social media how toAre you looking for creative ways to improve your Facebook marketing?

Facebook continues to be the social media platform of choice for many businesses.

So we spoke with top Facebook experts to find out the hottest marketing tips businesses need to know today.

#1: Leverage videos more effectively on Facebook with Open Graph

emeric ernoult

Emeric Ernoult

My hottest tip is for those who sell products or services on their websites and have Like buttons attached to them: Share videos, not just still images!

Let me explain. When someone likes a product or service on your website, a story will be displayed on Facebook with a title, a description and an image. It will look like this:

facebook marketing

A story will be displayed on Facebook with a title, description and image.

But if you have a video of this specific product or service, you can make the stories published a lot more appealing!

Imagine that every time someone likes a product, it will share a video showing that product in an attractive way or a demo of how to benefit from it—or if it’s a service, an interview of a client saying how he benefited from your service. The possibilities are limitless.

In the example below, when you like a vacation club of this travel company, you will share a video tour of that club. A lot more appealing than a 150-pixel–wide image:

facebook marketing

You can make the stories published a lot more appealing with video.

It’s pretty easy to make this happen. Just add the following meta tags to your existing Facebook Open Graph meta data:

<meta property=”og:image” content=”image url” />
<meta property=”og:video” content=”video url” />
(if your video is on YouTube, the link should entered as follows: -video. The ID of your video appears in its original URL right after “watch?v=”)
<meta property=”og:video:type” content=”application/x-shockwave-flash” />
<meta property=”og:video:width” content=”width of your video” />
<meta property=”og:video:height” content=”height of your video” />

Emeric Ernoult, founder of AgoraPulse Facebook CRM Platform

#2: Experiment with posting outside business hours

mari smith

Mari Smith

You have a fan page for your business, so it stands to reason you’ll want to publish your posts during business hours, right? That’s partially true. However, you may be missing out on reaching a huge portion of your fans by not posting outside business hours!

So experiment with posting during early morning periods (4 am-7 am ET), late evenings (10 pm-12 am ET) and on weekends. Then track what type of response you get. Don’t just try it one time and stop; mix it up each week. For example, let’s say you currently post on your fan page twice a day—make one post during business hours and the other post either early morning or late evening.

A recent study of 20 popular brands by Yesmail revealed that “campaigns deployed between 10 pm-12 am ET were an engagement goldmine. Based on volume, however, this timeslot was the least utilized for deployment.” And, “The most popular time of day to deploy campaigns was between 11 am-1 pm ET, while paradoxically, this timeslot was in the bottom 30% in terms of engagement.”

Another study based on 200 fan pages by Buddy Media shows that “ engagement is highest at 4 am, 7 am, and 11 pm, but that brands post the most during business hours.”

By the way, be sure to keep an eye on the location of your fans in your Facebook Page Insights. This is critical to know in which global time zones most of your fans reside.

buddy media

Image from Buddy Media.

Mari Smith, author of The New Relationship Marketing and co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day (second edition)

#3: Find creative ways to add more photos

andrea vahl

Andrea Vahl

Visual marketing is winning.  Sharing photos is still the best way to get interaction.  Photos are more visible than sharing a link and take up more space in the newsfeed than any other type of post.

Think of different ways you can incorporate more photos.  If you are linking to a blog post, upload an image from the post as a photo and then share the link within the status update.

infographic tip

Upload an image from the post as a photo and then share the link within the status update.

If you have a quote, find a good royalty-free image and add the quote to it.

If you need something created to illustrate a particular point, find a good graphic artist to help you.  If you are sharing a large infographic, create a smaller picture of it, and then link to the entire post in the status update.

When people comment on or like photos, they can show up in the newsfeed of their friends and are more noticeable than a link or plain text status update.

If people share the photo, your Facebook page name travels with that photo even if a friend of a fan then shares it.  So your page is becoming more viral.  Try incorporating more photos into your posts for a week and measure your results!

Andrea Vahl, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies

#4: Use Sponsored Posts

dave kerpen

Dave Kerpen

You want content from your page to reach your fans. However, because your content is competing not only with other businesses, but also with all of your fans’ friends, most of your content won’t likely be seen in your fans’ newsfeeds.

Only 16% of brand content organically reaches your fans on average.

Page Post ads allow you to have increased reach for content you want to ensure is seen by more people. For as little as $10, or as much as you’d like, you can reach a greater percentage of your fans through a Facebook ad. The content will show up in your fans’ newsfeeds as a Sponsored Post, and is an excellent way to get more impressions, likes and clicks!

We’ve used Sponsored Post ads successfully for dozens of clients and for our own Likeable Media page (see image below).

Sponsored Post ads are best for already-compelling content, such as videos, free whitepapers or webinar offers, or special deals. Plus, you can test Sponsored Post ads at really small budgets with little risk and then scale up based on your success.

page post ad

Page Post ads are best for already-compelling content.

Dave Kerpen, author of Likeable Social Media

#5: Involve your fans in product decisions

pj jonas

PJ Jonas

It’s always great to have a big response when rolling out a new product.  Whether that product is an information product or a physical product, involve your fans in designing an element of it.

As close to the product launch as possible, ask your fans for their input.  Create a sense of urgency by sharing that you are making a final decision shortly and need their input now.  If appropriate, include photos of the possible choices.

When you launch the product, thank them for their input and share what you decided on.

Recently we wanted to highlight and sell a bunch of soy candles.  I asked on Facebook what scents our customers wanted me to make that day and got 72 responses.

facebook soy candle question

Ask your customers what they want.

We made most of what was asked for and later that day, we posted a photo of the candles.

soy candles

Share pictures of your product.

Our post stated that they were available on the website, and we sold a majority of the candles within an hour.  By getting your customers’ input into the products you offer, they feel a sense of ownership and are more likely to purchase and share your product with others.

PJ Jonasowner of Goat Milk Stuff, podcaster

#6: Utilize the new scheduling tool

ben pickering

Ben Pickering

Facebook allows page admins to schedule a post to be published at a later time. This type of functionality has previously been available through third-party publishing platforms, but is now accessible to everyone in the native Facebook environment.

Given the continuing unresolved reports that posts scheduled via third parties sometimes receive lower exposure in the newsfeed, there may be reasons to consider using this tool.

Using the scheduling tool can help ensure your messages are delivered at the optimal time to reach your audience, especially when used in conjunction with the location targeting feature.

Aside from not having to log in to post something at a specific time, you can save time by mapping out your communications plan and scheduling multiple messages in advance.

It’s important that not all communication be premeditated in order to remain timely and genuine, but many messages are appropriate for advance scheduling. And don’t forget to consider promoting your post to gain even greater reach!

schedule message

Using the scheduling tool can help ensure your messages are delivered at the optimal time.

Ben Pickering, CEO of Strutta, a leading platform for social promotions and a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer

#7: Use contests to get more fans

jim belosic

Jim Belosic

Every day our users ask us the same question: “How do I get more fans?” Unfortunately, my answer is pretty boring: “It depends.” There are tons of ways to market your Facebook page and some are better than others. It really depends on your audience and your style of managing the page.

However, one method that I’ve seen work across the board is Facebook contests.

Contests have three main benefits: Getting existing fans to join the conversation, encouraging their friends to join in too and collect information from your fans, such as an email address. That information can be useful for bringing your marketing efforts outside of Facebook—with fans’ permission, of course.

Facebook contests are an effective way to market your Facebook page and there are many third-party apps out there that make it really simple and most importantly, compliant with Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines. Best of all, there is a contest app that will fit your budget. Prices for contest apps range from free to five figures a month.

It’s important to remember that not every Facebook contest is the same. Businesses have to test out different types of contests such as photo or video contests and see which resonates with their audience.

Marketing on Facebook is a trial-and-error process and an ever-changing challenge. Understanding your target audience and offering up incentives for existing fans to continue to check in with your business and new fans to follow your business are key to lasting success.

Jim Belosic, CEO of ShortStack, a custom Facebook apps design platform that helps businesses maximize their social media presence and potential

#8: Get active on your personal profile

john haydon

John Haydon

Facebook is a friendly network where people connect with people. If you’re not using Facebook for your personal profile, you’ll never really understand user motivations.

It’s like learning to speak French only from a book and then actually visiting France. Those who live there will be able to tell you’re a foreigner in a matter of seconds. You won’t get their jokes, expressions, body language or any other unique characteristics of their local culture.

The same is true for Facebook. You can read all of the various books on Facebook marketing, but eventually you have to become part of the native culture in order to truly understand the language.

istock paris tourist-

Are you interacting as a person with other people? Image: iStockphoto

John Haydon, co-author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies

#9: Allocate the resources needed

mark schaefer

Mark Schaefer

Most businesses grossly underestimate the amount of work it takes to be successful on Facebook.

Your strategy should start with an honest answer to this question: “Do we have a company that consistently generates content that people will want to share and discuss—or could we become that company?”

Understanding the implications of this answer will help guide your Facebook presence.

Mark W. Schaefer, author of Return on Influence and The Tao of Twitter

Want to learn more about Facebook marketing?

Watch this video from Mike Stelzner (founder of Social Media Examiner).

If you’re not fully leveraging the power of Facebook, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most businesses still haven’t figured it out.

There’s one easy way to take your Facebook marketing to the next level. By attending the web’s largest online Facebook conference, Facebook Success Summit 2012, you’ll become empowered to use Facebook to gain more exposure, better engage customers and grow your business.

The great part is you’ll be learning from 20 Facebook experts (including the 9 mentioned in this article).

It’s the web’s largest online Facebook marketing conference. Go here to learn more.

What do you think? Have you used these Facebook marketing tactics? Do you have any others to share? Please leave your comments below.

Image from iStockPhoto.
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  • invpartnership

    Thank you for compiling these nine tips, Cindy. We have used some of these techniques, but it is great to read about the successful slant of the experts!

  • Wow, great stuff!  It’s great to see the impact video has on Facebook.  Outstanding!

  • Alwking

    A lot to learn, a beginning. A better way to market my wine. Al King Wines. Great!

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  • You’re welcome, Louise!  It’s true that I also like hearing how other people talk about the same techniques. I find it can help use them better 🙂

  • Thanks John, it’s interesting to see how video is used throughout social media. 

  • chicksinger23

    great post! and, may I ask, where do I find the Facebook open graph to put in that meta code?  that is really amazing! 😉 

  • Amanda Ebersole

    I am also curious about the open graph meta code, more information on that would be appreciated. 

  • I LOVE Mari’s #2 and I cant’ stress it enough.  Every community is different and you’d be amazed at the “odd” times people are on Facebook.  After attending a Darius Rucker concert at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre (a former client) I posted pictures on our Facebook page…at 11:30 on a Friday evening.  I was completely blown away at the number of folks who commented, Liked and Shared.  Go ahead – test out times!

  • Debbie

    Great article, thanks, I especially like the idea to use video when someone likes our website (stealing that one for sure!) Facebook has literally turned our business around, we are reaching beyond our target to get our name out, our fans love it, engagment rates (talking about this vs likes) is often 500-900%!!!
    and anyone can do this! Yes it is very time-consuming but low to no cost.
    We are a group of work-at-home-moms with little to no advertising budget, and we’ve researched and figured out how to do all our own custom apps and images), no-one is a graphic artist or programmer, we simply make it our business to know what our fans like and want to engage in and we bring them this! All our personalities show and quite often it is a personal post about a dilemma we’re having with our kids that goes viral! last month we posted a cartoon image and quote about teaching your kids respect, and that one post got 9,500 likes and almost 17,000 shares, this goes to show you that if we can do it, ANYONE CAN!
    Debbie (Wee Piggies & Paws Head Office)

  • Tip #1 for the win. Most people/biz miss this opportunity nice to see it pointed out.

    Does anyone have recommendations for the a contest platform? Wildfire?

  • Diane Bianchi

    These are awesome tips.  I especially like the one about video and I, too, would like to know the specifics on how to do this.  Perhaps another post is in order? 🙂 Thanks!

  • KaLee Kae

    Thank you for this amazing post!!  Very good information!  I appreciate it!

    KaLee Kae Photo

  • A couple great tips here I’d not heard of. Also curious about the open graph code for video sharing. Sounds awesome! Where exactly do we put it?

  • I’m so glad I bookmarked this article earlier as there was no time to read it then. Great info!

  • You can learn more about the Facebook Open Graph here:  But if you are not a little bit technically minded, you’ll want to get your technical person to set this up for you.

  • Hi Amanda, You can learn more about the Facebook Open Graph here:  But if you are not a little bit technically minded, you’ll want to get your technical person to set this up for you.

  • Thanks for sharing, Karen!  I also found weekends worked well for me on my own blog a few years ago. It’s all about knowing your audience 😉

  • Hi Louise, You can learn more about the Facebook Open Graph here:  But if you are not a little bit technically minded, you’ll want to get your technical person to set this up for you.

  • Thanks, Patti!

  • Hi Mikel, I suggest you ask this in our Facebook Networking Club: The community there is sure to give you some useful feedback. And you might be interested in reading this:

  • Hi @MikelZaremba:disqus – is for sure a great contest app as is I ran a successful contest using Strutta earlier this year and really like their interface and the customer support is stellar. There are many other varieties out there that offer suites of apps that include likes of a sweepstakes app, photo contest app, etc. e.g., both of which are great too!

  • Thanks for sharing, Debbie.

  • That’s awesome to hear @KarenMoran:disqus !! Facebook has a “Happiness Index” where it shows a spike on Fridays! 🙂 Seems that the more peeps don’t want to be at work, the more they are active on Facebook. 🙂 

  • Let’s see if we can persuade @eernoult:twitter  to give us step by step instructions on how to do this 🙂

  • Thanks Cindy, great tips.  I’m not much of a techie so I’m going to pass them on to my VA.

  • You guys really rock with these updates.


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  • Victor Stanescu

    great article, especially the video with open graph part!!

  • Thx for this post and these tips. Maybe we can try in our facebook page.

  • Lucindaviolini

    This information is invaluable for a newbie on Social Media for my business…. Thank you may not be a big enough word!!! Keep it coming!!!!

  •  This site rocks! Thanks for these tips.

  • OBVAVirtualAssistant

    Scheduling is a bit tedious, but not that hard. Just post as you normally would but hit that little clock in the lower left corner of the post box and tell Facebook when you want the post to go live. Thanks for the lovely share.

  • Twilightpromo

    Thanks for all of these wonderful tips! I have implemented a few and have seen immediate results. With Facebook always changing and evolving, it’s great to have a place to find all the new tricks and tips in order to keep up in the social media world. Thank you!!

  • Cindy Ma’m, you’ve done really a great job by compiling a list of such rocking tips by Experts!
    What I like from them most is the tip by Andrea.. It’s what I’m using, and will maximize benefits from it.

  • Dennis_T

    We’ve found posting Sunday mornings for one particular client using the scheduling system has worked amazingly well, the client wakes up with a string of business enquiries come Monday morning!

  • Thanks for sharing, Cindy. Do you know of any tools that I will be able to find out what time is the best performing time my posts are doing?

  • Emeric

    Thanks Mikel 🙂 
    There are a lot of contest platform out there. Wildfire is a good one but the White Label will cost you $5,000 per campaign. Most SMBs can’t afford that. I may be a little biased but you may want to try, starts at $9 / month and free to try 😉

  • Emeric

    Thanks Diane! And  @CindyKing:disqus has already persuaded me, I am working on a detailed “how to” post 🙂

  • Emeric

    Hi @twitter-309330290:disqus , I am working on a “how to” article about this. Hope te get it done in September!

  • Emeric

    Hi @sookieshuen:disqus , to find out the best time for your post performance, you can try or 🙂

  • Thanks for reaching out on Twitter too, I’ll make sure I check those two apps out, much appreciated (:

  • Emeric’s comments on Open Graph are key. I think Facebook specifically has a lot more potential that people aren’t nessesary using yet.

    Involving your fans is also somehting that people (and brands) don’t do anywhere near enough. It’s fun, gets people involved and gives people a reason to keep coming back for progress updates etc.

  • Nice work Cindy and very handy. Sometimes it all there but one hesitates in utilising the tools. Enjoyed the tipa especially linking the like button to a welcome video. Sure way to grab eyeballs.

  •  Great Tips Cindy, Thanks for sharing

  • Hi Cindy

    As a company we are totally new to social media marketing and do not really know where to start

  • Facebook’s Sponsored Posts feature really does work! I had my doubts, but it’s brought us a lot of new and engaged fans. 🙂

    Posting outside of business hours is one I didn’t consider. What a great idea! After all, not all fans will be on Facebook from 9-5 (in fact, I’d say most of them sign in at night)…

  • Wow! I heard about the scheduling tool and planned on using it but never did instead I posted the updates on the exact time (EST) or had to use third party apps which I don’t like and had to keep track of the time difference since I live in the Philippines..Silly me!

  • Thanks for your feedback, Jill! It’s always great to hear from others about what’s working.

  • You’re welcome, Ajaz

  • Love your comment! The Open Graph stuff is technical and you have to wrap your head around it, BUT I think it’s essential for all marketers to know what you can do with it.

  • Thanks for your feedback, Malraj!  Glad you find the tips useful.

  • Good point! It’s just a new habit to get into 🙂

  • You’re welcome, Amy!

  • We’re sure to keep the tips coming! 

  • Thanks, Maria!

  • You’re welcome Hazel!

  • Yep!  @facebook-507607406:disqus rocks on Facebook marketing!

  • Sara Piccola

    I’m a little biased myself but check out Subscriptions are based on fan count not what type of contest you’re running so you could try out the platform for free and run a contest for as little as $15/month with some higher end plans that really don’t break the wallet. 

  • Ali Khalid

    We will work on the above

  • Matt Saperstein

    You guys always provide great value with your articles. High five! 🙂 

  • Thanks, Matt!  Glad you are getting value from our site.

  • Hi Nelson!  Hope you find the times that work best for you 🙂

  • Thanks for the feedback, Dennis.  What a wonderful way for your client to start the week 🙂

  • Samantha Williams

    Hi Cindy, this is Samantha. I need your help on twitter marketing. I also need some help on facebook ads. Can I have your email address. Thank you

  • Sponsored posts has helped my reach go from a few thousand to over 50,000. Totally rocks!

  • Milasking

    I could really get the code to work for the youtube suggestion

  • Thank you for this! I just have a question regarding “#3: Find Creative Ways to Add More Photos”. I’ve been wanting to this for a long time coz I know the big difference between posting pictures as against just links, but my concern is how it would affect copyright. Are we allowed to post photos from other sites? Some I’ve heard don’t allow it even if you attribute to the website by posting the link as well. Or do I have to just select those articles with a share button which in a way means that they’re willing to let you share those particular articles and the photos along with it. What really is the right etiquette for this? Thank you so much!

  • json5

    These are great tips. Thanks for these!

  • Mildred

    Thank you for putting this list together! It’s crazy how when it comes to facebook and other social media even the littlest details can go a long way!  In the marketing agency that I work for we try to implement a lot of the tips that are discussed here, however it is always good to learn new ways of being more effective.  A lot of the tips here would work perfect for the type of clients that we have.  I’m excited to keep reading your posts!


  • That advise to use Open Graph for your videos is awesome!

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  • @Mari – Thanks for the TabSiteshout Mari!

  • CX

    There are some really, really great tips in here. Thanks for the article! 

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  • Wanda Granata

    very usefull and practical tip, the suggested time during the day and the week to pubblish.

  • How can I add the 
    meta tags mentioned above to our existing Facebook Open Graph meta data?

  • Lezlie Ramsey

    Will the Open Graph meta tag work when a person is using secure browsing? We have recently run into an issue where only the link to the video will post when a visitor is browsing through a secure connection (default when you have a Google account and logged in).

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  • Hi Samantha, I don’t do consulting at this time. However, I suggest you join our Networking Clubs and ask your questions there. You’ll find a very knowledgable and helpful community.

  • Hi David, I suggest you join and participate in our Networking Clubs. It’s a great community where you can ask questions specific to what you need and there’s a very knowledgable and helpful community there:

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  • Facebook really impressive in terms of Marketing. Its really effective.
    Thanks Cindy King for great article.

  • using Facebook for social media marketing campaigns really rocks as long as you have read this tips. thank you for this info.

  •  Facebook contests are an effective way to market your Facebook page and
    there are many third-party apps out there that make it really simple and
    most importantly, compliant with Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines.

  • brian

    Do you have a DIRECT link on how tip #1 works. I’d love to see it live.

  • Not one but 9 tips in different person. Very useful information

  • well said Cindy, what ever you have described the some protocols here it gives me more new information about FaceBook, Thank you so much for innovative post .keep it up

  • Thank you for sharing the article was useful..

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  • Its good article but… if your in beginner level just find some basics before you start this

  • Thanx for this tips….