Your marketing strategy should be social by design. With more than 1.55 billion monthly active users, having a Facebook marketing strategy is a must.
Creating a Facebook Page for your business is quick and easy, but turning it into a tool that generates sales is a bit more challenging. With so many features and tools at your disposal, coming up with your Facebook marketing strategy might seem overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be.
Follow our tips below to unlock new opportunities to grow your Facebook marketing strategy.
How to Build a Presence With Facebook Marketing
Before you can do anything, you need to create your brand’s identity on the social network. Your Facebook Page is your brand’s persona on the site and provides your audience with a resource to learn about and engage with your business.
Once you’ve decided to create your Facebook Page, the first thing you’ll be prompted to do is choose a category based on these six choices:
- Local Businesses or Places
- Companies, Organizations or Institutions
- Brands or Products
- Artists, Bands or Public Figures
- Causes or Communities
When you select your category, follow the prompts from Facebook to continue setting up your Page. Be sure to add categories, a description and a website to improve the ranking of your Page in search. You’ll also want to create a unique Facebook Web address to make it easier for people to find your Page. Once this is set, it can only be changed once so choose wisely. Try to keep this consistent with other URLs you’ve created to limit confusion.
At this time you’ll want to familiarize yourself with Facebook marketing terms. Don’t get tripped up on Facebook terminology no matter if you’re a novice or experienced marketer.
Determine Your Facebook Marketing Objectives
Whether you’re setting up a new Facebook Page or re-evaluating an existing one, knowing your goals is critical to success. How else will you know if your Page is performing well or your marketing efforts are paying off unless you have something to compare it to?
Some of the main ways businesses use Facebook include:
- Fostering product development and innovation
- Generating awareness
- Increasing traffic and sales
- Building loyalty and deepening relationships
- Gaining insights
Let’s break down each one a bit more so you can decide which is the best for you:
1. Fostering Product Development & Innovation
Facebook enables you to learn about your target audience and to understand their interests and friends. This is why Facebook can be used to generate new product ideas. The platform and its suite of tools allow you to build entirely new social product experiences like an online store that displays only friends’ favorite products. You can also enlist your community to help crowd-source your next product idea.
For example, each year Lay’s holds its Do Us a Flavor contest in which consumers are invited to come up with their ideal combination for the next flavor of chips. The campaign, which launched in 2012, has proven so successful that the brand continues to bring it back every year.
2. Generating Awareness
With your Facebook Page up and running, it’s time to ramp up awareness around it, your latest product or a current marketing initiative. To do this, leverage Facebook’s reach and targeting capabilities. Because they’re shown with stories about friends who have already engaged with your business on Facebook, the targeting has word-of-mouth appeal, making them very effective at driving awareness.
3. Increasing Traffic & Sales
Facebook turns purchasing into a social decision by enabling people to show what they like and have purchased. You can create promotional events, publicize offers and entice customers with call-to-action phrases. Every time someone RSVPs, checks in or clicks, that action is shared with all of their friends. This enables you to deepen your engagement with customers at the point of purchase while furthering your word-of-mouth marketing efforts.
A 2014 study looked at how 249 shoppers were influenced by different social media platforms, what they purchased and how much they spent. Respondents were asked which social media network they were using when they saw the recommendation that led to their purchase. Facebook led the pack with 59% acting upon a recommendation on the site.
4. Building Loyalty & Deepening Relationships
Statistics show that 80% of a company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of its existing customers. No pressure, but relationship building and customer retention are kind of a big deal.
Facebook is ultimately about relationships. The people who Like your Page are saying they want a relationship with you. This connection allows you to build and deepen relationships with your most loyal customers. But just like in the real world, building relationships with people on Facebook takes time and requires a long-term investment. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen over night.
Thanks to the information people share about themselves on Facebook, you can create highly targeted and personalized experiences to drive engagement and loyalty over time.
Disney takes a casual approach to its Facebook marketing strategy, but it’s very effective. The brand has more than 50 million Likes and keeps things visual with quotes from popular films, inspiring images and characters, links to interesting articles and interactive quizzes.
What’s especially great about Disney’s Facebook presence is the brand’s ability to tug at the heart strings of followers who span generations with the simplest of posts.
5. Gaining Insight
Facebook offers marketers a wealth of data. The social network enables you to learn about your customers through their actions on the site and by engaging with them directly. It’s a great place to learn who your customers are and what they think about your brand or products.
By monitoring your Facebook Insights, you can make sure your messaging is aligned with the people you serve.
Assign Page Roles
Not everyone who’s associated with your Facebook Page will need the same level of access. Currently Facebook offers five different types of roles for people who manage your Page. This table outlines the roles and what they’re table to do.
To give someone a role:
- Click Settings at the top of your Page.
- Click Page Roles in the left column.
- If the person is your Facebook friend, begin typing his or her name and select them from the list that appears. If they’re not your friend, just type the person’s email address.
- Click Editor to select a role from the dropdown menu.
- Click Save and enter your password to confirm.
Develop a Content Strategy
Content is the foundation of your Facebook presence. Many businesses use Facebook to drive traffic and sales, but don’t put the cart before the horse. Trying to sell to someone before taking the time to know them leaves customers feeling hesitant.
People do business with people they know, like and trust. Start by getting to know your audience. If you only deliver sales-related content, your fans will get bored. Instead, your content should:
If you’re just getting started, use Graph Search to find out what your ideal fans like and which other Pages they’re engaging with.
Identify Your Voice
Before you start publishing content, you need to determine your company’s voice. An easy way to start this process, if you haven’t already, is by coming up with a list of always and nevers.
Margot Merrill, a content strategist at Facebook, recommends filling in the following blanks for your company:
People on Facebook are open about who they are and what they like. Do the same by providing straightforward information about your business and bring your brand’s personality to life through an authentic and consistent voice.
Determine Types of Content
Although your objective will play a role in determining the types of content you share, there’s one medium that’s outperforming the rest: video.
Once thought to be photos, a study by Socialbakers found that video posts have an organic reach of 8.71% compared to only 3.73% for photo posts, 5.77% for text-only statuses and 5.29% for link posts.
This doesn’t mean that you should only post video updates, but it’s a good reason to ensure you’re mixing up your content types. Some types of content will resonate better with certain members of your audience than others. This is where targeting is key.
There are some gifts we recommend sharing. But not shaking. #DontSayWeDidntWarnYou
Posted by Coca-Cola on Sunday, December 20, 2015
As you create content, think about what your customers find interesting and inspiring, and share what you’re genuinely excited about. When people comment on your posts, show that your business is listening by responding or Liking their comment. Most importantly, be consistent. The more regularly you post, the more opportunity you have for connecting with people and building trust.
From curating content to building a community, Facebook offers a lot of potential for engagement with fans. When you only push content and ignore interactions, you’ll miss out on an opportunity to organically grow your following. Deepen your relationship with existing fans and reach new audiences through engagement.
Optimize Your Page
Optimization starts with choosing the right name for your Page. You don’t want to stuff it with generic keywords because doing so might make it look like spam and discourage people from engaging. You can strategically place keywords in your URL and About section, but don’t overuse them.
Next, make sure your profile picture, cover photo and About section are complete and contain up-to-date information. A complete profile shows that you are who you say you are, professional and, most importantly, engaged. Additionally, aim for consistency across all of your social channels and make sure that the main visuals match.
Follow Other Pages
This tip is two-fold. One reason to follow other Pages is because it’s a great way to show support. Like another Page as a Page to promote partners, collaborators, sister businesses and so on.
The second reason is Facebook’s Pages to Watch feature. Available in Insights, it lets you watch other Facebook Pages so you can compare their activity, engagement and audience growth to your own. It’s particularly handy if you want to see what’s working for your competitors.
To create a list of Pages to watch:
- Click Insights at the tope of your Page.
- Scroll down to Pages to Watch and click Add Pages.
- Search for a Page or choose from suggested Pages and click + Watch Page.
- After choosing at least five Pages, click Done.
Keep in mind that when you add a Page to watch, the people who manage that Page will get a notification. This notification won’t include your name or the name of your Page.
Manage Comments & Messages
According to the 2015 Sprout Social Index, seven in eight social messages to brands go unanswered within 72 hours. Not only does poor customer service reflect negatively on your brand, but it also costs US companies $41 billion each year.
If you’ve done your job right, your Facebook Page should be an engagement hub for your brand. But you might not have the time to respond to every comment, especially if you receive a large volume of engagement notifications. Using a social media management tool will help ensure that no messages fall through the cracks.
Certain messages may require you to be discrete. In this case, Facebook Pages can turn on private messaging. This puts a “Message” icon on your cover photo, letting fans know that they can contact you privately.
You can also respond to your customers’ public posts on your Page through a private message. Just click the new “Message” option and a private message thread within the commenter will open. Your message will include a link to the customer’s comment for reference. When you choose this method, the comment shows a note that you responded privately so other Page visitors know you handled the request.
Facebook is also making it easier for people to identify responsive Pages. If you respond to 90% of private messages and have a median response time of less than five minutes, you’ll have a “Very responsive to messages” badge on your profile.
Analyze Your Performance
Last but not least, track how your content performs and your social media following growth. Effective data analysis will allow you to:
- Adapt your Facebook marketing strategy over time.
- Deliver more of the content your audience responds to.
- Optimize plans for future campaigns.
Use a Facebook management tool like Sprout Social to measure, monitor and track your social activity as you progress. You can try Sprout for free with a 30-day trial so you can start managing your Facebook marketing strategies a lot more effectively. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to a rich and engaging experience on Facebook.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.