All marketing strategies require careful planning, and Facebook marketing is no different. Before delving in and spending time creating content, you need to put a plan in place to ensure you get the right results and to avoid wasted time and money.
This applies whether you use a social media marketing agency or not. A social media marketing agency will help you develop the plan according to your budget and objectives, and they will then implement the plan.
If you are going DIY, on the other hand, you will be doing everything yourself, so planning is even more important.
If you are a small business, the following six tips are key things you need to consider before starting a Facebook marketing campaign.
1. Optimise Your Page
Facebook marketing centres around your Facebook page, so you should make sure it is fully complete and optimised. Here are some things to check and update:
- Vanity URL – the standard URL your page will get from Facebook will include lots of numbers. You can get a vanity URL. However, that is just the name of your business. Remember, though, this URL needs to be unique, so if someone has beat you to the name you want, you will need to get creative to think of something else.
- Profile and cover image – your profile image will be the image that is seen the most on Facebook, so make sure it is as good as possible. Making it stand out from other profile images will deliver the best results. Also make sure you have an attractive, professional-looking, and interesting cover image.
- Complete all the sections – this particularly applies to the about section of your Facebook page. Complete all the sections, including your adding your contact details.
- Optimise tabs – your Facebook page has tabs that appear in the righthand column. Use these to your advantage. You can even add customised tabs. For example, you can include a call to action or add a newsletter signup form.
2. Get Familiar with Insights
Insights are the analytics section of your Facebook page, so it gives you various statistics. As with all analytics tools, some of the stats are more important than others.
Some of the key stats in Insights that will help with your Facebook marketing campaign include:
- Pages to Watch – comparing the performance of your page to the Facebook pages of your competitors
- Posts – an at-a-glance view of the performance of individual posts. Look out for which posts types get the best results and the best time of day to post.
- People – information on your audience including age, gender, location, etc
3. Think About Video
Videos typically perform better than any other type of content on Facebook. Therefore, you should put in place a strategy for creating videos. This could be live videos, recorded videos, professionally produced videos, animations, or any other type of video.
It’s also important to remember that videos work best when they are uploaded directly to Facebook rather than being posted elsewhere and then linked to.
4. Create a Content Calendar
A key part of Facebook marketing is posting content to your page.
This part can become overwhelming, however, if you don’t have a plan in place. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll spend more time under pressure trying to think of something to publish than you will create the best possible post.
The best way to plan is to create a content calendar. With a content calendar, you will know what you are going to publish today, next week, and in three weeks’ time.
A couple of other tips to remember in relation to Facebook content plans:
- You need to post varied content to Facebook. Specifically, only publishing link posts is not going to work. Link posts are posts that contain a link to another website, i.e. your website. Facebook marketing works better when you add variety to your posts. This means publishing images, videos, and link posts.
- The majority of the posts you publish should be non-promotional. In other words, they shouldn’t have a direct sales or marketing message. This is because the organic Facebook feed is not an effective direct sales or marketing tool. Instead, it’s about building relationships and starting conversations. Therefore, most of your posts (about 90 percent) should be interesting, engaging, informative, and helpful rather than salesy. The self-promotional posts you then drop-in will be much more effective.
5. Be Ready to Respond
Facebook is not a one-way conversation where you talk to your audience. It works much better when the conversation is two-way.
This means you need to respond to your audience, particularly when they message you directly but also when they leave a comment on a post or on your page. The faster you respond, the better, so you need to have a plan in place.
6. Allocate an Advertising Budget
You will significantly increase the performance of your Facebook marketing strategy if you promote your page and content with Facebook ads or paid-for boosted posts.
The reality for most business pages is that a small percentage of their followers will see the content they post. Boosting posts or running ads hugely increases this percentage, plus your content will be seen by others who do not follow your page.
Plus, you don’t even need to spend much. Even $30 for a post (and sometimes less) will significantly enhance your results.
All of the above is important, but you also need an objective for Facebook marketing. What do you want to achieve? Knowing the answer to this will increase your chances of success.