Over 50 million small businesses use Facebook pages for marketing. But 96% of the people who discuss brands online, don’t follow the Facebook pages of those brands. That’s a massive disconnect between small businesses and their target audience. A massive disconnect that many Facebook management agencies tend to discredit. It’s no wonder that such agencies and small businesses, who simply rely on posting “creative content” on Facebook, never see an ROI.
To reach and influence target groups, you need the right Facebook marketing strategy and a social media management tool (like DrumUp) that can help you execute it.
Common challenges that social media agencies and small businesses face when managing Facebook pages
HubSpot recently conducted a study and identified common challenges that marketers today are facing. Here’s a s1.ummary of what they found.
1. 63% marketers identified traffic and lead generation as top challenges. Before the internet boom, businesses had limited marketing options. Today they have millions, and the ones the choose have got to count (produce referrals and leads).
2. 40% marketers said proving the ROI of marketing activities was their top challenge. If you’re a social media agency with small businesses as clients, you have probably faced this problem. Unless you can prove the effectiveness of your work, you can’t expect to keep clients loyal.
3. 28% marketers struggle to secure enough budget to manage their marketing activities. With limited budget, marketers are forced to choose between many potential marketing channels and give assurance of an ROI for their investments.
When marketing on Facebook, it’s commonplace for social media agencies and small businesses to face the same issues. Here’s how you can deal with them.
21 Facebook management tips for small businesses and social media agencies
Everyone who reads this blog post has probably made some effort to market a business using Facebook. This guide is meant to summarize as many ideas as possible that such social media marketers and small business owners can try in addition to what they’re already doing.
#1 Explore Facebook marketing tools that can make your life easier
Why’s this #1? Because marketing automation tools can save you time and money, irrespective of whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise. In fact, over the last few years, more small businesses have begun to adopt marketing software – and this trend is growing.
So, what are the different kinds of Facebook management tools that you can use? Well, they’re a dime a dozen (forgive the cliche), but what you should focus on is functionality. The most common types of tools enable Facebook scheduling (such as DrumUp), Facebook monitoring (such as Trackur) and graphic design (such as Canva).
With DrumUp, you can automate your Facebook marketing completely, without compromising on content quality or engagement, by spending 15 minutes a week or an hour a month.
#2 Hire the right talent and provide access to necessary resources
Step #2 is obviously to decide who your designated Facebook page manager will be. Small businesses typically choose to either outsource the job to an agency or hire an in-house multi-functional resource person who will manage Facebook using automation tools.
Irrespective of which category you fall into, it’s critical to ensure that your Facebook manager knows his/her stuff and has enough resources. What resources? Well, the basics include access to your Facebook page and management tools, but you can do more. Set-up a communication channel or a project management space (such as Trello) to track and communicate details. Give your Facebook page manager ideas, insights and an understanding of your brand.
Here’s a post about how you can manage Facebook Page roles and optimize Page settings.
Here’s a post about the skills that social media managers need – skills that you should consider when hiring your social media management team.
#3 Keep tabs on audience personas and behaviors
For effective Facebook marketing, you need to know your audience. And not just know them in an abstract way. You need to have audience demographics, interests and browsing habits – real data. Random Facebook posting can leave you with inactive Facebook pages and zero engagement.
If you want to size-up your audience post-publishing, you can simply visit your Facebook Insights > Posts to see which ones have interested your audience members most. You can also view Insights > People to get basic information of the gender, age, location and language of your Facebook followers.
Ideally, what you should pay most attention to is conversion-based content. On Facebook, your conversion-based content can be shares of blog posts, web pages (for contests/webinars/eBook downloads), or direct promotions and purchase links. Instead of tracking engagement on such posts, you can track clicks and conversions as they’re more relevant to business goals.
DrumUp has an inbuilt URL shortener that you can activate to automatically tag and track all the posts you schedule from the tool. These clicks can be invaluable indicators of audience interests and purchase behavior.
#4 Outline and document a formal Facebook content strategy
How often are you going to post on Facebook? At what times of the day will you schedule content for publishing? What types of content will you share? The answer to all of these questions form your Facebook marketing strategy.
Deciding on a strategy is critical because it can help you manage your budget better. Formalizing a strategy is even more important when setting expectations between a small business and a marketing agency. Split your budget optimally across items that will cost you, such as running Facebook contests and ads, boosting posts, retargeting, sidebar ads, main feed ads, original content creation (posts & videos), branding and social media management tool subscriptions.
How you split your budget depends on what works best for your business. You could set aside small budgets for Facebook marketing experiments before you decide to invest heavily in any one strategy. Either way, it’s best to set a strategy in stone before beginning.
#5 Leverage your Page Layout & its special features
The first thing that your Facebook Page visitors see is your cover photo. And you can use that space to really make an impression on them. Apart from your cover photo, there are several special features such as your Facebook shop and even the “Pages liked by this Page” section that you can exploit to create a positive experience.
Did you know that your Facebook Page can be customized? Yes, you can reorder your tabs – photos, videos, posts, about and likes. You can reposition your Shop and Services tab to appear right at the top. You can even work with different Page templates to redesign the structure of your Facebook Page. When designing your Page structure, choose your featured visuals and the visuals that appear in your timeline boxes carefully.
A complete Facebook Page has all fields filled, even the less-used ones such as Partner Apps and Services and the Write Something box. Here’s a detailed post about optimizing your Facebook Page.
#6 Create a CTA driven Facebook shop to drive sales
Your Facebook Page can be a rich source of referrals, and when properly designed, a rich source of revenue. However, to drive referral traffic and generate revenue, you need to have a functioning CTA button leading to a conversion-optimized landing page.
Depending on what your business does and how your customer life cycle is, you can choose the text for your CTA button. It could be “Shop now”, or “Call now”, “Learn more” or “Make a reservation”. What action do you want your Facebook Page visitors to take? If your company’s product is an app, you can even build an accessory app into Facebook Messenger to show visitors what it can do.
When creating your Facebook Shop, spend some time thinking about how you can engage your visitors and turn them into paying customers. And ensure that all URLs connected to your CTAs have tags, so they can be tracked.
#7 Organize your content efficiently to maximize ROI
How do you currently account for the money you invest in content and social media marketing? Here’s how Hootsuite has suggested that it be done – Profit / total investment (people hours, ad budget, etc.) X 100 = social media ROI (as a percentage).
Based on this formula, most of the content you create is probably not worth the investment. Unless, you increase the referral traffic and subsequent business that you get through your content. Several factors affect how much referral traffic you generate from content, content quality, time of posting and frequency of posting being some of them. Most content marketers spend hours creating content only to share it once and forget about it.
On DrumUp, you can save evergreen posts in libraries and set them up on an automatic and long-term publishing schedule.
#8 Visually highlight your product with powerful storytelling
The popularity of social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat are a clear indication of how visuals are preferred over text based content in today’s world. Visuals, particularly those that have powerful stories behind them, perform better on social media. Visual stories are an upgrade on still images and can transform the way you connect with customers.
Facebook Stories is a great way to apply visual storytelling. Stories not only pushes you to communicate via visuals, but it also gives you premium space in people’s feeds. Facebook Stories appear on the top of mobile screens and on the right of desktop screens, spots which commands a lot of attention. As Stories are temporary and disappear within 24 hours, you can use them to run timely promotions and contests.
Facebook Stories isn’t the only place where you can apply visual storytelling. You can also work on visual storytelling in your regular Facebook posts and updates, by using different forms of visual content.
#9 Get creative with Facebook ad strategies
Facebook ads are now mainstream. Large business and small, every type of business uses Facebook ads to increase brand exposure, drive referrals and even attract business. However, not everyone is successful with Facebook ads. Businesses are always in between agencies, desperately trying to get their ads to work.
The key to running successful Facebook ads is understanding your conversion funnel and how it connects to the different formats of Facebook ads. Every company needs different messages and ad strategies for different stages of their conversion funnel. If you sell Saas products, for instance, you would do better creating your own custom audiences than you would do using Facebook’s parameters for targeting.
Several companies run Facebook ads using their own email lists and leads. This type of ad usually performs better, as it consists of people who are already aware of your product and how it works.
Now that we’ve discussed the major concepts in detail, we can move on to smaller concepts that you can apply to your Facebook marketing to get better results.
#10 Use negative comments to build an amiable brand presence
Never leave negative comments unaddressed on social media. Such comments can affect the way your current and potential customers perceive your brand. Instead, hunt for negative comments and use them as opportunities to exhibit your brand’s personality and quality of customer experience.
One of the things you should do anyway is to engage with everyone who leaves a comment on your page.
#11 Experiment with Facebook Local Search abilities
Local businesses can attract a lot of local customers by leveraging Local Search. Facebook’s Check-in and Location features allow you opportunity to be placed before potential local customers. How do you make use of this? Design a selfie corner in your store so visitors can click and upload visuals which will then appear on their connections’ feeds.
You could also run a campaign for check-ins. Here’s one that Arby’s ran.
#12 Use custom URLs to track conversions from Facebook traffic
It’s advisable to use custom URLs (with unique tags) for every social media post, if you intend to track it. You could use Google’s URL builder to convert regular URLs into customer trackable URLs each time you post OR simply turn on the URL shortener in your DrumUp dashboard.
#13 Invest in CRMs that leverage Facebook profiles and data
If you want to connect Facebook marketing to business goals, you need to make your marketing and sales efforts meet at a point. CRMs are the perfect place to make such a collaboration happen. Some CRMs such as FreshSales allow users to connect Facebook profiles of leads to the software, so you can leverage a prospect’s Facebook profile data when making sales calls.
#14 Encourage content re-sharing via employee advocates & other brand advocates
Facebook has drastically reduced organic reach for Pages. As a result, it’s difficult for commercial Pages on Facebook to get organic social media engagement. One way to workaround this issue is by getting employee and brand advocates to share your content. If you can’t do this manually (an doing it manually is hard), you can consider using an employee advocacy platform (like ours).
#15 Collaborate with brands – guest cuate & guest post content
Another way to get past the reduced organic reach hurdle, is by working with other well-established brands on Facebook. The easiest way to work another brand is to guest-curate content for them, in exchange for a mention or a feature. It goes without saying that you’ll get featured on a brand’s social media page if you have written for their blog.
#16 Run Facebook contests, quizzes and QnAs geared for virality
Contests, quizzes and QnAs are super-interactive ways in which you can interact with your Facebook fans. The easier a contest is to participate in, the more likely you are to get engagement. Even if you don’t directly get business from running a contest, you can get publicity from well-designed contests, quizzes and QnAs. You can even design them to grow your Facebook following or collect leads (ask for emails in exchange for the opportunity to participate).
#17 Custom-build your audience
What’s the point in having millions of followers if they rarely engage with you? The more selective you are about your fans, the better and more valuable your Facebook engagement is likely to be. You can custom-build your audience by inviting people on your email list to follow you and then following their connections (people tend to follow back) when you have followed them.
#18 Optimize your landing pages to receive Facebook fans
Invest in designing the best possible landing pages optimized for conversions – email sign-ups, purchases or downloads – based on what your goals are. Bear in mind where your referrals are coming from – Facebook – and use that information to build pages that can engage such an audience.
#19 Leverage video & Facebook Live
Video is slowly becoming the most consumed form of content on social media. By sharing video content on Facebook and live-streaming via Facebook Live, you can engage Facebook fans real-time. When using Facebook Live, remember to promote before broadcast, time it right and offer context for your video constantly, because you never know when someone might join.
Here’s an example of what you can do with Facebook Live, inspired by Tastemade UK.
As for creating Facebook videos, you can use 3rd party tools to make the task easier. I’m currently testing a few tools myself, and will write about my findings soon.
#20 Don’t ignore behind-the-scenes content and Facebook Stories
If you don’t have a lot of time or resources to create Facebook content, you can always use behind-the-scenes content to share with your audience. Behind-the-scenes content isn’t only easy to create but it’s also great for audience engagement. People connect more with other people than they do with faceless brands.
#21 Respond to people who engage with your page
When running a Facebook Page, you’re very likely to run into prospect customers. And when a prospect customer makes a genuine comment on your wall, it’s essential that you respond. Posts on your Page may be informative and representative of your brand, but to give your brand a personality you have to personally interact with fans.
There’s a large disconnect between small businesses on Facebook and their target audience. To engage the right people on Facebook, social media managers need an understanding of how Facebook works and what strategies can yield the most engagement. The ideas listed on this post are worth trying.
Feature image – Raw Pixel via Unsplash.com