Hey, thanks for checking us out! We get pretty fired up about this whole social media marketing thing, so we’re pumped to see you’re interested in it, too. So, here’s how it’s going to work. In the next few hundred words, we’re going to cover:
- Metrics around the size and scope of Facebook
- A look at the Facebook algorithm
- Best practices for increasing engagement and reach
- Facebook Ads
We know you’re a busy individual, so we won’t put any excess fluff in this. We’re just going to share the info you need to in order to grow your page on Facebook.
Part One: Please Understand, Facebook is Massive
Facebook is a massive social platform with 2.5 billion monthly active users (MAUs) worldwide, and it’s still growing. The total number of MAUs is up 8% since Q1 2019. (Zephoria)
Domestically, 7-in-10 Americans use Facebook, which is almost double the percentage of the nearest social media platform, Instagram. Oh, and Facebook owns Instagram, too. And users love Facebook, with 74% of adult FB users logging in every day, with the average amount of time spent on the platform being 20 minutes. (PEW)
What makes Facebook such an attractive platform, in addition to the sheer quantity of users, is the diversity of its userbase. Simply put, every single type of buyer persona is represented on the platform, en masse. For this reason, it’s better to think of Facebook as an ad platform, rather than a social media platform.
We’ll hit the key metrics. (PEW)
- 75% of American women use Facebook, while 63% of men use Facebook.
- 79% of Americans between the ages 18-29 use Facebook, which represents the highest percentage cohort by age.
- 46% of Americans 65 or older use Facebook as of Q4 2019, representing one of the demographics with marked growth. For reference, in 2012, only around 20% of people 65 and older used Facebook.
- Facebook is getting older, as older users join and younger users leave the platform. Just 51% of users 13-17 are on Facebook, down from a high of 71% in 2015.
- If your target audience is high-income consumers, Facebook is where it’s at. 74% of Facebook users make $75,000 a year or more annually. (Sprout Social)
If you want to know more about the size and scope of Facebook’s audience, I highly recommend poking around on the Pew Research site. They have tons of data about demographics, user habits, political tendencies, and a lot more.
Part Two: The Facebook Algorithm
As marketers, the Facebook algorithm is at once your enemy and your friend. Unfortunately, these days, the algorithm is far more fickle than friendly, and it’s important marketers know what they’re up against so they can manage expectations and plan accordingly.
The algorithm has changed drastically since the beginning of 2019, but we’re pretty much up to speed with what Facebook is going for with its new algorithm based on “ranking factors” that determine how each user’s Facebook News Feed is presented to them.
Some of these metrics are… rough. Don’t take these statistics as all doom and gloom, though! These metrics should represent an opportunity to innovate, try new things, and inspire you to get creative to maximize the value you and your brand can build on Facebook.
- Any given post is only viewed by about 5.5% of the audience who have Liked the brand’s page.
- Facebook determines which posts users see by using ranking signals. Those signals are:
- The more you interact with a user, the more likely it is you’ll see their posts
- The type of media used in the post (bonus points for videos, but photos and links are also factored)
- More engagement (Likes, shares, comments) results in an increase in visibility for the post.
- The relevance of the post (New is better. When is the best time to post? Now. Now is the best time.) (Hootsuite)
- Videos less than 1 minute in duration, including GIFS, are being shown less, as Facebook deems these posts as “passive content”
- Users do have options to priortize content they love. As your audience to Follow your page, then make sure they know to click “See First” to ensure your content is shared to their feed no matter the media type.
It’s important to highlight that part about engagement. In lieu of paying to boost posts or buy ads (more on that below) the best way to improve/increase visibility and engagement with your Page’s posts is to get people to Like, Share, and Comment. Your content needs to encourage engagement. Entertain, inform, ask questions; try to get your audience to engage and advocate for your content as best you can.
Part Three: Best Practices for Increasing Engagement and Reach
Sweet, you say. Another uphill battle. Never fear, dear reader! We have some tips for beating the algorithm to ensure your hard work is viewed, loved, and adored on Facebook. If you’re done reading this paper and want to check out right now, please take away this one thing.
Quality content will win out.
If your content adds value to your niche audience, it will gain a following. What’s wonderful about marketing on social media, and on the Internet in general, is that valuable content has a democratizing effect; if people like it, they will tell others about it. Isn’t that just wonderful? You don’t need a huge ad budget or a gazillion followers. You just need to create something useful!
I’m rambling; here are some tips to grow your audience.
- We mentioned above that more engagement will result in more views of your post. However, Facebook will actively decrease the visibility of your post if you ask people to Like and comment in your post’s copy.
- Facebook makes money by keeping users on its website so they view ads. More views equal more ads sold for FB. For this reason, native content (content without links to other sites) is prioritized in the News Feed.
- Does your Page have street cred? If a Page doesn’t share posts regularly, Facebook will de-prioritize the Page’s posts until the frequency of posts improves. (Buffer)
- Facebook gets the most user traffic on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 11am and 2pm. Save your best content for those days/times.
- 85% of users don’t use sound on videos. Be sure to include captions in your videos in order to hook a user while they scroll in silence.
- Fill out your business page information completely! Facebook prioritizes pages that provide details like location, industry, hours, website, and more. (Buffer)
- Videos over three minutes in duration will get shown more in peoples’ feeds.
We could write about how to grow your reach and engagement on Facebook all day. The main takeaways? Stay active on your page. Post quality content. Share your posts when your audience is most likely to be online to view it.
When in doubt, just get your wallet out! The best way to get in front of your ideal audience on Facebook is, undoubtedly, through ads. The ability to design engaging ads, with clear calls to action and the ability to measure ROI, make Facebook ads one of the most appealing advertising avenues in the digital world. As you’ll see below, advertising on Facebook is the smart bet when it comes to reaching consumers.
- The average cost of an ad has decreased by 4% at the end of 2019, meaning it’s a great time to enter the space.
- Ad impressions on Facebook are up 33% (as of Q4 2019).
- 80% of all U.S. social referrals to e-commerce sites come from Facebook. And it’s not even close. Instagram offers the second most referrals to e-commerce sites, representing just 10%. (Hootsuite)
- 72% of B2C marketers said Facebook was their number one social advertising channel, with 43% of B2B marketing saying so.
- Looking for the most bang for your buck? Video ads have the lowest cost-per-click on the platform.
- If you’re going to make an ad, be sure to include a call-to-action button. Sprout Social says a CTA button triples click-through rates on Facebook advertisements.
- What’s a good CPC? As of 2019, the average cost-per-click was $1.72. (Hubspot/Wordstream)
There’s no silver bullet to successful marketing on Facebook, but we hope the information provided above helps you kick-start or revitalize your Facebook marketing efforts. At the end of the day, as marketers, our job is to get quality, valuable content in front of its relevant audience. When we do this effectively, good things tend to happen.
We’ll leave you with a few key takeaways; focus on quality, be consistent in posting, following Facebook’s guidelines, and consider paid ads to speed up your growth.
If you want to learn more about marketing on social media, I hope you’ll reach out to set up a chat – firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!