Most people these days are familiar with Facebook as a social media hub in our personal lives but less so when it comes to how to utilise from a business perspective. As with much of the social media universe, Facebook can be a hugely powerful yet cost effective way to promote your organisation, help drive traffic to your site and grow new customer leads.
Before you go ahead with your Facebook presence, we’d recommend reading our article around the principles of social media – knowing your audience and your tone of voice amongst other things, are particularly important.
Step 1 – Create a Company Page
This is actually a relatively straight forward thing to do. These steps will assume you’ve already got a Facebook account to start with here. From your normal profile, you simply following the “create page” link in the Facebook menu and then add things like your logo, place of business (if applicable), about your organisation and so on. You will also choose appropriate categories that reflect what your business does and who your audience typically is etc. Don’t forget to add things like company phone numbers, website URL and email address.
Step 3 – Understand Your Audience
We covered this principle in our other article on social media strategies but make sure you understand the audience you’re trying to communicate with. Not all of the 1 billion plus members of Facebook are going to be interested in hearing about your organisation (unfortunately) so it pays to know who you want to try and reach.
Step 4 – Quality Content
Once you understand who your audience is then the key next step is to understand how to get their attention. What content will resonate with them? What tone will get their attention as well as tie to your brand identity? The more ways you can speak and look like your audience in the way your content comes across the better it will resonate. Often pictures and videos can give a post a more visually impactful punch as well – but don’t over use or add a picture to your post if it doesn’t relate. You can read our guide to content marketing for more tips.
Step 5 – Check Out Your Competitors
Hopefully at this point you’ll know who some of your competitors are and a little about them. Take some time to look at the type of content they share on their Facebook page. Is it connecting with their audience? Are they having success with a specific type of content? Maybe they’re struggling with feedback. Whatever you can see from this will just add to your marketing intelligence and help you to be more successful with your Facebook marketing.
Step 6 – Plan Out Your Content
Work out some of the things you want to share via your new Facebook page and once you’ve ensured the fit with your audience, right them down. Plan out the content you want to share, the stories or news you’ll write or whatever is appropriate, for the next 3-4 weeks. Decide how often you are going to share content and stories – try and find a balance between too often and not enough – and build out a mini content calendar. We’d recommend you add this to your overall sales and marketing calendar too. You can now either use this content by posting manually or using tools such as HootSuite and so on to help you push it out in line with your plans. The longer term you can think the better.
Step 7 – Building Your Audience Basics
If you’ve you’re happy to mix work with your social life one of the easiest and often best ways to kick start your Facebook page is to share it with existing Facebook contacts. Maybe write a short status update to explain what your business does and ask for their support by “liking” the page.
Step 8 – Rinse and Repeat
Always remember to monitor and measure your activities – as always, you can’t know what to repeat or increase if you don’t know what success looks like. Keep track of the type of post, the time or day or subject on your posts and how they compared with likes, comments and sharing. There are numerous tools available to you – along with those in the Facebook page admin options which are free – that can help.
Step 9 – There are paid for methods to help you boost your engagement or audience such as Facebook advertising. This is actually a simple tool any page can use to buy paid for advertising to help drive engagement on Facebook or to your website. Even if you’re not planning to spend money on this we’d recommend you check it out as there are intuitive functions built into it that can help you with things like knowing the size of your reach and audience. If you are going to invest in this then we’d recommend keep your messages clear and your CTA strong and setting a goal for success in advance – you need to know whether it was successful or not.
Keep these principles in mind when you’re building your page, always keep your audience in mind and remember to think longer term and your Facebook page will continue to grow and evolve. Don’t expect to get it right the first time, be patient and be willing to correct your course as you go.