Would you like to know the most important Facebook marketing trends for 2016? I my new book 101 FACEBOOK MARKETING TIPS AND STRATEGIES For Small Businesses you can find 101 marketing strategies related to Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
The following 5 Facebook Marketing trends and recommendations are from the first chapter of the book and you might find them interesting.
1. Learn to leverage the opportunities in the Facebook ecosystem
At the moment, Facebook is the biggest social network, serving over 1.5 million active users each month, and also owns several other social media tools, including Instagram (with 400 million active users), WhatsApp (1 billion active users), and Facebook Messenger (800 million active users). Each of these tools provides a unique and powerful way to interact and engage with your potential customers.
Each of these tools will be covered in detail later in this book, but here is a quick overview of the Facebook ecosystem for businesses:
- Facebook: Every business that wants to leverage marketing opportunities available through social media should have a Facebook Business Page. The proper use of a Facebook personal profile helps tremendously in personal branding of business professionals. In addition, Facebook advertising offers unlimited possibilities to reach more customers.
- Instagram: Instagram is growing quickly and has become a potent tool to serve industries that offer visual products. Their advertising tools are highly effective for all types of businesses.
- WhatsApp: This is an amazing tool to provide one-to-one communication with customers, especially when they want to gain more information before making a purchase. Businesses have reported that it has made them more successful in building trust and brand loyalty with their customers. It is important, however, not to use WhatsApp for unsolicited messages or spam.
- Facebook Messenger: Facebook is constantly updating this tool to ensure that it optimizes communications between businesses and their customers. You can use it to send text, video, or audio messages, and this tool will continue to be developed toward customer support in the future.
In order to grow your business, the best strategy is to use all four of these tools together. While there is a slight learning curve to each tool, they are worth the time and energy invested into them. Because some of these tools are fairly new, companies that explore and invest in these tools early on can gain a competitive edge over others in their industries.
2. Take advantage of the explosive growth of video marketing on Facebook
Video can be a very effective tool for gaining trust and credibility with your customers. In many cases, consumers are more comfortable making a purchase decision if they’ve been able to view a video about the product or service beforehand. In the past, there weren’t as many opportunities for consumers to see videos, due to low Internet connection speeds, but now, the video marketing possibilities have increased drastically, especially for mobile viewers.
Video marketing through Facebook offers several unique benefits:
- Expand the reach of your business through video content: Facebook promotes video content over more static content, like photos or status update, allowing video content to reach more users.
- Create transparency through live video streaming: One of the new tools from Facebook is the Facebook Mentions app, which allows businesses to post live videos. This is a great way to allow your customers to see you respond to questions, show a demo of a product, or give a behind-the-scenes look at your office, creating a sense of transparency.
- Impress potential customers with rich, 360-degree video: Give your customers a whole new way to see your company through their newsfeed. With this tool, the user is in control of the video and can move around the room by tilting their phone or clicking around in it on their desktop. This is a great way for hotels and other location-based businesses to provide a powerful visual. Here below you can see a 360-degree video shared by Mark Zuckerberg(Video only works with the latest version of Chrome, Firefox)
Check out this 360 video of surfing in Tahiti shot by our friends at GoPro. I love these new 360 videos on Facebook — they feel so much more immersive.
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, 13 November 2015
- Increase sales conversions through video advertising: Video advertising can be fairly inexpensive and offers numerous possibilities, including simple product demonstrations and testimonial videos. With a great reach and not a lot of competition, you can increase your sales dramatically when you use Facebook video advertising.
In the future, we can expect even more great tools for video marketing from Facebook. They have already expanded into creative video tools with virtual reality devices like Oculus Rift, and have goals to become the top video marketing site on the Internet, surpassing YouTube. Video is one of the most powerful tools available to advertisers right now, as we’ll explore more in a later chapter of this book.
3. No website needed: take advantage of the new business tools from Facebook
Recently, Facebook has introduced several tools to help businesses bypass the need for a traditional website and take advantage of sales driven directly through the social network. This is a new approach to advertising, and companies that are on the forefront of this trend can drive sales in unique ways.
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Here are the four primary tools for businesses provided by Facebook:
- Facebook Business Page: This tool has been around on Facebook for a while, but new features are constantly available. A Facebook Business Page replaces a traditional landing page as the primary method for Facebook users to interact with a business.
- Facebook Canvas: This is a brand-new tool being developed by Facebook that will be launched soon, as of the time of this writing. It will provide professional tools to help companies to showcase their products. To learn more, visit https://canvas.facebook.com.
- Facebook Local Advertising: These ads include a direct call-to-action, so that customers can see an advertisement and respond directly, requesting a quote, making a reservation, or performing a number of actions that used to require a separate website.
- Facebook Local Services: In this tool, Facebook provides a listing of local businesses for which customers can leave reviews. It is similar to the services offered by Yelp and Google Local, but is driven by Facebook. Learn more about this tool at https://www.facebook.com/services.
Companies can also communicate and engage with their customers through Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, allowing all of the layers of advertising to come into one central place, which will ultimately help to increase the rate of sales conversions from your advertising efforts.
4. No phone number needed – leverage communication tools with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp
The way that consumers communicate is changing rapidly, as new tools are available that allow for quick, meaningful interactions. Instant messaging tools for mobile devices have grown exponentially, and along with them, tools like Facebook Messenger (with over 800 million users) and the Facebook-owned WhatsApp (with over 1 billion users) are growing too.
These tools are helpful because they don’t require you to have phone numbers for your clients. You can contact customers directly through the Facebook Messenger service, communicating in more ways than ever before: Sending photos, videos, GIFs, or even directions to your business.
For many customers, this is quickly becoming their preferred method of communication, since they no longer have to deal with the awkwardness of cold calls. It also allows customers to interact on the go, using their mobile device apps or a desktop device by visiting www.messenger.com. These tools also allow you to communicate with your clients in richer and more meaningful ways.
Additionally, the new Businesses on Messenger service is now available through Facebook to certain companies in the United States. This service allows businesses to create custom message layouts and to provide better customer support tools. More information about this helpful tool will be available at the end of this book.
5. Analyze your results on the Facebook ecosystem
In the past, a business could only calculate their impact on Facebook through the number of “likes” their pages received. While marketing activities are now more complex, businesses have the capability to analyze a number of interactions and see the direct results of their advertising efforts on Facebook.
It is important to have clarity on what you are looking for from each tool so that you can calculate your return on investment. For example, if a customer responded to a Facebook ad and purchased a $20 product and you spent $5 to advertise, your return on investment would be $15. Over time, if you can, also track the total lifetime value of a client for even more accurate returns.
Start analyzing your results from the minute you start to use Facebook for your business. There are several ways to do this:
- On your Facebook Business Page, see what kinds of content have the most engagement and use this information to create future content.
- With Facebook advertising campaigns, track the ads that are running well and adapt or delete the ads that are not as effective.
- For video marketing, look at the video retention rate to see how many users are watching the video to completion.
- With WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, keep an eye on the number of contacts your business has received, how many purchases resulted from your interactions, and what quality of lead (or potential buyer) came from your contact.
You can get the copy of the book here.
Over to you: Which Facebook trends do you think will be the most important on 2016?