Here is a fact to think about: The number one computer-related activity that people in the US do daily is SOCIAL MEDIA. It tops checking email, file sharing and gaming.
What does this mean for your business? It simply means that now is the perfect time to plan your Facebook marketing strategy for the coming year! As a year-end post, I have created a checklist for you to help organize social media activity and welcome 2015.
PLAN OUT A CAMPAIGN THAT INSPIRES PEOPLE
If you want to achieve a greater response from your fans and new fans, think of a general campaign message that inspire people on a broad level.
THINK OF YOUR AUDIENCE
What kind of posts get the most engagement? If you’re not checking your Facebook insights to understand this- start there. Insights will allow you to review your most successful posts for the past year. You can repurpose the good content and recycle, or spin-off and develop a new strategy.
USE COMPELLING IMAGES TO TELL STORIES ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
A picture says a 1000 words. Images are powerful tools, use them to give your audience a visual of your mission or to showcase your customers and employees.
LAY OUT CONTENT TO TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
A good content marketing plan is supposed to be a journey of learning. Valuable information is what keeps your followers sticking around and coming back to your page. Plan out a series of topics about your business that will help people. Provide value and you’ll have a customer for life.
SIMPLE IS THE WAY TO DO IT
People in general have short attention spans… So it’s better to write short, meaningful words, blog posts and status updates. Use shorten URLs with bit.ly or another link shortening tool and avoid hidden messages.
Design great cover photos, especially for the occasion. Update your page with a great cover photo to start the New Year right.
USE ALL OTHER TYPES OF CONTENT
Aside from images, there are all kinds of content you can leverage for your Facebook page. Videos are the #1 most engaging type of content – use them for client testimonials and to showcase How-To videos of your products. You can also share links to other types of content that your fans and audience might like.
COMPLETE ALL FIELDS IF YOUR PAGE – ESPECIALLY THE ABOUT SECTION
If you created your Facebook page years ago, go back and make sure your profile is up to date. You’ll want to make sure that ALL of the fields are completed. This will make it easier for your audience to find you on Facebook and when doing Google searches. If you have a physical store, make sure to include your business address so a map can be generated on your About Page.
Hint: Use the Additional links field to take people to a specific page on your website.
CREATE AND SHARE POSTS THAT EDUCATE, ENTERTAIN AND EMPOWER YOUR FANS
Those are the most basic characteristics of a valuable post. If you are able to give your readers the content they want from your niche, then there will be no reason to hide you from their Newsfeed or unfollow your page as time goes on.
WRITE CRAFTY HEADLINES
Headlines like ad headlines, blog post titles, image text descriptions and video titles should serve one purpose: to catch the attention of your fans. Fans have so much noise in their newsfeed and with the new Facebook algorithm updates coming in 2015, you’ll want to create a headline that is going to STAND OUT!
ASK YOUR AUDIENCE
To maximize engagement, ask your fans to share their opinions. Allow polls which will encourage people to choose their own answer. You can also ask a question in your status updates that encourage people to answer – therefore, increasing engagement on your page.
Posting something humorous from time to time breaks up the monotony of just posting information about your business and your products and services. Get silly and post something that shows your personal side.
TIME AND FREQUENCY ARE ESSENTIAL
With Facebook Insights, you can check which times your audience are more likely to be online. And since Facebook posts have a short life span, (about 75% of post engagement happens for the first 5 hours upon posting) there are two essentials in posting: posting at the right time and regularly.
BE A TARGETING MASTER
Make sure you utilize the Ads Manager where you can get even more laser focused on choosing the best audience for your business. You can also click Boost Post and while this has some efficient qualities, you lose some of the targeting capabilities you have when you create an ad in the Ads Manager or Power Editor.
Hint: Start targeting people who like competitor pages. You can also upload an email list and create lookalike audiences. Once you are comfortable with creating audience groups, you can save it as a custom audience.
WIELD THE THE POWER OF POWER EDITOR
If you want to understand Facebook Ads like a pro, then make sure you set aside an hour or two to learn more about using the Power Editor, a Chrome-plugin to help you make ads like a true Facebook marketing master. This is for a more advanced user and has more capabilities that the Ads Manager portal.
Avoid wasted leads! Target visitors who visited your website, but left without signing-up or completing a sale. These people are already interested in your offer, so you can always include them as a custom target and remarket new offers.
BUILD A LIST
Yes, the success of a Facebook page can be measured with page likes and engagement; but the real deal with building a Facebook page is to generate leads that will turn to real sales. Make sure you are capturing email addresses from those that interact with your page. You can do this by using Facebook App software tools such as 22Social.
OFFER THE RIGHT FREEBIE
To get your ideal leads, you must have the right offer. Study your market well and think of a specific digital tool you can create that fans can’t resist. Think about creating a free e-book, a digital guide or a video series that not only helps fans, but promotes your brand.
SETUP AN AUTORESPONDER SERIES
Once you have captured the email addresses of those that have downloaded the freebie, follow up with an autoresponder email series to introduce them to you and your business. These pre-scheduled messages aim to build rapport, boost credibility and introduce your products or services.
CREATE MULTIPLE FACEBOOK GROUPS
Group pages are highly-recommended for building stronger relationships with followers. You can build several groups for your email list, hot leads, coaching groups and business partners.
When you work with premium members, a private Facebook group provides a more “at home” feel with you and your program. Whereas email subscribers will benefit more with public groups in which members can invite other friends to join. With Facebook groups you maintain a closer relationship with customers.
NETWORK YOUR WAY WITH OTHER GROUPS
Join groups to widen your presence and follow other brands related to your business.
Post, comment and reply as you would personally. Keep your mind open to what people are saying as their feedback or criticism are as valuable as a praise. Put a person behind your company and make people connect with you. Be a human.
BE POLITE AND HONEST
As any company would do, always practice social media etiquette. Be polite and respond to positive AND negative comments/posts.
SPLIT-TEST YOUR ADS
Run several ads for a certain time and pause the ones that are not performing well, while letting the more successful ones continue. Switch out new copy and images for ads that are not performing well. Still not performing? Make sure you are testing different audiences and that your creative speaks directly to that specific audience!
Check out Insights
People tend to shy away from the data. I get it…most people hate numbers. But without this knowledge, your page isn’t ever going to perform at it’s optimal level.
Get in there and get educated on which posts are performing best. Understand your demographics so you can create posts and ads that are targeted. Check out what time of day your fans are online and adjust your posting schedule.
OBSERVE YOUR COMPETITION
You can learn a lot from your competition. One easy way is to watch competitor pages using Pages to Watch. You can add up to 100 pages at a time so you can observe how they grow their page likes, engagement and strategies. You can discover what post content, post types and times work.
Another trick is to add them to your interest list. You will need to like their pages first then click the options down-arrow to add them to your interest list.
I sure hope this list helps you get smarter about the way you are using Facebook to market your business and wish you luck for you and your business in the new year.
Happy New Year to you and wishing your business prosperity in 2015!