Many marketers tend to think of a Facebook presence as simply a must-have, which it is. However, they often neglect to realize its full potential. And if they do understand the opportunities associated with utilizing Facebook as a marketing channel, they often aren’t leveraging it properly. Conceptualizing and executing an effective Facebook campaign involves a significant number of complexities and requires a defined, comprehensive strategy.
Think of Facebook as a canvas. As a marketer, you have the ability to color it with all facets of your company - from your brand, values and personality to your various products and services - in a way that allows you to connect with your audience and establish meaningful relationships. Take full advantage of this opportunity by incorporating these seven essential elements into your Facebook campaigns.
1. Define Your Facebook Campaign Goals
First things first, you need to clarify the purpose of your campaign. These business objectives go beyond “getting more Likes.” Are you trying to increase awareness? Are you trying to motivate a certain action? Are you trying to drive sales? Are you trying to influence perceptions? The initial goals you set are the building blocks that will determine every aspect of your campaign, from the general strategy to specific tactics. Additionally, setting goals will help you measure the performance of your campaign and adequately identify opportunities for improvement.
2. Develop a Strategic Plan
Aside from establishing objectives, defining a strategic course of action is the most fundamental element in developing a Facebook campaign. How are you going to achieve your objectives? What other digital channels are you going to leverage to support your Facebook efforts? What is the messaging? What types of content will you employ? What is the timeline? Your plan will be the umbrella under which everything else will fall, so it should fully outline your goals, strategic direction, specific tactics, a set schedule, as well as predictive outcomes.
3. Maintain Laser Focus
Once you have developed a plan, stick to it. Always seek consistency and continuity with your branded content throughout the Facebook campaign. If your goal is to increase awareness of a new product, be careful about mixing in too many promotions for other unrelated solutions you offer. Multiple messages can divert your audience and message inconsistency will weaken the effects of your efforts. Focusing on a singular objective will increase the chances your audience will not only “receive” your message, but internalize it - contributing to the achievement of your goals. A content calendar is a critical tool for achieving buy-in on the messaging and staying on top of your posting schedule through the campaign.
4. Integrate Facebook Across Channels
Facebook should not be viewed as a stand-alone platform. Instead, it should integrate with your website, other social media platforms and your web presence as a whole. Think of Facebook as an essential element of an overall content or inbound marketing strategy, where the various tactics are feeding each other along the marketing funnel. Your Facebook campaign should be supported by other online channels, and be consistent in terms of content and character. Doing so will increase the reach and impact of your campaign, while simultaneously strengthening your brand, enhancing awareness and contributing to your goals.
5. Maximize Facebook Engagement Opportunities
Facebook capitalizes on its unique ability to engage users and establish relationships with new and existing customers. Social media marketing should not be confused with traditional marketing; you are engaging, not selling. Regardless of the purpose of your campaign, it’s critical to consider the qualities that make the platform a distinctly attractive marketing channel - Facebook is ideal for establishing a sense of community. Don’t simply share bland product and service details, or your audience will be unenthused. Spice things up a little! Leverage compelling content such as videos, images and infographics. Encourage conversation by asking a question. Entertain with a combination of cleverness and humor. Inform by sharing updates about industry trends. Great Facebook marketers will find links between a company’s solutions and things that are intriguing, relevant or timely to your audience.
6. Advertise on Facebook
We hate to break it to you, but the days of promoting your brand on Facebook for free are coming to an end. The social media powerhouse continues to alter its newsfeed algorithms, significantly decreasing the reach of your organic posts. Social@Ogilvy recently conducted a study that revealed organic reach has gone down by almost 50% since October 2013. As organic reach continues to decline, brands will be required to pay for coveted real estate on their target audience’s newsfeed. Fear not, fellow marketers. Facebook offers incredible opportunities for advertisers with flexible and budget-friendly options to connect with your audience in an incredibly effective way.
7. Promote on Facebook
Facebook campaigns often require a little extra “oomph” to get your audience’s attention. While regular posts are pivotal to a Facebook campaign, they don’t necessarily cut through the timeline clutter or motivate someone to take your desired action. This is where Facebook promotions come into play. Encourage friendly competition with a fun, incentive-based contest. Generate interest by inviting your community to a special event. Offer an exclusive deal relevant your campaign goals. Such tactics can amplify your messaging and help achieve your ultimate objectives. Third-party solutions such as OfferPop make promotions of this nature easy to manage and integrate with your overall plan, as well as provide additional opportunities to expand your Facebook community.
Facebook for Business is Equal Parts Art and Science
The beauty of Facebook is in the eye of the beholder – your audience! Your Facebook community will let you know what content is working or not, so produce, measure and adjust content accordingly. The essential elements described above are the paint and brushes that will help you execute your vision. Unleash your inner creative to establish a Facebook presence that captures your audience and makes a powerful impact. For assistance developing a successful Facebook campaign for your company, contact ZAG Interactive, a digital agency with experience producing social media campaigns that deliver results.