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If you’re looking to market your business on Facebook, you’re not alone. Millions of brands and businesses use the popular social media platform to promote products and services, and the numbers keep rising. More than 10 million advertisers already rely on the social network, according to Facebook. To boost your brand awareness this year, take advantage of the latest Facebook marketing trends. Here’s what to look for in 2021.

Setting Up Shop is Easy

With the arrival of the pandemic, it’s likely you spent less time shopping in local brick-and-mortar stores and more time shopping online. To make it easier for Facebook users to buy and sell online, Facebook Shops was launched in May of 2020. No matter the size of your company budget, this free tool allows you to easily set up shop. And, for even more convenience, your customers can access your shop through their Facebook and Instagram accounts. Here are a few things you can do in Facebook Shops:

  • Customize the look of your shop with images and colors that reflect your brand.
  • Create easy-to-browse collections of your products.
  • Incorporate in-app checkout so customers don’t have to leave Facebook to make a purchase.
  • Use Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct and WhatsApp (coming soon) to communicate with customers.

Video Remains Big

While photos make up a large portion of all Facebook content, videos are increasingly popular for marketing on Facebook. If you’re considering making video part of your marketing plan, there is plenty of data to back up your decision.

  • Facebook users watch 100 million+ hours of video each day.
  • Each day, over half a billion people watch videos on Facebook.
  • Almost all marketers who currently use video plan to continue using it.
  • Video is shared on social media 12 times more than images and texts combined.
  • When it comes to user engagement, videos up to two minutes long seem to perform the best.
  • After the arrival of the pandemic, the number of Facebook Live viewers in the United States rose by 50 percent.

Facebook Audio Arrives

With a new slate of audio tools just introduced by Facebook, there are even more ways to market your company. A new version of the Rooms feature allows you to connect with others through an audio-only format comparable to Clubhouse. Host names can be found at the top of the screen, and listeners can tune in to various Rooms below. Rooms can be made public or private, depending on the desire of the host. Facebook is also working on allowing users to monetize rooms, either as a fee for single use or a subscription.

To get the widest reach, users will have the ability to turn live conversations into podcasts. Facebook sees this service as particularly valuable to members of Facebook Groups and believes it will allow like-minded users to engage with one another. With over 1.8 billion people participating in Facebook Groups each month, this opens up a whole new marketing audience for businesses.

Soundbites is another audio tool coming out on Facebook. It will allow users to create audio snippets using a variety of special effects. For people who enjoy podcasts, Facebook will be offering new tools that will make finding podcasts easier and listening to them more enjoyable.

UGC Boosts Engagement

Audiences love it when businesses and brands share user-generated content (UGC). In fact, Internet users are 20 percent more likely to return to a site that contains UGC than one that doesn’t, according to Digital Information World. In addition to improving engagement rates, UGC helps add an element of trust and authenticity to your brand. When you add UGC to your Facebook page, make sure to:

  • Ask for content that features your products and link to them.
  • Designate a special hashtag for the UGC you collect.
  • Always ask permission to share UGC.

Facebook Stories Keep Content Fresh

By now, almost every Facebook user is familiar with the Stories feature. These camera-centric communications highlight a photo or video and often display commentary. To add an element of mystery, the phrase “what goes on social media stays on social media” does not apply to Facebook Stories. In a period of just 24 hours, Stories disappear forever. If you’re interested in adding Facebook Stories to your marketing strategy, here are a few benefits:

  • Because stories only exist for 24 hours, content is always unique and fresh.
  • Tools like filters and video masks offer fun creative effects.
  • Stories add authenticity to your brand (some examples: company milestones or staff profiles).
  • You can use the tracking tool to see who is viewing your stories.

Augmented Reality Offers a Creative Twist

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience involving an environment that blends real-world and computer-generated elements. To create AR effects on Facebook, users turn to a studio tool called Spark AR. Since its launch of Spark AR in 2017, Facebook has continued to add to the platform, which is compatible for both Windows and Mac. Just a few of the AR effects accessible to users include:

  • Floating particles
  • Visual shading
  • Animated face masks

To practice creating various effects, Spark AR offers loads of easy-to-follow tutorials.

Facebook Groups Inspire Trust and Loyalty

While your Facebook page is for sharing information, a Facebook Group is for having conversations. Interacting directly with your target audience within a Facebook Group helps build trust and loyalty. Facebook Groups can be open to the public or invite-only, and there are various ways to use them:

  • Offer advice and build a reputation as an expert in your industry.
  • Provide digital classes or workshops through the Watch Party application.
  • Generate awareness of your products or services by sharing user tips.
  • Get valuable feedback on products or services by creating polls.
  • Offer members-only deals for products or services.
  • Track group membership, engagement and growth with analytics tools.

Hashtags Prove Their Worth

Hashtags have proven to be valuable on Facebook. When you search a hashtag, you’ll find content that Facebook has pulled from pages and groups using that hashtag. For Facebook, hashtags make organizing content easier. For users, hashtags make finding content easier. To expand your brand awareness on Facebook, create hashtags related to your products, services or business and encourage followers to use them.

Facebook Marketing Trends and Your Brand

Even with the development of new platforms, Facebook still reigns supreme as the most popular form of social media. With so many features and applications, it’s not surprising that a majority of businesses use it for marketing purposes. Staying abreast of all the latest Facebook marketing trends may prove beneficial to your brand in 2021 and beyond.