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Your Go-To Facebook Marketing Guide

Facebook Marketing Guide-01
Your marketing strategy should be social by design. Social media should be integrated into everything you do, not added at the end or offered on the side. With more than 1.55 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a must for marketers.

Creating a Facebook Page for your business is quick and easy, but turning it into a tool that generates sales is a bit more challenging. With so many features and tools at your disposal, coming up with your Facebook marketing strategy might seem overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be.

Follow our tips below to unlock new opportunities to grow your Facebook marketing strategy.

Build a Presence

Before you can do anything, you need to create your brand’s identity on the social network. Your Facebook Page is your brand’s persona on the site and provides your audience with a resource to learn about and engage with your business.

Create Facebook Page

Once you’ve decided to create your Facebook Page, the first thing you’ll be prompted to do is choose a category based on these six choices:

  1. Local Businesses or Places
  2. Companies, Organizations or Institutions
  3. Brands or Products
  4. Artists, Bands or Public Figures
  5. Entertainment
  6. Causes or Communities

When you select your category, follow the prompts from Facebook to continue setting up your Page. Be sure to add categories, a description and a website to improve the ranking of your Page in search. You’ll also want to create a unique Facebook Web address to make it easier for people to find your Page. Once this is set, it can only be changed once so choose wisely. Try to keep this consistent with other URLs you’ve created to limit confusion.

At this time you’ll want to familiarize yourself with Facebook marketing terms. Don’t get tripped up on Facebook terminology no matter if you’re a novice or experienced marketer.

Determine Your Objectives

Whether you’re setting up a new Facebook Page or re-evaluating an existing one, knowing your goals is critical to success. How else will you know if your Page is performing well or your marketing efforts are paying off unless you have something to compare it to?

Some of the main ways businesses use Facebook include:

  • Fostering product development and innovation
  • Generating awareness
  • Increasing traffic and sales
  • Building loyalty and deepening relationships
  • Gaining insights

Let’s break down each one a bit more so you can decide which is the best for you:

1. Fostering Product Development & Innovation

Facebook enables you to learn about your target audience and to understand their interests and friends. This is why Facebook can be used to generate new product ideas. The platform and its suite of tools allow you to build entirely new social product experiences like an online store that displays only friends’ favorite products. You can also enlist your community to help crowd-source your next product idea.

For example, each year Lay’s holds its Do Us a Flavor contest in which consumers are invited to come up with their ideal combination for the next flavor of chips. The campaign, which launched in 2012, has proven so successful that the brand continues to bring it back every year.

2. Generating Awareness

With your Facebook Page up and running, it’s time to ramp up awareness around it, your latest product or a current marketing initiative. To do this, leverage Facebook’s reach and targeting capabilities. Because they’re shown with stories about friends who have already engaged with your business on Facebook, the targeting has word-of-mouth appeal, making them very effective at driving awareness.

word of mouth facebook example

3. Increasing Traffic & Sales

Facebook turns purchasing into a social decision by enabling people to show what they like and have purchased. You can create promotional events, publicize offers and entice customers with call-to-action phrases. Every time someone RSVPs, checks in or clicks, that action is shared with all of their friends. This enables you to deepen your engagement with customers at the point of purchase while furthering your word-of-mouth marketing efforts.

A 2014 study looked at how 249 shoppers were influenced by different social media platforms, what they purchased and how much they spent. Respondents were asked which social media network they were using when they saw the recommendation that led to their purchase. Facebook led the pack with 59% acting upon a recommendation on the site.

4. Building Loyalty & Deepening Relationships

Statistics show that 80% of a company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of its existing customers. No pressure, but relationship building and customer retention are kind of a big deal.

Facebook is ultimately about relationships. The people who Like your Page are saying they want a relationship with you. This connection allows you to build and deepen relationships with your most loyal customers. But just like in the real world, building relationships with people on Facebook takes time and requires a long-term investment. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen over night.

Thanks to the information people share about themselves on Facebook, you can create highly targeted and personalized experiences to drive engagement and loyalty over time.

Disney takes a casual approach to its Facebook marketing strategy, but it’s very effective. The brand has more than 50 million Likes and keeps things visual with quotes from popular films, inspiring images and characters, links to interesting articles and interactive quizzes.

 

What’s especially great about Disney’s Facebook presence is the brand’s ability to tug at the heart strings of followers who span generations with the simplest of posts.

5. Gaining Insight

Facebook offers marketers a wealth of data. The social network enables you to learn about your customers through their actions on the site and by engaging with them directly. It’s a great place to learn who your customers are and what they think about your brand or products.

By monitoring your Facebook Insights, you can make sure your messaging is aligned with the people you serve.

Assign Page Roles

Not everyone who’s associated with your Facebook Page will need the same level of access. Currently Facebook offers five different types of roles for people who manage your Page. This table outlines the roles and what they’re table to do.

Facebook Page Roles

To give someone a role:

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page.
  2. Click Page Roles in the left column.
  3. If the person is your Facebook friend, begin typing his or her name and select them from the list that appears. If they’re not your friend, just type the person’s email address.
  4. Click Editor to select a role from the dropdown menu.
  5. Click Save and enter your password to confirm.

Develop a Content Strategy

Content is the foundation of your Facebook presence. Many businesses use Facebook to drive traffic and sales, but don’t put the cart before the horse. Trying to sell to someone before taking the time to know them leaves customers feeling hesitant.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. Start by getting to know your audience. If you only deliver sales-related content, your fans will get bored. Instead, your content should:

  • Entertain
  • Educate
  • Help
  • Interact

If you’re just getting started, use Graph Search to find out what your ideal fans like and which other Pages they’re engaging with.

Identify Your Voice

Before you start publishing content, you need to determine your company’s voice. An easy way to start this process, if you haven’t already, is by coming up with a list of always and nevers.

Margot Merrill, a content strategist at Facebook, recommends filling in the following blanks for your company:

People on Facebook are open about who they are and what they like. Do the same by providing straightforward information about your business and bring your brand’s personality to life through an authentic and consistent voice.

Determine Types of Content

Although your objective will play a role in determining the types of content you share, there’s one medium that’s outperforming the rest: video.

Once thought to be photos, a study by Socialbakers found that video posts have an organic reach of 8.71% compared to only 3.73% for photo posts, 5.77% for text-only statuses and 5.29% for link posts.

This doesn’t mean that you should only post video updates, but it’s a good reason to ensure you’re mixing up your content types. Some types of content will resonate better with certain members of your audience than others. This is where targeting is key.

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As you create content, think about what your customers find interesting and inspiring, and share what you’re genuinely excited about. When people comment on your posts, show that your business is listening by responding or Liking their comment. Most importantly, be consistent. The more regularly you post, the more opportunity you have for connecting with people and building trust.

Foster Engagement

From curating content to building a community, Facebook offers a lot of potential for engagement with fans. When you only push content and ignore interactions, you’ll miss out on an opportunity to organically grow your following. Deepen your relationship with existing fans and reach new audiences through engagement.

Optimize Your Page

Optimization starts with choosing the right name for your Page. You don’t want to stuff it with generic keywords because doing so might make it look like spam and discourage people from engaging. You can strategically place keywords in your URL and About section, but don’t overuse them.

Next, make sure your profile picture, cover photo and About section are complete and contain up-to-date information. A complete profile shows that you are who you say you are, professional and, most importantly, engaged. Additionally, aim for consistency across all of your social channels and make sure that the main visuals match.

Follow Other Pages

This tip is two-fold. One reason to follow other Pages is because it’s a great way to show support. Like another Page as a Page to promote partners, collaborators, sister businesses and so on.

Like Facebook Pages

The second reason is Facebook’s Pages to Watch feature. Available in Insights, it lets you watch other Facebook Pages so you can compare their activity, engagement and audience growth to your own. It’s particularly handy if you want to see what’s working for your competitors.

To create a list of Pages to watch:

  1. Click Insights at the tope of your Page.
  2. Scroll down to Pages to Watch and click Add Pages.
  3. Search for a Page or choose from suggested Pages and click + Watch Page.
  4. After choosing at least five Pages, click Done.

Keep in mind that when you add a Page to watch, the people who manage that Page will get a notification. This notification won’t include your name or the name of your Page.

Manage Comments & Messages

According to the 2015 Sprout Social Index, seven in eight social messages to brands go unanswered within 72 hours. Not only does poor customer service reflect negatively on your brand, but it also costs US companies $41 billion each year.

If you’ve done your job right, your Facebook Page should be an engagement hub for your brand. But you might not have the time to respond to every comment, especially if you receive a large volume of engagement notifications. Using a social media management tool will help ensure that no messages fall through the cracks.

Certain messages may require you to be discrete. In this case, Facebook Pages can turn on private messaging. This puts a “Message” icon on your cover photo, letting fans know that they can contact you privately.

Facebook Comment Private Message

You can also respond to your customers’ public posts on your Page through a private message. Just click the new “Message” option and a private message thread within the commenter will open. Your message will include a link to the customer’s comment for reference. When you choose this method, the comment shows a note that you responded privately so other Page visitors know you handled the request.

Facebook is also making it easier for people to identify responsive Pages. If you respond to 90% of private messages and have a median response time of less than five minutes, you’ll have a “Very responsive to messages” badge on your profile.

Facebook Responsive Badge

Analyze Your Performance

Last but not least, track how your content performs and your social media following growth. Effective data analysis will allow you to:

  • Adapt your Facebook marketing strategy over time.
  • Deliver more of the content your audience responds to.
  • Optimize plans for future campaigns.

Use a social media management tool like Sprout Social and a website analytics tool like Google Analytics to measure your activity and track your progress. For a closer look at the Facebook metrics you should be tracking, read our earlier article titled All of the Social Media Metrics That Matter.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to a rich and engaging experience on the social network. When you’re ready to take your Facebook marketing strategy to the next level, we recommend checking out our Facebook advertising guides:

This post Your Go-To Facebook Marketing Guide originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Marketers are still asking, what is B2B influencer marketing? Here’s a definition I’ve been using over the past 5 years or so:

B2B influencer marketing is activating internal and external subject matter experts with engaged networks to advocate and co-create content of mutual value that drives measurable business goals.

As the groundswell around influencer marketing rises and becomes a normal part of the B2B marketing mix, the volume of information and misinformation on the topic also increases.

One of the most popular questions people also ask about B2B influencer marketing focuses on what makes a good business influencer? By now we all know that popularity alone does not make someone influential. It’s certainly important, it's just not the only thing.

As B2B marketers mature in their understanding of the role influence plays and how the dynamic of brand content co-created with industry experts plays out with customers, they begin to realize that other factors matter. Topical relevance matters of course as well as resonance of the topic amongst an influencer’s community.

B2B Marketing Influencers

The intersection of individual expertise, how well that expertise resonates with followers and the size of network creates a baseline of characteristics when evaluating whether a certain influencer might be a match.

But there’s more than that. Understanding what makes a great influencer is both art and science, soft and hard skills. The success of identifying, qualifying and engaging influencers is also directly tied to how they will be engaged and to what end.

Some people reading this might think that influencer marketing isn’t the magic pill some are playing it up to be. There’s a reason for that, because it’s not magic. It’s more like alchemy.

The reality is, there’s no one formula for the perfect B2B influencer, but there are some common characteristics that B2B brands should look for in varying proportions according to what’s important to a program or activation. I call those characteristics:

The 5 Ps of B2B Influence

Proficiency - In B2B marketing, the vast majority of those considered influential possess deep expertise in the field they work in. This is a significant difference from many B2C influencers who are often self proclaimed as influential with clever media creation skills.

As B2C influencer content and engagement tactics evolve, some are crossing over into B2B with a trickle of opportunists successfully creating influence amongst B2B audiences not solely for their expertise, but for a combination of adept social media content creation skills and some expertise. B2B marketers who do their due diligence will be able to filter accordingly.

Popularity - While network size is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing, it is definitely a metric to consider. Some marketers swing in the direction of ignoring audience size altogether because of lower engagement rates with popular influencers. This is simply foolish. All things being the same, I’ll take 2% engagement of an influencer with a million followers over 2% from someone that has 1,000 followers.

What matters is how network size factors in with the type of influencer you need. For example, popular influencers aka “brandividuals” are often best for top of funnel content. Niche domain expert influencers are better for middle and end of funnel content. Engaging a brandividual and expecting conversions is just naive.

Personality - If you’ve worked in B2C influencer marketing and been exposed to all the characters there, B2B is going to seem a bit dry. Now there are some colorful characters in the B2B influencer community, no doubt. But personality is often a trait that needs to be uncovered when you’re working with some types of business influencers.

The good news is that savvy influencer marketing practitioners know how to plant the seeds that can grow and blossom within an otherwise introverted influencer. You don’t need them to be a colorful character, ripe with personality per se, but you do want them to connect with the passion they have with their craft and how their expertise can help others be successful.

Publishing - Content is the media that conveys the ideas of influence and while B2B influencers are not expected to produce the same types and quantity of content as in B2C, it is ideal when there’s a platform where the influencer publishes. At a minimum, that would be social networks but to be a B2B influencer, it’s most likely that also includes articles contributed to publications if not research, books and presentations.

Promotion - The value a B2B influencer brings beyond adding expertise and credibility to brand content is the ability to share what they helped create with their network. Trust of brand content is at a low, especially with advertising. Customers yearn for authentic content and the right kind of influencer collaboration can give them that, delivered via the influencer’s own distribution channels. That means social networks for course but also potentially blogs, email newsletters, podcast, LinkedIn Live, contributed articles or columns in industry publications.

I know some people reading this are thinking there could be even more P’s like being Prolific, Persuasive or Passion. Yes, there could be so many more but we have to draw the line somewhere! It's important to be able to manage the data and insights necessary to factor these characteristics into selection, qualification and engagement.

Some of these traits will not fully reveal themselves until you work with an influencer on a few content activations. Others will fluctuate over time and that is normal. It's important to understand that influence is a temporal thing. It is not fixed or permanent. It’s important marketers realize that before they disengage an influencer in the short term due to lower performance. The same goes for high expectations after great performance.

Organic influencer engagement is a little dynamic and what you don’t spend on paid influencers like an ad buy you will (in part) need to invest in relationship management, education and even tips that will help the influencers be more effective.

B2B brands with high influencer churn or low performance often apply “ad buy” perspectives to a what is actually a relationship driven effort. Mismatched expectations are not helpful for anyone, so think about the 5Ps as you evaluate and nurture your influencer community. Consider where of each your ideal influencers need to score on the 5 Ps in order to be a good match for the kind of activation you have in mind.

When there’s 5P alignment, there's happiness: for customers, influencers and your B2B brand.

The post 5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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