Social media has become an increasingly large part of life for modern society, but creating a social media plan that works for businesses can be daunting. With so many different platforms to choose from, how do you know where to allocate your focus, time, and funds?
According to Victoria Miville, the president of Open House Public Relations, an effective Facebook marketing strategy is vital for any organization wanting results from their social media plan.
Considering 93 percent of businesses are active on Facebook and 200 million of those businesses use the free apps and tools provided by the platform, it’s pretty clear that you run the risk of being left in the dust if you ignore this important marketing feature.
Is Facebook the right platform for your social media plan?
Before developing a presence on any social media platform, Miville recommends evaluating your brand's needs to determine if the space is right for your brand and overall social media plan.
Is the average user profile aligned with the brand’s target audience? Your brand shouldn't be either if your target audience isn’t there.
When it comes to who is on Facebook, most age demographics still use the platform today. The largest age-based population is the 30 to 49-year-olds, with 77 percent having personal Facebook profiles. The smallest percentage of an age group is for those over 65, but even then, over half of that age group is still using the platform.
However, if you were trying to appeal to those over age 65, you probably wouldn’t use TikTok as your pain platform, since only 4 percent of U.S. adults that generation is using the app. This is why assessing target demographics is so necessary.
Other aspects you need to consider include if your competitors are on the social media platform you’re thinking about joining and then taking a deep look at what they’re doing in that same space.
Also, evaluate what kind of content does best on specific platforms. Are written posts the main way to drive engagement or posts with photos? What does the social media platform’s top-performing content look like and is there enough capacity and resources for your brand to produce similar content?
“Sorry, but you can’t be on a video sharing site if you don’t have the budget or ability to produce videos,” Miville said.
Another item that must be considered is how to handle the overall audience engagement. While engagement is the goal, if you can’t handle the influx of comments, DMs, or other interactions, you need to evaluate what you can handle. A successful brand can engage with its audience quickly and effectively. Do you need to hire more people to do that? Who will be in charge of monitoring engagement? Putting together a social media plan specific to audience engagement is vital.
Of course, another critical aspect Miville encourages a brand to be prepared for is paid social ads. This budget item should not be overlooked as it can add up quickly—especially when not monitored properly.
“Facebook continues to adjust the algorithm making advertising a near requirement for brand pages. This is an essential component to understand because the current algorithm means that most organic brand content receives minimal visibility—even among page followers,” Miville said. “Facebook ads can be used to increase visibility, increase engagement, drive website traffic, and increase followers. Without ads, brands may end up simply spinning their wheels producing content that is never seen.”
Why is Facebook marketing strategy so important?
The main reason brands may want to seriously consider focusing on a Facebook marketing strategy for their social media plan is because it continues to prove it can stand the test of time.
“Facebook continues to withstand the rapidly changing landscape of social media,” Miville said. “Even as new ‘it’ platforms pop up, Facebook continues to hold the highest counts of active users worldwide.”
It has all the popular social media components
One of Facebook’s strengths is its ability to keep an eye on what is working for other social media platforms and mimic it successfully on their own site. For example, since its inception, Facebook has evolved from simply connecting college students to now incorporating these popular components from other sites:
- Live videos
- Event promotions
Regardless of who your audience may be, you’ll be able to reach them—not just because Facebook statistically has the majority of a wide span of demographics, but because you can tailor your content to reach them.
Older customers enjoy reviews while the younger group prefers viewing stories and even promotions? Doesn’t matter. You can do it all in one spot with an effective Facebook marketing strategy.
“Whether the goal is to drive traffic to a website, sell products or services directly, or build a 1:1 connection with their audience, Facebook provides a space to do it, and the tools necessary to support content creation using the built-in Creator Studio,” Miville said.
It does wonders for SEO
According to Miville, a top-notch Facebook marketing strategy does more than just build community on the platform. She said it could be an essential pillar in building brand equity and supporting overall marketing ROI.
Facebook’s ability to share linked content makes it a strong option for growing website traffic and building SEO value. Some Facebook images are displayed in Google image searches, increasing brand visibility.
Plus, Google business profiles can display Facebook reviews on their Google listing to build brand reputation. This means that even if a target customer does not see your brand on the Facebook platform directly, there’s often a chance that Facebook played an important supporting role in their discovery of your business.
All these added features built into Facebook ultimately boost your brand’s overall SEO without you having to do much extra work on your end.
What’s the next step in creating a Facebook marketing strategy?
If you’ve decided that Facebook is indeed where you want to allocate your time and resources for your social media plan, there are some important steps you should take:
Create a content calendar
Miville recommends starting with a high-level annual calendar that can highlight important days for your brand:
- Monthly themes
- Industry-focused events
- Media trends sourced from editorial calendars
- Projected company insights such as a new product launch
Make your brainstorming and planning sessions constructive and use those points as inspiration to launch your content creation. It not only gives you direction, but it can help you build your content calendar ahead of time, so you’re not scrambling to post something to boost your presence.
Test what kind of content does best with your audience
Not all posts are created equal. While it’s easier to write a witty post rather than curate an infographic or produce a short 30-second video, is it catchy enough to pique interest?
Miville recommended testing out a variety of options to see what does best. Things to consider include lifestyle photography, infographics, videos, live streams, interactive stories, etc.
“Social media is all about quick scrolling, so people usually need to see the same message more than once before they decide to engage with it,” Miville said.
Pay attention to building your following
You could churn out all the amazing content in the world to post on Facebook, but it doesn’t make a difference unless people see it. For new brands, building a follower base can seem daunting. And it’s true—this is one of the biggest hurdles in the beginning. But if you plan your Facebook marketing strategy well, you’ll be enjoying a community of followers in no time.
Here are Miville’s tips for starting from scratch when it comes to building a following:
- Pay for ads. Ads play a big role in getting started, but leveraging your other established audiences can also help.
- Promote everywhere. Let anyone who interacts with your business know that you’re on Facebook. Mention it on the brand website, in email newsletters, on product packaging, and around physical locations.
- Use incentives. Never underestimate the power of a good giveaway. If there’s a chance to gain something by “liking” or interacting with your Facebook page, people will come.
- Leverage internal audiences. If employees are willing, they can often help get the ball rolling by liking the page themselves and sharing content with their own personal Facebook friends. A simple “like” boosts engagement, so if employees invested in your brand are willing, every like and interaction really can help boost your pages’ visibility.
“Though participation will be at-will, marketing, sales, and customer service teams are often strong resources,” Miville said. “Establishing a guidebook of approved protocol and ensuring these employees turned brand advocates have a solid understanding of Facebook, and your business goals are key to gaining success.”
Make sure to use every resource
Whether you decide that you should allocate resources to a Facebook marketing strategy for your social media plan or decide to shift your focus elsewhere, it’s important to use the tools available for you.
Press Hook is an amazing resource for brands wanting to boost their earned media opportunities. Contact us today to learn how we can help guide your marketing strategy.