What works on Facebook for businesses in 2019?

Every year, it seems there are new trends and strategies for marketing a business or brand on Facebook. It can feel difficult not to be overwhelmed or confused by the range of options, the conflicting information, and the new updates to the ‘algorithm.’

The truth is, while it’s important to keep up with what’s working overall on the platform, Facebook marketing is going to work slightly differently for all businesses. No two brands will have the exact same success, because your brand and your audience are unique. What that means for the savvy marketer is that plenty of testing and experimentation is needed to figure out precisely what is working for your business.

While you’ll need to test and track your individual results, here are some tried-and-true strategies that are working for a large number of Facebook marketers in 2019. It’s very likely that at least one of these strategies will work for your business, so give them a try!

Using a Content Calendar

This is a Facebook marketing suggestion that remains valid throughout the years. Using a content calendar to organise and keep track of the content you’re sharing on social media (Facebook and other platforms) will cut out a lot of the headaches. Not only will a content calendar give you something tangible to reference when diving into your marketing results, but it also saves you time and streamlines the posting process.

Perhaps most importantly, it is a vital part of an overall content strategy. With a content calendar, you can be sure that you’re promoting similar content across your social media networks. This increases your potential customer reach exponentially and strengthens the power of your message.

There are a number of content calendar services out there that can automate your scheduling, too. This is an enormous time-saver for your business and it ensures consistency with posting as well.

Want to track and/or automate social media content? Some options include Coschedule, Airtable, Buffer, and Trello.

Prioritising Video Content

Hello, 2019. Hello, video.

You have likely noticed that video marketing is seeing an explosive heyday. Among a large list of impressive video marketing statistics, this one stands out when it comes to marketing: 1200% more shares are generated by social video content than by text and images combined. That says a great deal about what web users are interested in consuming and sharing on the Internet.

To win at Facebook in 2019, you should spend some time diving into the world of video. Online marketing pro Gary Vaynerchuk recommends creating an epic “anchor video” for your brand. This is a creative, iconic video that encapsulates your brand and is extremely shareable. He offers up examples such as Dollar Shave Club or Purple Mattress, who had a great deal of success building a strong band through this viral video content. Obviously, creating an epic video is a significant investment of time and creativity, but with the right approach, such a distinctive brand tool could pay remarkable dividends.

Creating a Specialised Facebook Group

In recent years, business pages and even personal profiles have become victims of algorithm changes. To put it plainly, it is now harder than it was before to have your status updates, photos, and other content seen organically.

For many marketers, the automatic solution is to turn to paid Facebook ads. If organic reach is stunted, it seems that paid reach is the answer. But while paid ads can be an extremely valuable marketing tool, there are still plenty of cost-free options available to you that you can try as well.

One strategy that has proven successful in a range of niches is creating your own Facebook Group. Groups are powerful on Facebook. A whopping 200 million people have joined Facebook Groups that they are active and involved in.

For a business, these groups can be a goldmine. First, they are more specialised and targeted, which can yield better results for promoting your brand. And second, they typically receive far better engagement and reach than a regular Facebook Business Page.

The key is to create a group that is relevant, interesting, valuable and fits with your brand in some way. Then, encourage dialogue, share information, and with luck, you’ll have an engaged and communicative audience (which incidentally, just might be your current and potential customers!)

Running a Facebook Group is not an easy task. Particularly as groups grow in size, they require greater moderation and attention. It can also be an added challenge for some groups to get the ball rolling at the start. Some brands and niches lend themselves more easily to Facebook Groups. As a business, your goal is to figure out what type of group will be most attractive to your audience.

Check out this post for some more ideas on Facebook Groups: How to Launch Your Own Facebook Group and Get Loyal Fans

Use Facebook Stories

As highlighted above, video content is performing really well on social media. On both Facebook and Instagram, stories have become a big part of the network, with both experiencing tremendous growth.

Stories are different than other types of video content, as they are short-term, lasting for only 24 hours on your page. But this disappearing act doesn’t mean they are not valuable! On the contrary, Facebook Stories give you yet another opportunity to get in front of your audience, and with greater regularity.

The beauty of stories is that they are far less work. Stories tend to be less edited (or not edited at all) and are known for providing inside looks into the lives of users or the daily operations of brands. They are typically fun, light, and engaging. You should be able to create Facebook Story content fairly quickly and with little effort, but you might be surprised at the payoff.

This article advises businesses to “Start harnessing the power of Facebook Stories. This format provides a way for you to bypass the News Feed and reach your target audience organically.” They also remind us that “sharing to Stories is expected to surpass sharing through feeds some time in 2019.”

Test a Variety of Content - Especially Content that Encourages Participation

What kind of content are you sharing to your Facebook Business Page? If you’re like most brands, a fair portion of it is your own promotional content: blog posts from your website, graphics advertising an upcoming sale, etc.

But, you may find that these types of content actually don’t perform that well. Consumers can spot self-promo a mile away, and they might not be “warmed up” enough to read one of your blog posts.

What often does work effectively for Facebook Pages is to share content that encourages interaction. There are so many types of posts that can create engagement from followers, but the best way to get them involved is simply to ask! Posts that invite users to answer a question, take a poll, share an opinion, or even simply to provide a Facebook reaction are the posts that frequently perform incredibly well with audiences. They are quick and easy to respond to, they are fun and invite user opinions, and they are shareable. You can even experiment with posting about topics that aren’t exactly connected to your business. Memes, anyone?

While such posts might seem irrelevant or even “silly,” they can be a robust tool when it comes to increasing Facebook page interaction. When followers engage with these posts, they become more likely to see your other content in the future---content which might lead them directly to making a purchase.

Generate Facebook Ads Easily Through Boosted Posts

If you’ve been using Facebook for business marketing for a while, it’s likely you’ve ‘boosted’ a post or two. This can be an effective way to get more eyes on your content, and even on a very small budget. But you can also use Boosted Posts to help you formulate a winning Facebook ad. Here’s how:

First, create two separate ads and boost both with a small to moderate budget. Perhaps $50. Then, at the end of the boosting period, track which of these two boosted ads received the most engagement. Through this A/B testing, you can see which ad performed best for your audience.

Now, you turn this boosted post into another effective marketing tool. In Ads Manager, you will put together a Facebook ad, but rather than using a fresh piece of content, you can opt to use the exact same boosted post. (You can do this by entering the unique post ID of your previous post in the section for Creative.) This means it will be shared with all of its existing likes, comments, and share counts attached, bringing along social proof that provides an immediate advantage.

Use Paid Ads to Target Customers at All Stages of the Funnel

There are many ways to set a specific audience when boosting a post or setting up a Facebook Ad. It’s likely you’ve spent a bit of time looking at these options. Targeting by demographics or location is the most common and straightforward of the options, but there are actually dozens that let you further narrow down your audience. Using these audiences to your advantage is paramount to a successful Facebook strategy, especially if you are using paid ads. Remember, you can also store and save audiences for future use, which will save time and keep your results and tests more consistent.

But what can be especially beneficial with Facebook Marketing is applying the strategy of retargeting. Retargeting is ideal for reaching warm leads, or those customers who have engaged with your content before and are statistically likely to again.

While a more general ad might be effective for garnering more page likes and attracting new potential customers, these do so primarily by increasing familiarity with your brand. On the other hand, retargeted ads have a much higher ROI when you’re looking for users to take action (make a purchase, subscribe to an email list, etc.), because they are already honed in on the ideal customer.

How to Use Retargeting

There are a few ways to utilise retargeting with your Facebook marketing. To retarget those users who have visited your website, install the Facebook Pixel to track those visits that originate from your Facebook page or ads. This allows you then to retarget those visitors in a future ad, and you can get very specific, targeting your ad based on user behaviour. You can target those users who have visited a specific page. You can even show users a Facebook ad for the exact product that they previously abandoned in a shopping cart. That’s a powerful---and effective---strategy. If you’ve ever made a purchase via a Facebook ad, you’ve probably experienced this type of targeting firsthand.

Another way to retarget without having to use your website is to retarget based on video views. Given the popularity of video content, this can be super useful.

In this type of retargeting, as you put together an ad you can create a Custom Audience that is based not only on who has watched your videos, but based on how long users have watched one of your videos---a better indication of genuine interest.

Here’s an example of this strategy in action.

A chiropractic business might run a general video that focuses on the benefits of chiropractic treatment. This would be informational and engaging, and more generally targeted to reach a cold audience (though of course it might be targeted by demographics and location).

After the video has been live for a few days, they can create a custom Audience of those who watched the video, narrowing it down to those who watched for more than one minute, for instance. The next Facebook ad will then be specifically retargeted to those video viewers, and can present an intriguing offer to what is now a warm audience, perhaps offering a discount on their first chiropractic visit.

Make Sure You’re Using Facebook’s Business Manager

In 2019, Facebook Marketing has a multitude of options. To make your strategies even more organised and streamlined, you should be taking advantage of Facebook Business Manager, a relatively new portal that combines the best Facebook marketing tools in one place.

This dashboard connects you with those important and necessary assets, including pixels, Apps, Instagram accounts, Facebook pages, agency partners and much more. If you’re working with other brands or businesses, the Facebook Business Manager can allow them access to your analytics or grant them permission to boost a post on your behalf.

Perhaps the best reason of all to use Facebook Business Manager, is that Facebook apparently offers better support to those using this dashboard.

For more information on mastering Facebook Business Manager check out this article.

Be Real and Be Authentic

Authenticity is incredibly important these days. With so much content being thrown at web users, the average attention span has dropped significantly. Not only that, but there are so many influencers, brands, and pages vying for user attention, that the best and most original, engaging content is what ends up standing out.

So how do you keep it original and engaging? By keeping it real.

Consumers prefer brands that they trust and that they believe are authentic and worth supporting. Take a look at these statistics:

Authenticity involves many different aspects of a business, including transparency, social responsibility, honesty regarding products, and more. But social media is a great place to start, and truthfully, this is where you will connect with your customers on the most intimate level.

Optimise Your Profile

When is the last time you did a Facebook Page audit? We recommend going through your entire Profile/Page and ensuring you’re maximising every aspect possible, especially because there are regularly new changes to take advantage of.

A Page audit is a good opportunity to try some new elements, such as creating a profile video, reassessing your call-to-action, or testing fresh imagery.

Make sure all of the relevant sections are up-to-date and that any associated Facebook Groups or websites you have are connected to your business page.

As you move forward in 2019, keep experimenting to find out what works best for your business. Unfortunately, even the experts don’t always have the answer. Get to know your audience, see what types of content they engage with, and above all, keep your page genuine and authentic to reach people on a human level.

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