Want to build your personal brand on Facebook?
Of course you do!
Facebook is the largest social media platform on the planet with over 2 billion monthly users.
That’s a huge platform!
And it’s engaged, too.
Pew Research shows that approximately 75% of Facebook users check the site daily.
And they’re not just scrolling and bouncing.
Sprout Social found that the average American spends 40 minutes per day on Facebook.
So it would seem like the perfect place build your personal brand.
I made a quick video about how to get started building your brand on Facebook.
And it all starts with a Facebook page.
The purpose of this guide is to explain why Facebook pages still matter and show you best practices to build your own.
Ready to get started?
First, I’ll explain why Facebook still matters to digital marketers.
Does Facebook still matter?
Although it has a large user base, Facebook is no longer the cool kid on the block.
The majority of Facebook’s users (71.1%, to be exact) are over the age of 24.
Cost savings are important, but only if there’s a return on advertising spend (ROAS).
To help provide that, Facebook offers audience insights and other analytics to arm you with the data needed to reach your audiences.
Several brands and businesses have found success using Facebook as their main sales and marketing platform.
You can disrupt an established brand in any industry just like this!
Online clothing company LuLaRoe found success using primarily Facebook.
It’s one of the first brands to discover the power of Facebook Live as a sales tool.
The company’s network of independent sales consultants regularly hold Facebook Live parties to sell its leggings and other apparel.
It’s the modern-day equivalent of Tupperware and Avon.
LuLaRoe is estimated to have reached over $165 million in sales in 2016 alone.
That number is sure to rise in 2017 now that the company has partnered with Disney for a themed line.
So, while millennials may prefer other social media platforms, Facebook is still valuable for businesses.
It’s also a great place to offer customer service.
Sephora has long been using Facebook Messenger as a customer service line.
With so many options available, it only makes sense to have a presence on the largest social media network.
Facebook even gives you access to Facebook Audience Insights, which gives detailed analytics about your audience and engagement.
Sounds great, right?
Ready to get started?
First, you have to decide what to create: a profile, page, or group.
They each have unique pros and cons. Let’s review them.
Set up a Facebook group for your page
Although it all looks the same on the surface, there are three very different ways to experience Facebook.
A page is great, but it’s just the start.
To really get a conversation moving and build an audience, you’ll need a group.
Don’t know the difference between a profile, page, and group?
Here are the differences between each one and how and when they should be used.
1. Profile – A profile is meant for personal communications between individuals. It’s against Facebook’s terms and conditions to use a personal profile for business purposes.
You do, however, need a Facebook profile to create a page.
Here’s my personal Facebook profile.
As you can see, it shows an intro, a few follower photos, my About section, photos, and more.
This is what the average individual user’s Facebook profile looks like
While I do occasionally post on my personal profile (it does have 30,831 followers, after all), I primarily use my page.
Once you have a profile set up, you can create a Facebook page too.
2. Page – A page is similar to a profile, but it’s designed for businesses.
Here’s my Facebook business page.
Pages have benefits that profiles don’t, like access to analytics, the ability to boost posts and create ads, and administrative and group posting access.
You’ll notice it also moves the About, Photos, and other tabs to a more convenient location on the sidebar.
You can create your own page from mine by clicking the green “Create a Page” button at the bottom of the left sidebar.
You can even convert your personal profile to a business page.
Just visit the link above and click the blue “Get Started” button.
You’ll be walked through a few steps and asked to confirm that you wish to convert.
Facebook will automatically migrate your profile information, photos, and friends to the page format.
This is a great option for anyone who is starting a Facebook business page for the first time.
But there’s one last Facebook entity to talk about.
To really make your Page shine, you’ll need to be active in Facebook Groups.
3. Group – A group is a collection of Facebook users who share a common interest.
They’re a great place to join conversations, target specific audiences, and place links for conversions.
Don’t be spammy, though. Admins typically don’t allow spam and business-related posts.
Check the group description before joining to find out what type of promotional posts they accept.
Here’s the description for Seattle Burners, a local group of Burning Man enthusiasts.
Groups are set up by users with Facebook profiles and can be public, closed, or private.
Public groups are available for anyone to join. All members can be viewed, and your affiliation will show on your profile page.
Closed group content and members can be viewed, but administrator approval is needed to join and post.
Private group content and members are hidden from non-group members, but they can be viewed by group members and admins.
Private groups are searchable in Facebook search, but their content is not.
Groups can also be linked to pages.
Here’s a Neil Patel fan club group recently created by one of my fans.
You can see that one of the admins is the Neil Patel Fan Club Facebook page.
That fan page also shows on the right as being linked to this group.
Here’s my Facebook Fan Club page.
Now, obviously, I’m not the creator of this page or group.
It’s a legitimate fan page and group started by my fans.
I’m always happy to connect with my fans.
I honestly didn’t realize I had any until just now. I guess I get too caught up in work to realize the impact I’m making.
Unfortunately, I can’t make that offer to everyone. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
What I can do, though, is give you tips on how to create/improve your own Facebook page.
The cornerstones are your profile and cover pictures.
But why use boring, stagnant photos?
Facebook lets you use videos for your profile and cover!
Add a video profile or cover
Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and others are competing with traditional cable and theaters for Hollywood-produced video content.
Meanwhile, Facebook is competing heavily with YouTube for user-generated video content.
According to recent research by AdWeek, Facebook is where you should focus video content if you’re targeting older generations.
This is because 90% of boomers prefer Facebook, and they’re also likelier to prefer written content and video.
Adding video content is a great way to increase your Facebook follower count and engagement organically.
Your profile picture is technically not going to be an actual video. It’ll be a 7-second gif.
However, Facebook is also slowly rolling out the ability to use cover videos.
Here’s the Narcos Facebook page if you want to check it out.
It runs as a “How Does It Work?”-style cocaine factory.
Filmed in crisp HD and clearly created just for Facebook, Netflix got one of 2017’s biggest Facebook brand wins with this video.
It’s slowly rolling out to other pages, so keep an eye out.
Facebook cover videos can be uploaded the same way as cover photos. They must be between 20 and 90 seconds and cropped to 820 by 462 pixels.
Your cover video will autoplay and auto-loop on mute by default.
If visitors wish to unmute the video, they may by pressing the unmute button.
Here’s another example from BMW of Morristown.
I’ll definitely be on the lookout for Facebook cover videos on my page.
You’ll know when I get access because I’ll start using it!
There are also great new ways in which Facebook is incorporating video into its platform.
Your Facebook page isn’t effective until you start using live and 360 video.
Utilize Facebook Live and 360 video
While it’s nice to have a Facebook page, that’s been pretty much standard for the last decade.
A Facebook page isn’t effective unless you’re using the latest Facebook features to reach your audience.
The first is Facebook Live.
While my website has courses and webinars based on my experience and knowledge, Facebook Live lets me partner with others.
Here’s a Facebook Live session I filmed in April that’s still a live link today.
These interactive, live videos are how Facebook plans to compete with YouTube.
In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook spent over $2.2 million to convince top influencers to use live video.
Another $50 million was spent getting top celebrities and publishers to use Facebook Live.
Clearly, Facebook’s algorithms are going to favor live video over prerecorded video.
So does the user base.
Facebook and Mediakix research found that views, likes, and shares all increased among top influencers once they started using Facebook Live.
Everybody is going crazy for live video.
A study from Reptile FX Animation found that Facebook Live videos are watched 300% longer than prerecorded videos.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is betting big on video because Internet usage statistics consistently show that video consumption is on the rise.
It’s better to be a big fish in a big ocean of users craving live video content.
It’s easy to get started too!
There are lots of ways to create engaging Facebook live videos.
But that’s not the only type of video that matters.
Facebook also lets you post spherical, 360-degree videos for virtual reality.
During the August 2017 solar eclipse, NASA made Facebook the place to watch by posting a 360-degree video from the crowd in Charleston, SC.
Over 3.2 million people experienced the solar eclipse in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.
Imagine the branding opportunities that become available by integrating 360 video into your page.
Still not convinced VR is here to stay?
Here’s an infographic Touchstone Research put together from Statista data.
The number of active users is expected to reach 171 million by 2018, and there’s not much content available.
You’ll be among Discovery, National Geographic, and a limited pool of others creating virtual experiences.
Nissan recently won a Cannes Festival creativity award for its 360 Nissan Rogue Star Wars crossover VR experience.
It’s hosted on Discovery VR, but it’s made more shareable on Facebook’s 360 platform.
It goes to show that audiences are ready for branded VR content.
The more mature this industry gets, the more at risk you are of just becoming a bandwagoner.
Start thinking of ways to incorporate VR content into your page to draw audiences your competitors can’t reach.
And you know I’m not letting you leave without giving you some data on how to optimize your Facebook posts.
That’s an integral part of gaining followers for your page.
When and how often to post
I’ve done studies across social media platforms to figure out how often to post and the best times to post.
On Facebook, the generic answer is to post twice a day if you have at least 10,000 followers.
But, as with most things on social media, the real answer is more complicated than that.
Check out my page.
I’m posting 3 times a day even though I have over 900,000 followers.
The choice of how often you post depends on whether you want more engagement per post or more overall traffic flowing to your website.
I’m striking an optimal balance between both.
As for the best time to post?
According to Hootsuite, it’s between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. on weekends.
Of course, to get the best data, you’ll need to just start posting and see how your audience responds.
Speaking of Hootsuite, it has useful analytics that can supplement your Facebook Insights.
I love Hootsuite. It’s one of my favorite social media optimization apps.
It allows you to schedule posts for optimal times.
I also love Buffer.
You’ll notice that my posting times don’t all get squeezed into those limited times I listed.
Instead, I let Buffer’s algorithms determine the best time to automatically schedule my posts.
These times can shift based on current events, weather, and more.
Unless you have a dedicated social media analytics team, it could be a great idea to let Buffer decide your optimal post times.
Ultimately, when and how often you post on Facebook is determined by the time and resources you have to dedicate to it.
BuzzSumo has some data on what type of content performs best on Facebook.
Videos (and any visual content) are ideal.
It’s also a good idea to keep posts under 50 characters.
As the old adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Now that you have your Facebook page up and running, I’ll run you through a quick primer on gaining traffic.
How to gain more traffic on your Facebook page
This article is all about Facebook, but it’s hardly the limit of my social media expertise.
Facebook is its own ecosystem, and I’m an expert on growing Facebook pages by 200 targeted followers per day.
One of the best ways to amplify your reach is to join Facebook groups as described above.
Here are a few groups centered around the topic of marketing.
Participating in group discussions helps you build a community.
You can provide advice, ask questions, and become known as a subject matter expert.
Don’t get spammy and don’t ask for follows. If people like what you’re posting, they’ll follow on their own.
I have two final tips about how to gain Facebook traffic.
The first is with Facebook Ads.
By creating an audience based on people who are not connected to your page but who are interested in marketing, I can create a Facebook PPC campaign designed to get more followers.
Set followers as your conversion goal and Facebook will provide you with pricing for each follower.
You won’t be charged for likes, shares, and other engagements on your ad.
And I bet you’re wondering what my final tip is.
Well, you’ve already completed it by reading this blog post and following the steps.
Accurate page information, great visuals, and consistent posts all increase Facebook followers.
So get started now.
Facebook is the largest social media platform on the Internet. It simply can’t be ignored.
Building a Facebook page is an essential part of any business plan.
If your business isn’t represented on Facebook, you’ll risk looking out-of-touch.
In the pre-Internet days, being listed in the Yellow Pages was enough.
Today, you need to be listed on Yelp, Google Maps, and as many social networks as possible.
If you only list your business on one social media platform, list it on Facebook.
What Facebook marketing successes have you experienced?