The rules have changed for effective marketing on Facebook. Paid ads are still a valuable tool to reach your targeted audience but there are more ways to expand brand awareness and generate sales now. Here are some recent Meta updates to consider for adapting your outreach strategy.

Who is using Facebook?
Before designing a new strategy, here are some statistics to help you learn about your potential audience. There are 2.93 billion monthly active users globally. Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of people on Facebook are between ages 24-35. Of these users, most are men. Facebook ranks #1 for daily usage and time spent on the app followed by Tiktok and Twitter.

Facebook “groups” are now called Communities
Most of the organically posted content within Facebook communities is interactive. Users ask a question or for opinions of other members within the group which generates discussion. Even if some of the responses are negative or controversial—these types of posts are an opportunity to expand awareness of the topic. Many communities have rules against promotional posts but some are dedicated to the promotion of specific types of businesses. Joining communities related to your niche (even those with rules against advertising) may give insight into potential customers’ daily routines and habits. And there are subtle ways to share rule-abiding, relatable content that will eventually lead consumers to your products and services.

Consider creating a Facebook community for your brand
The downside of this may be that someone needs to moderate this online space but the benefits far outweigh the potential challenges. This is a free way to keep people talking about your brand and it’s a space within your control, unlike public reviews. Pages often have one or more related communities linked so as you create content for your business’ public page, it can be seamlessly shared within the private community without being repetitive. Consider posting themed daily or weekly interaction threads. “Freebie Friday” or “Show n’ tell Saturday” for example.

It is essential to encourage engagement in this group beyond promoting new products or announcing sales to avoid appearing spammy. Yes, even in this dedicated online space for your customers. The more it appears on members’ timelines, they’re subtly reminded of your products. You can get Facebook users interested in joining the community by advertising that it will be the first place you introduce exclusive offers but users will stay active in these spaces when they’re given opportunities to share personal information about themselves. If it’s a fun gathering place, they may even invite friends who’ve never heard of your brand and introduce them to your company’s ecosystem.

Not only does this help potential customers feel valued beyond their buying power, you’ll also gain access to valuable intel directly from them about their needs, desires, and ways you can improve their experience. Facebook communities are an often overlooked opportunity to connect deeper and build trust within your customer base. Creating one specifically for your potential and repeat customers is a no-brainer.

Facebook is starting to prioritize video content
Now that Instagram and Facebook are both Meta platforms, it is easier to seamlessly share organic content and paid advertisements between the apps. Following the successful format of TikTok, Instagram announced officially that the algorithm favors video Reels. And Instagram Reels have become one of the best features to use to reach users who aren’t aware of your account. Facebook is now paying some creators to post video content which is what Instagram did to get the fresh reels and generate interest in the new feature.

Content creators are paid per view of their original Reels, so there is an extra incentive to go viral beyond exposure. Influencers and brand accounts alike may be offered this deal directly from Facebook but if you’re not, the point is short videos are the future of Facebook marketing.

Human faces in reels and profile images seem to hold user attention
This has not been verified by Facebook officially but frequent Instagram users noticed human faces seemed to appease the algorithm more than posts that didn’t do well in 2021. We’re seeing Facebook trends and features follow the example set by the other Meta app. While it isn’t confirmed, it may be that social media users simply feel more comfortable taking in information that has the image of a person attached.

Offer unique replies to potential customers’ questions
Have you ever looked in the comments of a Facebook ad? Usually there are questions about the products or services being advertised. Leaving room for curiosity and questions in your advertising is a good strategy for boosting engagement but  you may notice brand accounts not answering or replying with the same canned answers—some even repeating the exact same words copied and pasted as replies to different users’ questions. This looks lazy to potential clients and makes them feel like a number rather than a person worthy of a well thought-out reply.

Use their name in your reply and mix it up even if the question has been asked multiple times and the answers have to be similar. The users asking may not convert to paying customers but someone scrolling who sees these interactions might.