Beginning as a forum for social connection on a purely personal level, Facebook has grown into a business powerhouse. Companies today cannot afford to ignore the extensive influence and opportunity of social media sites. Facebook provides connection to current and prospective customers, is an invaluable resource for customer acquisition and retention, and a highly effective means of targeted advertisement. Facebook is a tremendously powerful marketing and PR tool that, if fully utilized, can help a business to realize its true potential.

Here are the top 12 critical elements of a successful Facebook advertising campaign:

  • Establish a Facebook page for your company and hire a successful web developer to make it as appealing as possible. A lot can be gleaned about the overall tone of your business from its Facebook page and this is best left to a professional. This investment gives large returns. Besides – aren't you too busy running your business?
  • The beginning of any successful social media campaign is to identify the target audience for your company and brand. Most of your efforts will be directed at this audience, and having a solid understanding of this group crucial.
  • Use Facebook as a data collection tool. Social media is a powerful platform for customer acquisition, generation of leads, and stats about your customers. E-mail addresses collected from social media campaigns can be used to maintain connection with customers and increase brand loyalty.
  • Facebook has extensive opportunities for paid media, usually in the form of advertisements. With the ability to target customers by interests, advertisements on Facebook have greater impact and higher returns.
  • The coup of Facebook is the opportunity for earned media – mentions and promotions made by users, customers, or fans. Any Facebook campaign should have the goal of increasing social mentions via Facebook, other social media sites, blogs, and news articles. Targeting social media influencers and using their reach to expand the brand’s exposure helps achieve increased mentions and social media presence.
  • Advocacy campaigns, like #hashtag or “double like,” increase social mentions and the breadth of social media power. Including the customer in the promotion process has multiple benefits, including creating an “organic” advocate, a larger social media presence, and greater brand loyalty.
  • Facebook is the ideal platform for managing and promoting all owned media – the websites, blogs, and social networks that are wholly managed by your company. By promoting and disseminating owned media, your company is able to send out a message and tone that you can entirely control. Because social media is dominated by opinions of individuals, it is important to throw your voice into the mix.
  • Keep your content as fresh as possible. Facebook users typically check the site multiple times throughout the day, with some logging in at first light and working through a stream of news throughout the day. The public does not want to view the same reviews of the same products more than once. Keep it fresh and you’ll invite both new viewers and repeat viewers to the page.
  • Keep the conversation going by creating dialogue on your page. Ask questions, seek opinions, and encourage users to add their input. This helps keep your page fresh and current, while making customers feel included and part of the brand family. Break down the image of an unapproachable, big business and replace it with the idea that everyone’s voice is integral to building the business.
  • Facebook is ideal for new brand amplification – creating a wider reach for the good press about your company and brand. Use social media to spread the news quickly to targeted users, especially those likely to repost or blog about the press. This will increase traffic toward the positive news and reviews of the company and brand.
  • Diligent and continual management of brand reputation and image is imperative for a successful Facebook presence. One of the fundamental drivers behind social media is that is gives a voice to all. Anyone can be heard. Your social media manager must be skilled at not only responding to online praise, but also immediately addressing negative remarks and suspicious postings. Negativity can spread just as virally as positive remarks.
  • Lastly – highly encourage cross-platform subscription. Social media is not only limited to Facebook, and it has the potential to make or break a company. Host multiple social media sites, and encourage your customers to participate in them all. Increase loyalty, exposure, and revenue by engaging new and returning customers on multiple social media platforms.

A Facebook advertising campaign managed by an experienced firm has the potential to generate more traffic, better public exposure, and a more succinct overall message. Facebook is a medium that can create immense public interest, yet also have the potential to quickly spread negativity about a product, company, or service. An experienced marketing or PR firm will maintain brand reputation, manage exposure, and ensure that your next Facebook advertising campaign drives your business to greater heights.