Marketing on Facebook just got hard. The golden age is over and now if we want results we are going to have to work at it. Over the next few weeks I’m going to be taking you through the basics of creating a Facebook strategy.
- In part one we will look at the planning stage.
- In part two we will look at creating content.
- In part three we will discuss how you can measure your results.
Building a Facebook strategy falls in to three sections
- Building a strong, targeted audience
- Getting your audience to interact and share your content
- Getting your audience to sign up or buy
Step 1 – Define your audience
Before you start building your Facebook audience you should spend some time defining who they are. Ask yourself some key questions about the person who makes the buying decision:
1. Are they male or female?
2. What age group do they fall in to?
3. What social class do they fit in to?
4. What language and tone of voice do they use to communicate online?
5. What are their interests?
If you have a broad audience it’s a good idea to break them into segments. This will allow you to choose those most likely to be on Facebook and help you create targeted content for each one.
Step 2 – Identify what problems your customers have and how you can make their lives better
Now you have defined your customer you need to think about what problems they might face.
- Time poor
- Stuck in a rutt
- Conscious of their appearance
- Stuck at home
- In need of up-skilling
- In need of intellectual stimulation
- In need of entertainment
- In need of distraction
- Short of money
- Something else
Choose two or three pain points that are common to your audience. Even if they aren’t problems that your business can solve you will have a basis for the content you need to create to keep them interested.
Step 3 – Define what your page is about
Now that you have done the research it’s time to think about what your page offers your audience. What do they get in return for Liking your page?
Before you decide take a look at this. It’s taken from a study by Syncapse and shows the top reasons that people click the ‘Like’ button. The statistic I find most interesting is the 27% who Like pages to share their interests/lifestyle with others.
If we manage to create content that addresses these needs we are more likely to be successful with our marketing.
Now it’s time to write a sentence that defines what your Facebook page offers.
For me it’s ‘Hints and tips on using social media for small business’.
For a local business it could be ‘Stay on top of local news, our latest products and talk to us’.
For a tourism business it might be ‘Keep up with what’s happening in the local area when you are not here.’
Step 4 – Decide on the right approach for each section of your strategy
1. Building a strong, targeted audience
This is the first stage of any Facebook strategy. You need to build an audience of Likes that are relevant to your business. This will make it easier to get results from your page at a later stage.
Here are the three key ways you can build your audience:
Create great content that gets shared – Consistently creating relevant and entertaining content that appeals to the needs of your audience will get more interaction and shares. Shared content will attract new people in to your page.
Run competitions via apps – One of the advantages of running a contest via an app is that you can ‘fangate’ it. This means that people have to Like your page before they can see the entry form. As long as you publicise your competition effectively this is a great way to get new people to Like your page.
Advertising – Advertising is the number one best way to get page Likes. If you have a budget put a chunk of it towards targeted advertising. Ignore the ‘promote page’ button. Instead set up an ad via Ads Manager or Power Editor as you will get far better value for your money.
2. Getting your audience to interact and share your content
When people like, comment or share your content they are spreading the word about your business. They are also more likely to see content from your page in the future.
Here are three key ways to get more interaction on your page posts:
Create great content that encourages comments, likes and shares– As I mentioned above, great content will get more interaction. I will be talking about this in more detail next week but it is crucial that you share content that appeals to the needs you identified ealier. Make sure that every piece of content you share on your page is educational, informative or entertaining. If it isn’t it has no place on your Facebook page.
Run competitions on your page timeline – Timeline contests that ask people to Like or comment on a post are a fantastic way to boost interaction. Those who enter are more likely to see organic updates from your page in the future.
Use Facebook advertising – Promoting offers or other content from your Facebook page will boost interaction. Stay away from the Boost Post button. It is always better value to use Ads Manager or Power Editor to set up your ads.
3. Getting your audience to sign up or buy
This final stage is the most valuable to your business but you won’t get here until you completed the fist two segments of the plan.
Here are four key ways that you can use Facebook to capture more leads:
Run a competition via an app – Another advantage of using an application to administer a contest is that you can collect additional data. This could include an email address, a phone number or something else that will qualify the entrant as a lead.
Share Discounts and special offers – Running exclusive Facebook promotions will re-ignite dormant customers and attract new ones. A successful offer should either be a sizeable discount or something aspirational. Hotels do aspirational really well by building packages including meals as well as he room.
Free low value items work well too. Asking your Facebook audience to say ‘Facebook’ at the till in return for a free cookie or sample can yield good results too.
Making your offer time sensitive can help create a buzz on your page. Tell people in advance that you are going to be announcing an offer and then make it available for a small window of time.
Use Facebook advertising to drive traffic to your website – Set up Facebook ads targeted at the people who Like your page that lead to your website. Make sure you are sending people to a lead generation landing page that captures information. For example a sign up or enquiry form.
Give away something for free – We recently wrote a social media marketing eBook for We Teach Social and gave it away for free. In return we asked people to sign up for our newsletter. This has delivered excellent results, helping us to build a mailing list of qualified leads.
Is there something you can give away for free? Exclusive tips? A sample of your product? An industry report? Using Facebook to promote these freebies is a terrific way to get email addresses and more info from your audience.
Now you have the basis of your plan. The next stage is to plan and create content that meets the needs of your audience. This will be the focus of part 2 of this series.
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