38 Facebook Marketing Strategies to Grow Startups

There are a lot of Facebook marketing strategies, but a lot of the best ways to achieve lasting growth never get mentioned!

People are looking for too many quick fixes and growth hacks out there that will magically do the work for them.

The thing about Facebook is, though, is that there’s no quick fix for sustainable growth on and from Facebook.

But lucky for you — I have the answers that will enable you to build a great presence on Facebook.

And once you follow the strategies outlined in this post, you will be equipped to build traffic, get more leads, and sales for your startup.

And you can do most of it without spending any money, which I think is awesome!

But you have to do it the right way. And shockingly, some of the strategies are right under your nose and you may not even know it.

So what is the right way? What are these elusive strategies?

I’ll get to that. I promise.

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But before I can, I have to tell you something that will set up your entire thought process for marketing your startup on Facebook.

Then you’ll have that ah-hah moment where all of the other Facebook marketing strategies I tell you afterward will make so much more sense because you’ll have a shift in perception that enables you to do the rest of your Facebook marketing better.

Facebook is Different Than Other Marketing Channels

Did you know that Facebook is the largest driver of traffic from any social media platform and boasts the largest network of any platform?

By the end of 2016, Facebook had 1.23 billion daily active users and 1.86 billion monthly active users.

Facebook owns 36.64% of social media market share as of July 2018 and is #1 with a 9.63% difference between its closest rival in standings, YouTube.

Youtube is a mammoth and a media-centered platform but is generally less social than Facebook.

Why? Because Youtube is entertaining but also less fulfilling because you don’t get to connect with people like you do on Facebook.

And guess what?  Facebook now has 2.23 billion people on it! 

That’s an insane number of people. Why has it seen such rapid growth, though?

Facebook has seen such rapid growth because of the people.

Facebook is About the People

Facebook is a people-centered platform first and foremost. That’s why Mark Zuckerberg made Facebook better for regular users and worse for businesses. He wanted to optimize their experience.

People want to be with other people and want to feel connected. People want to feel like they’re a part of something.

Facebook is #1 because it’s a people-centered platform.

People love media but they love the relationships that they have with people even more. You get insight into other people’s lives when you become friends with others on Facebook.

That’s why people keep coming back to post pictures of them and their dogs on Facebook. Or to post their graduation pictures or accomplishments or whatever else.

They get this sense of interconnectedness.

Okay — so how do we take this people-oriented approach and translate it to marketing your startup on Facebook?

You begin by making relationships.

Facebook Marketing Strategies

1) Relationships

Relationships are going to be the key drivers to your success on Facebook.

The relationships you form are often going to create your startup’s biggest advocates and fans on Facebook.

While some people may just add you as a friend and never talk to you, that’s because they don’t want to talk to you. They do, most of the time.

People want to have a personal relationship with each other.

And in business, people want to build each other up. They want to explore synergies or get advice from you if you’re an industry expert.

If you are an expert in your industry, once they connect with you, they feel special.

So how do you start the process of building relationships on Facebook?

You can start by adding targeted people (target customers and influencers) to your friends list and engaging with them.

Where to find people to build relationships with:

  • Go to similar Facebook groups and interact with people who actively post, like, or comment there.
  • You can find people who interact with similar Facebook pages by connecting with those who have commented, liked, loved, shared, or even laughed.
  • Do searches for people with keywords that match your field. You may not get much from this but it’s worth a shot.
  • Boost your content to reach a wider audience and engage with the people who interacted with your content.
  • Ask the people you talk to for referrals to other like-minded people.

When you do request someone to be your friend, send a message request to them as well.

It provides context, makes the interaction more human, and increases the likelihood of your friend request being accepted and a relationship being started.

Don’t give them a sales pitch, though.

I’ll share what to talk about below.

Instead, follow these guidelines:

  • Compliment them with something nice to say about their profile, work experience, or business. Be genuine, though!
  • Try to connect with them about something you have in common (I say “try” because you may not be able to find something). People’s profile visibility is different from person to person.
  • Ask if they want to talk to see how you can help each other or if there is some way you can help them. You don’t have to ask for something in return. If you have some ideas about how you can help them, ask if they’d like to hear them before offering your ideas.
  • Be kind and generous and they’ll probably reciprocate back. The power of reciprocity is huge. People will usually want to make a relationship a two-way street rather than them just receiving.
  • Talk to people in your Facebook group if you have one, but this is a no-brainer.

Connect with as many like-minded people and target customers as you can.

Not everyone will respond back to you but there are so many people on Facebook that you’re going to do well with your relationship building if you message a lot of people.

Take note that your messages will go into the message requests section of the messages area. They won’t show up as a regular message until you’re friended.

2) Personalize Your Facebook Posts

“Personal Facebook posts naturally reach more people than business pages.” Source: Vin Clancy, Co-Author of Secret Sauce Now, the Ultimate Growth Hacking Guide.

When using your personal Facebook status updates, the best practice is to post at least once per day about your business or a related topic.

However, I’d encourage you to open up about something you’ve learned. Make a very short story about it. Provide emotion and context. It is so much more likely to rank better on the Facebook newsfeed than just posting a bare link.

Make sure it’s publicly discoverable by clicking on the button next to post and clicking “public.”

When you make it public, it gives your status update more visibility.

Since Facebook favors images, they now allow you to put your text status updates on a square, colored background as an image.

3) Have a Purpose

When you market on Facebook or any social media platform, be sure to have a purpose in mind. For instance:

  1. Lead generation
  2. Driving qualified traffic to your website
  3. Getting people to buy your product/service
  4. Community engagement to build your trust and reputation with your target audience
  5. Posting relevant and helpful information from trusted outside sources to continue to build reputation and trust.
  6. Post on your Facebook group and business page at least once a day for both brand awareness and value-creation.

You always want to stay fresh in your target customer’s mind.  3 times a day is best.  Once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once in the early evening.

To make this easier, you can and should automate the process of posting on social media with great scheduling and automation services such as LatelyHootsuite, Buffer, CoSchedule, or SproutSocial.

Having a purpose behind your marketing efforts is a crucial aspect of your Facebook marketing and marketing in general, so don’t take it for granted.

4) The Facebook Algorithm

Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t like outbound links.  To get priority on people’s Facebook’s news feeds, post less outbound links and more text (with pictures), embedded videos, or internal links (business page or group page).

Below is a basic formula for Facebook news feed visibility through its algorithm:

facebook news feed algorithm for free facebook marketing strategies

5) Posting in Third Party Groups

This is an amazing free Facebook marketing strategy because this is where all of the discussion and free Facebook marketing really takes place.

Post in pertinent 3rd party groups within your industry at least once per day but remember to always follow group guidelines/rules.

This is important because you want to stay in the good graces of the groups, the admins and moderators, and their respective communities.

You don’t have to post links.  You can post questions, helpful information in bite sizes, pictures, or embedded videos.

By doing this, you will gain brand awareness and become more of an authority in each respective group on the topics you post about.

That authority leads to trust, and that trust translates into followers, subscribers, clicks to your website, and customers.

6) Header Image

Always be sure to have a quality header for your business page and group.

Your personal profile’s header is somewhat important as well, and should be used to promote yourself as an influencer and expert. This makes it a passive marketing tactic, but it can still help you get leads.

HubSpot has a great post on best practices for making a Facebook cover photo.

hubspot-facebook-cover-photo-example

Check out this 2017 social media image size cheat sheet which highlights your personal profile image size dimensions.

For your group page, check out this group cover photo guide.

For your business page, the cover photo dimensions are: 828 px x 315 px.

The mobile sizing is 640 pixels wide x 360 pixels tall.

And yes, there are some sizing differences, so there might be a little distortion.

 

7) Listening & Engaging in Facebook Groups

Engage with others within Facebook groups and fan pages by liking, sharing, and commenting on other people’s content.  This goes for within your group and other groups.

This activity spreads your name, good graces, and keeps you recent and relevant in their heads.

When you support other people, they’re more likely to support you back. It’s the power of reciprocity.

Ask questions to your audience in your Facebook group and/or on your business page to get them to engage with each other.

You can also engage specific people when you’re posting a link to a blog post they might like or post with raw content within it.

8) Guerrilla Marketing on Facebook

For some great grassroots guerilla marketing, find business pages with the same or very similar target niche and comment on their posts using your personal Facebook account.

Make the comment insightful and useful to the target audience of the respective post, as long as it’s the target audience you want.

The goal is for people to be impressed by the helpful comment, which ultimately leads them to check out your personal profile and clicking on your company page that you list as your current position on your profile.

9) Content Ratios for Facebook Marketing

Adhere to a 75/25 or 70/20/10 guideline for posting. You want to build trust and not seem like you’re just spamming with your own promotions.

To break the formula down, for every piece of your own content, post 3 – 4 pieces that are valuable for your target audience or niche to help them build their business or brand.

Approximately 10% should be allocated towards actual promotions for your business.

For instance, a promotion would look like: “Get $10 off a subscription for a platinum or gold membership when you sign up at StartupDevKit today using this coupon code: 4Z7G2.”

Once you become a mega-star in your niche and are producing content for every single day, then you can get away with only posting your own content and not look self-centered.

Sharing is caring, so share other people’s helpful content too!  Especially your target customer’s content.  It’s good to get on their radar.

10) Pin Your Post

Pin your favorite post to the top of your timelines (personal, group, and business page) for more visibility.

Just click the down arrow on the top right corner of your post and click “pin to top.”

11) Commenting

Respond to comments on your page/content/group (if you have one) and comment on other people’s posts.

Community engagement is very important and posts with more engagement in the comments section will rank higher on the Facebook news feed, especially new comments because it keeps it recent and fresh.

12) Tag Pertinent People

Tag people’s personal profiles for more engagement by clicking on “edit post” from the dropdown and type @theirname and then click done.

13) Invite Your Friends

Invite your Facebook friends to your business page when you just start your page. If they don’t like it, then message them personally and ask them if they’ll be so kind as to support you by liking your page.

14)  Save Posts & View Later

Use the “Save” feature to save articles so you can bookmark your favorite content and come back to it later. Then, you can share them at your own convenience.

15) Post During High-Traffic Times

According to Zephoria, the “Highest traffic occurs mid-week between 1 to 3 pm. (Source: Bit.ly blog) On another note, a Facebook post at 7pm will result in more clicks on average than posting at 8pm (Source: Forbes).

On Thursdays and Fridays, engagement is 18% higher. (Source: Bit.ly blog)

How this can help you: You have the potential to reach more consumers and drive higher traffic to your site during peak usage times, but people may be more likely to be more engaged in the evenings.

Also, consider that Facebook has a global audience, so you may want to plan around the time zone of your key market.”

16) Download Your Facebook History

Download your Facebook History.  This is useful to see what posts got the most engagement and to reuse the material for remarketing them when you plan ahead by automating your posts.

Just go to your settings page and click on Download Page.

Download your Facebook History to automate your facebook marketing with free strategies

17) Find Relevant Facebook Groups

Find relevant Facebook groups, join them, and engage in conversation. You can find them by typing in your keyword in the search bar and selecting groups in the white horizontal menu bar.

Make sure that your first post is an introduction post to tell them about yourself, not pitch your startup or business (unless they ask new members to do that).

18) Find the Group Leaders

Identify the key leaders/influencers in pertinent industry groups, then engage with them by complimenting them and asking what their needs are.

See if you can help them in some way towards their goal(s).

Build relationships with them because when it comes time that you need help in some area, it’s likely that they’ll provide some support and/or assistance.

19) Export Your Facebook Analytics

Export Facebook’s analytics so you can get your own insights in the analytics suite you use.  Social Media Examiner has a guide to do that here.

Use Facebook Insights on your company page to understand more about the people you reach and who engages with your content.

20) Utilize Facebook Live Video

If you know exactly when you’re going live, then promote when you’ll be doing it to increase engagement with your live video.

Talk about your goals for the week, your challenges, your victories, things you’ve learned along the way, upcoming things in your business.

21) Capitalize on Major Holidays and Events

Mentioning the event name or holiday in your post will get put into the category of the occasion you mentioned.  This will generally rank higher on FB feeds.

22) Use Your Audience for Feedback

Ask your audience for new product or feature ideas. Tag your evangelists for expanded reach. Ask them what they think about existing aspects. You can run a poll for feedback collection, as well.

23) Infuse Humor

Infusing humor in your posts will psychologically program your visitors to associate your company or brand with a positive feeling.  Just don’t do it for every post.

24) Storytelling via Video

Do storytelling and record your story on video using external video recording software.  Then post it via embedded video (this is when you upload the video).

Upload the video rather than linking it from YouTube (it will rank better in FB news feeds).  This gives you a unique opportunity to connect with your target customer on a more human level and provides better brand awareness for you.

Additionally, it would be smart to create subtitles to increase the number of people watching. Not everyone can have their sound on all the time.

25) Run a Contest or Viral Marketing Campaign

Run a contest for a chance to win something such as a free membership for subscribing to your email list.  There are over a dozen platforms to host these contests.

You’ll want to visit this post which shows you 15 Viral Marketing Tools to Get Traffic and Leads Fast so you can implement it within your Facebook marketing strategy.

One of the major benefits of running a contest is that you promote the contest or viral marketing campaign by getting the contestants or referrers to get more entries by sharing it on Facebook and other social networks.

When people share your campaign, it instantly increases your brand’s visibility on Facebook and it gets you more leads for your email list.

26) Use Images

When posting, if you include an image with your text, rather than just text, you will get an increase in impressions and engagement.

How visuals and images drive more engagement and traffic

Moreover, on average, visual content performs 4.4 times better than text-based content, according to a study by Chute and Digiday.

27) Post Snippets

Post helpful snippets of information from your blog posts that will be useful for your target audience.

28) Get Hundreds of Facebook Group Members Instantly

To get an instant Facebook group audience, invite every person you know or every person that’s likely to be interested in your product/service.  The best way to do this is by typing in each letter of the alphabet and inviting each person when you type in “a,” then “b,” and “c” and so on.

29) Create Your List of Favorite Groups

Add the groups you like the most to your favorite groups list which will appear on the left navigation pane.

Go to explore, then click groups, then click on groups on the top-left corner of the window.

Once you’re there, scroll down to “Your Groups” and for whichever groups you want to add to your favorites, click the settings icon and click “add to favorites.”

This makes it so much simpler for you to access the groups you participate in the most. It’s highly suggested.

30) Market Your Events in Your Facebook Group

Create an event when you have a sale, a special event or promotion, a webinar, a podcast, conference, meetup, etc.

You can utilize your Facebook group to automatically invite all of your group members to it.

All you have to do is go into your group, then scroll to the left vertical menu for your group.

Discussion will be selected already, so select Events instead.

Then, click the blue button that says “Create Event” and follow the guidelines.

31) Market Your Group and Business Page

Post status updates asking your Facebook friends to support you by joining your Facebook group and like your business page.

This is different than #13 because you’re creating actual status updates by posting on your wall rather than directly inviting and communicating with people.

Moreover, this strategy can be helpful when people like your post because it will start to get ranked higher in the Facebook algorithm as more people like it and comment on it.

When you do this, include a small description or shoot a quick video about why your mission is important. Any use of images will improve your visibility on people’s feeds, as well, unless you include video.

And if you do use a video, post it directly to Facebook and not a third party site like YouTube or Vimeo because Facebook doesn’t like external links.

32) Use a Chatbot with Facebook Messenger

Utilize Facebook Messenger with customizable bots to reach your audience in an incredibly effective way.

MobileMonkey has emerged as a top-notch Facebook messenger platform and you can build chatbots through there with no coding at all. It was started by the Founder and ex-CTO of WordStream, Larry Kim.

I like them and MobileMonkey is available for free, but also has a paid tier.

ChatFuel is another great Facebook messenger bot to use to make a Facebook bot for free, without coding.

However, if you want to code your own bot, then check out this article by Facebook on How to Build Bots for Messenger and learn the ins and outs to building the bot from the Facebook developers section HERE.

Below are two more links to help you with building a bot if you or your team feels so inclined.

How to Get Started With Facebook Messenger Bots by X-Team.

Step-by-Step Guide to Building Facebook Messenger Bots by ARC

33) Get Your Customers to Write Reviews

Ask your customers to leave reviews about your startup on your Facebook page in the reviews section. It can make the next visitor’s decision to use your company’s product or software much easier and just may make the difference!

34) Incentivize Sales via Facebook Offers

Using Facebook Offers, offer coupons as an added incentive to make a purchase from you.

35) Stay on Top of Your Competition and Favorite Content

Keep track of your competitors and/or your favorite FB pages/groups by changing your notification settings for your news stream by checking on “See First.” This will help you with your marketing efforts.  Facebook news feed prioritization for free facebook marketing strategies

36) Create a Signup Form on Your Facebook Business Page and Market it

Encourage people to signup to your email newsletter by subscribing via the form you create on your business page on Facebook.

This is better than an external link because it keeps the traffic within Facebook.

Any incentives to get people to sign up are highly recommended. When you do this, tell people what they’ll get by subscribing to your newsletter.

37) Share Great Memes and Images with Quotes

Share motivational, educational, inspirational images and funny memes. People absolutely love these!

When you do, write some text or even write the same text as the meme so the algorithm can properly categorize it and put it in the relevant news feeds.

Here’s an example of an inspirational quote below:

38) Building a Network on Faceboook

Go to similar Facebook groups and pages.

Find posts that are similar to the type of content or product/service you have.

Look at who has engaged with those posts and add all of those people as friends.

Send each of them an intro message where you introduce yourself, tell them why you friended them, and why connecting with you could be beneficial to them. Also, share what your Facebook group is about and ask if you can add them to it.

Once they accept your friend request, you can invite them to like your Facebook page and add them to your Facebook group if they say yes. If they don’t respond to your message immediately, wait a few days and follow up.

While you can add them to your group without their consent, it’s better to do this as it’s respectful and they’re more likely to engage in it. After you add them, post a welcome message in the group, tagging them.

Conclusion

Despite Facebook’s efforts to lower businesses’ organic outreach on news feeds, Facebook still has many features to help you reach your business goals and is an excellent platform for paid advertising.

You can do a lot on Facebook for business, even if it comes to using guerrilla tactics to beat the algorithm from time to time to increase reach.

Do your best to remain consistent with your content marketing, your value creation, and maintain engagement with users, and when you do, you’ll be in a good place.

What strategies and/or tactics have you used to help you grow on Facebook and drive traffic from Facebook to your website?

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