If you’re reading this, you’ve probably arrived here after clicking a link in the first post of my three-part Facebook for Business series. If you’ve just landed here randomly, while I’m flattered, this second part of my Facebook for Business guide will make a lot more sense if you read its predecessor first: Getting Started With Facebook for Business – Part One.
Up to speed? Let’s continue…
With your shiny new Facebook business page created, it’s time to think about your overall strategy for conquering the world’s largest social network.
Unfortunately, as with most things in business, adopting a “if I build it, they will come” approach to Facebook won’t get you very far. To understand why, you need to remember why people sign up to use Facebook – hint: it’s not primarily to connect with your business page and see your posts.
Remember, people join Facebook because they want to interact with their friends first and foremost. Whether it’s sharing their latest holiday snaps, congratulating someone on an anniversary or simply staying in touch with loved ones, Facebook facilitates it all (plus much, much more).
The fact your business is also there is really just a coincidence. But it’s a coincidence that can afford you a lot of new opportunities if you know how to create content that engages your audience(s) and encourages them to interact with your brand.
If you’d like to learn more about creating an effective Social Media Strategy, check out my older blog post where I walk you through the 12 core elements of a winning social media strategy.
Start by setting yourself some SMART goals and realistic expectations. While it’s no secret that goals help increase your chances of success, it’s still amazing how many businesses neglect to set any.
Ask yourself, what am I trying to achieve? Who’s my target audience/ideal customer? Where are they hanging out on Facebook? What are their pain points? What content do they like consuming and how often do they want fresh information?
Answering these few questions alone will enable you to set some SMART goals, formulate a rudimentary Facebook strategy and start shaping your posts accordingly.
Here are some examples of social media goals to get your brain kickstarted:
- Drive traffic to your business website
- Increase brand awareness
- Generate more leads
- Establish authority/thought leadership
- Improve the customer experience
- Forge new long-term relationships
And here are a few examples of SMART goals related to increasing brand awareness:
- Double my number of Facebook page likes within 2 months
- Engage with 10 people each month (engagement = genuine conversations based on comments of DMs)
- Reach 1k people with our new video over the next month
These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Now, remember I said in the first part of this guide that the number of page likes is a vanity measure that many business owners pay too much attention to? Well, I’m sticking by that statement. Sure, a huge number of page likes looks great and gives you a warm feeling inside. But what good are all those likes if they don’t benefit your business in any way, shape or form!?
However, having said that, if one of your goals is to increase brand awareness, increasing your number of likes will inevitably play a part in that.
Goals on Facebook serve three main purposes:
- They allow you to gauge if your efforts are paying off
- Give you an incentive to try harder/do better
- Enable you to demonstrate ROI to stakeholders
But having goals alone is no good! You need to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to determine if you are on the way to meeting your goals. Moreover, you should be revisiting and reviewing your goals on a regular basis to ascertain whether your goals are still applicable or if they need to be changed.
The key is to measure, adjust, repeat.
What are you Facebook goals for this year? I’d love to know! Tweet me @lenkakopp
Keeping the right balance between Content and Engagement
Some brands have adopted a half-hearted approach when it comes to sharing content on Facebook, while others just ignore content altogether and opt for a constant barrage of self-promotion posts.
You know the pages I mean; the ones that constantly publish posts day in, day out featuring their products/services. Posts that offer very little in the way of value to the people who see them, unless those people are specifically in the market for said products and services.
Then there are the pages that go one step better and share some useful articles they find online. At least these pages are trying to provide their audience with some value. As a result, they garner a few likes on their posts and their audience doesn’t mind them too much.
Engagement rules social media!
But there’s a reason why I keep banging on about engagement. I don’t care if I sound like a broken record because it really is the single most important factor for achieving success on Facebook. The best part of all is that encouraging engagement doesn’t need to consume vast amounts of time, effort or money.
For example, rather than just sharing a useful post you’ve found, why not add a little commentary of your own? Give your opinion on what’s being outlined and ask your audience what they think too. This simple technique will prompt some of your audience to offer their opinions, while adding a simple line at the end like “if you found this post useful, please consider sharing it with your friends” will also encourage them to do just that.
It might seem a little spammy, but it’s really not; and it’s definitely better than post after post promoting products and services for a start.
Make inspiring genuine conversations your number one objective on Facebook and everything else you wish to achieve will follow. By starting and encouraging genuine conversations to happen, you’ll portray your business as one that not only understands its customers, but that looks to meet their needs wherever possible.
Save selling for Facebook ads only – a topic we’ll cover in the third and final part of this guide.
Always have a plan!
An invaluable resource to help you organise your Facebook posts and decide what stuff you’re going to share is a content plan. These simple yet wonderfully advantageous ingredients are essential no matter which social network you’re using. They’re super essential for Facebook!
That’s because Facebook is so noisy and you need to fight to stand out from the crowd. With a content plan in place, you’ll be able to clearly see ahead of time what’s coming up. It’ll prevent you from scratching your head when it’s time to post and help you always remain present – that is, posting frequently and when your audience expects.
Don’t be afraid to mix your content up either. Post articles, videos, quotes, pictures, whatever – basically anything you think your audience will enjoy and get some benefit from.
Planning and scheduling
You probably already know that to publish your Facebook posts you can use a variety of third-party tools like Buffer, Hootsuite or ContentCal. But you can also use Facebook’s built-in Publishing Tools to plan, schedule and monitor your posts.
You can publish posts ‘natively’ within Facebook itself in two different ways:
- Directly from your Facebook Page
You probably know this way of posting very well. The easiest way to create a new post on Facebook is to simply click in the ‘Create Post’ box where it says ‘Write a post…’.
You can directly publish or schedule your posts here. The option to schedule actually changed recently. In case you’re not familiar with the new way, here’s quick overview highlighting the scheduling drop-down menu:
You can then select the appropriate date/time from the next screen:
- Using Facebook Business Manager and Publishing Tools tab
The more advanced way to plan, schedule and monitor your posts is via Publishing Tools tab in Facebook Business Manager. Here you can create new posts and publish them directly, you can schedule posts to be published later and you can also create drafts and get back to them later on.
Two Great Ways to Boost Engagement
You’re probably a member of at least one Facebook group on your personal account. But did you ever think about leveraging groups to give your business Facebook page a boost?
There are two main ways to do it:
- Share your business page posts using your personal account in groups you are a member of (yuck, spammy, dislike)
- Create a group that’s closely linked to your business and create a buzz (yummy, sounds engaging, like)
Let’s focus on the second one, which is particularly brilliant if your business has a bricks and mortar offering. That’s because you can create a group that includes your loyal customers and use it to spark conversations around your products and services.
For example, imagine how beneficial a group full of like-minded individuals would be if you owned a gardening centre. The members could use it to share their tips and show off the beautiful plants and flowers they’ve grown.
As the creator of the group, there’s a constant buzz formed around your business. While it may not lead to a significant increase in sales, it’s definitely not going to negatively impact them either. Plus, there’s a good chance your business will gain extra exposure as a direct result.
Run these kinds of group correctly and you can create a real buzz and sense of community around your brand, as well as add tangible value for your audience.
Ready to create your own Facebook Group?
To create a group and encourage a brand community to thrive, simply go to your Facebook business page, click the three little dots below your cover photo and select ‘create group’.
By default, your personal Facebook account is added and you also have options to add other people and change the group privacy. Public groups tend to get more exposure because their posts can be shared outside of the group and anyone (not just group members) can see what’s been posted. However, this second point is also a reason for people not join i.e. because they can read every post anyway.
Facebook Live Videos
Do Facebook Live videos still need an introduction? They shouldn’t, considering how popular they’ve become over the past year!
Have you been utilising Facebook Live videos already? I’d love to hear how! Tweet me @lenkakopp.
For a start, as I outlined in a blog post earlier this year, Facebook Live videos are one of the few types of post that Facebook themselves actually suggest will appear higher in people’s news feeds:
“Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.”
Come on! If Facebook is willing to make statements like this, does it not make alarm bells ring in your head!?
The bottom line is that Facebook Live videos enjoy disproportionately greater reach than other types of post. So, in other words, if you’re not taking advantage of Facebook Live videos, you’re absolutely missing a trick.
But you know the best part about Facebook Live videos? It’s that they really don’t need to be super-planned beforehand. Sure, a well-planned live video will look sleek, have few errors and appear professional, but there are loads of off-the-cuff live videos that achieve amazing results too.
At the end of the day, your followers, your audience want to see your brand’s human face. If that’s you speaking about some exciting news with unkempt hair then so be it. After all, your audience will more appreciate the fact you’ve bothered to go live than not.
Live videos are also a brilliant way to encourage engagement. That’s because your followers can interact with you while you’re ‘live’ and ask you questions and make comments in real time. Addressing their comments is an amazing way to build bonds and the more live videos you do, the more exposure you’ll gain.
Facebook Live video ideas
What should your Facebook Live Videos be about?
Something as simple as going live and walking around your business establishment, introducing people to your staff can be really effective. It gives your business personality and allows people to see behind the scenes. Our naturally inquisitive nature makes such videos fascinating!
Another type of live video you could do is a live Q&A with yourself or a member of staff. Again, these often prove popular because of both the personable nature and interactive element. If you get known for your entertaining and informative live videos, you’ll soon see a jump in your page likes, brand awareness and overall business appeal.
Not a seasoned producer or video editing expert? Don’t worry, there are numerous apps out there to help you create amazing live videos. While I could create a whole new guide just on Facebook Live video apps, I’m not really into reinventing the wheel. Instead, I’m going to suggest you check out this post from the excellent Social Media Examiner.
It gives you insights into basic-, intermediate- and advanced-level live video apps. There’s something for everyone and that’s why it’s well worth a read.
In the third and final part of my Facebook for Business guide, we’ll conclude by exploring how Facebook ads can benefit your business, see the kinds of powerful insights you can gleam from your Facebook page and look at the types of content you really don’t want to be associated with.