With 2.23 monthly active users, Facebook is the number 1 social media platform in the world. And as such, there is no better place to reach your audience and market your brand at.
But there’s a catch. Things are never this simple, are they?
Currently, statistics reveal, there are over 60 million active business pages on Facebook and advertisements on the platform reach around 2 billion users.
Almost every major brand is on Facebook and the site hosts companies from virtually every niche and industry sector – food and beverage, luxury, entertainment, finance, tourism, textile, and automobile, etc. Just Coca-Cola alone has a Facebook following of over 100 million users!
The question is: how can you possibly break into such a saturated marketplace?
Despite how daunting the idea of devising a Facebook marketing strategy may seem, consistently working on certain plans can help you create your own stronghold on the social media site.
Let’s break the Facebook marketing strategy into a step-wise guide that you can follow.
#1. Create a Facebook Business Page
A business page on Facebook is completely different from a personal page. While a personal page represents a singular entity and content related to it, a business page represents a brand and the products or services it offers.
A business page wouldn’t just signify your presence on the platform but also allow you to build a community with your audience and potential customers. This gives you a wide platform to advertise your products, comprehend your customers’ preferences, and automate your customer service.
The Page Insights feature on a Facebook business page is a highly effective tool to understand your traffic and performance when utilized right.
Creating a business page on Facebook is no chore for a regular user on the site.
From your newsfeed, select ‘Pages’ on the far left side.
Click on the ‘Create a Page’ option.
Choose the ‘Business or Brand’ option.
Next, you will be prompted to enter details of your brand and select your preferences, before finally publishing your page.
That’s it. Now you have a functioning, active Facebook business page from where you can begin working on the strategies listed below.
#2. Determine your Goals
This is the time for you to brainstorm and set goals for your Facebook page. What specific objectives do you wish to achieve and by what deadlines?
Do you wish to spread awareness about your brand? This is the most common goal with 34% of businesses focusing primarily on this.
Do you want to increase your audience reach?
Are you trying to bring attention to a new product or service you are about to launch?
Is generating higher traffic for your ecommerce store the end goal?
Do you wish to improve your conversion rate?
Once you have determined your goals and prioritized them as per their significance, you will be able to better create strategies customized to your business.
A highly useful framework used to set goals is the SMART strategy. SMART describes goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
For instance, if you simply plan to increase your Facebook following, you wouldn’t have any clear-cut strategy to actually accomplish your goal and wouldn’t be able to realistically measure your performance.
But planning to gain 500 followers in the first month is clear enough to be worked upon and for its performance to be judged.
Make sure you do not skip over or rush through this step because many businesses end up feeling dissatisfied with their performance because one, their goals were too vague or broad, and two, they simply weren’t feasible in certain time limits.
#3. Understand your Audience
To curate strategies for influencing your audience, you first need to understand your current audience – their demographics.
When Sprout Social conducted research into the demographics of American Facebook users, it found that more females used the social media site than males, the majority of the users came from urban areas, and the most dominant age group was 18-49.
Studying such data gives information about the different users on Facebook and looking into your own Page Insights will reveal the kind of users you currently have. Having known these, you will be able to devise more targeted and user-focused marketing strategies.
#4. Target the Right Audience
Once you have an idea of your current audience and know exactly what kind of audience you want, you can begin working to bridge the gap between the two.
Before we move ahead, let’s clear up one thing: your target audience is on Facebook. It doesn’t matter how elusive you might think your customer base is; it could be senior citizens, edgy teenagers, extremely busy single mothers – everyone is on Facebook.
You just need the right marketing strategies to reach them.
First things first, start building your target audience in the ‘Facebook Ads Manager’ section. Go to ‘Ads Manager’ and choose ‘Audiences’ to design a custom audience for your page.
You will be prompted to enter certain details and questioned about your preferred method of building the custom audience. For instance, you can use a customer file, create the list using your website traffic, or design it based on the user engagement with your page.
The right option for you is the one from which the most data about your target audience could be gathered.
For instance, choosing the ‘Customer File’ option works best if you have a set of information on your previous customers such as their names and contact details.
If you already have good engagement on your Facebook page or want an audience similar to that on your Instagram business page, you can choose the option to closely replicate that.
In any case, Facebook generates a ‘lookalike audience’ which is similar to the audience you want.
In addition to this, you should ideally aim for a very targeted yet sufficient enough audience. To aid you with this, Facebook uses a meter to guide you while you are setting up your audience.
While it is ambitious to target as many people as you can afford to, it isn’t always the best strategy. Your ads reaching too broad an audience might not generate successful results.
On the other hand, with an audience too narrow, your ads will be seen by the same, small set of people repeatedly.
That being said, if you find the need to broaden or narrow down this audience, you can still do it later.
Although it is fairly uncommon, there are times when the owner of a business page has no clue as to the potential audience of the brand. You can sit back and relax if this is the case with you as well because Facebook has the right solution for you.
The Audience Insights option allows you to view the demographics of your rivals’ audiences. This is more often than not the audience you want to focus on.
#5. Improve your Engagement with your Audience
The golden Facebook marketing strategy is to engage, engage, and engage with your audience.
You can reach as many people as you want with your audience and increase your brand awareness in that manner, but if you do not regularly add engaging content to your page, the audience is likely to deviate.
Do not simply put up posts – photos, videos, and statuses. You also need to converse with your followers and hold meaningful discussions with them.
Some brands, such as Oreo and Taco Bell, integrate humor to grab the audience’s attention and further their reach. In fact, Wendy’s has a strong reputation for being wittily engaging on social media.
To get even higher engagement, make sure you are posting at the right times. An excellent post made at the wrong time can simply go unnoticed when it could have garnered quite some attention if posted at an opportune time.
For instance, Sunday is the least engaged day of the week so users are likely to spend more time on social media. On the contrary, posting too late at night or too early in the morning isn’t recommended.
Nonetheless, you will have to again consider your audience’s demographics and check your page insights to accurately predict the best times to post. Do not simply rely on global statistics because a nuanced understanding of the local or your audience-specific statistics will be far more practical.
For more inspiration, check out these social media marketing ideas.
#6. Set your Budget
Unlike platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, organic growth on Facebook is slow and difficult.
It’s a money-motivated platform after all and as long as you’re spending money, Facebook will ensure your page gets the kind of exposure it could never have gained otherwise.
Apart from your own budget, you will have to consider your initial goals when deciding on a Facebook marketing strategy budget.
And no, you do not need to go into a loss simply to promote your business on Facebook; a careful selection of the right ads and strategies will get the job done in a cost-effective manner.
Your budget can include page like ads, lead generation ads, conversion ads, and boosted posts, etc. This, again, rests solely on what you aim to achieve by your Facebook marketing strategy.
Additionally, these advertisements wouldn’t only grow your audience and customers; they will also add to your brand’s reputability.
For instance, if you want to get a haircut and your options are a hair salon with 10,000 likes on Facebook and another with 200 likes, you’d just assume that the one with the higher number of likes offers superior services.
There is no fixed way to determine whether you’ve set the right budget to achieve your goals timely. What you can do is test out your budget for a certain amount of time – say, a month – and then calculate your Return on Investment (ROI).
A positive ROI will signal that you’re on the right track while a negative ROI signifies the need to make certain adjustments to the budget.
#7. Determine your Ads Strategy
When it comes to the content you wish to promote through your ads, you need to make careful decisions.
When determining your Facebook ads strategy, make sure it is cost-effective and relevant.
- Ensure that your content represents your brand well and carries its identity. See whether your logo is completely visible and that the content aligns with your brand’s image.
- Consider the reward the audience will get out of your ads. Are you offering a deal, service, promotional offer, or guide that the audience could really benefit from?
- Put across action-driven content. Your ads shouldn’t be mere visuals or words – they need to prompt the audience to act.
Provide a link to your website or give a detailed guide to make a purchase from your Facebook page.
Very importantly, don’t make mistakes with your ad content that’ll lead you towards a negative ROI.
Because even if you are spending a major amount of money on your ads, if the ads themselves aren’t up to the mark, they’ll not achieve their intended purpose.
For example, statuses that are too long and wordy – no one’s got the time to read content that doesn’t intrigue them throughout.
Similarly, visuals are highly preferred as they require the least effort and time from the audience’s part to comprehend. However, dull, low-resolution images or plain, stock images would be futile.
As for videos, it is recommended to create videos that convey their message even without their sound because only 15% of the Facebook videos are watched with the sound on.
Lastly, keep your ad content fresh and exciting. If you keep repeating the same ads, you wouldn’t be making much progress or getting any new leads.
Make sure you are updating your ads every two weeks or so, depending on your goals and performance.
To build your own strategy, check out this guide on brand marketing.
The strategies outlined above are simply a start to what’s a simple but meticulous journey of marketing your brand successfully on Facebook. There are multiple other ways to get word about your brand across the platform and some strategies which might work brilliantly for you but not for others.
Also, no matter what strategies you adopt, it is crucial to track and analyze your results regularly to reflect on your Facebook marketing strategy.