Facebook Strategy Tips for SMBs

With 700 billion minutes spent each month by people using Facebook, it’s clear there is an audience there. However, you’ll need to decide if YOUR audience is there, and if they are, what and how Facebook can help your business to achieve its marketing goals.

If you are a SMB owner who is thinking about whether Facebook is the right platform for you, or you’ve already created a site with little to no success, then I’d like to share with you a few tips on creating a Facebook strategy, to help you achieve your marketing goals.

1. Decide Why You Have a Facebook Page

You want to interact with your customers on Facebook in a way that adds value to their experience and maximizes returns for your business.  To do that, you need to clearly understand why you are doing the marketing in the first place. You’ll need to decide what type of Facebook Page you want. Do you want to have a customer service, content or news source or will this be an e-commerce type vehicle for your business?

2. Develop a Strategy

Now that you know why you want a Facebook Page, define your marketing goals, and develop a corresponding strategy.  This does not need to be a 10-page document – just outline what you hope to achieve on this site, with which audience, doing what. E.g. We want to target women, aged 25-35 who are interested in buying health products for babies using ongoing incentives on an e-commerce platform.  To achieve this, we will have 12 incentives per year, and advertise using several integrated platforms.

With most online platforms, it’s worthwhile to think long term. As such, plan out a strategy for at least a year. Rome was not built in a day. By the same token, Facebook Pages and audiences take some time to build, so be patient – they will come.

3. Success Metrics

Whether it serves as an e-commerce tool, or only shares news content, your Facebook Page needs to have success metrics. These could be as defined as wanting to increase your brand awareness with a goal of 1000 “Likes” within a year, wanting to increase traffic to your website by 10%, or wanting to increase sales of a particular product by 5%.   The key is to be as specific as you want, as well as making sure to tie the metrics into your audience and tactic in order to nail down what amounts to a “success” for your business.

4. Create a Tactical Plan

Once you have the strategy with measured outcomes outlined, you can develop a tactical plan or critical path that outlines the details of what (as well as who, when, how) is going to happen on your site. The plan should include as much detail as you can, allowing for some flexibility as your online audience may dictate changes. E.g. You created a content-only site to build awareness, but customer discussions on your site are asking for products. In this case, you might want to start a campaign offering these products online.

5. Commit to a Posting Schedule

Facebook is all about sharing and interacting with others, so you’ll need to stick to some type of posting schedule. This schedule needs to be defined in your plan, and followed diligently. Depending on your business and audience, this could mean posting once a day, three times a week or even once a week. Just as with any marketing for your business, if you are going to do it, then do it well.  By ignoring your Facebook Page, you are sending the wrong message to your audience, by making it seem as if youdo not care.

6. Be Consistent

From your website, Facebook Page, other online media to your business cards and other marketing collateral – the look, feel, and messaging need to be consistent.  Your audience has to know that your company is professional, and one way to do this is to make sure your branding is consistent. When deciding on the Facebook Page name, make sure it is consistent with your brand name.

The potential for marketing opportunity on Facebook is tremendous for many businesses, so I encourage SMB owners to consider using Facebook as one vehicle to better reach your audience.  I hope my tips will help you to align your Facebook strategy to better achieve and measure your goals.

In next week’s blog, I’ll discuss in more detail what types of campaigns and activities you might want to consider including on your Facebook Page.

Do you have a Facebook strategy? If so, feel free to share how it has helped to shape your marketing experiences on Facebook. If not, will you now consider having one? Let me know in the comments below.

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