Facebook Marketing: The Complete Guide
Why should your business get into Facebook marketing? For starters, it is the largest social network in the world with an astronomical figure of 2 billion users. In the U.S. and Canada alone, 183 million people use Facebook every day . In comparison, 80 million more than the 103 million viewers who watched the Super Bowl in 2018.
The good news is that you don’t need a Super Bowl-worthy budget to participate. Your main tactic is to share valuable content to connect with your fans and prospects.
Step 1. Define your target audience
How old are they ? Where do they live ? What kinds of jobs do they have? What are their difficulties and their sensitive points? When and how do they use Facebook?
You should also learn how to use Facebook demographics . Once you have identified who are the users of the platform, and among them your target customers , you can take a look at the Facebook Audience Insights tool . This allows you to know everything about your potential customers: age, sex, level of education, romantic situation, location, language, use of Facebook and even past purchases. (For more information, see our full tutorial on Facebook analytics .)
It can be tempting to focus on flattering indicators , such as just collecting as many likes as possible. However, unless these likes are part of a larger Facebook marketing plan, they will not add value.
Step 2. Set Goals for Your Facebook Marketing Plan
Goals vary from company to company, but they all need to involve actions that will have a real impact on your bottom line, such as generating leads, boosting conversions on your website, or improving customer service. These are broad categories of objectives. However, it is important that your objectives are clearly more precise and measurable than that. In this regard, we invite you to use the method of defining SMART objectives .
All of your activities on Facebook, that is to say each publication, each comment, each advertisement, must contribute to the achievement of your objectives. To stay the course, it makes sense to sum up the heart of your strategy by clearly defining your brand’s mission on Facebook . This will help you to convey a consistent brand image.
Step 3. Think about your content mix for your Facebook marketing plan
Once your goals are defined, you need to develop a plan to achieve them. And that means determining the right mix of content. We recommend that you start with either the 80-20 rule or the third party rule for social media.
If you follow the 80-20 rule, 80% of your Facebook posts will be for information, education and entertainment, and the remaining 20% will promote your brand. Remember that Facebook is primarily about building relationships and that self-promotion is not the best way to do this. That said, if you offer enough value to your audience, they will be more likely to consult the 20% more marketing-oriented publications to learn about your products and services.
The third party rule for social media also calls for a good balance between valuable content and promotional messages. One third of your content should be devoted to sharing ideas and stories, another third to personal interactions with your subscribers and the last third to promoting your business.
Either way, the goal is to provide more value than advertising to keep your fans interested. Be aware that the Facebook algorithm is programmed to penalize brands that do excessive marketing.
Facebook wants its users’ news feeds to be filled with content that they will like and want to share. As a marketer, you should wish the same. Likes and shares help extend your reach and promote your brand.
The final phase of your plan is to determine when and how often you should publish. Even if the algorithm does not display posts in chronological order , it is best to post when your audience is most active on the network to maximize your chances of appearing prominently in the news feeds.
You will probably need several tries before finding the right formula (using the interaction data gleaned from the Statistics tool ). However, studies show that the best time to publish is usually Thursday or Friday between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., which gives you a good place to start. As it is important to publish regularly, create a content calendar . This will make it easier for you to balance your content mix and respect your publication frequency.
Bonus : Download our free guide to discover how to increase engagement on social media through better knowledge of your audience, more effective targeting and the simplicity of social media management offered by Hootsuite.
Step 4. Create a professional Facebook page
Once your audience, objectives and content strategy are well defined, it’s time to create a Facebook Page .
As Facebook says, your business profile is ” the cornerstone of [your] online identity .” This is where you post content and interact with your subscribers. What’s more, creating a Facebook Page and posting content is completely free, which is great news for those on a budget.
How large can the popularity of a Facebook page be? Coca-Cola is one of the most followed brands, with currently more than 105 million subscribers.