The Definitive Facebook Marketing Guide for Business

The Definitive Facebook Marketing Guide for Business

How and when do they use Facebook? Create a Facebook Business Page Once you have your audience, goals, and content strategy nailed down, it’s time to create a Facebook Page. But you don’t need millions of followers to make a Facebook Page worthwhile. Follow these step-by-step instructions to create your Facebook Page. Step 5: Start posting Now you’re ready to start posting. First, let’s look at the different types of content you can post on Facebook. First, make it easy for people you interact on other social networks to find your Facebook Page. Consider creating a Facebook Group Once you’ve started to build up your following, you may want to consider adding a Facebook Group to your marketing plan. You can track audience engagement with content on your Facebook Page through Facebook Insights. This allows you to measure Likes, reach (how many people saw your posts), and engagement (how many people liked, clicked, shared, or commented).

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Why should your business invest in Facebook marketing? For starters, with more than 2 billion users, it’s the largest social network in the world. And in the United States and Canada alone, 183 million people use Facebook every day. To put that in perspective, that’s 80 million more people than the 103 million viewers that tuned into the 2018 Super Bowl.

The good news is you don’t need a budget of Super Bowl proportions to get into the game. Sharing valuable content that connects with fans and potential customers is your most important play.

How to create a Facebook marketing plan in 9 steps

Step 1. Define your audience

How old are they? Where do they live? What kind of jobs do they have? What are their challenges and pain points? How and when do they use Facebook?

You’ll also need to get familiar with Facebook demographics. Once you know who uses the platform and how that maps back to your target customer, you can take a look at Facebook Audience Insights. Use the tool to drill down into the nitty-gritty details about potential customers. Find information on things like age, gender, education, relationship status, location, language, Facebook usage, and even past purchase activity. (For more details, check out our full tutorial on Facebook analytics.)

It can be tempting to focus on vanity metrics, like simply gathering as many Likes as possible. But unless those Likes are part of a broader marketing plan, they’re not going to provide a great return.

Step 2. Set goals

The goals will differ for every business, but they should all focus on actions that have a real impact on your bottom line—like generating leads, increasing conversions on your website, or improving customer service. But those are broad categories of goals. You’ll want to ensure your goals are much more specific and measurable. Here, we recommend using the S.M.A.R.T goal-setting framework.

Everything you do on Facebook—every post, every comment, every ad—should work to support your goals. To keep things on track, it’s a good idea to distill the essence of your strategy down into a Facebook mission statement for your brand. This will help you to maintain a consistent brand voice.

Step 3. Consider your content mix

Once you’ve set your goals, you need to create a plan for how to achieve them. A key part of that plan is determining the right content mix. We recommend starting with either the 80-20 rule or the social media rule of thirds.

If you follow the 80-20 rule, you’ll use 80 percent of your Facebook posts to inform, educate, and entertain, and the other 20 percent to promote your brand. Remember that using Facebook for business is all about building relationships, and self promotion is not a great way to do that. But if you provide enough value, your audience will be open to learning about your products and services in those 20 percent of posts that are more sales-focused.

The social media rule of thirds also prescribes a good mix of valuable content vs. promotional posts. That is, one-third of your content should share ideas and stories, one-third should involve personal interactions with your followers, and the remaining third can promote your business.

Either way, the goal is to provide more value than promotional material to keep followers engaged. Facebook’s algorithm will always penalize brands that push sales too hard.

Facebook wants its users’ news feeds to be full of content they want to Like and share. As a marketer, you should want that too. All those Likes and shares help extend your reach and put your brand in front of new eyeballs.

The final part of your plan is to determine when and how often to post. Even though the algorithm means posts don’t appear in chronological order, you have the best chance of making it to the top of the pile if you post when your audience is most active on the network.

This will take some trial and error to pin down for your specific business (using engagement data gleaned from Page Insights). But research generally shows that the best time to post is Thursday or Friday from 1 to 3 p.m., so that’s a good place to start. Since it’s important to post consistently, create a content calendar to help balance your mix of content types and keep your posting schedule on track.

For more strategic planning ideas, check out our post on how to create a social media marketing plan.

Step 4. Create a Facebook Business Page

Once you have your audience, goals, and content strategy nailed down, it’s time to create a Facebook Page.

As Facebook puts it, your business’s profile is “a cornerstone of [your] online identity.” It’s where you post content and engage with followers. It doesn’t cost anything to set up a Facebook Page or post content, which is great if you’re working with a limited budget.

How big can a Facebook Page following get? Coca-Cola has one of the highest brand follower counts, currently sitting at more than 105 million.

But you don’t need millions of followers to make a Facebook Page worthwhile. Neon Retro Arcade in Pasadena, California, has about 25,800 followers. And the promotions they run on their Page have been successful enough that they’ve stopped advertising in their local newspaper.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create your Facebook Page. In that tutorial you’ll also find tips on how to optimize your Page to better connect with your audience and grow your brand.

Keep the following Facebook marketing best practices in mind to maximize the effectiveness of your Facebook Page:

  • Choose a search-friendly Page name: In most cases, this will be your brand name.
  • Set a custom or “vanity” URL for your Page that’s consistent with your handle on other social networks.
  • Make the most of your Page’s About section: Provide key information about your business, and let followers know how to get in touch with you.
  • Since your cover and profile photos are the visual first impression for your Page, make sure they accurately represent your brand and encourage potential followers to engage.
  • Add a call-to-action button, which provides an easy way for potential customers to get in touch with you, or even start shopping for your products. Set one up following Facebook’s detailed instructions.

For more inspiration, learn these lessons from six must-follow brands on Facebook.

Step 5: Start posting

Now you’re ready to start posting. First, let’s look at the different types of content you can post on Facebook.

Facebook text post

This is the most basic type of Facebook post. A text-only post can’t direct people to your website or drive conversions, but it can be used to spark engagement on your Page. Asking a question can be a great way to get people involved, like author and speaker Brian Tracy did in this text post:

Facebook photo post

Like a text post, a photo post is designed to build awareness or spark engagement, rather than supporting other business goals. And on that front, photo posts have plenty to offer. A study published in the journal Management Science found that adding photos to your posts significantly boosts the number of both Likes and comments.

Not sure where to find appropriate images to use in your Facebook posts? Check out our list of 20 free stock photo sites. And to keep yourself, and your brand, out of trouble, be sure you understand the basics of image copyright before sharing a photo online.

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