38 Facebook Marketing Strategies to Grow Startups

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

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

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 from Facebook.

Facebook marketing is an art and it’s the culmination of many different repeatable actions over time.

And by reading this post, you’ll learn the marketing strategies that will enable you to build a great presence on Facebook which will help you build long-term growth on your Facebook page and or in your Facebook group, build traffic back to your site, get more leads, and ultimately, more sales for your startup.

So what are these elusive strategies, some of which are right under your nose?

I’ll get to that. I promise.

But before I do, I have to share something with you that will set up your entire thought process for marketing your startup on Facebook and you’ll have a shift in perception that enables you to do the rest of your Facebook marketing even better.

Facebook is Different Than Other Marketing Channels

Facebook is different than other social media marketing channels. But you might be thinking — no shit. However, there’s a reason why I’m sharing this information and you’ll get the full explanation as you read.

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.

In addition, you get insight into other people’s lives when you become friends with others on Facebook.

They get this sense of being interconnected.

Okay — so how do we take this people-oriented approach and translate it to marketing your startup and getting sales for your product/service on Facebook?

You begin by making relationships.

Facebook Marketing Strategies

1) Social Selling and Relationship Building


People don’t want to be sold to anymore, especially when they have more access to information to make purchasing decisions than they ever did. They (usually) don’t need sales reps to learn more about the products they’re researching.

They’d much rather build relationships with people on Facebook.

But this isn’t a negative – it’s a positive thing.

The relationships you form are going to be the key drivers to your startup’s success on Facebook and will usually create your startup’s biggest advocates and fans on Facebook.

They want to explore synergies, get advice, and they also want solutions to their problems.

But relationship building and social selling are both an outbound and outbound strategies to marketing and I think this video below on social selling will help you understand more about it.

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

Follow these guidelines for connecting with people on Facebook:

  • Connect with as many like-minded people for strategic partnerships and target customers as you can.
  • 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.
  • You can also message them before friending them or coment on one of their posts and ask if it’s okay to connect on messenger.
  • Once you start communicating, ask 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. You need to start the conversation first before offering solutions.
  • Be kind and generous and they’ll probably reciprocate back, which can mean a sale for you. The power of reciprocity is huge.
  • Compliment them with something nice to say about their profile, work experience, or business. Be genuine and always be positive!
  • 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.

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 their messages. They won’t show up as a regular message until you’re friended.

Check out this really helpful video by HubSpot which informs you about what inbound marketing is and the impact it has on your approach to social selling and relationship building.

Using the inbound strategy will definitely help you with your ability to successfully do social selling. But where do you find the people you’re messaging?

Where to find people to build relationships with:

  • Go to similar Facebook groups which have your target customers and interact with people who actively post, like, or comment there. You’ll have the best chance of connecting with a prospect on Facebook if they’re already active.
  • Go within your own community via your own Facebook group and Facebook business page and contact the people in your audience.
  • You can find people who interact with similar company’s Facebook pages by connecting with those people who have commented, liked, loved, or shared.
  • Do searches for people with keywords that match your target customers. Try first by a job role. You may not get much else from this tactic 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.

Any finally, if you find that your approaches to social selling are not working, then I encourage you to check out this other great resource by HubSpot: The #1 Reason Most Salespeople Aren’t Getting Any Results from Social Selling.

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 startup 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 or you can use text + image.

Check out this example of a text-based personalized Facebook post by an industry influencer, Josh Fechter from BAMF Media.

Josh Fechter - personalized Facebook Post

3) Have a Purpose Behind What You Post

When you market on Facebook for your startup or any social media platform, be sure to have a purpose in mind.

For instance, your purpose can be:

  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.

Remember the three phases of the inbound marketing buyer’s journey.

Phase 1) Awareness

Phase 2) Consideration

Phase 3) Decision

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:

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 anything (except paid promotions) because they want people to stay on their platform longer.

That’s also why you can’t post YouTube video links for people to watch them on Facebook, because Facebook doesn’t allow it.  They want you to post the original video on their platform so people stay on it and stay engaged on Facebook.

To get priority on Facebook’s news feed:

  1. Post less outbound links and more text (with pictures),
  2. Post embedded videos, not links to videos
  3. Rather thank link to an article directly in a Facebook post, share links to your content or site in the first comment
  4. Or share internal Facebook links such as your business page, group page, or content in the articles section of your startup’s Facebook group.

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 outside of your personal page and group.

Post in pertinent 3rd party groups within your industry around once per day.

You don’t have to post links to your content or curated content.

Instead, you can post questions, helpful information in bite sizes, pictures, or embedded videos.

By doing this, your startup 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 startup’s website, and customers.

However, you must remember to always follow group guidelines/rules.

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

If your posts need approval and you aren’t getting approval, then I suggest that you contact the group admins and try to build a relationship with them. That will build more trust with them and increase your chances of your posts being approved ten-fold.

6) Header Images in Your Group and Page

If you want to create the best image of your startup or business, then 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.

Below is an example of Facebook group engagement in our own group, Startup Growth and Development.

Facebook group engagement as part of a Facebook marketing strategy for startups

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.

I love this Facebook marketing strategy because asking questions to users in public forums will almost always lead to a return in engagement from that person.

8) Guerrilla Marketing on Facebook with Comments

For some great grassroots guerrilla marketing, find business pages with the same or very similar target niche.

Then 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 to reach.

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.

In the comment, you can also post a link to a relevant blog post of yours if it supports and reinforces the insights you shared via the comment.

9) Content Marketing Ratios for Facebook Marketing

Adhere to a 20/80 (20% promotional, 80% curated & owned) or 30/60/10 (30% owned, 60% curated, 10% promotional) guideline for posting.

The reason behind this is that you want to build trust and not seem like you’re just spamming with your own promotions.

30/60/10 content ratio

Once you become a mega-star in your niche and you are producing content to post 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 to the Top

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.”

Pin facebook post to top of page - part of facebook marketing strategies post for startups

11) Commenting as Engagement

Respond to comments on your page/content/group (if you have one) and comment on other people’s posts to engage with them socially as a great way to put yourself and your startup out there.

Below is an example how the #1 marketer in America, Neil Patel, engages with his audience via comments.

Replying to comments on facebook posts - engagement on FB

Community engagement is very important.

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 for Higher Audience Reach

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

You would use this feature like you would tag people in a picture.

However, you’re not designating where in the post that person is like you would in a picture.

Not only will the post show up in their feed, but it will also show up in their friends’ feeds.

13) Invite Your Friends to Like Your Facebook Page

Invite your Facebook friends to your business page when you just start your page and after you’ve been around for a while, too.

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.

When you invite them, you can now also send a message through Facebook Messenger which invites them along with the normal like request. Below is an example of an invitation sent out to multiple people.

Invite people to like StartupDevKit facebook 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.

What I think is great about this is that you can share them at your own convenience. You’re creating your own curated library of content which you can share and provide additional value to your audience.

Saving Facebook Posts for later

15) Post During High-Traffic Times and Days

Your startup has the potential to reach more consumers and drive higher traffic to your site during peak usage 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 7 pm will result in more clicks on average than posting at 8 pm (Source: Forbes).

On Thursdays and Fridays, engagement is 18% higher than on other days. (Source: CoSchedule)

However, Saturdays and Sundays have 32% higher engagement on Facebook! Holy smokes, Batman!

Invite people to like StartupDevKit facebook page

Also, consider that Facebook has a global audience, so you may want to plan your Facebook marketing strategy around the time zone(s) 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) Boost Your Posts on Facebook

One helpful Facebook marketing strategy is to boost your posts for likes, especially when you’re just starting out.  Boosting your posts for likes rather than clicks enables you to build your Facebook community more.

Even if it’s just $5 or $10 to start with, it can have a ripple effect if you know what to do after you boost it.

What’s better is that you get to choose your target audience in the Facebook ads audience manager.

Not only does it provide brand awareness and authority on a subject when you boost a post, but it also allows you to see who liked the post.

Once you view who liked the post, you can then invite those people who liked the post to like your startup’s Facebook page.

You can also individually message and/or friend them and build relationships with them.

And if they accept your friend request, you can add them to your Facebook group or share the link of your Facebook group with them via message if you want to be less presumptuous.

Pretty cool, eh?

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.

You can find them by looking at group members and then clicking on the admins tab to see who are the admins.

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 Insights Data

Export your Facebook’s Insights data analytics so you can dive deeper into how your Facebook campaigns are performing.

Social Media Examiner has a good guide to analyze Facebook metrics, as well.

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) Use Major Holidays to Show Your Humanity

The reason behind posting on holidays and wishing happy holidays is so that you can show your humanity and add a personal touch with your brand or startup. In addition, mentioning the event name or holiday in your post will get put into the category of the occasion you mentioned which will generally rank higher on Facebook feeds during that holiday. As long as you don’t include a link.

Holidays Post on facebook

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.

Memes that are funny, yet relevant can be helpful for your brand.

meme about memes for infusing humor into marketing strategy

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.

Here are 3 resources on storytelling if you want to learn about how to create a great story:

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Storytelling – HubSpot
  2. Storytelling for Startups – Dreamit Perspectives
  3. 4 Keys to Crafting a Winning Startup Story – Entrepreneur

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 From Your Blog Posts

Post helpful snippets of information from your blog posts that are helpful for your target audience.

You can choose to either post a link after the snippet, a link in the first comment, or have no link at all.

The latter two options will help your post reach more people through the news feed.

Pretty simple, don’t you think?

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 and Pages

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

Favorite facebook groups and pages

And to add groups to your favorites category, you can 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 or Facebook Page

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

You can utilize your Facebook group to automatically invite all of your group members to the event and the same goes for events created from your Facebook page, but rather it invites all of the people who have liked your page.

It’s so simple to create an event from your page. See the screenshot below to see.

How to Create Events on Facebook - facebook marketing strategies post for startups

For the group — 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.

Pretty simple, yet effective!

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. Check out their promo video below.

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.

Reviews can make the next visitor’s decision to use your company’s product or software much easier and just may make the difference to help you get your next sale!

Below is an example of Clever Calories’ reviews.

Example of Facebook page reviews - https://myCleverCalories.com

34) Incentivize Sales via Facebook Offers

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

One of the major, yet obvious benefits of offers is that if you’re driving a lot of traffic to your Facebook page, then people are going to be more likely to see your offer and buy from you.

If you’re just starting out, you can try boosting your posts and marketing your Facebook page itself with paid ads so you can get more likes and traffic, thus enabling you to have a better chance at making a sale through your Facebook offer.

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) Get Email List Signups

To get email list signups through Facebook, you need to go to your business page and follow several steps. It’s less intuitive than one may hope, so I detail the steps here.

Then click “edit button” when you scroll over “sign up.”

Edit Facebook sign up button

Once you click edit, then click on “contact you” and select “sign up.” Then click “next.”

Contact you - sign up button Facebook page

Once you click next, you just need to give the URL to Facebook to point to where the visitor can sign up.

And that’s it!

37) Share Great Image Quotes

Share motivational, educational, and inspirational images that are relevant. People absolutely love these!

Why do people love them?

Because people love to be uplifted. These can add a new tone to your brand that will keep them coming back for more.

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.

Below is an example of an inspirational and motivational quote and one of my absolute favorites that I read everyday because I will have my own great human revolution to help the world become a better place:

38) Build an Active Network on Facebook

This is one of my favorite ways to build an active network.

facebook likes for lead generation

You’ll learn how by following the below steps.

Step 1) Go to similar Facebook groups and pages by typing in your keywords into the search bar.

Step 2) Find posts are similar to the type of content or product/service you have.

Step 3) Look at who has engaged with those posts and add all of those people as friends.

Step 4) 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.

Step 5) 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.

Step 6) 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.

Step 7) After you add them, post a welcome message in the group, tagging them.

And boom — there you have it. A process to find the people you want to reach.

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 your startup, 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.

If you want to learn more in-depth startup marketing strategies using all forms of social media, then I encourage you to check out 14 Proven Startup Marketing Strategies via Social Media. You’ll learn a lot of great strategies to take your social media marketing to the next level.

And finally, if you want to learn more about paid marketing on Facebook, then you might want to check out this post I wrote about How to Run a Successful Facebook Ads Campaign.

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

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