event Ads

Have an important event coming up that you want to generate some buzz and attendance for? Use the event ads type to promote a Facebook event and get more responses.

 Event Ad

The event ads type is relatively straight forward. If you are already using Facebook’s event feature to generate attendance, this ad type is a great addition to your campaign strategy.

However, if you want to drive event sign-ups on solely on your website’s sign-up page, it might be better to use a different ad type, like website conversion ads, to meet your on-page goal. 

Offer Claim Ads

During the website conversion ads section, we touched on the fact that you could use conversion-focused offers as a landing point for your Facebook ad. That said, Facebook also allows you to set off-site offer downloads as a campaign objective. 

Whether you have discounts, holiday deals, or content-specific offers to promote via Facebook ads, the offer claim objective allows you to customize your ads with calls-to-action specific to the offer. For example, you might use a “Learn More” call-to-action if you’re offering something that’s good only for the first 500 sign-ups, like in the ad example below:

Offer Claim Ad

Offer Claim Ad

As you can see, the offer claim Facebook Ad type should lead your users directly to a sign-up page on your website where they can claim the offer you promoted.

Lead Generation (Full Form) Ads

In a traditional lead generation conversion path, users are driven to a landing page where they fill out a form. For example, you might use a Facebook offer claim ad (like we discussed in the previous section) to drive users to your website and have them fill out a form there.

The downside to this conversion path is that users are required to leave Facebook altogether once they’ve clicked on the ad to actually claim what you’re promoting. Luckily, Facebook offers the lead generation objective, which allows you to collect lead information without forcing your audience to ever leave the Facebook app. 

Here’s an example that shows the conversion path the user goes through on a Facebook lead ad: 

First, the user see a traditional conversion-focused ad:

Facebook Lead Ads

Once the user clicks on the add and/or call-to-action (in this case, Sign-Up), they see this pop up within the Facebook app:

Facebook Lead Ads

Next, the user can click the register button and see an form (of your choosing) with their information auto-filled.

Facebook Lead Ads

Once the user submits the form on the lead ad, they can click out of the ad and go back to browsing on Facebook. It’s a great user experience and Facebook will sync with your CRM so your leads are right where you want them. 

Want more information on how to set up and successful target Facebook lead ads to the right users? Check out this comprehensive guide. 

Page Likes

In some cases, you may want to use Facebook Ads to expand your organic reach. When this is your campaign goal, you should use the page like ad type to encourage new users to “like” your page. Once they do, they’ll be able to see your organic content when you post it.

Page Like Ads

Page like campaigns are best for advertisers who put lots of effort into their social media presence and produce content specifically for their Facebook users to drive engagement.

Keep in mind, you can also ad a “like page” call-to-action option to other ad types if you want to accomplish two goals with one ad. 

Post Engagements

If you regularly post content on your Facebook page, you probably know that some content performs better than others. With Facebook post engagement ads, you can drive more engagement on individual posts and expand its original reach. This helps you generate more activity on your posts and helps you get more organic followers quickly by offering them the kinds of posts they’ll see more of if they follow you.

In the example below, the ad is promotes an update this company made to their Facebook photos. Notice that the add displays the post engagement (likes, comments, shares) along with the post to encourage viewers to also engage with it.

The ad also features a “like page” button which allows the advertiser to generate both page likes and post engagements all in one post. 

Facebook Post Engagement 

How to Choose which Facebook Ad Type to Use

We’ve covered all of the different Facebook Ad types campaign objectives you can use to meet your specific ads goals. But is that all encompassing? Not really. 

In reality, many of the Facebook Ad type campaign objectives overlap, and you could use multiple ad types to accomplish the same objective. Additionally, Facebook has many different options for you to choose from once you pick a campaign objective, which means choosing an ad type isn’t even half of the battle. 

So how do you decide which ad type to use?

1) Define your campaign goal.

Before you begin any ad campaign, you first need to determine what the goal of your campaign is. Are you trying to drive conversions on your website? Drive attendance for an upcoming event? Simply get more customers to your local store?

Don’t just come up with a campaign around which ad type you want to use. Instead, start with your own marketing needs and build your ad around it. 

2) Choose relevant types you could use.

Once you’ve defined the goal of your ad campaign, take a look at the different Facebook Ad types available to you. Luckily, you already know what each of the ad types are. 

Choose the type most relevant to your goals. You probably noticed Facebook has multiple ad types you could use for a single objective. If your goal is to drive downloads for an ebook, for example, you could use any one of the following options: 

  1. Clicks to Website
  2. Website Conversions
  3. Lead Generation
  4. Offer Claims

3) Narrow down your options.

Once you’ve chosen which ad types are most applicable to your needs, choose the one you think will work best for you campaign. Or, use the same creative, copy, and targeting options to set up a campaign test using different ad types and see if one performs better than the other. 

4) Write copy and create assets.

One great feature of Facebook’s Ads Manager tool is the wide range of creative and layout options you have available to you. Not only can you choose between image, video, photo grid, and carousel layouts,  you can also customize your ads for mobile and desktop audiences. 

Facebook also has lots of different calls-to-action you can use on your ads, or you can choose not to use one at all! As you run different ad campaigns, make sure to test and analyze what works best for your audience. 

6) Use different ad types for different campaign goals.

Don’t just stick to one ad type for all of your campaigns. Instead, make sure you’re optimizing your ads for the right campaign objectives. Try out different Facebook Ad types and different ad campaigns to optimize your ad strategy for your audience. 

7) Target the right audience.

Creating the draft of your ad is only half the battle. The other half is figuring out how to target the right audience for your ads campaign. 

Luckily, our free guide to Facebook Lead Ads has an in-depth section on how to set up your targeting strategy for any ad campaign you run. 

8) Test, analyze, and repeat.

Once you’ve defined your campaign objective, selected your ad type, created your ad, and targeted the right audience, it’s time to analyze your results. 

Remember: digital advertising is all about testing, analyzing, and optimizing future ad campaigns over time. Make sure you follow this important final important step, and you’ll be on your way to implementing a high-ROI ads strategy in no time. 

You may be wondering, “Okay, which Facebook Ad type should I definitely try right away? 

We just put together this in-depth guide on Facebook Lead Ads. It’ll help you learn everything you need to know about optimizing lead generation ads that allow users to submit forms to you without ever leaving Facebook. Check it out here or click the banner below.

Facebook Lead Ad

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Mar

29

2017

How to Create Facebook Lead Ads: A Beginner's Guide

How_to_create_lead_ads-2.jpg

If you’re like most marketers, you’re always on the search for ways to reach new audiences and generate leads. 

But did you know that according to BrightTALK, 80% of marketers report their current lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective?

Typically, lead generation marketers collect information through form submissions on a website. First, the marketer promotes a specific offer — like a gated ebook or coupon — and then an interested user will fill out a lead form to claim the offer. 

While this method does work and helps get exposure to your site, it has one important problem: it requires users to leave the place where the offer was promoted to click through your conversion path.  For marketers, this means bounce-rates at every point along the process. And that’s not ideal.

Ever wish you could just reach people and collect information from them without asking them leave the social network they’re already browsing? Well, you can  — with Facebook Lead Ads.

For a full guide on how to successfully create, target, and utilize Facebook lead ads in your marketing efforts, check out this guide

In this article, we’ll go over the basics of Facebook lead ads: what they are, why they matter, and how you can start using them effectively in your own marketing campaigns.

What is a Facebook Lead Ad?

A Facebook lead ad is an ad type you can purchase through the Facebook for Business platform. Instead of sending users to a landing page where they fill out a lead form on your website, Facebook lead ads allow potential customers to access your offers without ever leaving the Facebook app.

This feature means you can capture lead information from the Facebook platform and avoid the friction of a longer click-through path for the user. 

Facebook lead ads allow prospects to sign up for your offers or request other types of offers — such as pricing guides, product demos, or free trials — directly within the Facebook platform. Facebook lead ads are also designed with the user in mind; when a user clicks on a lead ad, Facebook creates an auto-fill form with information the user has already submitted to Facebook. 

HSCM - buffer lead ads - facebook lead ads gif-1.gif

Image Source: Facebook

The auto-fill feature makes lead ads especially helpful for mobile users, who experience the most friction from the traditional conversion path. Convinced? Time to get your first lead ad setup.

How to Set Up Your Facebook Lead Ad

Start by preparing to set up your lead ad. You’ll need a few things beforehand:

  • Admin access to your Facebook Business Page
  • Your privacy policy page URL.
  • An image/creative asset to make your ad stand out on a user’s newsfeed.

Next, open up the power editor or ads manager tool for your business page

Not sure which to use? The ads manager is Facebook’s classic ad tool for basic advertisers. If you’re just starting out, the ads manager is probably the tool you should use.

On the other hand, the power editor is Facebook’s more advanced tool for advertisers who are regularly creating numerous ad campaigns in bulk. It has some more advanced features and allows you to create more ads in bulk. This tool is ideal for someone with a high budget at an enterprise level.

Step by step instructions once you’re in the Ads Manager or Power Editor tool:

1) If you’re using the Ads Manager, Click “Create Ad” in the top right. If you’re using the power editor, Click “Create Campaign” in the top left.

ads manager

2) Next, you’ll see a screen asking for your ad campaign objective. Click, “lead generation” and the page will pull down with the next option:

campaign objective

3) Name your ad campaign.

campaign name

 

4) Next, set the details of your account (Country, Timezone, Ad Unit Currency). This step is part of setting up the ads account for your business, not for the actual ad you’re setting up. We’ll get to the ad setup in a bit.

account settings

5) Choose your business page from the drop-down menu and read through and “Accept the Facebook Lead Ads Terms and Conditions”.

Lead Ads Terms and Conditions

6) Set up the targeting settings for your ad. You can customize the target audience by location, age, gender, language, and hundreds of other target settings. As you add in more targeting features, the ticker on the right will show you the total size of the audience you’re trying to reach.

Audience targeting

7) Next, tell Facebook whether to automatically place your ad where it’s most likely to perform best, or if you’d rather customize the placement based on your own preferences. In general, it’s recommended to let Facebook place your ads automatically.

ad placement settings

8) Next, customize your budget for the ad. Determine with your team how much budget you’re willing to spend for one ad. Facebook ads works on an auction system, so choose a budget that seems reasonable based on prior research. 

budget and schedule

9) Choose an ad layout format from the options on the next screen, and upload creative assets to your ad to make it stand out. Don’t forget to test different creative options and layouts to figure out what performs best over time.

ad format

10) Now it’s time to set up and customize the form for your lead ad. First, customize the headline, text, and CTA for the display page of the ad. Be as specific as possible so the user knows what they will get by clicking on the CTA of your ad.

lead form call to action

11) Next, choose which information you want to collect from from your leads on the “questions” tab. Only ask necessary questions for your funnel; the more questions you ask, the lower your click-through rate is likely to be.

  • One benefit of lead ads is that they’re completely customizable. Not only can you request common form fields such as name, phone number, and email address, you can also ask an open-ended questions such as, “what kinds of information do you find valuable?” While an open-ended question might not be best for all forms, you can use an open-ended question to qualify the submissions you do receive on your lead ad form.

lead form welcome screen

12) Next, check the setting for the privacy policy on your ad. This step is particularly important because it ensures the security of the user’s information. Add the link to your company’s privacy policy and feel free to add an optional custom disclaimer to the ad in addition to Facebook’s required disclaimer that will appear below the form.  

Lead Ads Welcome Screen

13) Finally, you’re ready to customize the Thank You Screen. Insert your website link in this option so the user can visit your site after submitting the form.

lead form thank you screen

14) Check the completed ad to make sure all of your work looks like it should. Don’t ever forget to double check and proofread your work! 

15) Click “finish” to complete your form. Optionally, you can “select a CRM” to collect submission information in the Leads Setup section. 

16) The final step is to click the “Place Order” button.

How to Make Your Lead Ad Stand Out

Now that you know how to set up your lead ad, you might be wondering how to actually drive conversions. After all, you’ll be competing not only for a spot on a user’s Facebook newsfeed but also for the attention among all the other content the targeted user is scrolling through. 

How do you make sure your lead ad is compelling enough for a user to click on it? Here are some tips:

1) Make it visually appealing

Because your competing against all the other pieces of content on a user’s newsfeed, it’s important that your ad is visually appealing. Make creative assets that are colorful, bold, and/or interesting in some way.

While there are plenty of ways you can make a visually appealing ad, don’t just find the brightest, most colorful image and plop it on your ad. Whatever creative assets you use should accurately illustrate what you’re offering through the ad.

As you experiment with Facebook Ads, test out the success of different types of creative assets, and find out what works best for your target audience. Try testing videos, GIFs, and other types of images. Overtime, track the click-through and conversion rates of different creative types to optimize your ads strategy for the future. 

2) Create compelling copy 

The copy of your ad should have a clear message to your audience. When writing copy, write it so that your target audience can easily understand what you’re offering, why it’s relevant to them, and why they should request more information now

Because your goal is to get someone to submit information right then and there, be sure to add urgency to your ad. Don’t just say “Learn More” and hope for the best. Instead, include an offer with an expiration date so the user feels compelled to download or sign up for the offer now.

If you’re retargeting users who have previously been to your site, add context to the copy to remind them why they visited your site in the first place and how your company’s offers can help them.

3) Include a clear call-to-action.

Part of writing compelling copy is making sure the call-to-action is clear and prominent. You can’t just use a Facebook Ad to tell your target audience what you company is and expect them to click a button to “Learn More” without giving them a clear value offer. What will they get from you when they fill out information?

Facebook gives your six CTA options for lead ads: 

  • Apply Now
  • Download
  • Get Quote
  • Learn More 
  • Sign Up
  • Subscribe

Offer your audience something they can’t refuse. Whether you’re offering an event, discount, content offering, subscription, etc, make sure the audience knows what they will get when they “Sign Up,” “Learn More,” “Download,” etc.

4) Target the right users with relevant offers

A key piece of creating successful Facebook Ads is targeting people that are actually going to be the most interested in what you have to offer. Don’t spray and pray, instead, spend your ad budget most effectively by learning to get the most out of Facebook’s targeting features. 

In general, your goal with Facebook Ads should be to reach new audiences. However, because you’re also trying to collect lead information on the spot, it’s also important not to ask for too much to soon.

That’s why lead ads are especially useful in retargeting campaigns. Use tracking pixels on your website to find out who is visiting your website but not converting, and use lead ads to nurture them back into you ecosystem.

This blog post didn’t cover a full picture of Facebook Ads targeting strategy, but luckily, we created a free guide to walk you through it. 

Want more information on how to target users effectively? Check out our full guide — it includes additional lead generation and social media tips as well!

Facebook Lead Ad

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Feb

24

2016

The Science Behind Successful Facebook Ads [Free Ebook]

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Facebook has been proven time and time again to be an effective channel for driving traffic to your website, converting visitors into leads, increasing app installations, and generating more Likes for your business Page.

But using Facebook advertising to drive results like these only works if you’re smart about it. The challenge for marketers is knowing how to optimise your Facebook ads to get the most bang for your buck.

What exactly does it take to make a Facebook ad successful? To find out, HubSpot teamed up with AdEspresso and analysed 100,000 Facebook ads from businesses. We compiled the data into a free visual guide, The Science of Successful Facebook Ads.

In this brand new ebook, we go through the data we collected and the analyses we drew from it, Facebook advertising best practices to follow, and examples of companies that are doing it well to get your creative juices flowing.

The Facebook advertising data we cover in the ebook includes:

  • The most popular type of Facebook ad
  • The most popular headline length
  • The most popular text & description length
  • The most popular words used
  • The most popular numbers used
  • The most popular links
  • The most popular calls-to-action (CTAs)

Ready to start creating better Facebook ads that drive real business value?

Download your copy of The Science of Successful Facebook Ads here and start creating more effective Facebook ads.

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How to go #beyondmarketing this holiday season

“Data-backed best practices for Facebook Advertising by @HubSpot and @AdEspresso http://hubs.ly/H022wFn0”

  free guide to facebook advertising

Jan

27

2015

9 Brands With Brilliant Facebook Marketing

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There have been a lot of questions about Facebook lately: Are people still using it? Is it on the decline? Can businesses still find it valuable?

With over 1 billion active users, it’s safe to say that Facebook is alive and well.

There are tons of other rising social networks out there, but let’s be honest, Facebook really was the game-changer (sorry Myspace!). While it’s hard to predict the future of Facebook and social media, it remains a major player in social media marketing today.

Facebook appeals to its users because it provides real-time information but with a deeper feel. It may not necessarily break news as fast as Twitter, but when it does it provides greater detail and a platform for discussion.

Facebook takes engagement to a deeper level than other networks can. Since you aren’t limited by character count or to just sharing images, you can really say what you want to say. This key differentiator has kept Facebook as the most widely-used social platform, even as new networks are introduced every day.

With millions of brands on Facebook, how can you make yours to stand out? Below are 9 companies (that you’ve probably all heard of) that take their Facebook marketing to the next level. An important thing to note is that the strategies used by these major players can be used by any company out there. You don’t have to be Nike or Microsoft to be successful.

1) Nike

Number of Likes: 22.6 million

Nike is arguably one of the biggest names out there. They have a marketing budget that a lot of companies can barely begin to fathom. Yet when it comes to their Facebook presence, they don’t over-emphasize the need to buy their products.

Even though Nike is such a household name, they still have competitors. Adidas and Under Armour aren’t just going to sit back and let them maintain the majority of the market share. You would think the competitive nature of the industry would encourage them to step up their promotions.

But they don’t have to. They have established and continue to maintain a strong brand image, which resonates throughout their Facebook page. They have quite possibly the most famous slogan out there, so they grab onto that popularity and incorporate it in their cover photo, photos shared, and through a branded hashtag.

Nike’s Facebook page is a balance of new products, science, charitable initiatives, and encouragement. One way they differentiate themselves from their major competitors is by emphasizing the research and development that goes into every design. Their products are seen as the result of extensive engineering or science experiments, which evoke the idea that these items are cutting-edge and high quality.

Nike

Another effective strategy for Nike is that they have established separate pages for each of their product lines to better target their different markets. From basketball to golf to snowboarding to women’s products, Nike likely has a page that will target your interests. Their ability to manage an “umbrella” account on top of many others and maintain a consistent image is truly remarkable. It speaks to how well they not only know their audience, but what their brand is all about.

2) March of Dimes

Number of Likes: 594,000

Marketing any charitable organization can be tough because there are thousands of organizations out there that need our help. How can you pick and choose one great cause over another?

The March of Dimes takes a unique approach to non-profit marketing by emphasizing the educational aspect of the initiatives they support. Their Facebook page serves as an information powerhouse with everything you need to know about what to expect during your pregnancy. Many of their posts consist of healthy eating and lifestyle tips to provide the nourishment and care babies need before they are born. They also have an app that allows fans to register for a “March for Babies” walk and raise money through Facebook.

March_of_Dimes

The March of Dimes page includes another app called “39 Weeks,” which chronicles the developments occurring during each week of a pregnancy, and fans can share their stories about unexpected complications. Unfortunately, not every pregnancy goes smoothly, and the March of Dimes serves as a great educational and emotional resource to push through.

This strategy has proven to be extremely successful for the March of Dimes, in that the number of registered walkers has increased by 75% and revenue by over 100%. It’s not easy to market a non-profit because you not only want to raise money, but you also want to be sensitive to those who have experienced tragedy. The March of Dimes is a perfect role model of how to balance these things and shed light on important issues facing people all around the world.

3) Taco Bell

Number of Likes: 10.6 million

When you go to Taco Bell’s Facebook page, your experience will be almost identical to their Twitter or Instagram accounts. They have been able to successfully connect social platforms together by using their “Live Más” slogan, the branded hashtag #onlyintheapp, and by sharing images of products. Almost every post has a picture of a Taco Bell menu item, which maximizes awareness and entices people to eat there.

In recent months, Taco Bell skyrocketed its social media presence through the introduction of their new mobile ordering app. They made headlines when they temporarily blacked out their social media profiles to promote it. That’s right; they went silent on social media to promote the app. If you visited their Facebook page during this 24-hour period, you would have been greeted with a completely black profile. This unique approach to promotion proved to be extremely successful because social media was buzzing for days.

Taco_Bell

Taco Bell’s ability to incorporate humor into their social presence has surely aided in their success. Some of their most recent Facebook posts include a petition to add a taco emoji to smartphone keyboards. These types of posts grab a fan’s attention and engage them, and if they showed up in your news feed you’d probably click on them.

Their generally lighthearted nature helps them sell products and get people in their restaurants because they aren’t forceful. And not only is it fun, but it works. DigitalCoCo ranked Taco Bell number one on the Restaurant Social Media Index, beating out competitors like Wendy’s and McDonald’s. So they’re not simply trying to get you to buy tacos on your phone; Taco Bell sets you up for a memorable and enjoyable social experience.

4) TOMS

Number of Likes: 2.9 million

People love to support brands that give back, and TOMS has achieved incredible success through their “one-for-one” strategy. For every pair of shoes or eyeglasses you buy, they will donate a pair to someone in need.

TOMS has branched out in recent months to selling coffee beans as well, but under this same one-for-one premise. For every bag of coffee beans you buy from their website, a week of fresh water will be provided through various water sustainability projects. It’s this desire to help others that has made TOMS a truly iconic brand for the millennial generation.

TOMS

Lots of brands team up with charities to take a “giving back” approach to marketing and sales these days. So why does TOMS stand out from the pack?

I think TOMS has found such success because of their target market: millennials. This is a generation argued to be selfish and greedy, but in reality, maybe they just haven’t been targeted properly up to this point.

TOMS offers products catered to teens and young adults, and they market themselves primarily on social media. What they also do is provide a tangible understanding of how your purchase impacts others. With TOMS, you’re not just making a specific dollar donation to support an organization. You know that when you buy a pair of shoes, someone in need will get a pair too. If you buy coffee, you know that someone will get to drink clean water for an entire week. By adding this tangible element, people may be more inclined to support because they can actually see where their money goes.

This passion translates to their Facebook page seamlessly by featuring a lot of fan-provided content. People share pictures of places their TOMS have been and how they incorporate them into their everyday style. In addition, there are a lot of posts about the charities that they support so you get that continued connection with the people you’re helping every day.

TOMS is a prime example that when millennials are marketed to properly, they do want to make a difference in the world and help others. They have certainly set a precedent for how future companies will target this generation.

5) Nature Valley

Number of Likes: 1.4 million

It seems like one of the biggest challenges due to the prevalence of technology is getting people to actually go outside. We spend most, if not all, of our day inside glued to our computers, smart phones, and TVs.

Nature Valley is trying to change all of that. They’ve successfully utilized their Facebook page to promote getting outside, as well as lightly market their granola bars and snacks as part of a healthy lifestyle. The majority of their posts are pictures of nature, outdoor activities, and exercise tips, rather than just product promotion. They position their marketing in a way that focuses much more on enjoying the outdoors versus just getting some whole grains in your diet.

Their most recent Facebook campaign is around the hashtag #getoutthere, which promotes this philosophy while also linking to technology. Most people probably aren’t going to leave their phone inside all day while they go for a hike or bike ride, and Nature Valley acknowledges that by playing to the consumer’s need to be connected while promoting a healthy lifestyle. They encourage fans to share photos of the activities they do with Nature Valley products in their bag, providing an interactive element while simultaneously marketing their products.

Nature_Valley

In addition to these fan-shared images, Nature Valley has a gallery of breath-taking nature photos from around the world that you can download and use as your Facebook cover photo. They have already been sized to the proper dimensions, so they’re ready to use for your Facebook profile or computer desktop background. It’s another way to keep this “get out there” idea in the consumer’s mind.

Even though Nature Valley’s products are associated with the outdoors, a lot of consumers purchase them for their everyday life. They don’t necessarily have to push this outdoorsy persona to make a sale. But they truly believe in the importance of appreciating nature and getting outside to enjoy it, so that’s how they market themselves. They sell an experience and a lifestyle that would probably make us all a bit happier, healthier, and more relaxed.

6) Microsoft

Number of Likes: 6.2 million

When you’re marketing a new technology to customers, it can be easy to get into a “tech-speak” frame of mind, and that type of language is likely to go over many heads. It doesn’t exactly welcome engagement or discussion amongst followers and fans.

Microsoft has found a way to bridge this gap through emphasizing visual content and avoiding too much tech talk. They know that their primary audience on Facebook is going to be typical consumers like you and me, and compose their messages accordingly.

Their latest Facebook campaign is around the hashtag #5to9, which focuses on what you do with your time outside of the office. They also take common workplace acronyms, like PTO and ETA, and change them into non work-related phrases. This strategy emphasizes work-life balance, while also showing how Microsoft products can be used for both work and play.

Microsoft

Microsoft has been modernizing its brand over the past couple years, updating its logo and introducing new products like Bing, the Surface, and Windows 8. These products are a far cry from the early Microsoft that came on the market. With that has come a new marketing strategy, heavily focused on social media and video.

Sure, Apple is a major player in the technology industry, but they barely use Facebook or social media. Microsoft has effectively used this to their advantage by creating an engaging page that is easy to understand. For those who don’t comprehend technology lingo (like me), this approach is quite refreshing. Microsoft proves that even the most intellectual of industries can appeal to everyone if you can bring things down to a “human” level.

7) Universal Studios Orlando

Number of Likes: 1.2 million

When you’re creating a marketing strategy, one of the first things you might do is consider your competitors. What are they doing in their marketing and how is it working for them? Universal Studios doesn’t do that. It doesn’t seem to bother them that Disney World is just a few miles down the road; they have developed an image in the marketplace and stand by it.

A turning point for Universal Studios was the partnership with J.K. Rowling in creating the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Arguably the most successful book and movie series in generations, this acquisition has proven to be a real game-changer for the theme park.

Previously, visitors often traveled to Orlando to go to Disney and maybe squeeze in a day at Universal if they had time to spare. Now, people are starting to travel to Orlando for Universal. From 2009-2012, Universal Studios Orlando saw theme-park traffic increase almost 5% following the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Orlando tourism as a whole rose over 7% during this period, almost entirely due to Universal’s expansion.

When you interact with Universal Studios Orlando on Facebook, it is immediately clear that they don’t intend to modify their brand to pull Disney visitors from their parks. By staying true to who they are, they’ve been able to do that anyways.

Their Facebook presence is a lot different from Disney’s, in that they don’t really focus on characters from the movies their parks are based on, but rather on the people visiting them. Sharing pictures submitted by their fans makes the page conversational and customer-focused. If you check out Disney’s page, you’ll see a lot of pictures of princesses and characters, but Universal’s page predominantly features pictures of the attractions themselves and the people that come through their gates.

Universal_Studios

Universal Studios completed a campaign at the end of 2014 sharing the “Top 100 Fan Moments” of the year. It was an album consisting of mostly fan-shared photos; pictures of families enjoying time together around the parks. They continue to encourage fans to share images with the hashtag #UniversalMoments.

We will probably continue to see the market share of Universal Studios rise as they stay focused on their fans, don’t try to fit the Disney mold, and continue introducing attractions from today’s hottest movies.

8) Fitbit

Number of Likes: 586,000

Fitbit is a relative newcomer to the market in comparison to the brands previously mentioned, yet they’ve made a name for themselves in their marketing, especially on Facebook. If you aren’t familiar with Fitbit yet, you probably will be very soon. They offer watch-like products that track a variety of health measurements, from how many steps you take in a day to how many hours of sleep you get. If you’re on a weight-loss plan, there’s a Fitbit to track your daily calories burned and overall progress.

For being a brand in such a new industry, you might expect their marketing to push a hard sell; wearable tech is projected to be one of the hottest products in the coming years. Well with Fitbit, you’d be wrong.

They actually do very little product promotion on their Facebook page. Rather, their approach focuses on physical and mental health with exercise tips and encouragement. Their strategy is rooted in empowering fans to set fitness-related goals.

When you like the Fitbit page, it’s almost like you’re joining a fitness support group. Many of their posts consist of inspirational quotes and resources to stick to your health and wellness regimen.

Fitbit

Another way they have this support group-type of presence is by encouraging Fitbit users to share their stats with their Facebook friends. Everything that your Fitbit tracks can be posted directly, so this is a great way to share your successes and stay on track. They also have a refer-a-friend program through Facebook, where you can get $10 for every person you refer that purchases a Fitbit. Offering incentive programs like this not only benefit you, but it also creates a support system of friends that are on this journey with you.

Even if you aren’t interested in buying a Fitbit, they provide a lot of tips and inspiration that can help you stay on track throughout your fitness journey. Collaborative environments like this can’t help but motivate you to strive towards your health and wellness goals.

9) Aerie

Number of Likes: 1.4 million

Aerie has left a mark on the fashion industry and the way beauty is defined. In an age of Photoshop and retouching, Aerie has taken a stand against “manufactured beauty.” They have made a promise to their customers that they will no longer modify any images of their models, and have come out with a new slogan that says, “We think the real you is sexy.”

What better message could we have in the fashion world than that? When we are constantly bombarded with unattainable images of what magazines define as “beautiful,” it’s great to see a brand put their foot down.

Aerie makes their stance known through social media, and especially through their Facebook page. They share images of their models and you can immediately see the difference between their photos and those you see on the cover of Vogue. These are real women; people that we can actually relate to.

Aerie

They also share a lot of fan-contributed quotes about “real beauty” and what it means to them. If you like Aerie’s Facebook page, your newsfeed is filled with inspiring words that create a sense of positivity, confidence, and lift you up.

It serves as a forum for people to openly share their insecurities and discover what makes them beautiful in their own right. They empower their Facebook fans and do what they can as a social influence to help people love who they are, inside and out. We could certainly use more brands like Aerie in this world.

Key Takeaways

Looking at these 9 brands, you can find several similarities between their Facebook strategies that help them stand out among their competitors. Many use branded hashtags to connect social media platforms together as well as share fan-provided content. These are areas where Facebook can really thrive because they emphasize collaboration and engagement.

Brands like TOMS and the March of Dimes place an emphasis on giving back and helping those going through tough times. Facebook has been a very effective way to pull at people’s heartstrings and raise money for important causes, and this will probably continue for years to come.

What these brands do above everything else is stay true to their company’s foundation. Universal Studios doesn’t try to mimic Disney like Taco Bell doesn’t try to mimic McDonald’s and other fast-food chains.

Even though these are all highly successful companies, any brand can take some cues from their Facebook strategies:

  1. Find what makes you unique from the competition and play off of that. For example, Nike differentiates itself by emphasizing the science and research that goes into developing their products.
  2. Second, don’t force a hard sell in every post. Share content that fans have shared with you, post pictures, and offer tips and advice.
  3. Finally, and most importantly, be yourself. People want to engage with authentic brands on Facebook, brands that “get them.”

If you can master these takeaways, your Facebook page will likely bring positive results.

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