There are many words used to describe Facebook when it comes to marketing a product or service. Outdated? Old fashioned? Out of touch? For most of us, Facebook is a dying platform, predominantly used by our aunts and mums to embarrass us with memes of Minions and off-key ‘happy birthday’ greetings.
But recently I’ve been taking a fresh look at the once great social networking site, and it turns out that it might not be quite as dead and buried as we thought.
Yes, it still has terrible UX. Yes, the target user is still in their mid-60’s with little understanding of grammar, basic function and digital style. Yes, it’s still just a little bit uncool. But I think there’s still some life in the old site yet – particularly when it comes to marketing.
So, how can I (or anyone?!) use Facebook for effective marketing?
For a start, it’s best to understand that Facebook is a site unlike any other, and is best used for the kind of high-quality marketing that you don’t mind your family and friends suddenly discovering on a late night stalk. So no naughty taglines or high-brow political references quite yet.
Facebook Ad Manager
Facebook is actually surprisingly well designed for business marketing – with brand pages becoming increasingly easy to set up and advertising fees at an all-time low. Seriously, a £5 ad can genuinely bring in some seriously impressive impressions – if used correctly. I always suggest taking your time when setting up your Facebook promotions, and using the highest quality imagery and copy you have. A visually pleasing ad is always more likely to draw impressions than a roughly organised campaign so take some extra care when designing it. However, Facebook usually does most of the work for you – using inbuilt data to actually find the users most likely to take note of your brand, so have a bit of a fun with it!
Direct B2C Messaging
Also, I can’t recommend this next step enough: direct consumer targeting. On Facebook. Facebook is a hub of small business pages with plenty of room for improvement and open inboxes – ready for your business pitch. Take away the complex inbox systems, layers of receptionists, sales teams and outreaching, and just drop them a message. The beauty of Facebook is that everyone has one but no one ever really expects a message on it. So reaching out through this untapped platform makes you stand out as unique and different – a little bit more personal than a dodgy spam email in their inbox.
Local Selling Pages
Every community has them. The local selling pages of your community are genuinely one the best things that Facebook has created for freelancers or new business outreaching…and yet no one uses them! Whilst, yes, you will have your notifications flooded with messages that someone on Elm Avenue has lost their cat and those ‘noisy’ students are playing loud music again, you might actually find someone in real need of your help. Small businesses, even sole traders use these sites regularly so why not drop in a post promoting yourself and see what comes from it? As a general warning though, some of these groups have some very particular rules so keep an eye on those admins!
The Honest Truth
Look, I get it. Millennials and Gen Z’s don’t care about Facebook. It isn’t the prettiest site and it can be full of mundane spam messages you really don’t want to see. But as a business platform, I would honestly recommend giving it a shot.