Creating a Facebook marketing strategy that works for you is an important step in your social media marketing plan. Today we are going to look at 6 steps to help you create an effective Facebook marketing strategy for your business.
Identify Your Target Audience
Before you do anything else you are going to need to identify your target audience. You have to know who your best customer is. You have to know who you’re talking to. You’d be surprised at how many times I’ve asked that question and gotten the response “everybody”. That’s just not true. Most of the time, the further you can niche down the better you’re going to do longterm. That being said, it’s ideal for you to know who you are marketing to.
If you already have a Facebook page one of the best things you can do is check your Facebook insights. Look at the people who are already engaging with you and find out their age, gender, education level, relationship status, where they live, how often they use Facebook, their past purchasing activity, and more. You have access to all of that information on your insights.
Determine Your Objective
Your next step is to figure out why you are there. Don’t get hung up on too many vanity metrics. There are so many companies and business owners who get excited because a boosted post got seen by 2,000 people. While that’s great, the real question is “how many leads did it get you?”. If the answer is none then it’s not working for you. You have to decide what your goal is and what you’re trying to get out of Facebook. It’s like any other tool. Can you hammer in a nail with a screwdriver? Yes, but it’s harder. Make your tools work for you.
Some common objectives include generating leads, procuring sales, creating brand awareness, or compiling an email list. What is YOUR purpose? What are you trying to accomplish with Facebook? Once you decide what that goal is, everything you do on Facebook should support that goal. Everything. Again, don’t get bogged down in vanity metrics. Your organic engagement for a page of less than 10,000 is roughly 10%. So, if the whole world doesn’t see it, that can be ok. Now if you’re having a sale or specific event that you want your audience to see, boosting that post is great. Just make sure everything is working towards your ultimate goal.
Create a Content Schedule
This step is so important. It can be the difference between success and failure. You have to create a content schedule. You have to know what you’re going to post and when you’re going to post it. This streamlines your efforts. As a small business owner, I will tell you that the stuff I don’t like to do gets pushed to the side. If social media is difficult for you or takes a lot of time for you to generate posts, the more streamlined you make the process the more likely you will be to actually do it. Having a content schedule helps you longterm.
How do you create a content schedule? First and foremost, you want to go through and determine a monthly theme. For instance, May is Mental Health Month. You might wrap your messaging around that theme. Once you decide on a theme, brainstorm ideas for different post categories. We use a 2-week rotation, based on posting 5 days per week. Each of those days has it’s own category. Let’s say you have Fun Friday as one of your categories and you post humor that day. It will only happen twice a month because that rotation is for 2 weeks.
When brainstorming your categories think about tips, tricks, and trends. Consider how-tos. People love those. Another good category is employee features where people can meet the team. Sometimes your team maybe your brand new infant or your new puppy and that’s ok! Listen to your audience and ask them what they’d like to see. Testimonials work beautifully and humor is always good. The stats for quotes are great, especially if they’re graphically pleasing. Keep the 80/20 rule in mind. You never want to promote yourself more than 20% of the time. If you’re too sales-y people get worn out. Boring and sales-y get people to unfollow you faster than anything else. When you think about your rotation, break it down into thirds. A third of your posts should be based on personal interaction. You want something that engages your audience directly, whether its answering questions, reposting user-generate content, or responding to comments. Another third should share stories and ideas from sources that align with your business. For instance, if you are a personal trainer you may share an article about healthy eating. The last third of your content should promote your business. Don’t forget to actually tell people what you do.
To help you curate your content, you want to create a location to save your ideas. Some options for this are a spreadsheet, a document, or your Google Drive. Pinterest is a great place to store ideas for future posts. There are even apps you can use to save content. Whatever you use, you need to have a parking lot area so that if you have a great idea you can go back to it and grab it.
Collaborating with other businesses is great. If you sell tea and you collaborate with a company that sells pastries for Mother’s Day, you are each going to increase your audience for those posts. Those things go together well and it’s the perfect storm for a giveaway. Anytime you are going to do a giveaway, make sure you are giving away something that makes sense for your business. If you are a tech company, giving away an iPad makes sense. If you knit scarves, not so much.
The last part of your content schedule is actually scheduling the posts. This is where the streamlining really helps. You can sit down and do it in chunks. Doing it in large pieces is so much easier than doing just a little bit every day. If you wake up every day and think “oh no, I have to post on Facebook today. What am I going to do?”, you’re going to get busy. You’re going to forget. Then, the content that goes up is not great. The more you schedule out, the better your content is going to grow and develop.
Optimize Your Page
One of the best ways to optimize your page is to be consistent on your page. Consistent posting is your closest friend when it comes to Facebook. It helps you get seen better than almost anything else you can do. Also, you want to make sure your content is branded. If you’re really into fly fishing and you post a picture of yourself fishing with the caption “Gone fishing!” to let people know you’re on vacation, that’s ok. However, when it comes to political posts or controversial topics, unless that’s what your business does, that content is very off-brand and can turn off your audience.
Consider Facebook Ads and Don’t Forget Your Ad Pixel
There are different types of Facebook ads but it really breaks down into 3 categories. Do you want more likes and followers, increased engagement, or to drive traffic to your website? If any of those 3 things appeal to you, you need to consider Facebook ads. As I mentioned before, your organic reach for a page with less than 10,000 likes is around 10% which isn’t awesome. Any kind of Facebook ad is going to bump that up and make sure you get more engagement.
Here’s the super bad news. Once your page gets over 10,000 likes your reach drops to 3% because Facebook assumes that your friends and family want to see it first and that you can’t actually be connected to 10,000 people. It’s a double-edged sword. If you have a post that does well, Facebook will let more people see it because it assumes that if all these people want to see it then more people will want to see it. Facebook ads can seriously help you with that. So, if you are having a one-day sale or a special event, you might want to boost that post so more people see it and engage with you. If it makes sense to promote it, then do it. Otherwise, you might want to consider ads that get more likes to your page. You can target your audience very effectively through Facebook ads. Say you are a photographer that specializes in family portraits, you can actually target your ad to parents in your area. You can even break it down even further and target parents of preschoolers because we all know parents are much more likely to pay for pictures of their small children than they are to pay for pictures of their surly teenagers. By specifically targeting your ideal customer you will build an audience for your page that is perfectly suited to your business.
Check Your Statistics
You have to track and edit if you’re going to be successful marketing on Facebook. You need to know what people are liking and how your reach is doing. You need to check on your engagement. Reach is how many people see it. Engagement is how many people respond to it by liking commenting or sharing. Both metrics are important. You also want to see what posts made people unlike your page. If you’re looking at your stats and you notice 6 people unfollowed you on the same day, you might want to go see what you posted that made everybody leave. The statistics only work if you read them and implement what they say. It’s a great gauge of how your page is being received. If you realize that you get your best engagement when you post humor, then you can implement more humorous posts into your content strategy. If your audience responds better to tips and tricks, create more of that content. The stats for each business will be different so you have to do what is working for you.
What Steps Can You Take Today
Go back over this list and figure out what your next step should be. Are you doing some of these consistently but not others, start there. Implement these strategies and you will build an effective Facebook marketing strategy that serves your business well.