7 steps to an effective Facebook marketing strategy
Facebook still reigns as one of the most widely used online platforms by adults. And the vast majority are using it daily, which continues to provide brands and businesses with an opportunity for maximum visibility when implementing a Facebook marketing strategy.
Often times, the toughest part is simply getting started, but we’re here to provide you with seven steps to help get your Facebook marketing efforts off the ground.
Read on to ensure you’re getting the most out of this ever-powerful social media platform.
1. Set goals for Facebook
The first step to any marketing strategy is setting the right goals. This roadmap will be an essential reference to measure against to make sure your Facebook strategy is successful. But to set goals, you’ll first want to do a little research to ensure your plan is attainable through the platform.
In the 2018 Sprout Social Index, we found that marketers on Facebook had a few top goals in mind:
- 34% wanted to increase brand awareness
- 21% wanted to increase community engagement
- 11% wanted to increase sales and lead generation
So, if you don’t have Facebook goals of your own yet, these survey results are a great place to start. Additionally, if your company has already set general goals, look for how these overlap with your own plans for marketing on Facebook.
Addressing Your Goals
Here are some common yearly goals for businesses and how an effective Facebook strategy can help you:
- Increasing quality of sales: Improving the quality of sales starts with better targeting. Through a well-planned Facebook marketing strategy, you reach your target audience more efficiently. Just because the pond is bigger, doesn’t mean you’ll get bigger fish. Work on what you know best and use Facebook as a source to improve your reach.
- Adding more value to the organization: Facebook can better nurture customers, improve awareness and provide more resources to you audience. Make Facebook your go-to source of information.
- Better pulse on the industry: Are your competitors always one step ahead? With the help of social media monitoring tools, you can track, listen and report on all social conversations revolving around you, your competitors or the industry. Always try to increase your listening powers before speaking.
- More efficient recruiting: No one said social recruiting is easy, but it’s only growing in popularity. Social can be a great source for increasing recruiting efforts and reaching top talent faster. Working your employees’ social networks for a higher social reach makes your chances of recruiting higher quality employees better.
- Smarter growth: Reducing churn, limiting spend and increasing acquisition are all parts of a successful business, but Facebook can help you in each of these areas. Whether it’s through ad spend, increased targeting or more social selling, addressing your Facebook marketing strategy can help you get closer to these goals.
- Tracking progress: Of course, making sure you’re on pace to accomplish these goals is essential, and with a tool like Sprout, you can easily keep tabs on all your Facebook reporting such as displayed in the picture below.
2. Know your Facebook audience
Understanding who is on Facebook and what your current audience breakdown looks like will be important in determining which Facebook marketing strategies you should employ and how.
Sprout Social’s 2019 deep dive into social media demographics is a great starting point for getting a general sense of things like where Facebook users live, languages spoken, education and plenty more key findings from the Pew Research Center.
Once you’ve studied up on that, spend some time getting familiar with your own Facebook demographics using either Facebook Page Insights or a tool like Sprout.
3. Engage proactively with your audience
Like most social media channels, they’re built as networks to converse, discuss and share content. As a brand, you can’t forget that basic idea of what makes a social media network. That means conversation and engagement should never be put on the back burner.
Instead, try to be a community for your audience. Facebook is a great place to hold industry chats or discussions, whether it’s with a different audience or your own customers. While Twitter often gets all the limelight of being a social customer care mecca, don’t forget about Facebook too.
You can help drive Facebook engagement by asking people to simply engage in the first place. However, you can’t sit back and wait for your followers to interact. You can’t reach everyone, but there are ways to increase engagement.
For example, Zippo does a great job at interacting with users on several comments and continues the discussion on Facebook. The brand also acts as a source for info for loyal customers.
Post at the Best Time on Facebook
Facebook is still one of the most difficult social networks to use for organic content. Again, algorithms make it a challenge for businesses trying to find optimal posting times. However, our guide on the best times to post on social media outlines the do’s and don’ts of posting on Facebook:
- Wednesday is the highest recommended day to post
- 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday is the most engaged time on Facebook
- You’re safe to post weekdays between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Sunday is the least engaged day of the week
- The least recommended times include early mornings and late at night
Post at the perfect time with Sprout Social
Sprout’s patented ViralPost® technology analyzes your audience data and detects the most active times for authentic engagement, enabling you to automatically schedule content at the best times for your brand.
And with Sprout’s Calendar feature, you can maintain oversight of your publishing strategy over the long-term to ensure a consistent cadence. Then, using Sprout’s Smart Inbox, you can monitor all connected social channels simultaneously to stay on top of comments, questions and other messages related to your content.
Our No. 1 used feature is the Smart Inbox. It’s the way I start and end every day. I don’t think I could ever express how incredibly useful it is. Through that, I’m tasking messages to other Sprout users, responding and engaging with content and our followers.
Assistant Director of Digital Engagement in the Office of Communications
4. Schedule your Facebook content
Content creation and curation are important components to any social media strategy. On Facebook, you have many more choices on the types of posts you can use. This ranges from Stories to status to Group posts.
With the selection of options comes the specific types of content your audience is interested in, which should also be kept in mind while evaluating the techniques for marketing on Facebook that will work best for you. Our 2018 Index analyzed what type of posts consumers want from brands. Thirty percent said they would like links to more information and 18% want more images. Videos came in a close third with 17% of people surveyed.
The same report also discussed what social marketers need to succeed. For Facebook, the top priorities included video and a budget for ads, which we’ll go into next.
For scheduling content, you have both free and paid options available to you. Facebook’s Page controls allow you to schedule your posts right from your own page. Sprout’s ViralPost feature will pick the best times for you based on your highest expected audience engagement.
Scheduling and planning your calendar makes it easier for you to see where gaps are in your posts. Using a tool like this will save you time in the long run.
5. Determine your Facebook ads strategy
Whether you’re just starting out on Facebook or you’ve been on it for a while, it’s difficult to escape the need to pay for brand exposure. Our comprehensive guide to creating your Facebook advertising strategy is a great place to start learning more about Facebook ads.
However, growing your audience and brand loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. You have to earn it.
But there is one shortcut to get there a bit faster–social media advertising. Specifically on Facebook, there are more than four million advertisers with just an average click-through rate of 9%. Advertising on Facebook is simpler, but not easier. You still have to effectively build your brand and showcase it perfectly with ads.
Aim for Higher Brand Awareness
You Facebook ad campaigns should always be focused on two things:
- Cost Effective
For starters, you want to stay within your allocated weekly or monthly spend with Facebook to avoid over exposure and useless clicks. Ad spend can shoot up in a hurry when you’re targeting isn’t effective or set appropriately, which brings us to the next step.
Your Facebook ad has to be relevant. Targeting a broad audience isn’t a bad thing. At first, you want to actually see what works best to build awareness. However, relevance is crucial toward great Facebook ads.
Try to build custom audiences and address customers who would best fit your Facebook content. If it’s a retargeting measure, make sure the content provides something recognizable but also something new.
Decide on Creative Content
Earlier in this post, we did a deep dive into the types of content on Facebook. Now it’s time to choose which pieces of content you think are worth advertising in front of a much larger audience.
Some of the best aspects of your ad content should include:
- Identity: Does it relate to your brand and effectively showcase your product/service? Are your logo and business colors correctly displayed?
- Reward: What do viewers get out of it? Is it a deal, promotion, offer code, whitepaper or industry guide?
- Tone: Does your content maintain the same tone across your entire Facebook page or business in general?
- Action: Your content must drive an action, which goes back to your Facebook goals. A clear and precise call to action is best.
Keep Facebook Ad Content Fresh
Facebook ad content is literally squeezed between your friends and family feed, which means it’s seen often. Have you ever deemed a TV commercial the worst ever and seen it replayed endlessly through your favorite show? This is the same thing.
Don’t let your content get stale with viewers, so make sure to update and repurpose your ad content every week or two. The whole purpose is to drive users to a specific site or purchasing page. So don’t let old content ruin your Facebook retargeting or remarketing efforts.
Create a spreadsheet and document your core metrics. Each metric will provide you with unique insights into what you specifically want to achieve with your ad:
- Click-through Rate: If traffic is essential, track CTR and see where you can improve.
- Impressions: Having trouble with visibility? Revisit your image or content and see what can drive more impressions.
- Cost to Acquire: If your purpose is to limit spend and budget more effectively, track cost to acquire and set weekly or monthly goals.
6. Encourage employee advocacy
Your employees should be your biggest cheerleaders. In the Sprout Brands Get Real report, 72% of people reported feeling more connected with a brand when its employees shared information about it on social media. Employees put faces to the brands, making them more relatable to consumers.
While you can try to wrangle employee advocates using company announcement emails, a solution such as Bambu is specifically designed to streamline the process and make it easy to transform employees into brand ambassadors.
Before Bambu, it took a lot of time and effort to get content in front of our employees to share. With Bambu, it saves us time, it saves them time and it allows our employees to be the thought leaders that they are with this curated environment.
Senior Manager of Content Strategy
Your employees are an invaluable asset when it comes to messaging amplification, social selling and authentic engagement. And unlike industry influencers, their services on social are free.
Use Bambu to easily curate content for employees and track your advocacy program’s performance.
When considering employee advocacy, don’t forget about the CEO. In the same report, 70% of consumers feel more connected to a brand when its CEO is active on social media.
7. Track & analyze your results
The last step of your strategy is to keep an eye on the metrics you identified earlier in goal setting and analyze the results. This also includes determining your ROI.
Sprout makes Facebook data analysis a breeze.
Quickly measure Page impressions, Fan growth and how your Facebook content is performing using intuitive, interactive reports that can be downloaded and shared with stakeholders in seconds.
With Sprout, I can quickly analyze our followers, reach, impressions, video views, link clicks, and send reports to our senior colleagues…. Sprout is also really useful for breaking down analytics and looking at different campaigns to see where we may need to focus our efforts.
Head of Digital and Media
And don’t forget to see how you measure up against the competition. With Sprout, you can directly compare your performance against industry averages and competitor’s data to ensure your Facebook marketing strategy is on the right track.
With this seven steps in hand, you can begin plotting your Facebook marketing strategy today. Anything we missed? Comment below with steps you’ve taken to find success on Facebook!
This post 7 steps to an effective Facebook marketing strategy originally appeared on Sprout Social.
This post was originally published on Sprout Social