A great Facebook marketing strategy is where you start if you want to harness the power of the platform.
If mastered well, Facebook can build you an amazing bridge with your audience.
Now the question is, how do you do that?
Do you focus on growing a Facebook Page, knowing how low the organic reach is?
Should you choose to focus on the Ads platform and direct marketing?
Do you use Facebook Groups and leverage communities?
Facebook is a wide and sophisticated platform.
Even though your audience is quite literally a few clicks within reach, I have seen too many companies waste their potential on the platform.
We have put together for you this 9-steps checklist for your Facebook Marketing Strategy.
You should go through it before starting to invest money, time, effort into Facebook.
1. Start by Setting Clear Objectives
3 Main Objectives
Overall, there are 3 main goals you can aim for with Facebook Marketing.
1) Brand Awareness (objective: notoriety),
2) Nurturing a relationship with customers or prospects already aware of your brand (objective: building a community),
3) Converting a lead by asking for the sale (objective: selling).
Pretty classic funnel progression right? I will get back to the funnel idea later.
If you are clear about what objective you need to reach you already have a headstart.
Most companies do not even make that effort.
Now, what if you are unsure about the objective you should set?
First of all, you can set multiple objectives for your Facebook marketing.
Do not limit yourself to choosing one.
There are 3 general rules of thumb though:
– If you are just starting out on Facebook marketing, try to keep it simple and set one objective.
– If you are just starting out as a company and brand, I would give you the same advice. Keep it simple and focus on one objective.
– If you have a tight budget… Well, set realistic goals! There is only so much you can do.
Setting Metrics for Facebook Marketing Strategy
Once you have chosen your objective(s). Set a metric to evaluate and measure your progress towards that objective.
– Usually, for brand awareness, you can track your publications reach (impressions on posts) or the size of your community (likes for pages and group members for groups).
– For nurturing, you can choose to track the engagement on your posts (click-through rate, comments, sharing, etc..)
– And the selling well…That’s pretty obvious, you look at the total sales attributed to Facebook traffic. (You will have to set up your Google Analytics to track this!)
2. Know Your Audience
Everything Starts From Your Audience
Who are you addressing?
Your audience is the heart of it all.
It is where your attention should be. Who am I addressing? Why should they listen to me? How can I solve their problem?
If you start asking these questions you will get very deep into marketing strategy, very fast.
I am talking here about marketing strategy because that’s where you should start.
You cannot start marketing on Facebook if you do not know exactly who you want to market to as a company!
Facebook is just an intermediary. It should only be a part of your overall marketing strategy. It will only put you in a relationship with an audience.
However, if you are not sure:
1- Who you are supposed to talk to.
2- Why your offer will be compelling.
Well…You are throwing your time and ad dollars away! 😊
I can recommend a great marketing strategy book, written by your humble servant. [I know… shameless plug, but I can’t stress enough how important this phase is].
There are MANY facebook criteria you can choose from to target your audience.
And choosing which ones you will be using starts, [you guessed…] by knowing your audience.
And here is an additional tip:
Once you researched as much info as you can on your target segment, try to think about the moment they experience the problem you are trying to solve for them.
Where do these moments happen and when?
Here is an example of how you should proceed below.
Example of Leveraging the Knowledge of your Audience
Let’s take a quick example.
Let’s imagine you are a niche vegan soap brand 🌱. You are not widely distributed like other mainstream brands however you know that your clients can hardly find vegan soap. You created an option for them that does not exist in the average supermarket. And you know for a fact because you spent time with them, and understood how they think, that they are really displeased when they shop (online or offline) and can’t find any vegan option on the shelf.
What you can do in this instance is divide your market into cities. Figure out in which neighborhoods most vegans live and shop. Also figure out how they usually shop for soap (online – offline?).
After conducting your reseach, here is what you have realized:
– Most vegans live in specific neighborhoods you have identified;
– 60% purchase their soap online, 40% offline;
– Most of them do their shopping on weekends.
With this knowledge you can use a wonderful tool called Facebook Ads.
You will be able to target your audience based on specific addresses in a specific city at a specific time. And you can also choose the interests of the audience on top of that.
In your targeting, choose people interested in veganism.
Target specific neighborhoods (where they live) and the addresses of the supermarkets (where 40% of them shop).
Choose to campaign only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday so you know that for most of them “buying soap” is top of mind then.
Note: If you are pursuing different segments of customers, you need to, of course, do this research for every segment.
You can leverage Facebook Audience Insights if you want to gain more information about your target audience. It is very well explained in this guide here.
3. Building Your Funnel
We talked about the objectives and the audience. Now let’s talk about the overall framework: the funnel.
You have probably already thought about your overall marketing funnel, as a company.
But if you really want to invest time, money and effort into Facebook, you should also think about a dedicated Facebook funnel.
And it’s not necessarily the same as the overall marketing funnel you have defined for your business.
Your funnel should be based on the objectives you chose earlier and your audience of course.
If you have multiple objectives and multiple audiences, it might be a good idea to have different funnels.
Each funnel will come with its own campaign and ad sets.
The purpose of the funnel is to plan a path for your prospects and also make your life easier as a marketer. Let’s imagine you start with a brand awareness objective. What happens after your prospects become aware of your brand? You need to plan for this. What kind of ads will you show them? Will you retarget them after they visited your asset?
Let’s take the vegan soap example again.
Let’s imagine you have a brand awareness objective.
You want people to know about your soap.
You decide to craft a carousel ad.
In this ad, you will be displaying the many benefits of using vegan soap and your soap in particular.
The ad links to your fan page on Facebook.
Best case scenario, people engage with the ad and visit your fan page.
What happens next?
What do you do this traffic?
That’s the whole point of designing your funnel beforehand.
Obviously you will try to keep a point of contact such as an email subscription, following the page or joining a group…
And then what happens when you got that point of contact?
Obviously you have other channels such as email marketing that will take the lead, but what do you do on Facebook?
Should you retarget that prospect with a different ad set for example? Probably, yes.
You know you shouldn’t be showing the same carousel ad to a prospect who’s already passed this stage.
You need to make sure you are following up with an appropriate message!
This is why you need a specific Facebook funnel even for a basic campaign.
This will help you preserve your ad dollars, resources and increase your impact.
This is when things start to get fun! I love this part.
Copywriting is a great tool to express your brand. Visuals are great too, but marketers tend to overlook copywriting and focus on visuals when they should probably be doing the opposite.
Words are what ultimately compel your audience to act.
Whether we are talking about Facebook Ads, Facebook Groups or managing your Facebook Fan Page, how you write and what you write about are fundamental aspects of your Facebook marketing strategy. Even when you are just doing content curation!
There are 3 essential components to a great Facebook copy:
1) The headline,
2) the body and,
3) the call to action.
The headline is the hook.
I will mainly talk about the headline here, as I feel like lost marketers are not giving it the attention is needs.
The headline is what grabs your audience’s attention.
It does not necessarily need to give valuable information, talk about your product, or the pain or anything for that matter.
The headline just needs to hook.
It has to be overwhelmingly captivating.
Try something next time.
Write a headline that feels weird to you when you write it but captivating at the same time.
You have to think: “this is good but… I am not sure about posting this…”. It has to feel like it’s a bit too much…
The format doesn’t matter. It could be a question, a statement,… Just try to make it unique. If it’s unique, it will pop on your user’s feed.
Also, avoid talking about your product, yourself, your company…
Try to keep in mind the Facebook user scrolling down their feed, and in all honesty, ask yourself “would I stop for this headline?”.
In any case, whether it is for the headline, body or call to action build different ad sets with different copies on the same audience and test which copy works best!
5. Content Visuals
Of course, your visuals have to be in line with your objective, audience, funnel, and copy.
This comes only from my experience but I think you should start thinking about visuals when you have at least a first draft of the copy.
The copy comes first. Then you match the visual with the rest.
You find/build visuals for your copy, not the other way around.
I would also advise placing a piece of your branding on all the visuals. Your brand needs to be recognized and seen on any visual.
You are paying for ad space, or you are investing time in a post. It would be a shame to forget to show your logo, your colors, your style…
Even if you are only doing content curation on your fan page, you should always show your brand on the visual.
If you are not using in-house design and you are using a stock photo for example, here is a quick tip for you.
You can build a template on Figma, or Photoshop.
Create a frame with the required size.
On that frame add your logo, maybe a colored layer.
Then you will just have to insert your stock photo to illustrate your content.
You can find great social media visual templates online. Here is one created by Figma for Instagram.
6. A Great Facebook Strategy Is Not Just Facebook Ads
Many marketers build all their Facebook marketing strategy around Facebook Ads.
This platform is no massive and so mature, that it would be a shame to limit your effort to Facebook Ads.
For example, there is a marketing tool often forgotten about called Facebook Groups.
These groups can be very powerful communities.
And if you can harness the power of a Facebook group around your brand, you will have surprisingly effective results.
We all know that Facebook Page’s organic reach has dramatically decreased over the past few years.
This upset a lot of people and with good reason.
When you spend years building an audience on Facebook Pages only to see your reach cut overnight, you have reason to be angry.
However, Facebook Groups are still good investments in terms of organic reach.
Actually, the organic reach of these groups is amazing.
As soon as you join a group, you will see your personal feed filled with posts from that group.
Notifications will also take you back to the group.
Facebook is doing a lot to promote these communities. [Maybe they are trying to make up for the cut in fan pages’ reach?]
Whatever your industry, you should go right now to your Facebook search bar.
Type in a keyword, relevant to your business.
Click the group tab, and look at the list in front of you.
Chances are there will be a group for your industry.
There are more and more groups for everything. However, some of these groups might be a bit overcrowded, or might not be centered around a specific topic enough.
In that case, if you feel like there is some space for a group you could create, create in now.
You can and should, of course, join any group related to your industry and be an active member.
I am not sure how long Facebook will maintain this amazing organic reach for groups, but it is for sure something to explore.
Also, don’t forget about Facebook Events.
If you are launching a meetup or webinar soon, for example, try to create a Facebook Event for it.
Facebook will distribute it organically to other users, so you can enjoy a lot of free visibility this way.
7. The Amazing Facebook Marketing Strategy Formula
Planning Ahead + Evergreen Content = Predictability.
Whether we are talking about Facebook Ads or Facebook Groups management there is one thing you should keep in mind:
Plan ahead! 😊
Planning ahead means taking the time to fill up your content batch in advance, so you never have to improvise.
The content you need to start planning ahead has to be evergreen.
Actually, when possible try to keep all your Facebook strategy evergreen.
Forget about the “boost a publication” option and mentality.
Try to avoid short-term acceleration.
The real opportunity is in well-planned evergreen campaigns.
What I mean by evergreen is that the content and messages you use should be valid over a long period of time.
You can plan it ahead. Set it. And forget it.
This is the only way to make your results predictable.
Evergreen well-planned campaigns mean that you can run all the A/B testing you want.
You can take your time to optimize every step of your Facebook funnel.
Also know that you can even combine an evergreen campaign with a time-limited offer and create urgency.
You can change your ad copy without losing all the interactions associated (likes, comments, sharing).
This means that you can change the end date of the offer to keep your urgency effect.
8. Gathering Information
What is the best place to start building your Facebook marketing strategy?
Whether you are an entrepreneur or an established company, you should dive into Facebook for information about your market.
Interactions and live data.
As an entrepreneur, I need to be close to my prospects.
Prospects who can I interact with.
I need to see the type of content they like. The type of offers they like.
For this, I usually join the Facebook Groups, where my prospects are.
I can observe and interact with a few members. It’s like a 24/7 open live qualitative survey. I learn from it a lot.
Most of these groups are safe spaces for their members.
They can share their problems and talk freely about any topic.
Take this opportunity to look up your topic of interest and read everything about it.
It is a gold mine of information.
Every conversation is indexed so even if you just joined the group, you can access everything that was shared.
Most Facebook groups are easy to join, however, they have strict rules. So never use these groups to try to market your offer out of the blue.
Instead, learn from your prospect and share with them valuable content.
When you need to “go and meet your customers”, well… now you can head to Facebook and immerse yourself in these groups.
Facebook Audience Insight
There is also a great tool to gather info on your market. It’s called Facebook Audience Insight!
This tool allows you to explore Facebook’s audience data.
You can explore for any target segment their specific interests, their shopping habits, their favorite tv shows, their favorite media outlets… All sorts of juicy marketing insights!
This tool is completely free. You just need to own a Facebook business page to access it.
There is an amazing article written by Lucie on Facebook Audience Insight and how to use it. Click here to check it out!
9. Quality over quantity?
The eternal marketing question.
Which is better: a high-quality piece of content that you will publish once a month or multiple average pieces published every day?
In regard to Facebook Page management, a Buzzsumo report mentioned by Buffer says that the top 20,000 Facebook pages post on average 135 times per month, which amounts to over four per day.
Further in the article, you can read that:
“Pages posting 5 times per day received an average of 2,466 engagements per post (a total of 12,330). And pages posting 10 or more times per day received an average of 1,202 engagements per post (a total of 12,020 engagements). In other words, posting 5 times per day appears to be the optimal Facebook posting frequency.”Source
I want to be a bit more nuanced regarding this number and say: “it depends”.
It really depends on what you are trying to achieve and all the criteria we mentioned earlier (objective, audience, …).
My advice would always be to favor quality over quantity for your Facebook marketing strategy.
It is much better to spend 2 months crafting an e-book that you know will bring value to your prospects, than posting average content every day.
That e-book can be used as a lead-magnet and also “chopped-up” in smaller (quality) pieces of content.
It’s better for lead-generation, visibility and overall it has longer longevity as a content asset.
Do not fall into the quantity trap, especially if you do not have the resources to sustain it. [No, you are not GaryVee]
Spitting out average pieces will not build your brand equity.
You might be seen more. Or should I say more “often”? But with very little impact.