Facebook advertising is just as powerful in 2017 as it’s ever been.
Perhaps even more so.
The sheer volume of users alone (1.71 billion as of July 2016) makes it a digital marketer’s playground.
When it comes to Facebook advertising, I could spout off a laundry list of done-to-death conventional techniques.
And most are still quite effective.
But what I want to do here is delve a little deeper and truly dissect Facebook.
I want you to understand its full potential.
Here are 15 advanced Facebook advertising techniques you probably didn’t know about but should most definitely experiment with.
1. Using “Pages to Watch”
Facebook has a pretty cool feature called “Pages to Watch.”
It’s not something I use for marketing directly, but it can provide some helpful insights to assist me in my marketing.
Long story short, you can compile a list of pages you’re interested in along with analytics.
Here’s what I mean:
Just add pages from brands that are relevant to your industry and have a strong Facebook presence.
This is helpful because you can see which posts are the most and least engaging. In turn, you can use this information when deciding what to post on your own page.
Check out this article from Buffer for more info on the Pages to Watch feature.
2. Post images via Instagram
Here’s a sneaky little tactic I stumbled upon.
Rather than posting images directly on Facebook, post them via Instagram.
A study from Buzzsumo found that “images posted via Instagram get 23% more engagement.”
And this makes sense, considering the insane level of engagement Instagram receives.
According to Brand Watch, “Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest and 84 times higher than Twitter.”
In theory, following this simple step can net you nearly a quarter more engagement than simply posting directly on Facebook.
3. Forget the hashtags
Okay, hashtags are well and good in certain situations.
In fact, they’re quite beneficial on networks such as Instagram and Twitter.
But not so much on Facebook.
The same study from Buzzsumo found that posts with hashtags received less engagement than posts without.
Not only does this save time, but you’ll also get more bang for your buck with every piece of content you post.
Think of it as a mini-hack.
4. Post between 10 p.m. and midnight local time
I’m sure you already know that timing is essential on social media.
Even if you post a masterpiece, it’ll have only a marginal impact if your audience never actually sees it.
It’ll get shuffled to the bottom of their feeds.
From my experience and concrete data from Buzzsumo, the ideal time to post is between 10 p.m. and midnight local time.
There are two main reasons why.
First, there are fewer people posting content, which means less competition and more visibility.
Second, there are enough people still awake and active on Facebook to make it worth your time.
This graph from Buzzsumo illustrates this phenomenon:
Stick with this two-hour window, and you should be golden.
5. Using “Audience Insights”
You should know by now that I’m a sucker for cool social media features.
Especially those that are highly data-driven.
The “Audience Insights” feature is perfect for helping me get a detailed snapshot of my audience so I can cater to them more efficiently and create relevant content based around their interests.
And relevancy is essential because it ultimately maximizes your impact and increases your ROI.
You can get information on:
- Education level
- Job title
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The data you generate from this can spill over into other elements of your overall marketing campaign.
Check out this resource from Facebook for more on this feature.
6. Work video into your core strategy
I think we can all agree that video is huge at the moment.
Some might even consider 2016 as the year of video.
The interesting thing is that video accounts for only 3% of all content on Facebook.
I found that number to be staggeringly low.
But it also presents a great opportunity.
Posting plenty of high-quality video content allows you to grab the low-hanging fruit many of your competitors appear to be missing out on.
This leads me to my next point.
7. Directly embed videos
Considering YouTube is so huge, your first instinct may be to embed YouTube videos into your posts.
But that’s the wrong move.
That’s because “directly embedded Facebook videos get more engagement than YouTube embedded videos.”
A lot more!
Just look at how much the total number of interactions from direct embedding dwarfs the number of those embedded with YouTube.
Keep this in mind moving forward, and your engagement levels should increase considerably.
8. “Crowdsource” your business decisions
You’re probably familiar with the term “crowdfunding,” where capital is raised with contributions from a large number of people.
You can apply a similar concept to Facebook with “crowdsourcing” key decisions.
Here are some examples:
- Ask your audience to choose your brand’s new logo
- Ask which new background to use for your Facebook profile
This is cool because:
a) it lets your audience know you’re genuinely interested in their opinions, and
b) it is a natural catalyst for engagement.
The easiest way to crowdsource is to create polls in which people can vote.
9. Keep posts under 150 characters in length
Less is best in terms of Facebook character count.
In fact, I recommend treating it like Twitter—use a max of 150 characters.
It’s simple. Shorter Facebook posts receive far more engagement than longer ones.
Here’s data to prove it:
As you can see, posts with 50 characters or fewer receive the most interactions, and the number of interactions gradually declines as more characters are added.
In other words, keep it short and sweet.
10. Add CTA buttons to your Facebook ads
Here’s an interesting fact:
“The average advertising click-through rate on Facebook is 0.9%.”
But “adding a CTA button can lift your click-through rate by 2.85 times.”
Just think of the long-term impact this can have on your campaign.
Adroll even made a brief infographic that mentions the “big results from a little button.”
Check out this guide from Facebook to learn exactly how to create a CTA button.
11. Using “Facebook Groups” for community building
You may have heard Seth Godin talk about the importance of groups or “tribes” as he calls them.
It’s an essential component of brand building.
But one resource I think that many marketers are failing to capitalize on is “Facebook Groups.”
It’s a lot like LinkedIn Groups where you create a specific group based around a key topic of interest (usually your niche).
This is beneficial for several different reasons:
- It strengthens your relationships
- It helps you build new ones
- It builds brand equity
- It facilitates interaction
- You can gain valuable intel
If you’re not sure how to go about this, consult this quick tutorial from Facebook.
12. Pin your most epic post
Another feature I love is the option to “pin” posts at the top of your timeline.
That way, Facebook users see your best content once they land on your page.
It’s kind of like putting your best foot forward, which hearkens back to the halo effect, which I discussed in another post.
I suggest looking over your timeline and finding the highest quality post that received the most engagement and “pinning” it to the top.
13. A/B test your ads with Qwaya
I won’t launch into a long-winded discussion of how much I love A/B testing.
You probably already know that.
I will say, however, that it’s your ticket to maximum conversions and for cleaning up any inefficiencies in general.
But how exactly can you perform A/B testing on Facebook?
I suggest using Qwaya.
It’s a great Facebook ad manager that will help you take things to the next level.
Here’s a screenshot:
If you’re funneling a considerable amount of money into Facebook ads, this tool is a must.
You can learn more about it in this article I wrote.
14. Use plenty of “question” posts
In a previous article on Quick Sprout, I examined which types of posts received the most interactions on Facebook.
Here’s what I found:
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that “question” posts are ideal in terms of generating interactions.
It’s probably because people like to get in on the action and have their voices heard, so I suggest using this quite a bit.
15. Stick with articles between 1k and 3k words
I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going on a quick long-form content rant.
Once again, according to Buzzsumo’s findings, long-form content performs best on Facebook.
In particular, posts between 1,000 and 3,000 words are ideal.
However, you don’t want to go any further than 3,000, considering the fact there’s a significant drop off in the number of interactions.
I think Facebook gets overlooked these days sometimes because it’s become the old man of social media.
By this I mean there are always newer, hipper, sexier networks popping up.
But Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
In fact, it’s on track to reach two billion users within the next couple of years or so. That’s pretty insane when you think about it.
By going beyond the basics and swimming into the deep end, you can find some real potential for high-quality leads.
And by following the right formula, you can cash in on a large percentage of those leads and convert them into customers.
Can you think of any other advanced Facebook advertising techniques?