social media how toDo you have a Facebook marketing strategy?

Is your Facebook marketing working?

If you don’t have a strategy with goals in place for your Facebook Page, you won’t know if you are getting a return on your social media efforts!

Your Facebook marketing strategy shouldn’t live in a vacuum—it needs to be integrated with your overall marketing plan.

What You Need to Get Started

Before you start marketing on Facebook, you should have these things in place:

  • A good website: Your website is the hub of your business and should look professional and showcase what you have to offer your customers.
  • A clear business model and plan: How are you making money? This sounds obvious, but many entrepreneurs don’t have a solid business plan and don’t understand things like the cost of goods or how much money they can (and should) allocate toward marketing.
  • An email marketing delivery service: Some large consumer products may not need an email delivery system, but most businesses still need to use email marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. Email is not dead and is your best chance of being seen by the bulk of your current and potential customers. There are many email providers out there to choose from, including Constant Contact, AWeber, iContact, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Office Autopilot and more. Find one that fits your needs and budget.
  • An optimized Facebook Page: Before you start marketing on Facebook, get the basic elements of a good Facebook Page in place.

Once you have done these things, you can begin to integrate your Facebook marketing with your overall marketing plan.

Here are 4 steps to get your Facebook marketing strategy in place.

#1: Set Goals

Any strategy begins with goals. What do you want out of your Facebook Page? Sales are the obvious choice, but there can also be secondary goals that lead to sales.

Consider some of these Facebook marketing goals as you craft your plan:

  • Increase overall exposure and awareness. This goal can be a bit difficult to measure, but could come in the form of new likes to your Page. Attach a specific and attainable figure to this goal (i.e., 500 new targeted likes in the next 3 months).
  • Create a loyal, engaged community. This goal will be measured through your engagement metrics such as the People Talking About This figure (PTAT). In order for people to do business with you, they usually want to get to know, like and trust you first. Creating an engaged community can help facilitate that trust.
  • Establish authority and showcase your knowledge. Facebook is a perfect place to showcase your past work, your in-depth knowledge of your subject matter and show your personality in how your company works.
    establish authority

    ELC Photography adds a story and personality to the photos that showcase their work.

  • Gather leads. Using Facebook as a lead generator is a great goal. Using some type of email opt-in is a great way to gather leads from people who may be interested in your product or service. You can give away a freebie that relates to your product, host a free webinar that may have an offer at the end or host a contest that gives away your product to the winner.
    generate leads

    Marketo offers a free webinar with email opt-in to showcase their new product.

  • Get sales. Selling directly from Facebook is sometimes a challenge. You can’t push your sales messages on your fans too often (I suggest 10%–20% of your posts, max). But you can track your sales. Make sure you have special links when you post your sales messages. Or set up Google Analytics to track conversions. If you are running Facebook ads, make sure you are tracking the ad conversions.
    selling on facebook

    Naturebox has a special link tracker that will track when people sign up from Facebook.

Whatever goals you set up for yourself, make sure you are attaching specific numbers and deadlines with each goal. Also make sure you know how you will measure each one of these metrics.

#2: Research

Your Facebook research will include these areas:

  • Identify your audience and where they spend their time. If you know your current demographic, you can look at the demographics of any Facebook Page by clicking on the Likes tab to get more information.

    Get the demographics information on any Facebook Page.

  • Research your competition and watch what is working for them. Searching for other Pages on Facebook has actually gotten a little more challenging with the new Facebook Graph Search. You can do some basic searching on Facebook, but you are better off using Google to find Facebook Pages.
    facebook search results

    Facebook search results are limited with Graph Search.

    google search results

    Use Google Search to find Facebook Pages.

  • Understand the latest techniques. Make sure you know the latest techniques on Facebook that are effective. Keep up with the trends so you know what is working for others.

#3: Design the Facebook Experience

Now that you have your goals set up, work backwards from those goals to determine how you will achieve them. Want to get 500 new fans in the next 3 months? Make sure you either have the activity level or the marketing budget to support that goal.

Set Up an Editorial Calendar

Having a plan in place for what you will post each week will help you streamline your activity because you can schedule some of the posts, look for good content and be more regular with your posting.

editorial calendar

Set up an editorial calendar (for Facebook and ideally all social sites).

Set Up an Activity Calendar

The other thing you want to do is plan your activity so you don’t get sucked into the black hole of Facebook by watching too many cat videos. You can schedule your daily activity, weekly activity and monthly activity by using a simple Excel spreadsheet.

activity calendar

Set up an activity calendar and limit your time on social sites.

Also take some time to map out your long-term activity and marketing plan, along with an estimate of your outcomes. That way, you know what techniques you need to be learning or putting in place beforehand.

long term activity

Map out your longer-term activity on Facebook.

#4: Measure Your Progress

Take time to look back at your progress on Facebook so you know if your marketing is working. Understand how Facebook Insights work so you know which posts are working for you. You can sort your posts by Engaged Users to see how many people are interacting with your content in some way (includes likes, shares, comments and link clicks).

engaged users

Sort by Engaged Users to see which content is interesting to your community.

Understand what you should be measuring on Facebook and also track your goals. Take a few breaks throughout the year to assess and tweak your plan when needed. And give yourself a pat on the back for doing what most marketers don’t do—setting up a plan!

What do you think? Have you set up a Facebook marketing strategy? Are you tracking your progress? If not, what is stopping you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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  • Great post Andrea. Easy steps to follow even for a beginner.
    Thank you and have a great day!


  • Great outline Andrea! You continue to offer great content!

  • Thanks Andrea for first providing the starter kit of the things you should have these in place. I think too many times people forget the foundation and goal of driving traffic back to their stage (homebase) a digital property they own and control. And to me this is the biggest benefit because it’s best place they can sell their ideas, services,products and post long content.

  • Wonderful tips Andrea! Very useful for beginners, i guess its your first guest post on SME 😛

  • Agree. It’s easy to get sucked into a Vortex of Social Media Doom(TM) whereby you end up just chasing your tail. It’s quite a tricky thing to master for something that everyone presumes they can probably do.
    I’ll be keeping this article very handy! Thanks.

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  • Wow awesome article but i like 3rd point most on design the Facebook experience.
    From now on words i ll plan my all social media shedual. thanks Andrea

  • Angela Iliopoulos

    Great post! Love the part of having a schedule, some don’t realize how much a schedule is needed. It is so easy to spend way too much time on social media and not get much done! Having goals and setting up a schedule is essential for successful business page. Thanks for sharing!

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  • Michael Watson

    Thank you, Andrea. This is solid, actionable information; I’ll definitely be referring back to this.

    It bookends well with a webinar I just attended with @GuyKawasaki for his new book @APE (acronym for author, promoter, entrepreneur). Learned about @myalltop ( a searchable site & content curator and (mostly) aggregator that is customizable to deliver and store themed content for re-use and customization purposes.

    He emphasizes a content creator should save her/his creative time & energy for their actual (i.e. monetizable) work rather than blowing it on social media

    Guy believes social media should be maybe 20% maximum promotional for products/services. Mostly it should focus on engagement and growth of a quality audience and building a reputation as an expert by reusing and commenting – or elaborating – on one’s earlier work or other people’s articles.

    Well, he says a lot more than that, but it also is an account of many “best practices”.

  • Thanks so much Leo! Glad everything is clear 🙂

  • Thanks so much Mike!

  • I definitely think people sometimes neglect the engine behind the social media strategy. Like you said, the website is the main place to sell and I think the e-mail marketing is critical. Thanks for your comments!

  • Ahh, I get it Moin – I was about to say, no I post all the time, but yes it is more of a “guest” post 🙂 I’m so lucky to have had such a great connection with SME and I will continue to post here in the future 🙂

  • I like that you’ve trademarked that phrase Ed 🙂 Could definitely be a valuable asset 🙂 Thanks for saying hello!

  • So glad you liked it Sumit!

  • Focussssss 🙂 Something I struggle with every day. Thanks Angela!

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  • Right on! I’m such a big fan of the plan. Glad you are promoting the plan here. So many people skip this and just jump to implementing random tactics and don’t know why they aren’t effective.

  • José Sánchez

    It´s my first time here and I really like this post. Thank you!

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  • Great tips there! Thanks so much for sharing them Michael!

  • Definitely Debra! Hard to know if you hit your target if you never set one up in the first place!

  • So glad you enjoyed it Jose – we have a lot of great content here! Come back tomorrow, too 😉

  • Andrea, I couldn’t not be more in synch with #3: “Design the Facebook Experience”. These are great strategies to have in place and they’ve definitely helped me stay on top of my game in terms of Social Media. Thanks for this valuable read!

  • Our good luck that we have been able to learn a lot from you 🙂

  • Michael Watson

    @Andrea Vahl, it is early yet, but I am wondering if @Facebook is starting to slip a little. The spate of new policies (very hard to keep up, as you noted in an earlier article), complaints about sponsored content, and most important, real concerns about both confidentiality and visibility seem to be diminishing its mojo.

    I’m tempted not to abandon FB, but go all-in on @Google +. I actually prefer their tools, versatility and transparency. For me, FB is definitely behind both LinkedIn and Twitter in terms of where I spend my time. Remember @MySpace? I notice my teenage kids spend very little time on FB. Could that happen here?


  • Hi Andrea, this is a really GREAT post 🙂 I’ve recently written a post on my blog about the importance of getting from A to B with a social media plan, and this post fits in perfectly expanding on and focusing on Facebook alone.

    No matter how much knowledge any of us have, we can all take something away from this post! Am sharing it out across my networks now !


  • Thanks so much Clair! So glad you liked it!

  • Awesome John! It’s been great watching all you’ve accomplished!

  • Michael Wilson

    Good job with this post Andrea! All of these points are extremely important, but I think that #3 is most important. In order to have a successful campaign, you have to make sure you are posting compelling content at all times of the day. Since some people have a lot of friends and like a lot of pages, your post could get lost in the shuffle. Everyone has different schedules they work and I think’s important for everyone to see the content that you post. You should schedule something in the morning, afternoon, and night so that anyone and everyone can see what your page has to offer. Post daily and post often is pretty much what I’m saying!

  • PPolley

    Thanks Andrea,
    Now how do i show my client how valuable FB is?

  • Charlene Grant

    Excellent! That will help me out loads! Thanks for sharing.

  • Michael Bonanos

    Excellent article. Very specific and for a new marketer in social media like myself, this greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work.

  • With many new ways coming up with planning your Facebook strategy appropriately, I think this one is the best & most aptly explained. It just doesn’t explain about Facebook, it gives the basic steps which one should follow For eg: A good website. Well, a good interactive website catches an eye of a customer. And talking about one of the aspects of Facebook strategy, Editorial calendar has been described perfectly.

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  • Michael Shreeve

    I love the activity calendar idea for two reasons:

    #1 – Most of the times I am a total unorganized wreck and a calendar of activities would be SO helpful.

    #2 – It is an ACTIVITY calendar.

    In other words, I have to fill it with activities – not just easy to post rehashed content – it forces me to engage in a social way.

    Love it.

  • Thank you, Andrea for this useful blog post about FB-strategy. Sometimes it’s worth to refresh knowledge an look at the social media marketing process from other side.

  • Really useful article Andrea. Do you think it’s worth offering some form of
    incentive to get customers to interact with your facebook page? I was talking
    to a local florist yesterday and suggested that she gives a small discount if a
    customer likes her page, leaves a review about her services or tags her flowers
    in a wedding etc. This way, she could get some great exposure to potential new

  • Andrea, love the social media activity calendar. I haven’t seen anything like it before, and it really is a great way to organize and think about minimizing time spent cruising through social media posts.


  • Solid content Andrea. Having a strategy and then sticking to it is the best way to achieve your goals. Have a good one!

  • Bassel

    Hi Andrea, thank you for your post, it was very helpful.
    As appreciation gesture, I am offering you to take my upcoming experience as a study case, especially that I used your article to develop my Facebook plan, I should start today putting posts, and I am ready to keep you updated.
    If interested, please advise your preferred way to send updates (I couldn’t find your email). Kind regards

  • Akashganga

    Aahh. You write is so effortlessly that for sometime it gave me an illusion that it is all very very easy. But that is the best thing about the article, I feel like “I can do this”. Thanks.

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  • Hi Andrea, I liked your post so much! Just a question: looking at your editorial calendar what does 3 Party Article P, C mean? Thanks a lot for sharing such important strategies!

  • Ranjanraji

    Thanks for the info.

    I don’t have a facebook marketing strategy. Yes, the only point to track my progress is the no. of likes for my page. I do try to check, the impact of my links shared in order to drive more likes. Certain task are carried out, but they are very basic. I’m also happy to go through this link; to help me understand, what to measure in Social media?

  • Great post! Many thanks