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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
#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).
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.