9 Hot Facebook-Marketing Tips for Small Business

It's not that hard to market your brand on Facebook. Some of the biggest brands in the world use these same tactics.
February 13, 2012

With 845 million users and a new IPO, Facebook has become an increasingly useful tool for brands. It's important for companies to have a strong presence on the social network.

Whether your brand is fully established or just starting out, launching a marketing campaign can seem overwhelming. But, several small and simple things give your brand a start on Facebook. Some of these marketing tactics are used by the biggest brands in the world.

Ready to put your brand in front of the 845 million? Here are nine time-saving tips for marketing on Facebook.

1. See if your vanity URL is available

Before you launch your brand presence on Facebook, check on your vanity URL. Find one that's simple and easy to remember.

Instead of checking manually, use a service called Name Vine. It checks domain names, Facebook and Twitter extensions in a matter of seconds to see if the vanity URL you'd like is available.

2. Use a third-party platform to distribute content

Copying and pasting content, logging in from one social media network and logging out from another can be a time-consuming task. But it doesn’t have to be. If want to push content to Facebook and other social networks, a tool like HootSuite helps. It enables you to publish once and distribute everywhere. You can integrate your Facebook page, Twitter account, Google+ page, LinkedIn profile and other social networks in one easy-to-use interface.

3. Use an application publishing platform

Social media budgets for small and medium-sized businesses are much smaller than those of global brands. The big guys can afford multiple custom applications and promotions on Facebook. But you don't need a big budget to launch a lot of the basic applications seen on Facebook.

Services like North Social and Pagemodo deliver the applications that most businesses need. Most of these services provide a free version of some applications. You won’t get a customized app for free, but you can manage the content and visuals within the pre-developed apps. This may be a good first step into the Facebook world if your budget is tight.

To launch some of these applications, set up the following tabs.

  • Welcome page: This should be the default landing page. Typically, these pages are fan-gated, which means the site visitor is asked to “like” the page to unveil more content.
  • Contact Us page: This helps convert your fans into potential sales leads.

You should set up at least one or two tab applications on your Facebook page, so users aren’t landing on your Facebook wall. They should land on a page that’s informative and engaging, able to convert those users into fans.

4. Use social plugins

The most underutilized free tools are Facebook social plugins. A new study from Gigya shows that users who visit third-party sites through Facebook Connect spend 50 percent more time on those sites. And, those users view twice as many pages.

Aside from use on third-party sites, social plugins can provide a deeper level of engagement, while driving traffic. It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is, leverage the social plugins on your blog, Facebook and on your website. They’re free to use and are a quick and easy way to market your brand or message through referral traffic.

5. Find out when and what to post

To see what your fans engage with the most, and when to post it on Facebook, a third-party service called Edgerank Checker works well.

This time-saving application grades your fan page and determines the following key factors.

  • Most effective day of the week to post content
  • Popular keywords that drive engagement
  • What type of media is best for your audience
  • How often to update

6. Use Facebook Insights

To provide a report of Facebook metrics for yourself, your boss or a client, the best time-saver is to export the Facebook Insights data to an Excel spreadsheet. You can see which status updates performed best, whether your audience responds well to video or get a sense of what's driving your Likes.

Click the Export Data button. In the pop-up that appears, select the data type and date range. Once you’ve downloaded the file, open it in Excel and apply a filter by going to the data tab and clicking on Filter. Make sure that your cursor is on the top row. In the example, we’ve chosen the "Lifetime Post Total Reach" metric to filter by.

Once this filter is selected, you can quickly filter any key metrics in ascending or descending order.

7. Provide local content

Nobody wants to visit a Facebook Page with an enticing offer, only to learn that it's not available in their region. Nor do they want to land on a brand page where all the content is in another language.

Here are some quick strategies for providing localized content.

  • Give your fans an incentive to visit your business by providing them with a recent, active walk-in promotion in their area.
  • Show users that you're connected with their area by providing details and assets specific to where they are.
  • Geo-target your posts, even if you don’t have multiple locations. You wouldn’t want to offer a walk-in special to your fans in New York if your business is in Los Angeles

When you have to target languages, you can make status updates for users with certain language settings. So, Facebook users who have French or Spanish as their default language will only see your content that's in their native tongue.

  • 1. Click on Custom.
  • 2. Indicate which locations and what languages to target the ads toward in the pop-up that appears.
  • 3. Hit OK. Update your status with something that's geared for that specific audience. It’s local and relevant for those language settings selected.

8. Create a QR code for your fan page

Setting up a QR code for your Facebook Page is a quick, simple and effective strategy for small or large businesses to use. QR codes can be used on napkins, menus, business cards, billboards, magazines, brochures and other marketing materials.

Esponce is one of the most powerful QR code platforms on the market, and it offers a free tier that’s typically geared to small businesses.

The process takes no more than a few minutes to set up and allows you to do the following.

  • Create a custom QR code.
  • Embed your logo into the QR code.
  • Link your QR code to a dynamic URL. You can customize and change the URL later if you decide you want to drive users to your website instead of your Facebook page.

You’ll be able to use analytics to show how many people have scanned your code, their location and the type of smartphone that scanned the image.

9. Buy Facebook ads

Buying Facebook ads increases your brand's visibility throughout the Facebook platform. Most people don’t realize how easy Facebook ads are to set up or that you can buy in with a small advertising investment.

A budget of $50 a month is enough for a small business to make some waves.

Facebook's Like ads keep users engaged and informed with the latest in your marketing campaign. Think of them as a brand-awareness play. Users like your fan page from any page on Facebook. If a user doesn't click the Like button, don't interpret that as your campaign not working. Remember it's brand awareness.

One of the best ways to invest in Facebook advertising is by leveraging Sponsored Stories. Facebook’s new Sponsored Stories ad units nabbed a 46 percent higher click-through rate, according to a study by TBG Digital, a 20 percent lower cost per click and an 18 percent lower cost per fan than Facebook’s standard ad units.

Do you have other tips for Facebook marketing? Let us know in the comments.

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