Developing a Facebook strategy with clear objectives in the beginning is fundamental to a successful presence. Identifying your plan of action plays a key role in the success of your efforts from knowing how to tailor your content and posting schedule to maximise effectiveness, how to ensure you provide value to your customers right through to helping you to accurately know how which are the most appropriate metrics to track efficiently. Developing a clear and concise strategy needn’t be a daunting task however, simply ensure you are clear on the answers to the following questions.
DETERMINE YOUR FACEBOOK BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
One of the first things you must do is determine what you want your Facebook Page to achieve for your business. Whether you want to use it to drive more traffic to your website, promote your events or use it as an outlet to build your brand by engaging your community, having clear objectives for your page helps optimise its reach and impact and is crucial as you later come to measure your success. So ensure you have clearly defined objectives that are realistic and achievable for your business.
Common Facebook Marketing Objectives
- Increase Brand Exposure and Awareness
- Create a Loyal and Engaged Community
- Generate Leads
- Generate Sales
DEFINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE, ARE THEY USING FACEBOOK?
In addition to determining your objectives, having a clear idea of your target readers and if they are themselves using Facebook is key. If you do find your target audience is active on Facebook then you can tailor your posts effectively around content that maximises interest and engagement from your readers. It is also important to consider how your demographic behaves on social media whether they are people who actively comment or can be described as lurkers, as posts can then be tailored accordingly in order to maximise your potential for impact and engagement.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Conducting research before you start using Facebook for business is fundamental to a successful presence. Your Facebook research should include these several key areas;
- Identify your Target Audience -You will need to know important factors such as where they spend their time online, how they like to digest content and other general demographics.
- Research your Competition -Find out what is and isn’t working for your competition on Facebook, find out what they do well and what they don’t and then apply it to your own strategy.
- Understand the Latest Techniques -Make sure you are aware of the latest updates, tends and techniques on Facebook so that you can keep your page up to date, competitive and effective.
- Case Studies -Compile examples of businesses that are similar to you and have thriving Facebook pages, look what they do well, what their audience respond well to and other important factors that you can apply to your own efforts.
- Facebook’s Future News, Updates and Projections -Ensure you track Facebook’s trends and updates as they regularly change so you need to keep your business up to date and effective.
WHO IS GOING TO MANAGE YOUR PAGE?
Whether you yourself are going to maintain your page or you are considering hiring an external consultant or agency, you need to clearly establish the person/people who will be running your page and ensure that they are equipped with the right knowledge and experience to know how to effectively maintain and run a page that is representative of your business and will become a valuable asset to your marketing efforts.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PROMOTE YOUR PAGE?
You need to consider how you are going to promote your page and build awareness of your page which involves you having to utilise all your relevant assets that you have available. Everything from your website, e-newsletter, corporate literature, blog, word of mouth to signage and business cards present an opportunity for you to advertise and promote your page. So be clear on what tools and assets you are going to use to help successfully drive traffic to your page. Part of this process is to also consider how each post is going to fit in with and enhance your other marketing efforts. Consider questions such as how am I going to use my other platforms to promote my posts when they are published? And how can each post supplement this week’s promotional strategy?
HAVE YOU GOT A CLEAR CONTENT STRATEGY? HOW OFTEN WILL YOU POST?
Deciding on what major content categories you want to include regularly helps you to stay focused and maintains a clear direction for your posts to go in order to ensure your content is in line with your business goals and is targeting reader’s needs. Part of this process is also to determine how often you will post on your page as having a clear schedule of when you will be posting is paramount in order to ensure it is in line with your wider social media strategy. Creating content that people will interact with takes some thought and scheduling. Your first priority should always be to create content that your audience is interested in so look to experiment to find out the most effective content strategy and share a variety of different types of posts, at different times during the day and in different quantities as through this initial experimentation you will find out valuable information that will guide your future strategy from what content resonates best with your audience, to the times they are most active on Facebook.
WHAT IS THE CORPORATE CHARACTER OF YOUR PAGE?
Defining the corporate character of your page has a crucial part to play in how successful your Facebook strategy will be as it is here that you will outline and determine how you are going to present yourself to your audience. This consideration involves establishing a clear vision of every aspect of your page from what your brand values are and how you will get them across, what tone of voice you will present, how you will apply your branding to the creative aspects of your page to the type of messages that you will be sharing.
- Develop Your Facebook Voice -it is important to have an idea of what voice you want for your page that can be consistently applied across all your posts, especially if your business page is going to be managed by several different contributors. Put simply, avoid generic corporate speak and replace it with your own unique voice and customers will be more drawn to and engage with your page.
- Outline Creative Elements -Consistency should also be applied to the creative aspects of your Facebook page that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration of your branding into your page it ensures that all these factors support and are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message and brand across all social media platforms.
An important thing to remember is that as you become a regular participant on Facebook, you will find unique ways in which it can be used to the best advantage for your business so your strategy will develop and change with time. The important thing is to learn by doing.