With 1.44 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the market leader for social networking sites. Yet, while Facebook ads are a great tool to target audiences based on a customized demographic, there are also some free tools that Facebook has recently improved that can be an essential part of an online marketing strategy.

Have you explored the Publishing Tools section of your Facebook page lately? Your page’s Publishing Tools section contains a lot of important features including video management, lead generation, and product sales. Take note, your page’s Publishing Tools may or may not include all six of these features based on what features your page has access to at this time.

1. Collect and Download Leads

Do you want to collect leads directly from Facebook using the Facebook Ads Lead Generation marketing objective? If so, you’ll need a lead form.

You can design lead forms within Publishing Tools. When you first get access to this feature, you’ll find a sample lead form to test. To create your own lead form, click the Create button. Add a name to your form and select the advanced options applicable to you.

Next, choose what to ask for on your lead form. Next, add a link to your website’s policies and disclaimers, or add a custom disclaimer for your form. Then you’ll add a link to your website where you would like your visitors to go after they complete your form such as a thank-you page, an offer page, or your home page.

Once you configure your audience, budget, placements, and ad creative, select the form you created at the very end of the process. Next go back to your Publishing Tools to download your leads, or follow the directions provided based on your CRM.

2. Manage Recorded and Live Video

Do you post a lot of video to your Facebook page? You can manage all of your videos easily using your Publishing Tools Video Library section. Here you’ll find a listing of your current videos, with indicators of whether they were live videos (noted by the person icon) or recorded videos uploaded to your page, along with view count and the date they were added. Click on each video to see detailed analytics, just like you would inside your main Insights.

More important than your video analytics are the two options at the top right: the Live and the Upload features. Use the Live button to stream live from your desktop if you have professional recording software. You can then set up your live video with a status update, video title, and video tag. You can also tag people, add what you’re doing or how you’re feeling, add a location, set your preferred audience, and click the Go Live button. This is the new, cool thing to do so definitely try it out!

3. Organize Your Instant Articles Content

If you’ve already signed up for Instant Articles, you can manage your instant articles inside Publishing Tools, from submitting your content for review to managing your instant articles library.

In the Configuration section, once your content has been approved, you can toggle auto-publishing of all of your content to Instant Articles via your RSS feed. You can decide to monetize your instant articles. In the Production Articles section, you can view all of your articles that are either published or need to be manually published, based on whether you chose to have your content auto-published. You can also choose to un-publish articles that you don’t want to be shown as Facebook instant articles to mobile users so that they go to your website instead.

One great trick is that you can click the pencil icon next to an article under the Edit column and edit the Facebook Instant Article code for that specific article to insert content specifically for mobile audiences. Lastly, use the Analytics button under the Insights column to get insights into each of your Facebook instant articles, once the articles have received some views.

4. Increase Sales With the Shop Section

If you see the Add Shop Section link on your Facebook page’s menu bar, you have the ability to add a Shop section directly to your Facebook page. This will allow your Facebook visitors to buy products directly from your page. Once you’ve set up your shop, you can manage everything about your shop in your Publishing Tools. To update product details, click on the product and then click on the Edit Product button. If you have more than three products, you can choose which three products should be featured above your news feed and at the top of your Shop tab by adding them to your Featured Collection.

5. Create and Manage Canvas Ads

Interested in creating interactive ads for mobile users? If you have access to Facebook Canvas ads, you may want to try creating one or two of those for your mobile ad audiences. In the Canvas builder, you can use the default components given to you to add your header, a photo, and a button for a simple Canvas design. You can also use the controls at the top of each component to move it or delete it from your canvas. Then, you can add more components via the link. The key is to make sure that there are one or more call-to-action buttons, images, and so on that lead to your website and the specific products or services you’re promoting in your ad. Once you’re finished with it, you can send your canvas to your mobile phone to preview it and if everything looks good, you can finish it. Remember that when you finish a canvas, you can’t edit it again!

Gaining a foothold on Facebook from a marketing perspective may not be the simplest of endeavors, but if you put in the time and pick the right tools, the potential rewards can be incredibly sweet.

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