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Finally, a Facebook Marketing Strategy That Actually Works
Facebook; anyone who has existed as a teen or an adult in 2006 (the year the social media network was launched to the public) has definitely heard of the name. It is among the oldest socmed platforms that exist today and it has outlived more than a handful of social media networks that have since folded, bought, or merged with other IT-based entities.
Today, Facebook remains one of the most popular and widely used social media platforms with an estimated two billion monthly users worldwide. Over the past several years, the platform has slowly introduced a number of tools and features to help businesses and solo entrepreneurs market their products and/or services more effectively using the platform. Slowly but surely, the social network has become more appealing to SMBs and large enterprises as a viable means for brand marketing.
But here’s the thing:
Remember when I mentioned there are an estimated two billion monthly users on Facebook? A large portion of those are brands doing their best to capture more audiences and increase their following, which for those in the know, more followers means more potential customers and more business opportunities.
In a space where there are tons of brands trying to vie for attention, where competition is high, how can a small business or a solo entrepreneur stand out and get noticed? This is the question that SMBs, startups, and marketers ask themselves all the time. In a market that’s so loud, how do you keep your voice from being drowned out by all the noise?
Hopefully, you will find the following tips helpful in answering this particular question. May you find these steps an effective guide in refining your Facebook marketing strategy and making it work for your own unique situation.
Four Simple Steps to a Facebook Marketing Strategy That Works
- Set specific Facebook marketing goals
Setting objectives and goals is obviously the first step to developing any successful marketing strategy, and that includes Facebook marketing strategies.
What are you trying to accomplish with your Facebook marketing strategy? What kind of results do you want to achieve? Are you attempting to improve brand awareness? Do you want to increase traffic to your business website? Are you trying to gain prospects and leads? These are some of the goals that brands are hoping to achieve with proper Facebook marketing.
Understand that there is no magic formula or a one-size-fits-all strategy that will instantly provide you with the results you seek. First, you need to identify your goals so you can align your Facebook marketing strategy to try and accomplish each goal accordingly. But where does one begin when determining goals and setting objectives?
There are five key factors to consider when setting a goal or an objective. Your goal has to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely or the SMART strategy.
Here’s how it works:
Say your goal is to increase brand awareness. You could, for example, set a goal to increase 1,500 followers in three months. That’s a goal of at least 500 followers per month for the next 90 days. This is a SMART goal because it is specific, it can be easily monitored and measured, it’s realistic and achievable, it is relevant to your brand, and it has a time component.
Apart from increasing brand awareness, other Facebook marketing goals are sales and lead generation, increase community engagement, increase web traffic, disseminate relevant content, and gain more ROI from paid Facebook advertisements.
- Identify and understand your target audience
This is something that transcends all forms of marketing, across any channel or platform. When marketing on broadcast TV, identifying the target audience is crucial in deciding which shows or time slots to advertise on. In print ads, knowing your target audience will help you decide which magazine or paper to place an ad on.
Pinpointing your target audience will help increase the efficiency of your Facebook marketing strategy since you will be able to reach the people who may actually find your product and/or service useful. If you’re selling photo editing software, for example, then your target audience would probably consist mostly of photography buffs/hobbyists, photography professionals, and graphic designers.
Regardless of what your target audience consists of, whether you’re after gamers, teenagers, IT professionals, or senior citizens, chances are they’re on Facebook. The challenge is to figure out how to find them and gain their attention so you can turn them into followers, and later on, satisfied customers/clients.
If you already have a basic understanding of the kind of audience your brand caters to, you can use the Facebook Ads Manager tool to begin developing followers. This tool will allow you to build a custom audience that might actually become paying customers down the line. To get a better understanding of your audience, you can use the Facebook Page Insights tool. There are plenty more tools available that will allow you to create and optimize your Facebook business page.
- Decide on your monthly budget
Facebook marketing, or any other form of marketing for that matter, is a costly endeavor, not just financially but effort-wise and time-wise as well. Marketing on social media takes a lot of time and effort that can sometimes be too much for any entrepreneur and small business owner.
With that said, many businesses rely on Facebook Ads and third-party marketing teams to handle marketing research, strategies, and campaigns. Facebook, nowadays, is a money-driven platform. If brands want to get their content and ads in front of their target audience, money has to be spent. Like the adage says, “you have to spend money to make money.” The question here is how much are you willing to spend to achieve your Facebook marketing goals?
To decide on your Facebook marketing budget, you will want to look at your initial goals and see which tools and features you want to spend money on in order to achieve the said goals. A standard budget for Facebook marketing would normally include content creation, page like ads, lead generation and/or conversion ads, and boosted posts.
Content creation, or creating content and posting it on Facebook is technically free. However, in order to gain followers, you need to churn out good quality relevant content consistently, which is nearly impossible for anyone running a business to do. Your best solution here is to hire a marketing company or an employee dedicated to creating quality posts on a regular basis, which will cost money. You can choose to forego content creation budget, but it is highly recommended if you want a consistent growth of followers.
Page like ads is important because these help to grow brand awareness and following. Yes, it is possible to gain followers organically on Facebook, but it takes a lot of time and effort, which can be difficult for businesses in a highly competitive environment. To develop brand followers on Facebook, you’re going to have to spend money through page like ads. This investment will help your brand gain a large following in a relatively short period. Increased following means more leads, more business opportunities, and larger profits down the road.
Lead generation and conversion ads take the cake as far as budget share is concerned. Lead generation ads will help businesses generate leads that can be converted into customers. Conversion ads are the ones companies use in order to generate sales. Compared to page like ads, these ads may demand more of the company’s budget since they can directly affect business sales and revenue.
- Nail down your content strategy
Posting engaging content is very important when trying to grow a following on Facebook or any social media platform. However, formulating engaging content is virtually impossible without step no. 2, identifying and understanding your target audience.
So you’ve set your Facebook marketing goals, you’ve figured out who your audience is and understand their needs and interests, and you have set aside your budget. The next step is to develop content that you can post on your Facebook page. What kind of message do you want to convey to your followers? What kind of content do you want to use to engage your audience?
There are a couple of key elements you should consider when developing your Facebook content strategy. First is the tone or the voice you wish to identify your brand. There are three popular tone types on Facebook: serious, humorous, and casual. Choosing which tone to adopt largely depends on the target audience. The bottom line is that whatever tone or voice you want to use for your brand, you have to make it so it feels more personal. The key is to connect with your audience on a personal level. That is how you gain their trust and grow a solid social media following.
The second key element is the content mix. There are several types of content that can be posted on Facebook and for you to experiment with; i.e. video posts, image posts, standard text posts, Facebook stories, and Facebook watch.
Text, image, and video posts are quite standard. What’s really interesting here are the two more recent additions to the Facebook features set: Facebook Stories and Facebook Watch.
Facebook Stories is a relatively new feature similar to Instagram Stories. On the Facebook mobile app, just below the status box on your news feed, you will see a series of Facebook Stories of your friends and the pages you follow. On desktop/laptop, Facebook Stories is located on the right sidebar when you open the Facebook page. These posts are featured front and center, and it would be a shame not to capitalize on this prime real estate when you’re promoting your content.
Facebook Watch is another new feature, but is lesser known compared to the Stories feature. It is Facebook’s attempt at competing with YouTube. Although it may not be as popular as the video-sharing giant, Facebook Watch is still a decent avenue for sharing relevant marketing videos to the public. If you want your video content to get the best chance of being noticed by your target audience, Facebook Watch is a good platform to check out.