It’s no surprise that Facebook, the most popular social platform, is perfect for marketing.

Considering organic exposure potential alone, it would be foolish to ignore the marketing opportunity that it is. After all, social relevance is critical to the success of many businesses of the digital age. Your brand needs to thrive where your fans hang out.

Facebook happens to be the most frequented social network on earth. It’s a great starting point if you’re just now getting into social media, and it’s also a fantastic option if you’re already on other networks.

Why marketing on Facebook matters

The reason is simple: It’s the biggest social platform… ever.

2.23B people visit Facebook every month. In the US alone, over 68% of adults use Facebook. More impressively, Facebook reaches over 60% of Internet users.

There may be “better” social networks to hone in on for your business, but few very few businesses can say that their audience isn’t on Facebook. It’s just too common to ignore. This isn’t just about paid promotion, either – good “free” content can be more powerful than refined ads, especially good UGC (user-generated content).

You can look forward to these benefits when using Facebook for marketing:

  • Free, if not cheap marketing - Creating a Facebook page is as free as it gets, and as just mentioned, organic content can be more lucrative than paid promotion. If you do go the route of paid promotion, Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive compared to all other forms of traditional ads.
  • Dynamic product ads - A fantastic marketing option for ecommerce businesses, dynamic product ads are product data-generated ads that target leads with the products they’re most likely to buy.
  • Lead generation - Page likes are great and all, but another effective thing you can do with Facebook is to gather leads via contests, giveaways, newsletters, and lead gen ads.
  • Advanced audience targeting - Social ads aren’t just inexpensive compared to traditional ads, they’re also way more targeted – and the more targeted your ads are, the more effective and cheaper they’ll be.
  • Built-in, useful analytics - No need to get overly technical with how you measure your social marketing on any of Facebook’s properties. Facebook Insights does all the work for you and reports it in the most user-friendly way possible.
  • Increase site traffic - Link sharing on Facebook is incredibly easy – you can include links on basically any post. This is a great way to direct your followers to relevant landing pages.

Ecommerce businesses in particular can greatly benefit from dynamic product ads. Retargeting via dynamic product ads secures sales that would have otherwise been forgotten, remind people of your brand, and really just give your products another layer of marketing depth that they wouldn’t otherwise have. If your product data is solid, your dynamic product ads are sure to be viable.

There’s no shortage of other reasons to be on this free marketing medium.

Now, let’s get back to the core of it all, the people.

What sets it apart & why it works

At one point, Facebook appealed to younger audiences more than it does now. That was to be expected though, as times change and new platforms emerge. Teens and young adults are more open to trying out new platforms – not to mention also more open to adopting new tech – so naturally, their loyalty was never guaranteed. That’s not to say that Facebook isn’t still popular. It’s still an absolute hit among those over 30 and no other platform comes close.

In general, Facebook is full of features that would be useful to any business, and its audience is receptive to marketing.

Facebook’s News Feed is the perfect place for building brand awareness and for spreading targeted ads. Facebook users have become adept at scrolling through countless posts. If something piques their interest, they stop – if not, they keep going... but they do stop – in fact, a Kleiner Perkins survey found that 78% of American consumers have discovered retail products to buy via Facebook.

Users are aware and tolerant of the randomness of their feeds. This directly translates to an environment ripe for marketing and an audience broad enough to benefit any business.

Social marketing

Let's get back to social relevance.

The least you can do for your business in the digital space, is to be present on the top social network of all time. You can easily add to the credibility of your business in no time with minimal activity. It's free, easy, and it's also the foundation for that priceless relevance.

When it comes to being relevant on any social network, the answer is fairly simple – albeit, easier said than done – make good content. 

Brands don’t usually acquire a mass following overnight. Followers come over time, and with more frequency the more engaging your content is. Put yourself in the position of your audience. What would you want to see from your brand? Why should people listen to you? The answers to simple questions can inspire some of your strongest content.

Then there’s paid promotion. 

Before getting into that though, it’s important to remember that marketing doesn’t only come in the form of paid promotion. Play your cards right and your organic content will push you further than most paid promotion ever could. That being said, Facebook offers a multitude of ad options.

Paid promotion

Facebook ad options span a broad range that isn’t limited to the primary platform. These ads are surfaced across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, as well as the Facebook Audience Network (a dense network of 3rd party apps that surface Facebook ads; similar to the Google Display Network).

And there's few presentation limitations, too. These ads come in a variety of formats and they're assigned to different placements across Facebook properties.

Best of all, since these are all Facebook properties, there's only one ad management hub: Facebook Ad Manager.

Here’s the full range of ad formats you can go with when using Facebook Ads:

  • Video - Show off product features, and draw people in with sound and motion.
  • Image - Drive people to destination websites or apps through high-quality visuals.
  • Collection - Encourage shopping by displaying items from your product catalog.
  • Carousel - Showcase up to 10 images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link.
  • Slideshow - Use motion, sound and text to tell your story. 
  • Instant Experience - Provides a full-screen, mobile-optimized experience instantly from your ad.
  • Lead Generation Ads - Presented using an image, video, or carousel, these ads help you collect info from people interested in your business.
  • Offers - Presented using an image, video, or carousel, these ads promote a discount to share with your customers on Facebook.
  • Post Engagement - Most page posts can be boosted to deliver more views, likes, comments, and shares.
  • Event Responses - Presented using an image or video, these ads can be used to promote awareness of an event and drive responses.
  • Page Likes - Using a video or an image, these ads can be used to drive users to like your page.

And these are the applicable placements for those ads:

  • Facebook News Feed - Ads appear in the desktop News Feed when people access Facebook on their computers, as well as in the mobile News Feed when people access Facebook on mobile devices.
  • Facebook Marketplace - Ads appear in the Marketplace home page or when someone browses Marketplace in the Facebook app.
  • Facebook Video Feeds - Ads appear between organic videos in video-only environments on Facebook Watch and Facebook News Feed.
  • Facebook Right Column - Ads appear in the right columns on Facebook (only to those browsing on their computers).
  • Facebook Stories - Ads appear in people's Stories on Facebook.
  • Facebook In-Stream Videos - Ads appear as short videos in Video on Demand and select Gaming Partner live streams on Facebook.
  • Facebook Search Results - Ads appear next to relevant Facebook and Marketplace search results.
  • Facebook Instant Articles - Ads appear in Instant Articles within the Facebook mobile app.
  • Messenger Inbox - Ads appear in the Home tab of Messenger.
  • Messenger Stories - Ads appear in people's Stories on Messenger.
  • Messenger Sponsored Messages - Ads appear as messages to people who have an existing conversation with you in Messenger.
  • Instagram Feed - Ads appear in the desktop feed when people access Instagram on their computers, as well as when people use Instagram on their mobile devices.
  • Instagram Explore - Ads appear in the browsing experience when someone clicks on a photo or video.
  • Instagram Stories - Ads appear in people's Stories on Instagram.
  • Audience Network Native, Banner and Interstitial - Ads appear on apps and websites on Audience Network.
  • Audience Network Rewarded Videos - Ads appear as videos people can watch in exchange for a reward in an app.
  • Audience Network In-stream Videos - Ads appear as short videos that run before, during or after video content (pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll) in a video player on a website.

There are virtually no presentation limitations when opting to go with paid promotion. Facebook offers a wide range of flexible options, and they’re always innovating for marketers.

For ad specs and more information, reference Facebook’s Ads Guide.

What to do from here

There’s definitely no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to Facebook marketing. The only thing that can’t be overstated is how important being present on Facebook is. What you choose to do after signing up depends on your audience, the nature of your business, content production capabilities, marketing strategy, and more.

Play to the strengths of the platform. Facebook continues to be a strong platform for reaching older age groups – especially if you’re using paid advertisements. The platform also makes it easy to funnel users to a third party site; not many channels are that welcoming to outbound links. 

Finally, keep in mind that people mainly go to Facebook for two reasons: to connect with people, and to be entertained. Give your content strategy some extra attention and aim to make good content.

Final thoughts

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by being on the top social network of all time. Your audience... and your competitors are already there.

The least you want to do is have a presence on the platform. Aim to create solid and engaging content, and consider investing in some ads. There’s definitely no shortage in presentation styles or targeting options.