Face it: It’s impossible to avoid Facebook if your business is trying to utilize social media marketing. There are more than 1.86 BILLION monthly active users– and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. 17% more people are using Facebook now than two years ago!
The key to a successful Facebook marketing strategy is for it to be unique. There may be 1.86 billion potential customers, but the competition is very, very real. Your business needs to stand out, find it’s place and target the right audience. Here’s how to utilize Facebook for an effective social media marketing plan!
The Top Key Elements To Creating a Strong Facebook Marketing Strategy
1. Identify Your Biggest Needs
The biggest mistake you can make when implementing a Facebook marketing strategy is to not correctly establish your goals. It’s ok to have more than one goal, but arrange them in order of importance and tackle them appropriately. It’s easy to create unrealistic goals or choose vanity metrics (followers and likes), but when push comes to shove, they won’t address your biggest challenges. Here are some common core goals that your business probably has in place and how Facebook marketing can help you achieve them on social media:
- Increase quality of sales: Did you know that Facebook ads are placed in front of users in buckets?
For example You create an ad that you hope leads to more sales of your company’s greeting cards. Assuming more traffic = more sales, you select the “Traffic” objective for the ad. Wrong. Facebook sent your ad to “Bucket A” that is filled with a million people…whose behaviors on Facebook don’t typically demonstrate actually buying anything from an ad, but simply clicking. If you had selected a Lead Generation ad objective, Facebook would have presented your ad to “Bucket B” – filled with fewer, but higher-quality users – which is exactly what your company wants. Carefully selecting the right ad objective is an excellent way to use your social media budget effectively through Facebook marketing.
- Make your organization more valuable: You should be treating your brand’s Facebook page like a high-tech business card. Name? Check. Clean branding? Check. Contact information? Check. Product catalog? Check. Regularly updated event page? Check. Industry information? Check. Make your Facebook page your current and potential customers’ go-to source of information on your business. It will help aid to make sales and outreach seamless. Plus, what you post on your company’s social media page lives forever, unlike an ad on TV that runs for 60 seconds. A post that you scheduled out in November can bring you a sale in June. Now that’s valuable!
- Recruiting: If your company bases a lot of its success of recruiting efforts and reaching talent, Facebook can be a great tool to utilize. Most people make the mistake of only using LinkedIn for job posting, but consider this: 83% of candidates are active on Facebook, whereas 36% are active on LinkedIn. Facebook’s job posting feature makes it easier than ever to implement effective recruiting in your Facebook marketing strategy.
There are countless goals that a company may have – and it’s impossible to curate an all-encompassing list. These are a great three to start out with if you don’t know where to begin. One thing is for sure: a stronger Facebook marketing program can improve an entire business.
2. Understand Facebook’s Demographics
A successful marketing strategy begins and ends with one thing: demographics. Targeting the right demographics and effectively reaching them is vital. As stated earlier, there are 1.86 billion monthly active users on Facebook. To put it in perspective, there are only 325.7 million people living in the United States. Surely your audience isn’t all of America…times six. Here are the core demographics you should establish in your Facebook marketing plans:
- Age: The core age on Facebook is 18-29 at 88% – but the 30-49 age group isn’t far behind at 84% (and neither is 50-64 at 72%!). As you can see, many different generations are active on Facebook. Which one will your business target?
- Gender: Women engage on Facebook slightly more at 83% to 75% – making it important to correctly target men if that is your specified audience.
- Location: Luckily, Facebook’s demographics are spread pretty evenly across locations. How cool is it that your brand can be based in America – but Facebook will allow you to target an audience in England, Australia or China?
- Income: 84% of Facebook users make less than $30,000, while 77% make more than $75,000. Keep this in mind when filtering out incomes on Facebook ad targeting options. If it’s absolutely vital to filter out those who make less than a certain amount, by all means, do so, but consider that if it’s not vital you’re eliminating hundreds of thousands of potential customers.
3. Quality over Quantity
There are countless ways to post on Facebook! The important thing is to make sure you don’t over-do any of them, chose the ones that work for you (i.e. don’t force using Facebook Stories if it’s not appropriate for your brand), and don’t harass people. 57.5% said the most annoying thing a brand can do is post too many promotions on social media, and 38.4% find it incredibly irritating when brands use slang or jargon. Stay true to your brand’s values and pick quality over quantity. Here are the various types of Facebook content and how to utilize them:
- Status: This one is easy peasy – but don’t underestimate it! Simple can also be powerful. Whether you use short text, long text or a colored background, a status update can be great when your brand is addressing a serious or essential matter, a website outage or urgent update.
- Image: Go on and use quality images because Facebook posts with images drive 2.3 times more engagement! For every like you get with a status update, you could have had two more by adding an image! Just be sure you’re using high-quality, beautiful images to highlight your brand. No image is better than a blurry one!
- Videos: No doubt about it – videos are a great tool to use to tell your brand’s story or highlight a product on Facebook. However, remember to use captions as only 15% of Facebook videos are watched with sound!
- Links: Links shouldn’t really be used alone – but in addition to the above three! Adding a link to status updates, photos and videos is a great way to drive traffic to your company’s website, blog or sharing industry news!
- Facebook Live: Utilize Facebook Live to highlight events, Q/As, product launches and other behind the scenes content! You can read more about using Facebook live for events in one of our previous posts titled 8 reasons why brands should be using Facebook Live.
- Facebook Stories: If you’re familiar with Instagram Stories, then you’ll know how to work Facebook stories! They’re designed to be short and in-the-moment video clips or photo posts.
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4. Engage With Your Audience
Every comment and message you don’t reply to on social media is a missed opportunity to connect with your audience. Even a like or other reaction will suffice! Users like to feel like they are communicating with a real person, not a robot. Monitor your posts in real-time through Social listening and engagement tools (Sprout has an incredible one!).
Encourage conversation and discussion on your posts by simply inviting users to engage! Ask them yes or no questions, invite them to share their favorite story, favorite color, etc. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you can’t expect your followers to interact if you don’t encourage it.
Discovering the optimal time to post on social media is extremely helpful to maximize engagement on Facebook.
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5. Create Facebook Groups
Groups are an incredible way to build awareness and interest in your brand. It encourages people to converse, strategize and connect. There are three different Facebook groups you can choose from:
- Open Group: In an open group, anyone can see it, who is in it and what they post. This is the optimal choice for a group that wants to maximize participation and interactions.
- Closed Group: Ah, exclusivity. Anyone can see the group and who is in it, but only members can see posts and users must request to join and gain approval from administrators. This is optional for customer support and problem-solving.
- Secret Group: Only members even know this type of group exists! This is an excellent choice to network with customers, implement coaching or training and high-level discussions.
No doubt about it, people trust people over businesses. A great way to build trust (and an arsenal of free advertising) is through reviews. Ask customers to review the experience they’ve had via Facebook, Yelp or Google+ and create review cards/testimonials. You can also take a simpler route and simply screenshot the review and upload it with a simple “Thanks!”.
This is especially helpful for small businesses who are targeting a local demographic. As Hubspot says, “align your business with famous events, history, people, landmarks, sayings, and other nuances that are part of your city’s identity.”
Set up a Google Alert email that filters you any big mentions or stories about the location you are targeting. For example, you could have emails sent to you regarding the latest happenings in “Detroit” or, more specifically, “Eastern Market”. Share this content – and be sure to tag local businesses and people. Facebook has a very scratch-their-back and they’ll-scratch-yours mentality. Chances are if you give another small business a few shout-outs on your page, they’ll do the same for you, helping you reach a greater audience.
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8. Facebook Boosted Posts
Facebook boosted posts what are they? chances are, you’ve seen the message countless times on Facebook below one of your brand’s posts: “Boost your post” ,get more likes, comments, and shares! Boost this post for $3 to reach up to 1,100 people.” More engagement for $3? Sounds like a sweet deal.
It’s no secret that organic reach is declining across Facebook. It’s not necessarily vital to pay to promote your content, but after spending hours creating content, adding a few extra dollars to your monthly social budget is quite worth it. You deserve to see a return on your investment! You could outsource your social media marketing or learn the basics of social media marketing for beginners but if your audience is mainly on Facebook and you are on a limited budget boosted posts are the way to go.
What exactly is a Facebook boosted post, is it worth it and how do they work?
A Facebook Boost post is a type of paid advertisement on Facebook. It promotes an existing post from a business page (meaning you can select your best performing post!) and expands the reach. A regular post will only reach some of the people who follow your page, but a boosted post places your content in front of a much, much larger audience.
If you’re just starting to enter the world of paid social, boosted posts are a good place to begin. Regular Facebook ads is a highly specialized system that requires training – and could be a waste of money for you to test out on your own. Boosted posts are generally foolproof – and anyone with a business page has access to it!
What Are The Features Of A Boosted Post?
- Audience: You can select your target audience’s age, gender, location, and interests.
- Budget: You can boost a post for as little as $1/day! It doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet. Start small, assess and add more to your budget once you learn what people respond to best. The more you pay, the greater the reach. Facebook lets you know your projected reach before it goes live, giving you an idea of how far your budget will get you.
- Duration: A boosted post can run for just a day, a week, a month – or you can select for it to continuously run until you hit stop.
In today’s world of Facebook, boosting a post is a fantastic way to reach a targeted audience. The more you boost, the more you will learn about what users respond to best! Listen and tweak your strategy. Remember, social media is always changing!
Fill void of declining organic reach: Facebook’s new goal is to fill your newsfeed with content from family and friends. Good news for a new mom who is racking up likes with baby pictures, bad news for businesses searching for leads. Boosting a post allows you to overcome the new algorithm change and place your content back into newsfeeds. If you would like to read more in detail about Facebook’s algorithm check out Hootsuite’s article on How the Facebook algorithm works in 2018.
A whole new world: Boosting a post allows you to reach an audience that isn’t already following your page, and also allows you to target your dream audience. For example, a business offering SAT prep may want to target 15-18 year olds in America whereas the Detroit Lions may want to target women in Michigan for posts highlighting their new women’s jerseys.
It’s immediate: Once you click “Boost Post”, Facebook quickly reviews it and sets it live. Made a mistake? Don’t worry. You have the option to edit your boosted post even once live. Heres how to edit a boosted post.
Analytics: Facebook makes it easy for you to listen and learn from how your boosted content has performed. Head to Facebook Insights and click posts. You’ll find a breakdown of each post that details the reach, clicks, reactions, shares, and comments on each post. Here is how to view the insights of your boosted Facebook posts.
9. Analyze and Adjust
We’ve got bad news: your first Facebook marketing strategy won’t be your last. Every month you should be pulling in statistics and analyzing what worked, what didn’t work and altering your strategy accordingly. Here are a few pieces of information to consider:
- What was your most engaged post?: Try to mimic it often during the next month. Not an exact duplicate, of course, but if your most engaged post was a Facebook Live office tour, chances are your audience will respond well to the regular behind-the-scenes material.
- What was your least engaged post?: Don’t throw this one out just yet. Why didn’t it work? Was the image boring? Was the copy stale? Try and improve for next month and if it still doesn’t work then you can consider removing it from your content calendar.
- How much traffic is going to your website?: If blog and website traffic is one of your goals, carefully analyze each month what percent of traffic is credited to Facebook. Enticing copy, clear CTAs and engaging images are helpful and easy ways to increase this percentage.
- What was your overall engagement rate?: Once you have a consistent posting schedule (the same amount of posts per month) begin to compare engagement rate month to month to nail down what your audience responds to best overall.
And there you have it! Eight ways to steadily improve your Facebook marketing strategy. Remember, the most important thing is to establish your goals clearly at the beginning and the rest will fall in place. We suggest creating a detailed PowerPoint that highlights each strategy’s points (even down to what hashtags and photos you’ll use!). It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of creativity and forget your carefully thought-out details. Having a clear guide to look back on is a great way to keep yourself in check.