3 Facebook Tactics You May Have Overlooked

Many brands are using Facebook in order to reach their target audience, where it is spending a lot of its time. Here are a few things you may not have discovered yet -- or realized how impactful they can be in helping you make the most of your Facebook marketing efforts.

1. Sponsored Stories

If your friend likes a brand that has opted into sponsored stories, you will see a sponsored stories ad in your newsfeed via your friend. Page Likes, App interactions, Place check-ins and Page posts from your friends can trigger these placements. One sticky point is that the user controls the message attached to the action, not the advertiser.

Negative comments can be attached to the sponsored ad. Facebook is trying to find more ways to gather ad revenue and integrate it into content. A few advertisers were part of this January launch, but whether we see this new format take off with other advertisers remains to be seen. Either way, it is a way to get a larger viral impact from Facebook that others may not be onto -- yet.



2. Send Messages to Likers

A little-known fact is that when you put a Facebook button on your website, you can send a message to your Likers through the button admin tool. While this feature has been around for a few months, most marketers may not realize its implications. On the other hand, many users may not understand it either. Basically, it allows you to message anyone who Likes your page even if they haven't Liked your brand/fan page on Facebook itself.

The way to do this is only requires a bit more work than a normal Like button. You will need to add a special meta tag to your site code. Not only will it message Likers moving forward, but it will message all Likers to date if you already have a Facebook Like button on your site. This is an easy way to expand the reach of your messages beyond just the Likers on your Facebook page and your other CRM channels. Note that users can comment on the Like button and your posts so you will be interacting with your Liker audience on a two-way basis.

3. Mine Facebook for Information

Most advertisers know that Facebook allows you to target your ads by interest as well as age, gender, geographic area, etc. Facebook gathers individuals' interests based on what they like -- what they specify in their profiles, Facebook pages and websites with Like buttons, groups they join, status updates and other shared information. When you use the Facebook self-serve advertising tool, you can select different criteria that will give you the actual number of people that fall into those criteria on Facebook.

What you may not have realized is that this tool can give you an idea of the size of interest for your brand or competitors and identify areas of opportunity. If you are looking to gauge the interest for a particular brand, you can add the Facebook counts to your arsenal of research. You can also determine the profile of your users versus your competitors (on Facebook). You can find out how many people that Like Coca-Cola also like astronomy for instance. And all of this at no cost. Having the ability to target these people with ads is valuable but being able to see those data is gold.

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