Entering the world of Facebook marketing can be an overwhelming task, even for people that have a personal account and use it every day. If the process seems like something your not ready for, think again! Creating and managing a Facebook Business Page is becoming the norm for many small businesses to promote themselves, engage with their customers and attract new clients. In Canada, you can target an audience down to their location (postal code), gender, education, income and interests with your posts. If your competition is growing their business using Facebook, you can too!
Developing a marketing strategy is where you might need the assistance of a professional that has experience marketing on Facebook.
Start your Facebook Business Page Planning by following these 5 essential steps
Step 1 – Read up on your industry’s advertising rules and regulations
Before you start developing your Facebook Business Page it’s important to research the marketing rules and regulations of your industry. In many sectors like legal, healthcare and finance, there are strict rules around privacy and advertising whereas in other sectors there are more general rules that can be found on Advertising Standards Canada website.
There can also be instances where you need to report social media feedback to a governing body. If someone posted on your page that they used your product and it caused them harm, you need a process and strategy in place to address the issue at hand. Again, not a fun exercise but anticipating these scenarios will help you launch your Facebook Business Page with confidence.
Canadian: General Online Advertising Resources
*Note: Each province has advertising laws and some that are specific to an industry.
Step 2 – Decide on your company’s social media standards & procedures
Once you understand your industry’s social media marketing standards the next step is to make the following decisions:
- Who is managing the page?
- Who needs access to post or respond to posts?
- Who is responsible for managing, tracking and responding to anything that can affect the public’s perception of your business?
- What is your process & timeline for responding to outside posts or comments?
Step 3 – Understand your target audience and develop how you present your business to your customers
Look at your existing customer or client list and develop your online communication.
Choose your Always and Nevers
Always sincere, Never sarcastic
Always positive, Never negative
Always inclusive, Never dismissive
Document examples of your communication style
Create and share with your Facebook Business page team a short document that include some examples of copy that illustrates your communication style and compares that against copy that says the same thing but in a different voice. This way your staff will have context to refer back to.
An example of a positive, sincere and inclusive voice is: “It’s employee appreciation day and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff for their hard work but especially to Cathy who received the customer service award for most positive service reviews this month. Thank you, Cathy and all our staff that go above and beyond in their jobs to make this company successful. We couldn’t do it without you!”
An example of a sarcastic and dismissive voice is: “It’s employee appreciation day and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank Cathy for winning this month’s customer service award. But you really didn’t have much competition. Ha, ha”
Step 4 – Map out your content strategy
This step takes the most planning. You might need the help of a professional, depending on your experience.
Once you’ve identified your communication style, the next step is to create a content marketing strategy. Each marketing platform used to engage with your audience needs a plan tailored to the most effective use of that platform.
A Facebook Business Page should be mostly about building relationships. Less selling and more relationship marketing.
Customers want to engage with a professional organization who they like and who likes them, and the same goes for employees. On Facebook it’s about turning customers & employees into loyal supporters.
How do you transform your customer base into promoters of your business?
Recognize and engage with employees & showcase your organization’s culture
Create posts that highlight your employees’ hard work and showcase your organization’s culture in the community.
Interact and highlight with your customers
Develop content showcasing customer success stories. Connect with them by commenting on those stories and expressing your appreciation for their loyalty.
Share information that’s valuable to your audience
Post useful tips, documents, videos or any other type of content that you think your audience will find interesting. Showcase that you are an expert in your occupation but make sure the content is relevant to your audience. The first question to ask is “why would my audience share this?”
Takeaway: It’s better to focus less on the sales pitch and more on how you can support your brand advocates to recommend your products & services. Leave the hard sell to remarketing on Facebook. This is a whole other part of Facebook that you can get into once you’ve set up your business page.
Step 5 – Identify and track statistics for continued improvement
Facebook can provide you with some statistics about your audience and how they reacted to your posts. Before even posting on Facebook take the time to understand how to extract meaningful insight from your reports. Why do your statistics matter? What meaning do they have for my marketing and business objectives?
Follow these steps to pull meaning and insight from your Facebook reports.
It starts with your content strategy. Look at your content types, tie each piece of content to an audience segment and attach a value to each segment.
Create a content calendar that includes a) content topics b) content types (video, images, text etc) c) audience target d) time of the day and day of the week for distribution
Once your Facebook Business Page has gone live, use the audience behaviour statistics to understand who your audience is and what types of content is the most popular.
Adapt your posts accordingly to keep improving your audience’s interest.