With more than 1.86 billion active users every month, name me a social media platform that is more popular than Facebook? None. It’s no surprise why brands use Facebook as “the platform” to reach out to their consumers. And for your business, this channel could bring the trophy home – only if you do it right. Knowing how to use Facebook is alright. But to know how to succeed on Facebook is absolute GOLD. That is why in this article, we’re going to go through the 9 holy grail steps of the Advanced Facebook Strategy that you need to become the absolute Facebook Expert, so you can start winning in your business for 2019.
1. Is Social Media Right For Your Business?
Being a small business owner, it’s tricky enough trying to juggle all your tasks yet alone stay consistent with your social media efforts. While most people assume that being digital, is using social media, that is not always the case! Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this Advanced Facebook Strategy, as a small business owner, ask yourself is it so necessary for me to use social media? Is this the best platform for me to connect with my consumers on? Because being time poor, we need to make the most of our time and resources. So will social media really help your business or will it burden it?
Don’t forget, engaging digitally with your consumers doesn’t always have to be on social media. It can be through direct emails, online advertising like Google Ads and retargeting, SEO, blogs etc.
If you think social media will do your business wonders, then AWESOME! However, I am a firm believer that, small business owners should never try and juggle 10 social media platforms at the one time and spread themselves too thin. I know many of you are guilty of this! It’s more effective if you focus your efforts in one or two baskets. Consider which platforms will benefit your business the most – that means considering where your customers are spending their time on, and connect with them there. If your customers don’t use Facebook, it’ll be pointless centering all your attention on Facebook. So have a look at your consumers, and ask yourself – is Facebook the right social media platform for my business. If you don’t know, don’t be afraid to ask them. Asking never hurts!
2. Create Facebook Goals That are Aligned to Your Business Goals
So great! You know Facebook is the channel you want to focus on. Now you must align your Facebook goals to your business goals. Why are you using Facebook? Whether you want to create an audience, drive traffic to your website or create brand exposure, you need to decide which objective so then you’ll be able to have a clear idea and goal on what Facebook activities you need to do to achieve them.
- Boost sales: To increase your sales, it starts with targeting the right people. With Facebook, you’ll need to consider what demographic, location and interests to target so that way, you’ll be able to reach your ideal customer more efficiently. Facebook is a grand place, and finding the right people may seem hard. However, it’s not impossible if you know who to target and how to target them right.
- Create an audience: To engage with an audience that will listen to you, it comes down to the content you share. It’s very common for people on Facebook to share things they like, or want to be associated with, so by understanding your customer’s needs, interests, hobbies, and even pains, you can compel your audience through valuable, interesting and “shareable” content. (keep reading to learn how to create “shareable content”)
The tip of the day is: Don’t work hard. Work smart! Avoid diving head first before knowing why and how you’re diving. By knowing what goals you want to achieve, and how you’re going to achieve them, you’ll be able to save more time and resources doing things that have a greater impact on your business.
3. Know Your Customers Like They’re Your Best Friend
I know this step is coming in third, but really, this is the most important one of all. Understanding your ideal customers at a deep level (like how you understand your best friend) is crucial for ALL successful digital marketing strategies. Do you know what they need? What do they want, their interests, their hobbies, their pain points, the typical language they like to use? Etc. By understanding them, you’d be able to communicate exactly what they want, which makes it 10 times easier to convince when it comes to making a purchase. Understanding your consumers also helps build stronger bonds too. When someone understands you well, you may be more willing to listen, and trust their advice. That is why when it comes to your customers, by learning to understand them better, you’ll be able to post the right and appropriate content at the right time, right place and with the right language. And then will they simply be following you, liking you and talking to you, because, they like you!
4. How to Get Your Audience to Share Your Valuable Content
Do you want to engage with your audience? Do you want them to like, comment and share? It’s simple. From the last step (understanding your customer), create content that they will enjoy, content that brings value to them. It is very important that you don’t push the sale. Talk to them, talk about them. Don’t always talk about yourself and your product. Talk or share things that they love to be associated with i.e. designer brands, celebrities, holidays. Engage in a conversation, reply to their comments. Establish your brand personality and voice. Use the language that they can understand. Facebook is just like any other platform for your consumers to interact on, so make their user experience enjoyable.
Sometimes the simplest things have the greatest impact. Using short, compelling texts can be powerful and you can use emojis, hashtags, location tags, colourful text, and vibrant backgrounds to attract their attention. And don’t forget, you can ask questions and make polls! Facebook is all about interaction and engagement. Take down the walls, and become approachable to your customers.
Don’t have time to create your own content? Don’t be afraid to share content. Sharing links to articles, photos and videos is a great way to entertain your audience without the efforts of making one yourself. Don’t be afraid to always test the things you share, because you never know what really interests them and their friends.
5. How to use Visual Content to Compel Your Audience
Did you know, quality, relevant image, and video posts drive 2.3 times more engagement than text posts. We all know a picture is worth a thousand words, so by posting more visual content, your audience will be more likely to engage with your brand.
The power of video has grown immensely in the last couple of years. According to the video marketing statistics from Learn.g2crowd.com, 69% of internet traffic is consumed through videos (Cisco), 51% of all video plays are on mobile phones (Adelie Studios), 78% of people watch online videos every week, 55% view online video every day (Hubspot) and videos generate 1200% more shares than texts and image content combined (Wordstream). This just shows how powerful video content can be when it comes to engaging your audience.
For images and videos, use vivid and eye-catching content that is consistent with your branding. What I mean by branding is keeping the colour of your brand consistent throughout your facebook page. Colours play a huge role on social media to make sure. When it comes to taking your own photos, remember the rule of thirds, bright lighting, and the angles. You might not be a professional photographer and you might not have a DSLR, but ensuring you capture your images in bright lighting (natural is best!), and a well-balanced angle will help a lot! You’re not a professional photographer, but you can with your mobile camera with these tips. Fake it till you make it.
Rule Of Thirds
Red Bull – Facebook post
As of recent years, live content and in the moment content have been very popular. Facebook Live apparently drives three times more engagement on Facebook, with Facebook Stories are becoming the hot trend at the moment. By using these types of in-the-moment content, it breaks the barrier between you and your audience – which makes it more relatable and personal for them. It is no wonder why Facebook users love sharing their in the moment clips throughout their day. For this reason, you should consider Facebook Live and Facebook stories too!
6. Plan your Facebook Content and Schedule Them
This step is about saving your precious time. By scheduling your posts a week or month ahead, you’ll be able to save more time while also helping you to develop a more structured Facebook strategy. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when you want to post something every day. By planning ahead, and writing down a strategy on what content you want to share, this can help you stay on track and have a better idea on what’s the best content to create and share.
Create a social media calendar or use a social media management software (like Buffer, Hootsuite) to plan and schedule your posts. There are a lot of social media management softwares on the market, including popular ones like Buffer and Hootsuite. With my own experience, thanks to Buffer I saved 2 hours a week from planning and scheduling my posts ahead of time. Do your research, test different softwares and see which ones work the best for you and your business.
Also, another tip, try and see which times are most interactive with your audience. Is it 9 am, 4 pm, or 10 pm? Is it Monday – Friday, Weekends? When does your audience use Facebook?
Buffer – Social Media Management Software
Please note: There have been issues in the past using 3rd party apps to schedule Facebook posts, claiming that Facebook will reduce your organic reach and engagement of your posts. However, from experience, this will not happen if you create engaging content for your audience. For this matter, keep this in mind, and if you find that a 3rd party scheduling software is limiting your performance, consider changing to using a more manual method – a social media calendar.
7. Social Listening and Social Commenting
Don’t wait for your audience to reach out to you. Social media is a two-way street, so it’s absolutely okay to reach out to your consumers and introduce yourself like introducing yourself to a new friend.
Also, join in groups and communities on Facebook that would be interested in your offering. For example, if you sell sports shoes, join sports communities that would need your product. By asking what your consumers’ common interests and hobbies are, you’d be able to fit yourself in tight-knit communities who’d be interested in your business.
There are many social listening softwares that can keep you notified of when customers mentions you in their conversations. By notifying you, these social listening softwares will allow you to be aware of your customer’s conversations, so you’ll be able to converse with them immediately. Some softwares we recommend for social listening is Hootsuite and Algorapulse.
8. Use Facebook Ads
While the steps 4-7 are all organic, to branch out to an even bigger audience, paid advertising may just help. Consider investing in Facebook Ads. What’s great about Facebook ads is that you can be flexible with audience targeting and from our experience is a cost-effective way of advertising. Whether you want to target by demographic; age, income, gender, income etc. or by location, and even by interests and hobbies, you can determine your audience reach by budgeting how much you want to spend on your Facebook ads.
When creating Facebook ads, here’s my 2 cents (3 tips). Tip 1. Always use a compelling headline that will instantly gravitate your readers. Tip 2. Always use a captivating image or video that will instantly get your audience glued to their screen, and tip 3. Always Always Always link to a landing page on your website, because that’ll drive them directly to the finish line-ish only if you have an awesome/strategically perfect website! (If you don’t have one, or you don’t know what is considered “strategically perfect”, that’s okay. Speak to our Digital Specialists today, and we can get everything fixed for you)
Equip – Facebook Ad
9. Track and Analyse Your Facebook Performance
Okay. Last step which ties everything together – tracking and analysing, which is super important for continuous improvement. Without tracking and analysing your performance, how else would you know if your posts are converting, driving or even working! With Facebook Ad Manager, it’s great! It gives you a holistic view of all your Facebook post-performance all in one dedicated place. You can see how your ads are performing, you’ll gain insights for your future campaigns, you’ll also be able to see a summary for how all your campaigns are performing and understand your viewers’ demographic information too! All this can help you better improve your Facebook activity, to generate more leads, more customers and become more successful.
Engaging on Facebook may seem difficult to achieve success however when you master the Facebook strategy with these 9 steps, you’d be able to engage powerfully with your audience. Hope these 9 holy grail steps of the Advanced Facebook Strategy gives you a clear understanding of what you should do to become successful in your digital strategy for 2019.
If you would like to have your marketing strategy aligned with your business’ objectives and goals, talk to one of our Digital Strategists at Netstripes here. Our digital marketing experts with years of marketing experience will be able to advise and propose a digital marketing solution with supportive inbound strategies (including website development) and affordable outbound strategies (like retargeting ads). Find out which marketing strategy is suitable for your business!
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