November 1, 2016
More than 1.7 billion people worldwide use Facebook.
That's almost 25% of the Earth's population - a colossal number.
Sure, some might predict the social media giant's imminent downfall, but for now...
...It's clear that Facebook is alive and well, and if you're not active on Facebook, your competitors are.
That means incorporating a Facebook marketing strategy is critical.
Increasing online exposure requires thoughtful planning. It also takes an alignment of company goals and vision.
Below are 11 principles I eat, sleep and breathe daily.
Each one has been the driving force behind my success. But more than that, they've been the fuel to power my Facebook strategy.
Ready to make an impact on your business? Here's 11 principles that will improve your Facebook marketing!
One of the best, if not the best ways to market your business on Facebook is to practice what you preach.
Have a product or service?
Train others to do something within their business?
You better show and tell potential customers how you use the product you sell.
And not only that, you must prove its value and the benefit it offers to your audience.
I've seen too many companies and supposed trainers share what they've never actually experienced.
Hard to imagine, right?
The other huge bonus to using your own product or tool is getting first-hand knowledge of:
Rather than waiting to hear the good, bad and ugly...
...You get ahead of the curve.
Through video, you have the unique opportunity to highlight your employees, product, and culture.
Atlassian, makers of JIRA (a tool we use daily) and HipChat, nailed this idea.
This video humanizes the brand through the eyes (and thoughts) of the team.
Atlassian’s video shows that they do what they say, use the tools they build, and embody their values.
Prove the value of the product you sell. Show (don't tell) that you use it, value it and have mastered it.
In social media, almost every interaction...
...Be it a like, click through, or comment - is measurable.
Using those data points to inform your team and make constant improvements.
You can find out what's working and what's not through:
And a plethora of tools that let you deep dive into your results.
Here's how you take Facebook and Google and put your data on overdrive.
You need details about customer actions if you run marketing campaigns.
Google analytics when combined with Facebook provides the answers you're looking for.
Need to know what visitors clicked on or how they arrived at your website? You can do that!
And it's simple. Just use UTM parameters.
UTM or tracking codes will link back to Google Analytics. Now you can dive into Facebook fans behavior.
Here's an example:
You want to track clicks from one of your Facebook Page tabs. You're looking to see how well it's driving traffic to your website.
Here's simple steps via Kristi Hines:
Data doesn't lie.
Leverage it to increase your Facebook engagement and company success.
Your brand has its own personality. And like people, brands are passionate about certain topics.
But up until recently, traditional advertising shied away from sharing those "less than generally accepted opinions."
Today, Facebook allows you to reach your audience through those topics on an emotional level.
You are marketing to human beings after all...
... And specific ones at that.
Be clear in your message and take chances. Be bold in your tone and language.
Sure, this will look different for you than me. The idea is to be true to who you are.
Embrace what makes you different and the opinions that set you apart.
Avoid conformity, question conventions, and state your beliefs. People connect with people and companies that show they aren't afraid to be authentic.
Facebook as a company fights conventional thinking daily.
They challenge us to look at the world a little differently.
Rather than see things for what they appear, you are asked to see them for what they truly are...
...Or could be.
But not just that, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he's constantly challenging his own team. He pushes them beyond traditional beliefs.
Look internally to yours.
Challenging perceived truths or wisdom, looking for new ideas, and risk-taking are all part of a bold and influential brand.
The great thing about Facebook marketing is your ability to stop speaking at your audience.
Instead, you're speaking with them. You've become an active participant in the conversation.
And more than that...
....You ask for their opinion.
If you want to understand the needs of your customers, treat them like collaborators.
Ask questions, request input and suggestions, invite them to test your product. Their insight and feedback are invaluable.
Nature Valley is a great example of this in motion.
"How do you savor your mornings" asks fans to share their granola breakfast ritual.
Taco Bell asked fans to sign a petition to add a taco emoji to messaging services.
Kinda cute, right? A smart way to let their Facebook fans become part of the story.
And the outcome? Fans prevailed!
Let your fans know you're listening, that you value their voice.
Use a tool like Shortstack to ask fans about an important decision in your business.
Trying to decide what color to use in your new branding or which mascot you should choose?
Create a Facebook campaign with:
What can you give away that's valuable enough that your fans want to offer their opinion?
Doesn't have to be difficult, expensive or convoluted. The only thing that's important is that you make your fans feel special.
"It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed." - Napoleon Hill
As an entrepreneur, I've always believed that together we're smarter, stronger and better.
That's why I use my platform to promote others.
As one, we can only do so much. But when we promote and celebrate the people in our network?
Together, we become a powerful force.
And what better way to say thank you to your fans than celebrating THEM?!
Create a theme day and highlight one of your fans. Or use a specific hashtag to share the stories of your fans.
Doves #BeautyStory does exactly that.
The great thing about Facebook is that length not limits you on posts.
280 characters, anyone?
Nope, with Facebook, you can go in-depth and create a sense of community.
Open the doors of your business, give a behind the scenes look, and share your key learnings.
One of the best performing brands on Facebook is Nike. They capitalize on this idea by inspiring their fans with personal stories.
This idea is to listen, respect, and empathize with your fans.
It's educating and informing. Sharing the real day-to-day trials, tribulations and victories.
Choose one company or person per week and highlight their story. Create a graphic with a tool like Adobe Spark and include a quote or shout out.
And don't make it difficult. None of these ideas must be complicated to be effective.
Facebook marketing isn't your way to spam the news feed and push sales.
It's about sharing, promoting, and interacting with a benefit mindset.
The simple formula is this:
You provide value, become a resource, and your fans pay attention.
That means you take a step back. Rather than writing for your benefit, you write for your fans.
See your company through their eyes.
Facebook marketing is like dating. Remember that first date? How nervous you were?
Think you would have asked for a kiss before you’d even finished dinner?
Of course not (or at least you shouldn’t).
The point is…
...We all like to be wooed.
Show your fans that you're committed to the relationship. Aim to connect on an emotional level.
If you’re a local business, call out the efforts of those in your area.
Empower your fans through the kindness of others. Give them the motivation to become influencers in their own circles.
Highlight the little guys, the heroes, the local inspirations.
If your business is national, talk about your mom on Mother's Day or say thank you to the person who sent you a letter yesterday.
It might be a digital world, but we still want human interaction.
And everyone wants to be acknowledged, no matter how small it seems.
A powerful Facebook strategy includes a commitment to transparency.
Did someone post a negative comment on your page? Treat them with respect by responding immediately.
Don't lash out or try to cover it up - offer a real solution. Let other customers see how you react to negative reviews.
And when someone in your company makes a mistake, own up to it and apologize.
Post about it instead of letting bad publicity craft its own story. Your company will benefit in the long run.
In August 2015, Bic thought it would be a good idea to celebrate National Women’s Day with an offensive quote.
Their Bic South Africa page posted an invite to their fans, asking that they "look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, and work like a boss."
Even worse was their explanation. They claimed the quote was taken from a blog...of which they hadn't cited.
They took down the post, but recovery was difficult.
Don't be that brand. Own up to your mistakes, learn from them, and move forward.
Companies with Facebook pages that stay lighthearted in their approach tend to perform better than their stuffy counterparts.
Of course, this won't always work, so it's a principle and not a rule.
But consider the fact that one of the best Facebook ads of 2014, the ALS ice bucket challenge, promoted finding a cure for a debilitating brain disease.
And it did it by asking people to dump water on their heads.
Seems a little crazy. And silly. But millions did it without reservation.
The takeaway and how you can use this in your business immediately:
Stop taking yourself too seriously.
Quite often, people are ready to take that extra step, but need a small nudge.
Tell your Facebook fans exactly what you want them to do.
Want them to read your post, visit your site, buy your product, or share the post? Be clear with your call to action.
You can also use the Facebook “Call to Action” button to direct fans to a product, service, your latest webinar or even a book.
But make sure your fans know the value of clicking or sharing.
Let them know what they'll see on the other side. e.g. access to a discount.
There are 7 “Call to Action” buttons. Each one can be used to clearly direct your audience, so there's no confusion.
Peg Fitzpatrick's Facebook page is an excellent example of how to best combine your cover photo with your CTA,
Be the best company in your niche. Welcome competition; it spurs you to do better.
Experiment with your Facebook strategies; often the best engagement comes about that way.
And make sure your efforts stand out from the crowd. Use imagery, videos, and content to position your brand.
Don’t just push out content. Let context give flight to your strategy.
Free Solo might share other people’s content, but they know their audience. Everything shared on this page has a unique tone and voice.
Let your content do the same...breathe life into that boring, seemingly simple post.
Let your kick ass voice be heard...loud and clear across your page.
Facebook can be an unbelievable goldmine and a great source of new prospects.
All you need is to put your principles into the heart of your strategy.
So, do it!
Be amazing at Facebook marketing. Connect your audience to the principles that drive your brand forward.