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At this point, Facebook is as much a platform for advertising and marketing as it is for social networking.  What started as one geeky college kid’s way to check out girls is now one of the top tools businesses use to reach potential clients.

Smart as he is, it’s doubtful that the young Zuckerberg ever could have foretold such a development of his dorm room venture.

As Facebook continues to try to innovate and find new ways to become profitable, they keep rolling out new changes that impact the way companies use the platform.

The newest algorithm change is all about video.  It intelligently filters out videos people don’t like, so that the most popular videos are the ones that pop up on newsfeeds.

How is this done? The algorithm allows Facebook to recognize users are watching a video before moving on. Once this information is gathered, the videos have longer view times stay on newsfeeds and the ones that aren’t get kicked to the curb.

The algorithm also keeps track of how often people are clicking on videos. And, if someone clicks on videos often, Facebook ups the number of videos on their newsfeed.

So, what’s the point? Facebook wants more money of course! They are planning on implementing video ads, and by utilizing this algorithm to separate frequent viewers from the rest, advertisers and Facebook users are getting what they want.

What is cool for digital marketers is that is new video movement will likely put your business in front of would-be customers in a seamless way.  For example, if a user clicks on a video about cute puppies, they will also be shown video ads for pet products.  Makes sense and money.

So, here’s how you can capitalize off Facebook videos for your business:

1. Silent Film Star

As you’ve probably already noticed, many Facebook videos begin playing silently as you scroll through your newsfeed (whether you want them to or not) and if you click on the video, the sound joins the picture.  But the problem is most of the time, people aren’t clicking on them.

Instead of lamenting that fact you should find ways to create videos that don’t necessarily need sound to be effective.  Focus on arresting images that will stand out as people scroll.  You can use powerful images and words to essentially create silent films that hook the eye and spark curiosity.

2. Keep it Short

First off, it’s very important to know your audience and understand what will immediately grab their attention in the matter of just a few seconds, because that’s how long you have until they scroll past your video.

You should also consider featuring text within the video, and use it to question.  When people read a question, they automatically start to ponder the answer, so it can be a very effective method for increasing video views.

One great example of a highly effective Facebook video campaign was #Like A Girl, a campaign done by Leo Burnett for Always.  It takes a stab at the common and demeaning phrase “like a girl” and seeks to turn it on its head.

The video starts with text asking what the phrase means, and then shows video interview of people asking children and adults different questions related to the phrase.

Throughout the video it’s evident that young girls think differently about what the phrase means. If audio wasn’t in the video the point would still be clear, and the emotional connection would still be very real.

This particular example is only 3 minutes long and reached 18 million people. For other great examples check out Wieden and Kennedy’s work for the World Cup and Nike, and Samsung Galaxy’s video ads.

3. Promote Your Posts

Most Facebook page owners remember the distinct feeling of annoyance and worry as they saw the birth of paid posts. This was because we all realized that if you didn’t pay to boost certain posts, most of your followers wouldn’t even see what you were sharing.  Facebook would bully us into paying and we knew it.

Now, of course, this is just part of the reality and the smartest marketers and business owners have learned that the tool can be utilized positively. If you’re willing to pay about ten bucks per post, you can easily gain a lot of ground on your competitors in terms of followers. If you do it right, you’ll see a lot more website traffic that translates into purchases.

4. Target Your Customer

Facebook ads allow for brands to market their ads to very specific groups. Basically, if you know many of your customers are from New Jersey and you have a new video promoting your gardening tool, for example, you can make sure your video is specifically placed in the newsfeeds of people who like gardening and live in New Jersey.

This is an excellent way to really laser-target your message to the right people.  When you boost your video this way, it will be seen by fewer eyeballs, but they will be the exact right eyeballs.  Your Jersey gardeners want to see your video, so they’ll be much more likely to click on it and buy your product.

This is just the tip of the Iceberg when it comes to Facebook advertising.  Even the experts are still learning more about its potential.

You’d be wise to study up on it now in order to put yourself and your business ahead of the pack and take advantage of the relatively easy and cheap ways to increase your exposure.

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Author Bio:
Brian Burt is a passionate writer and perennial student of SEO, marketing, design and social media.  He is also the founder and WebRev Marketing & Design, a Chicago Web Design Firm that brings the newest online strategies to his clients and readers.  To find out more about Brian, connect with him on Google+ and visit  WebRev Marketing & Design.

How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

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