Your Number One Focus in Digital Marketing Should Be Facebook.

While digital has become the major subject in today’s marketing, Facebook is really the platform I believe you should focus your efforts to start.  Facebook far exceeds all of the other digital platforms combined. LinkedIn (429 million users), Twitter (325 million), Instagram (430 million) and Google+ (440 million) combined do not reach Facebook’s 2 billion users. In fact, approximately 50% of Internet users in the US are on Facebook, and the fastest growing demographic joining are key consumers – men and women 45-years and older.

Facebook has become an excellent venue to tell your brand story, share articles, and promote events or charities that you support. You also can post pictures of events (make sure to tag the groups you are promoting) as well as awards, articles, and any public mentions. It also provides the opportunity to soft sell your business with industry tips or blog posts. To showcase the culture of your business, you can show pictures of your employees enjoying themselves at work, birthdays, and special events.

With over 4 billion videos viewed on Facebook every day, you have the opportunity to engage an audience that is consuming vast amounts of video. By posting your videos on Facebook and on your own YouTube channel (1 billion users) you will virtually have your own TV channel. This becomes an extremely cost-effective way to distribute your message.

While developing your own videos could seem overwhelming, there are several ways to produce high-quality videos by piggybacking off of productions you’re already doing. If you’re producing a television ad, spend additional time answering questions on important topics while you have the cameras, lighting and audio equipment already in place. Simply extend your video shoot for an extra hour, capturing enough footage to develop future web videos.

With new technology, you also can become your own videographer. In fact, today’s phones have excellent cameras to shoot videos. If you do decide to tape your own videos, you should invest in a tripod and microphone. This is a minor cost to prevent shaky footage and maintain clear audio. If you do decide to shoot video using your phone, hold your phone horizontally, the same way you watch TV.

Now that you virtually have your own TV channel, you have the opportunity to be the reporter and the expert. You can select someone from your office to ask questions so that you or another expert on a certain topic can answer the questions.

When shooting your video, beware of your background, limit outside noise and distractions, and make sure your subject is lit properly. You can use natural light, but you do not want to shoot into direct sunlight.

Now that you have your new video, which ideally should be no longer than 90 seconds to two minutes, you now want to make sure it reaches the most amount of people by posting it on your Facebook page and YouTube channel. An additional way to extend your reach to thousands of people is to boost it on Facebook for as little as $50-$100, targeting people in a geographic region and by their interests. Video results are trackable, efficient, and affordable.

As an active Facebook user, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you need to monitor your page on a daily basis. Leaving a customer waiting for a reply may turn them away, and you always want to respond in a timely manner with a solution.

You cannot control what is being said about you, but you can hide a post or comment so it is only visible to the person that wrote it. While you cannot remove reviews, you can encourage your friends and family to go on and post positive reviews. That first negative post or review may annoy you, but at least you are gaining a sense of what people are saying.

When you consider the many positive attributes Facebook presents, this is the one form of digital marketing you cannot be absent from today.

John Houle is president of JH communications, a regional marketing-communications agency based in Providence, RI, and can be reached at 401-831-6123 or at john@jhcom.net.