Implement a Facebook Marketing Strategy in 4 Simple Steps

For SMEs, one of the quickest ways to get your brand out there and noticed, is through social media. When businesses start up, budgets are low, time is sparse, and social media is free and easy. Hundreds of companies hop onto social media without thinking about a marketing strategy. There’s no shame in this, it’s easily done, and everyone is posting content and updates right?

Without a Facebook marketing strategy, you have no way of measuring your return on effort or budget spent. Both your marketing strategy and social media strategy go hand in hand, and need to work together to be successful.

What you’ll need

Before starting your Facebook marketing strategy, you’ll need to have the following in place:

-   A good website. All inbound leads will refer back to your website. If someone cannot find an answer on your social pages, they will lead back to your website. For more information, a user will visit your website. It needs to be professional, represent your business, and show off exactly what you can offer.

-   A business model and plan. Of course, if you are a registered business, I’m 99% certain you’ll have a business model already. But have you included a budget for marketing? Whilst the majority of social media sites are free of charge, some will include a fee for additional services, such as the reporting tool on Hootsuite for example.

-    An email marketing service. Email is not dead (yay) and it is the best way to connect with your customers, and promote your brand (we’re not biased at all…). Try to choose a service that will send your email, get it delivered and report on its success.

-    A great Facebook page. Make sure you have all bases covered. Your profile picture, your description, a link to your website and other social profiles, a cover photo, all need to be included before you can implement your strategy.

Once you have ticked these boxes, you can begin to build your Facebook strategy:

1. Set goals

The main point of a strategy is to make goals and work towards them. So what do you want out of your Facebook goals? Most companies would say sales, I’m sure there aren’t many who would disagree, but there may be additional goals on top of the sales. Consider some of these goals tools:

-    Increase brand awareness and exposure. This can be difficult to measure, simply because you don’t know who looks at your page and how often, but try to add a metric to it. Increase the number of Likes your page gets, for example, aim for 100 per month.

-    Create an engaged online community. With the growth of social media, buyers are more cautious and want to learn about a company before purchasing anything. Creating an engaged community ensures users know about you and your recent updates, making them more likely to buy from you. Measure this by looking at your People Talking About This figures.

-   Show off your skills. Facebook is a perfect platform for showcasing your products, knowledge and authority. Use the opportunity to share case studies, and show your personality.

-   Gather leads. There are lots of ways to gather leads from Facebook that you may not be aware off. For example, on our page we have a widget installed upon which people can sign up for our newsletter. We then have data which includes their source, their first and last name, and their email address – perfect for a lead generation campaign. You could also try placing a type of ‘wall’ in front of your page, on which users enter their personal details before they can like the page. Other ideas include: offering a free eguide or webinar in exchange for Likes or personal data, a competition or simply looking out for comments and posts of interested prospects.

-   Get sales. The key with social media is to avoid pushing your products too often. Sales posts are not too common on Facebook as people simply unlike the page to avoid the messaging. Around 10 – 20% of your posts should be sales focused, but the rest should be adding value to your followers. Sales are easy to track through Facebook – install Google Analytics to track the link.

Remember to create a deadline and figures for each goal. Ensure you know how you will measure each metric.

2. Do your research

Facebook research should be made up of the following areas:

-   Identify your audience, and where they hang out. If you already have your target marketing in mind, you can measure if they Like your page by clicking the Likes tab. This will show you the age, sex, location and language of your Likes.

-   Take a look at the competition. By looking at your competitors you can easily what is, and what is not working for them. You can then use this information for your own strategy.

-   Get to grips with the latest FB techniques. Facebook is constantly changing. Make sure you know the latest tools and techniques that work for others, for example, hashtags are now live on Facebook to bring up related searches.

3. Create your own Facebook experience

Now that you have created your goals, and have them in place, you need to work backwards to determine how they will be achieved. If you’re looking to get 100 Likes each month, what will you need to do to ensure people click that Like button each month?

-   Set up a calendar. Take some time to create and editorial calendar which will include what you will post each week, and at what time. Using a tool like Hootsuite will allow you to schedule posts in advance. Map out a long term plan at the same time. You’ll know what techniques you need to put in place and when.

-   Set up an activity calendar. You should also plan how long you spend planning. Bit of ad odd things to plan for, but we all know how easy it is to get sucked into watching cat videos on YouTube. Use an excel document for planning.

4. Measure your progress

You need to measure your progress to understand if the marketing strategy is working. Get your head around Facebook’s Insights so you can understand which posts are working well for you, have reached the most people, and at which times they are most successful.

facebook insights

Understand which metrics you should be measuring and make a log of your results against your goals.

If the strategy isn’t going to plan – don’t worry. Social media is a big learning curve, and different for every type of business. Simply tweak your plan whenever you need and continue as before. Remember a lot of marketers don’t even bother with a plan – so well done for getting this far!

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