Let’s clear this up right upfront. Facebook marketing is not the same thing as Facebook advertising. Yes, your Facebook marketing strategy can include advertising (more on that below), but since Facebook is, after all, a social network, your marketing should also include efforts to build lasting relationships and ongoing engagement through valuable content that’s not about making the sale.
3 tools to include in your Facebook marketing strategy
With that in mind, let’s look at the three key Facebook marketing tools you can use to connect with Facebook users, and how each fits into your Facebook marketing plan.
Think of your Facebook Page as the equivalent of a Facebook profile for your business. It’s where you post content, engage with followers, and generally participate as a brand in the Facebook experience. It doesn’t cost anything to set up a Facebook Page or post content, which is great if you’re working with a limited budget.
But keep in mind that the Facebook algorithm prioritizes content from users’ friends and family, so you can’t assume that all—or even a majority—of your followers will see your posts organically (that’s where Facebook Ads come in).
Think of Facebook Groups as the online equivalent of the office water cooler or your favorite coffee shop. They provide a place for people to get together to share information and ideas with like-minded users in an online community environment.
Creating your own Facebook Group can be an effective way to gather your fans in one place and encourage them to interact with one another, building an active community of people talking about your business. It’s also a key way to gather customer intelligence: what are people really saying about you? It’s like a focus group with unlimited members, and you can dive right in to facilitate conversation or ask questions.
It’s also a prime way to source brand evangelists and showcase your expertise. You can even position a Facebook Group as an added benefit for existing customers—after all, it’s a chance for them to interact directly with you.
Much like an ad on any other channel—traditional or digital—a Facebook Ad is basically content that you pay to share with a specific, targeted audience: it’s all about getting your brand in front of the right eyeballs and achieving your conversion goals.
For example, Dos Equis ran a series of Facebook Ads to highlight its “Dos de Mayo” promotion (the brand’s answer to the Cinco de Mayo holiday). The beer company’s ads were displayed only to males aged 21 to 34 and to an audience identified as beer buyers. The campaign resulted in a three times return on the ad spend.