In a new state of marketing report from HubSpot, 40% of marketers responded that they choose Facebook for their social media channel of choice and the use of Facebook ads continues to grow.
In 2021, social media is the #1 channel used in marketing, according to HubSpot. And while the most popular platform for marketers to use is Instagram, teams are seeing the highest ROI (return on investment) from Facebook. Facebook remains the place for audiences to connect with businesses big and small. In fact, two-thirds of Facebook users report visiting a local business Facebook Page at least once a week.
While marketers once focused their attention on organic social media, the overall trend now is an accelerating shift to paid social campaigns. Due to the many algorithm changes over the past few years, paid campaigns have become the main way companies can be a more prominent and predictable part of Facebook users’ news feeds.
Facebook Marketing Benefits
Facebook has 1.79 billion daily active users worldwide and its audience is predominantly Generation X (1965-1980) and Millennials (1981-1996). It has the most impact on building brand awareness and advertising when used as a tool for B2C marketing.
The following are just some of the benefits of brand marketing on Facebook:
1. Brand Awareness Increase
Audience engagement on social media boosts brand awareness. Social media engagement includes comments, likes, shares, and re-posts. Facebook also helps increase brand awareness by directing traffic straight to your site when site links are included in posts.
2. Lead Generation and Conversion Boost
Promoting and sharing products on social media is a simple way to improve lead generation, boost conversions and increase sales because brands are advertising to people who have opted to engage with them by following their account. On Facebook, brands can offer contests, sell products on Facebook Marketplace, host live videos, and post offers or website links to promote their products and services.
3. Customer Relationship Building
By connecting and engaging with a page’s Facebook followers, brands are able to build lasting relationships with them through interacting with people on posts, such as responding to questions and comments, and providing them with any help they may need. It is also a great platform for market research. For example, you can ask followers questions about products and services and what their pain points are. You can also be interactive in order to build a rapport and trust by rewarding them for input and support.
4. Competitive Research
Facebook is also a great way to keep tabs on your competitors. With each ad campaign and/or page post, competitors offer insight into their social media strategies, their product promotions, their ad campaigns, and their interactions with followers. This provides a window into what is and isn’t working for the competition while informing future Facebook strategy. Reviewing the Facebook accounts of your competitors, therefore, can help brands make sure their marketing stands out.
The State of Social Media Marketing
As the pandemic rolls on, Facebook marketing has become an inflection point. A number of companies, for example, are decreasing their investment in social media marketing. In 2020, 82% of marketers invested in social media marketing. In 2021, on the other hand, only 39% planned to invest in social media marketing. So what’s happening to cause this dramatic shift?
The words “algorithm change” are not new to any long-time Facebook users. These words can cause headaches for social media marketers. In fact, a recent algorithm change—how posts are prioritized and ordered in news feeds—downgraded business, brands and media.
Subsequently, this resulted in a decline of organic Facebook reach. The average organic reach for a Facebook post is 6.4% of the page’s likes. In other words, to get more eyes on a page’s content, businesses have to pay to boost it.
Facebook Takes a Hit
Between Apple’s privacy changes and the ongoing controversy over Facebook’s practices, more and more consumers are steering clear of Facebook. An analysis by eMarketer found that users in the U.S. will spend less time on Facebook in the coming years. In addition, time spent on the platform for adults over 18 is expected to be down 3.3% in 2021.
Everyday the ad tech and digital marketing spaces are changing. Users can now opt out of tracking services due to the latest Apple updates and this makes Facebook less effective for marketers. “When Apple rolled out their new changes and operating system overnight, it really shook the entire digital marketing space, including Facebook,” said John Merris, CEO of Solo Brands. “I can’t overstate how critical it is for brands to really have this direct one-to-one relationship with the customers by interacting and transacting with them on their own websites.”
Facebook Social Listening Strategy
In 2021, social listening became the primary tactic for social media marketing. Companies are approaching social media marketing with personalized and conversational tactics. By establishing a direct relationship, brands learn how to support, engage with, and convert their audiences into loyal brand advocates.
Here are some of the most effective ways brands can engage with their Facebook audiences:
- Facebook Marketplace: Any business that sells products online can create a shop on Facebook, highlighting their products with the ability to make sales without leaving the social media platform.
- User-generated content: Consumer-created content can be reused in brand social media posts and ad campaigns. It is a great way to provide authentic content and support customers.
- Facebook messenger chatbots: This is available to every business page on Facebook. Chatbots address frequently asked questions and provide additional product information. This creates in effect a 24/7 customer service outlet.
- Facebook stories: Video is still the most watched and promoted content on Facebook. Create authentic stories to share and cross-post to Instagram stories.
- Facebook groups: These are community-building, invite-only or branded groups used for brand awareness and authority.
- Hashtags: Facebook uses hashtags as a way to cluster content together to give content a longer shelf life. This way, users will be able to easily search bigger topics instead of just looking at individual posts.
- Facebook advertising: This is where to be seen on Facebook. Focus in on Newsfeed ads above nearly any other ad spot. While right column ads and display ads can work, Newsfeed ads give businesses more ad creative space to work with.
How Facebook Can Work for You
There can be much to gain from being on the social platform with the highest social media marketing ROI. While a brand’s Facebook strategy must adapt to the latest algorithm changes, as well as be committed to social listening, each company must identify how Facebook can work for them. Understanding costs and benefits, as well as experimenting with new ways to engage while staying true to the brand, is how marketers can continue to assess their Facebook strategy.