7 Steps to an Effective Facebook Marketing Strategy That Works
Facebook has miraculously transformed from a seeding stage startup at a Harvard University dormitory to a $720 billion global business within 15 years.
The most prominent social media platform has changed many things, including human habits and digital marketing.
For marketers, Facebook has turned out to be the elixir of life. Many small businesses, retailers, and eCommerce companies depend on Facebook to generate leads, engage, and expand their audience.
Tools like Facebook Messenger bot and Facebook Spark AR act as a magic wand for the marketers, providing them unmatched opportunities to increase visibility, boost sales, generate revenue, and achieve growth.
However, pump-priming is still the most challenging part.
Here is a seven-step formula to succeed with Facebook as your chosen marketing platform. Read on to attain the highest leverage from this almost omnipotent marketing channel.
1. Set Intelligent Goals
A robust marketing strategy begins with setting the right goals. You can build a Facebook strategy blueprint to make sure that you are on the right track. To ensure that you are on track, you can measure your success using Facebook’s inbuilt analytics.
However, it would help if you did a little homework to ensure that you can achieve your business objectives through Facebook.
According to a 2018 SproutSocial study, the primary business goals as revealed by participating business owners were:
- To boost brand awareness (34%)
- To enhance community engagement (21%)
- To multiply sales and lead generation (11%)
Here is a list of common business objectives people have while using Facebook for marketing. These goals are divided into three major categories, viz —awareness, consideration, and conversion.
Maybe you haven’t yet decided on your business goals. This study can be a great source of inspiration while setting your goals. If you have already set your business goals, see how you can adjust them in light of these survey results.
How to Achieve Your Goals?
Let’s discuss some common business goals and how you can achieve them using Facebook:
A. Improve your sales process:
Sales and conversion are considered the most challenging business processes, but you can crack the code with better targeting. Just increasing the number of prospects you target isn’t enough, as poor targeting leads to frustration, disappointment, and wastage of precious time and resources.
Better targeting improves the sales process and ultimately increases both the quality and quantity of sales. With a well-planned Facebook marketing strategy, you can swiftly reach your target audience.
A big mistake people make is that Facebook being the most prominent social platform will automatically yield results even in the absence of a strategy — which is entirely false. You should concentrate on what you specialize in and use Facebook to reach out to a larger audience.
B. Increase the marketing prowess of your company
You can use Facebook to nurture customers and increase awareness. Facebook brings additional resources to help you know more about your brand, social conversations about your brand, mentions, competition, and people’s perception of your brand. The software used for this purpose is a social listening tool, an ultimate source of customer intelligence.
C. Get industry updates and competitors’ insights
Competing with your rivals is an essential part of survival in the brutal business world. If you are constantly worried about keeping pace with your competitors, you can use social media monitoring tools. These tools enable you to track, listen and report on social conversations about you, your competitors, or the industry. It is also referred to as social listening. Strong social listening capabilities will help you in effective strategy-making and right goal setting. Social listening also helps in better engagement and customer satisfaction.
D. More efficient recruiting
Social recruiting is growing globally despite numerous procedural difficulties involved, as social media is emerging as the best place to find top talent quickly. You can find out which social networks your employees use to increase your reach. It will help you to hire a quality workforce.
E. 360-degree growth
Facebook can also help in areas you might have never thought about. It can help you reduce employee churn rate, minimize ad spend, and increase acquisition to stay competitive, lean, and agile.
Address your Facebook marketing strategy, and you’ll be able to increase targeting and social selling. It will also assist you in achieving other goals, such as getting customer insights and opinions and controlling ad spend.
F. Tracking and measurement
Social tools such as Sprout Social Analytics can help you track and measure your Facebook campaigns. The tool speeds up data collection and distribution, so you can focus on your core objectives, such as paying attention to useful KPIs, strategy making, and boosting ROI.
2. Know Your Facebook Audience
Since determining your audience is a crucial part of the strategy formation, spend time to get your current audience breakdown. There are many social media tools that you can use to get a clear picture of your social demographics. It will provide you the necessary insights into the platform users and how they use it.
You can also use Facebook Page Insights for this purpose. If you hire white label services, you can have a dashboard to get insights into your audience’s demographics and behavior patterns. You will get detailed information, which you can use in different types of campaigns.
3. Engage Proactively With Your Audience
Social media channels are all about conversations and engagement. The chief objective of a social channel is to encourage conversations, discussions, and sharing. That’s why it’s referred to as social media. The users are so closely interwoven through conversations that they form a community.
As a brand, you can hold industry chats and discussions to draw the attention of users. These can be your customers or an altogether different audience. When some exciting and meaningful conversation is going on, people love to participate in it. Humans’ social tendency is to find communities where they can participate in the activities and discussions they are interested in. You can also act as a community for them by filling up the vacuum.
Twitter already acts as a hub for corporate customer care. Almost all major brands offer customer care through Twitter, and people straightaway jump to Twitter to seek customer care or support, especially if it is urgent.
For example, suppose somebody is stuck at the airport because of an incorrectly issued ticket, a canceled flight, or an unconfirmed ticket. In that case, Twitter is the best place to straightaway contact the airlines and receive instant support.
You can’t anticipate engagement to happen by itself. You should take the initiative to engage audiences by reaching out to everyone. Until it happens, you will not be able to engage a wider audience.
For example, Nike is a brand that’s best known for its social media engagement. It uses social media in the best way possible. It has more than 93 million Instagram and 33 million Facebook users. With the kind of social engagement it enjoys, it’s undoubtedly a champion among the top brands on social media.
There is a lot that other brands can learn from Nike’s success. Nike doesn’t talk about its shoes or other products on social media; instead, it focuses on athletes, sports teams, sports events, and fitness freaks.
Nike ropes sports celebrities and brand makers to successfully draws attention toward them. The sports shoe brand mainly uses Instagram as Facebook’s algorithm prefers to show posts from friends and family, pushing down the posts from businesses in the feed.
Its Instagram account is at the heart of its social media presence as it attracts and inspires people with HD images of athletes in action and clips of people doing fitness workouts. They also use filters with their popular hashtags, i.e., #justdoit.
You can try it on Facebook, too, as the technique is equally effective there.
Post at the Best Time on Facebook
With the increasing content and unpredictable algorithms of Facebook, businesses are struggling to find the best time for posting for maximum visibility and engagement. Here is a chart that Sprout Social has published to help companies to choose the best time to post.
Types of Facebook Posts
To engage your audience on Facebook, you can do the following things:
- Conduct polls
- Ask questions
- Hold a caption contest
- Fill in the blanks
- Ask your fans to share their “how-to” tips and tutorials on your products
- Ask for ideas
- Have a quiz or ask “did you know” questions
4. Schedule Your Facebook Content
Content is king, and it is no less true about social media content. To engage audiences, you have a choice to post different kinds of content, including stories, posts, status updates, and short videos. To drive engagement from Facebook content, you should create your posts to inspire, educate, connect, converse, and make the reader smile.
Selling requires less effort when you have an engaged audience. People also prefer links in your posts to get further information about the topic. They love visual content, so they seek more videos, images, and graphics. According to a study, to succeed in Facebook marketing, you need to implement the following tactics:
- Use more videos in your posts
- Have a proper budget for advertising
- Should have a data-driven strategy
- Should have access to audience insights
You can use Facebook’s Page Controls to schedule your posts right from your page. Scheduling and planning your posts offer a host of advantages for marketers. You can also find gaps and missing topics in your posts using Facebook Page Controls and other third-party tools.
5. Determine Your Facebook Ads Strategy
Paid tactics become inevitable when growing your audience, promoting your brand, or increasing its visibility. However, it’s true that even with paid tactics, it can’t happen overnight. However, Facebook advertising is a more robust and faster method to reach out to your audience and achieve your marketing goals.
With a click-through rate of nine percent, advertising on Facebook brings impressive results. However, it is easier said than done. You need to build your brand and work very hard to showcase it through your ads.
A. Increase Your Brand Awareness
While planning your Facebook ad campaigns, you should focus on two critical things — cost-effectiveness and relevance. However, you should make sure that you stick to your weekly or monthly budget not to waste your advertising dollars on useless clicks. With ineffective and poorly set targeting, your ad budget can shoot up quickly. When you’re targeting a sizable audience on Facebook, it becomes imperative that you choose your audience carefully.
To avoid this, keep your target specific and narrowed down. However, initially, it doesn’t happen that way. First, you need to target a broader audience, and based on what works best; you should keep on filtering it. There is no magic formula here. You have to keep on experimenting and learn from it. Ultimately the more relevant your Facebook ads are, the better results you will achieve.
Build custom audiences and target customers according to your content. Facebook also allows you to create lookalike audiences which is a great advantage for marketers. This way, you can create audiences that might look similar to your target audiences but can be your potential customers.
Similarly, while retargeting, you should also show something new apart from the recognizable content, such as an image that your website visitors might have seen. So, you can add an offer or a deadline to your ad content.
B. Keep Facebook Ad Content Fresh
Nothing can be as annoying as a stale and boring ad being shown repeatedly. As a marketer, you should make sure that you display fresh content updated or repurposed every week. It will give it a new perspective and make it look fresh. To make your content look fresh, you can discuss new features, attributes, and uses of your products or services. You can also discuss its benefits for an entirely new audience.
Ad content is typically stacked with your family and friends’ feed on Facebook. So, it can become even more annoying if it is dull, repetitive, and boring. Think about the intrusive commercials during your favorite show or YouTube video and imagine if the same ad is shown repeatedly. Ad content is crucial because it diverts traffic to your intended landing pages. So, you cannot afford to put stale content in your ads as it won’t likely excite your prospects.
It is also a good idea to document your core metrics, i.e., metrics and data crucial for your campaign’s success. These metrics can be as follows:
- Impressions: If your ad has visibility issues, review the image and content in the ad and analyze how you can drive more impressions.
- Click-through Rate: Click-through rate is an essential metric for attracting traffic to their website. So, if traffic on your website is not good, fix the CTR issues first.
- Cost to Acquire: If you want to control your ad spend and minimize your ad budget, start tracking cost-to-acquire against weekly or monthly goals.
6. Encourage Employee Advocacy
Encouraging employee advocacy is another effective technique organizations implement to achieve their business goals and reduce their marketing budget.
What is Employee Advocacy?
According to Christina Newberry, the blogger at Hootsuite, you must consider an employee advocacy program, especially if you are an organization with employees working for you. According to her, it aids in extending your business’ organic reach using social media by engaging your employees. In simple terms, it means promoting your business using your employees.
So, employees should provide information about any product or campaign in a storytelling format to engage audiences vigorously. Or they might share brand content which could be helpful for people in similar fields. So when an employee provides a glimpse into the business culture of an organization, showcases new technology, or shares brand insights, it’s known as employee advocacy.
What’s the Benefit?
According to a report, 54% of people trust a regular employee, whereas only 47% trust a high official such as a CEO or MD. Again 68% of people trust what a technical expert says in a company. The message to the marketers is clear. It would help if you involved your employees in promoting your business as it brings a high degree of brand trust.
4 Steps to Building an Employee Advocacy Program on Social Media
A. Create a positive, happy, and engaged workplace culture
When employees love their jobs, they become brand ambassadors of their organizations. First of all, we need to inculcate a high trust culture in our organizations because it drives employee workplace recommendations. For that, you must differentiate your company by taking different steps such as:
- Identify your company as a trendsetter and industry disruptor
- Focus on service and quality
- Show support for employees when needed
- Position your company as an industry leader
- Give back and do lots of social welfare
B. Set goals and KPIs for your employee advocacy program
Employees regularly post about their work and company on social media, but there’s neither planned nor organized. To run a successful employee advocacy program, you should set clear goals and KPIs to measure and track the exercise. You can align your advocacy program with one of your primary business goals. The social media metrics you can track include a share of voice, website traffic, or leads. At the end of the campaign, you can prepare a report and show the return on investment because of the advocacy campaign.
Reebok uses the hashtag #FitAssCompany to inspire its employees to post using the hashtag. The entire social media exercise reinstates Reebok’s passion to assisting employees and customers achieve their fitness goals. It also showcases the company culture through an attached picture.
C. Engage employees in the advocacy program
Employee advocacy programs can be best run by the regular employees and not the top bosses. These employees should be enthusiastic social media users who are passionate about the brand they are working for.
Engage them and communicate with them the campaign goals. They will likely suggest to you the resources needed. Choose employee advocacy leaders and inform them that this would be an ongoing process and not a one-time activity. So, it shouldn’t fizzle out after the initial spurts of activity.
D. Make advocacy rewarding
When you ask your employees for a favor, you should also return the favor in the best way possible. Apart from the visibility and credibility (as a subject matter expert) that these employees achieve by participating in employee advocacy activities, it would help if you also offered some internal incentives.
You can announce small rewards like gift vouchers, travel packages, bonuses, cash awards, branded T-shirts and hats or movie tickets, etc. However, it can be even more fun and engaging if you turn the entire exercise into a game.
For example, you can run an employee advocacy campaign with a hashtag, create a leaderboard and pit them against each other to perform even better. The leaderboard will tell you who is getting higher engagement and clicks for the hashtag.
You can reward some or all of the employees participating in the employee advocacy program by distributing prizes and encouraging them to do even better. In the meantime, allow them the freedom to do it their way.
7. Measure and Analyze Your Results
We have identified specific metrics during the goal-setting stage, so it is time to measure and track those metrics to ensure that your Facebook marketing campaign is successful. It would help if you also calculated the ROI at this stage to plan future campaign spend.
It would help if you also used Facebook analytics to know the audience growth, page impressions, video views, link clicks, and content performance. Last but not least, it is crucial to measure your performance against your competitors. Your campaign success largely depends on these factors, so you shouldn’t ignore it.
Facebook is a huge marketing channel that can be highly effective for marketers if appropriately utilized. In this article, we have tried to curate most of the tips and techniques that work. Try to implement these tips and let us know in the comments how they work for you. Don’t forget to add a few more tactics you have tried in your own campaigns that you think have turned out to be a game-changer.