Facebook Marketing 101: Where Do You Begin?
For all the bad press Facebook has gotten recently in regards to fake news, Russia, and the removal of advertising options, Facebook marketing is still one of the first things you need to consider when starting your social media strategy. Why?
- 79% of American adult internet users are using Facebook (Pew Research Center)
- 76% of Facebook users log in daily (Pew Research Center)
- As of July 2016, there were over 2 billion searches per day on Facebook (TechCrunch)
- For my local readers – approximately 68,000 people in Bulloch County alone, ages 18+ on Facebook (which also translates into approximately 51,680 Bulloch County residents logging in each day to Facebook).
Of course, you do not need statistics to tell you why Facebook marketing is important for your business. Simply ask people how they stay in touch with people and how they find out what’s going on. I guarantee that more than half of your answers will be ‘Facebook’.
That being said, I’ve put together two short primers on Facebook Marketing 101, which originated from a Facebook Marketing class I taught at and for my local Chamber of Commerce. I’ll be sharing these two posts over the next several weeks here on the Southern C blog. First, let’s start with the why, who, what, how and when.
If you are going to use Facebook (and you should), start with your ‘why’.
Ask yourself – why are you using Facebook in the first place? Like anything you do on social media, everything you do on Facebook should come from your “why” and every goal you set should help you achieve it. So if your actions to not attribute back to your “why”, start over.
If you are using Facebook, who are you going to target?
When thinking about who you are targeting, think about your “why” from above and then ask yourself these three questions:
- Why are you targeting them?
- Will targeting this group help you reach your goal in using Facebook?
- Is this group someone you want to actually spend money with you? (Remember, not everyone is your client/customer.)
Like I mentioned above, if these groups do not help you achieve the goal of your ‘why’ statement, start your targeting over.
Now that you’re ready to tackle Facebook marketing, what do you post?
First, they found that people on Facebook want and value meaningful, informative stories.
- In their algorithm, Facebook looks at a user’s personal signals, such as “how close someone is to the person or page posting, stories they’d want to talk to their friends and family about, spend time reading, and videos they’d spend time watching.” Also taken into account is the post’s overall engagement. Think about your target audience – their likes, interests, etc. – and craft your content strategy around that.
- People value content that is informative. Think about what you take time to read or share, or even comment on. It is content you find meaningful and informative. You should put yourself in the your audience’s shoes and post the type of content they will spend time on, much like you would.
- Tip: Watch out for promotional messaging. 46% of Facebook users will unfollow a brand on social for posting too many promotional messages (Sprout Social). A good ratio to keep is 80% educational to 20% promotional. For every self-promotional messages you put out, you need 8 that are not. You can share articles relating to your industry, tips, behind the scenes of your business, etc. However, do NOT publish sales pitch after sales pitch.
Second, Facebook found that people on Facebook value accurate, authentic content. Facebook users have told Facebook that authentic stories are the ones that resonate with them the most, so Facebook ranks those types of posts higher in the News Feed. Some tips from Facebook include:
- Clear headlines: do not mislead the person viewing the headline.
- Spam: “do not deliberately try and game the News Feed to get more distribution.”
- Accurate Information: make sure what you are posting is true.
- Tip: Create your own graphics and if you do not, know where you are getting them from. Make sure any graphics you use are on-brand and most importantly, make sure you own the rights to them! You can create your own at Canva (a personal favorite!) or download free graphics at Pixabay, UnSplash, or Pexels.
How should you post?
Options for posting–the six main post types on Facebook.
- Status: simple updates, these are seen more commonly from your friends than pages.
- Links: Trick: Post the status you want, then the link, remove the link preview altogether and add a picture to the post. This will get more reach than simply inserting a link and having the link preview on. Keep in mind, you can no longer edit the link preview!
- Photos and Photo Albums
- Products: If you have a Facebook Store, you can add products into your posts.
- Take action: Sign Up, Get Messages. CTA posts to encourage your fan to take action immediately, but make sure to use sparingly.
Audience Interactions: It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.
Your Facebook presence is the digital extension of your brand. What is your online voice? When establishing your voice – are you fun or serious? Sarcastic or punny? Are there common phrases your business uses? Take all of this into consideration.
- Be friendly and helpful in your posts, not snarky and sarcastic. Emotional connections drive Facebook shares. The science behind a viral post rests on our knee-jerk emotional reactions to it. So, the more extreme our emotional reaction to it, the more likely you’ll share it. In psychologist Robert Plutchik’s wheel of emotions concept, he identified the emotions that drive our sharing behavior. The inner circle denotes the eight emotions to think about when creating content.
- Make sure to respond. People want you to respond to them. 68% of consumers want brands to participate in conversations they’re mentioned in, and 83% want brands to respond to them (Sprout Social). However, the percentage of posts that go unresponded are 86%.
When should you post?
Your post frequency depends on your business – it’s not a one size fits all, so be weary of every “Best Time to Post” article you read online. My recommendation is to post a minimum 3-5 times per week and no more than twice per day, unless you’re at an event. To find out the best times for your business, look at your Facebook Insights to see when your fans are online and schedule/post around those peak times. (see example below).
Now that we’ve covered your targeting and what to post, you’re on your way to getting your Facebook Marketing off the ground, or if you’re already going, on the right path. Our next post will cover advertising and analytics, so stay tuned!
Did I leave anything out? If you have questions about your Facebook marketing strategy, contact me or comment below!