Facebook marketing 101: the basics

You are probably already marketing your brand on Facebook. It is also probable that you have your business account set up properly as a "Page" and not a personal account. It is likely that you are posting content on your page and looking for engagement from viewers. Now, the question is are you planning the content and does that content compliment a greater integrated marketing plan?

If you are like many smaller brands, you may not have taken the time to get under the hood of your Facebook page? Have you taken a look at your website and print collateral to make sure your Facebook page settings are the same? Information consistency is essential to building trust.

Creating Your Page

If you are using a Facebook profile for your business, this is a good time to make the switch. It is against Facebook's terms-and-service to do so. How do you know if you are using a personal profile account? Do you have to use log-in credentials to get to your business account? If so, that is a personal account. Your brand page is connected to your personal account. Once logged in you will only have to click the link to your business page to gain access. 

If you need to create a business page, click the plus sign at the top right-hand side of your page once you are logged into your personal account. You may remember this option was once on the Pages sidebar, however, Facebook removed it with the last update.

Next, you will identify what type of page you are creating: e-commerce, local brick-and-mortar, politician, services or standard page.) It is important to select the best option because the template and page elements vary. After you will be prompted to enter the details about your brand. 

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Brand Consistency

It is critical to establish your brand to use the elements outlined in your brand guide. If you don't have a brand guide, you may want to stop here and create one. Save yourself some time on the backend by having your brand identity established and ready to push out to your social. 

Brand consistency builds trust. Use your logo and brand colors in the graphics. It is also a good idea to use a consistent profile picture across your social. Do not use random images for your profile picture. Save that for your personal page. You are running a business and prospects should be able to identify your logo or icon to confirm they have landed on the right page.

Finally, you must keep your language consistent as well. Your brand has a tone and personality that must be exemplified in your posts and marketing campaigns. Take a look at your website, blog and marketing materials. They should each compliment and reflect one another.

Optimize Your Page

Facebook lends many opportunities to share details about your brand. Take advantage of the various spaces to give your Ideal Buyer everything they need to know about your business. Make it easier for your Ideal Buyer to say YES, by anticipating their questions and providing the answers in your listing.

Let's review the basics:

Link to your website, or a specific landing page with a call-to-action
Your business hours will help customers know when to make contact
If you have a physical address, use it. Customers visit increasingly visit brands they have searched
It is important to list your contact information, and it should be the same as listed on your other social as well as your website. Hint: search engines like Google, prefer consistent information!

Facebook has this really cool call-to-action feature. The button sits on the right first row right under your cover photo. This feature gives you the opportunity to direct your viewers where you want them to go. It gives them the option for a next step. 

Before you set up this feature, think about the most effective next step for your viewer. What do you really want them to do? Take a moment to think about your options below:

Follow: Make it easy for people to follow your page
View Gift Card: Choose a website where people can purchase a card
Order Food: Choose a website were people can order food
Book Now: Choose were people can book with you
Get Quote: Collect the information you need from prospects
Call Now: Choose where you'd like to receive calls, right now
Contact Us:  Send visitors to "Contact Us" page
Send Message: Start conversation in Facebook Messenger
Send WhatsApp Message: Add the number associated with account
Send Email: Preferably select a business email to receive contact
Learn More: Add your website or landing page with details of offers
Sign Up: Choose a website or email provider to get them on a list
Use App: Let your customers know where to download your App
Play Game: Send to website where they can find and play game
Visit Group: Choose your preferred group for them to join
Watch Video: Link to your promo or informational video
Shop Now: Connect your viewers to a product or e-commerce store

As you can see there are seventeen options for you to choose. As you think about which one, think about the results you aim to achieve. If you have a special holiday promotion starting, then change it to "Learn More" or a promo video. If you are promoting a new item on the menu then add, "Order Food." Be strategic. Change option when necessary.

Maximize Facebook Groups

Did you know that over 1.4 billion monthly users now are in Facebook Groups! Many are there to meet new people and build relationships as well as keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues. However, many people are in groups to stay connected to their favorite brands and personalities.  

Facebook gives Pages the opportunity to create and connect to a group(s). Remember, people follow their favorite brands because they want to get information, be entertained, be inspired, get educated or receive special offers. Your group is a space for like-minded people to share their common interest. This is also another space to give insight, share your expertise and help others with a problem - for which you have the solution.

When you join groups, target those whose members are also your target market. In addition,  join groups with members in your niche, so you can have a place to problem-solve, ask questions, share experiences and get support - sort of like an informal mastermind group.

Creating your own branded Facebook group affords you the opportunity to create a mini-community around your brand. For example, ACI has a group for brands who are interested in marketing strategies, tips, best practices, advice and special goodies to help them grow their business. By the way, if you are interested in ours, please click here to join! 🙂

Customer Engagement

Every marketing strategy on Facebook should have the intention to get engagement from your audience. Encourage your followers to like, comment and share your posts. You want them to ask questions or express concerns about your products and services. The most effective way increase customer engagement is to respond to any feedback on your page. Use negative comments as an opportunity to exemplify your superb customer service. If someone asks a question, answer it. 

Don't forget, your Facebook Page is not a brochure for your products and services. Of course, there are sections specifically for this purpose. The general rule, share content that is of interest to your target market. As mentioned before, your posts should entertain, inspire, educate, inform and yes promote. The ratio should be around 5:1. This means for every 5 posts, 1 should be a promo or sales focused. 

If you simply sell to your audience, they will lose interest and move on to the next page. Your Facebook Page is for your brand, but it should be about your Ideal Buyer.

The Customer Service Tool

Another productive way to build a community around your brand is to focus on customer service. Studies show 82% of consumers expect good customer service on Facebook - more than any other social. 

Here are 7 easy ways to use Facebook for a 5-star customer service plan:

Be transparent to build trust with fans
Use Facebook Apps to quickly and easily address your customers
Respond in a timely manner with tools like auto-reply
Share your personal brand to engage your audience and build trust
Show your visitors appreciation, at every opportunity
Listen to understand comments, testimonials and feedback
It is wise to apologize when mistakes or mishaps occur

There is a divide about whether to address customer service on social. For us, ignoring it is not an option. People will not always field concerns to your customer department, their first notion is to take their issues to social. You may prefer to address complaints or negative comments to your website "comment box" or by email and phone. Customers expect brands to be responsive to their requests across ALL platforms. 

Perhaps you can assign an employee to monitor your Facebook messages and respond to service requests in a timely manner. 

Purposeful & Strategic Content

We touched on this before but it deserves its' own bullet point and mention. It is understood that some of your Facebook posts will be unscheduled. You will share information from other pages and things that pop up on in your business, and that's ok...as long as it is relevant to your target market. For the most part however, your posts should be thoughtful, planned and scheduled. Here are a few other suggestions to create goal-centered content:

Answer common questions and concerns
Share ways customers can use and get the best of your services
Use Facebook Live for Q & A, introduce your team and share behind-the-scenes look into your brand or product development
Facebook contests, giveaways and surveys are worthy
List events and post updates frequently almost creating a little community around the event!

Messenger & Chatbot Marketing

It would be a challenge to answer all Facebook messages around the clock. If you add a chatbot to your customer service team, you will meet with each message with an immediate response. 

Facebook Messenger is similar, it allow you to use your Facebook page to inform, educate and entertain on your behalf 24/7.  Messenger can help you generate more leads and build relationships with Messenger bots. They can help you boost your business' ROI and increase customer interactions when partnered with a Facebook bot. For some additional information on Facebook Messenger Bots, click here.

Chatbots are software applications that are programmed to send targeted messages to your audience in a conversational interface, much like a live chat widget.  Your customized chatbot performs much like a digital agent with the purpose of initiating the building meaningful relationships.

Your chatbot can also be a strategic element in your integrated-marketing plan. It can anticipate the need of your prospect, whether it is pointing them to the right product of interest, directing them through to your sales team, or booking a reservation Your chatbot is an extension of your brand and it maximizes how your guests experience your brand. Click here for examples how chatbots operate.

Goal-Centered Retargeting

Would't it be awesome if every visitor to your website completed your lead-generating form the first time they interacted with your brand? Unfortunately, many do not. Here is a viable solution when they don't. Facebook's retargeting option to reconnect with people who do not complete your form, accept your lead magnet or make a purchase. Retargeting can help you reconnect.  It can give you another chance to educate them about your brand, and perhaps persuade them to take action. If you install a Facebook pixel on your website this can happen. 

If you are not sure about Facebook pixel, click here for details. 

Facebook with all of its' flaws is one of the easiest and affordable means to connect with a targeted group of consumers. 

Maximize Facebook Ads

If you take your time, examine your need and plan a marketing campaign, Facebook advertising is effective.  It can be as targeted as you choose and based on a budget that works best for your business. Every Facebook ad will have a call-to-action to get your prospect to move in through your sales funnel, like your page or join your list.

Here are a few things that you can do for a successful Ad campaign:

Identify the most productive target audience for your ad
Create a compelling, purposeful ad with a hero image or video
Be clear about the purpose of your ad, what's the goal?
Test the market response with various headlines and CTAs
Monitor your outcomes, make adjustments where necessary and relaunch to test again

As mentioned, you can set your budget to $10 per day to $1000+ per day. Any amount will get you results. Of course, as with anything in life, what you invest increases your ROI.

Your Facebook page is a great free marketing tool for your business. Implementing Facebook Live, Messenger and Chatbot all work in concert for brand awareness, Facebook offers e-commerce solutions to sell products directly to customers through Messenger and Instagram. 

The platform also offers you visibility at minimum cost if you should choose to use ads. Facebook advertising allows you to reach your exact audience. It allows you to segment your audience by age, interests, location, behavior, etc. The better you know your Ideal Buyer, the more targeted...and successful your campaigns will be. 

If you any help with your Facebook ads, please click here for more info.

Be well,

Andrea Callahan Industry Influencer blog

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