Building a Strategic Foundation
While in recent years we've seen the rise of Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter, none of them have surpassed Facebook. The network has had its challenges over the last few years, ranging from lower organic reach, new privacy laws, and changing mobile platform rules, but 93% of businesses still use Facebook and are currently active on it — that's higher than any other social media network.
That doesn't mean it's simpler to use or requires less effort. In fact, growing your organic reach and exceeding your competitors on Facebook actually takes significant detailed planning and testing.
It's why you need to have a dedicated strategy to increase organic reach and engagement, and to outshine your competition. A dedicated strategy is the premise for being successful on Facebook. And because Facebook changes its algorithm regularly, not only do you need to have a strategy, but you need to have a strategy that's clear, specific to your audience, and flexible enough to adjust to the platform's ever-changing algorithm.
Align Facebook goals with your business objectives
The first thing you need to do is align your Facebook goals with your broader business objectives. This is important because you can lose precious time and money by focusing your efforts on tactics that won't help you achieve those goals. Think about where your target market is spending most of their time on social media and how they're using it. This will allow you to then tailor your strategy and content to align with your goals and to align with their needs.
For example, if you have specific revenue goals for a B2C product, you'll likely want to share content that drives users to your website to make a purchase. But if you're a B2B organization that has a long sales cycle, your focus might be on education and delivering content across platforms that helps engage users and keeps your brand on the forefront of their minds.
With business goals in hand, you can then determine how you want to use Facebook. The most common ways businesses use the platform are for:
- Brand awareness
- Customer retention
- Referrals to a website or other marketing efforts
- Community building
- Customer service
- Lead generation
Some companies might use Facebook for all of these, but that's not true for everyone. One size does not fit all and what works for one business might not work for yours. That's why it's important to set a clear strategy.
Next, you’ll need to define your audience and buyer personas. If you aren't familiar with buyer personas, check out HubSpot’s buyer persona tool.
Another key planning component is understanding what actions make the most sense at each of the inbound methodology stages of what we (at HubSpot) refer to as the flywheel.
The first stage: Attract
The attract stage includes content that educates, informs, or entertains. Facts, tips, and how-to’s do well for individuals who are just learning about your company or are looking for a specific solution to their problem. Using your content to entertain them can give them a sense of your company’s culture, voice, and tone, while building trust.
The second stage: Engage
The engage stage includes content that helps people solve their problem(s). Key types of campaigns and content to consider are videos, live interviews, classes and webinars, access to product trials, and most importantly, calls-to-action.
The third stage: Delight
The delight stage includes content that helps, connects, or entertains. This is the stage where you build loyalty and drive retention. Consider giving your followers the ability to ask questions and have them answered. Help them network with others within your organization, with your partners, or with other like-minded customers and prospects. Keeping them engaged is perfect for delighting those that love your company and products.
Understanding these stages will help you determine the right approach for your current followers and future followers you're trying to attract.
Let's hear from Facebook Marketing Consultant, Chantelle Marcelle, on what makes a Facebook strategy successful. Chantelle said:
“My favorite tip when it comes to creating a really successful Facebook strategy is just to always think of your community, your audience first. If you're creating content with them in mind and using that as your North Star, you're going to be more successful than if you're trying to mimic any other brand that's successful on the platform. Being true to your brand and true to your brand values is really important on any platform.”
Additional tips in planning Facebook strategy
There are two more things to think about during the planning stage of your Facebook strategy.
First, determine how your Facebook strategy ties into other marketing efforts. Are there cross-platform and multichannel possibilities for your content and campaigns? Can you incorporate Facebook into your events? Can you use it to share blog posts or drive traffic to landing pages? Make sure to weave your Facebook strategy into your bigger marketing planning. And make sure you keep the individual responsible for Facebook marketing alerted about upcoming campaigns, so everyone is aligned.
Second, you’ll want to measure for success. Facebook delivers statistics to help you understand your audience demographics, to determine the best mix of content and the best times for that content, audience engagement such as clicks, likes, and re-shares, and how many followers you’ve gained or lost that month. You should also determine your KPIs and compare your Facebook results to them.
To summarize, consider the following when developing your Facebook strategy:
- Business goals
- How you plan to use Facebook
- Buyer personas
- The actions for the different stages of your buyer’s flywheel
- How your Facebook efforts tie into your larger marketing strategies
- Which KPIs you want to track for success
Planning these components ahead of time will help when you’re ready to start creating content, developing your engagement strategies, and planning for advertising.
How to Create a Facebook Business Page in Five Simple Steps
Your Facebook Business Page is the control center for everything you’ll do on the platform. Pages look similar to personal profile pages, but they show specific information only applicable to businesses, organizations, and causes. Whereas you connect with a profile by adding them as a friend, you connect with a business Facebook Page by “following” it and becoming a fan.
If you create a personal profile for your business instead of a Page, you run the risk of getting it shut down by Facebook.
Your Facebook Business Page is essentially your company's or organization's "real estate" on Facebook. It constitutes your main Facebook presence and is where you'll post updates, share content from employees and customers, and direct users when linking to your business elsewhere on Facebook. It's also where you'll keep your "About" section and cover image up to date.
Follow these steps to get your Facebook Page set up and pushing content as soon as possible.
1. Create a Page. Head to Facebook from a personal account. On the left-hand menu, choose Pages > Create New Page. This should launch the Page creator within your Facebook interface.
Enter your Page Name and choose up to three categories. Type in a brief description — what your business does, the services you provide, or the purpose of the Page in under 255 characters. You should see this information populate on the right side of the Page creator.
Click Create Page once finished.
Note: Carefully select your name. Although Facebook allows you to change your name and URL once, it requires approval and can delay your marketing efforts.
2. Add images
Clicking Create Page shouldn't move you off the Page creator. You'll see two more prompts added to the left-hand menu to add a profile photo (170 x 170 pixels) and cover photo (1640 x 856 pixels).
Add a logo or widely recognized image for your profile photo. If you have other social media accounts for your business, consider using the same profile photo from those to keep your online presence consistent.
Choose an image that represents the purpose or theme of your Page for your cover photo.
You should see these images populate the in right side of the Page creator. Click Save when finished.
3. Choose a username and assign a call-to-action.
You should now be on the Facebook Business Page dashboard, where you'll manage all other aspects of your Page.
The interface can feel overwhelming, but this guide will help. First, choose a username for your Page. A username helps people find your Page and allows them to easily tag your Page when posting about your company. Your username will also be a part of your Facebook Business Page URL.
For the example below, the username is @cloverconsignment. This means that the Facebook Page URL would be: https://fb.me/cloverconsignment.
Next, click + Add Action Button to add a call-to-action (CTA) to your Page. This should be the action you want your visitors to take when they visit your Facebook Business Page.
4. Edit your Page info
After setting a username and choosing a CTA, click More > About in the main menu. This will navigate you to your Page info, where visitors will go to learn more about your organization.
Click Edit Page Info in the top right corner to update this information.
Facebook is no longer a "nice to have;" it's a necessity for any business developing a strong inbound marketing strategy. Want to see how HubSpot Academy uses Facebook? Like our Facebook Page here.