You’ve read it, you’ve heard it: your brand needs to have a Facebook presence. Sure, seems easy enough – you build a Page, tell your friends and family to “Like” it, add some social buttons on your website, send out a few status message updates, then sit back and wait for the magic to happen. That magic, however, doesn’t just happen.
So what can you do? The process might seem overwhelming leading you to believe giving up is your best option. I’m here to tell you, don’t give up! Working through our to-do list can help even the most unorganized get their Facebook act in check.
One of the biggest marketing faux pas is assuming you know what your audience wants without proper research. Quarterly research such as social listening and competitive audits will help you answer the essential question: Why would users want to interact with my brand? Spending a few hours evaluating your competitors, figuring out what your audience is talking about, looking both onsite and offsite, and checking out industry studies is recommended before checking this off your list. Below I’ve listed a few great resources to help you research:
YourOpenBook.org – Search status message updates by keyword or topic, and sort by gender.
SocialMention.com – Has its limitations, but includes the most common indicators of social media activity.
Addictomatic.com – Get the latest buzz on any topic.
Here at Vertical Measures we’ve found it most effective to get in the habit of putting together six month strategies/campaigns that lend themselves to a bit of flexibility when needed. Simply starting your Facebook marketing without laying out a plan can slowly overtime derail your efforts. Sit down and map it out. Answering the below questions (and examining the next item on the checklist) should help you get a good start on developing your strategy:
- What are your goals for your social media marketing campaign?
- Are there specific products you’d like to target?
- Is this mostly for branding?
- Are you using it as a customer service channel?
- What specific activities will you use to accomplish your goals?
- What kind of messaging resonates with your target audience?
- Which Facebook marketing techniques will you use to make this a successful venture?
Determine Your Investment (Monthly)
Ask yourself how much your brand is actually willing to invest in your Facebook marketing. Whether its resources, budget, time, or focus it all boils down to money. So many brands check off this part of their to-do list without thinking it through. For some, it helps to first develop a social media calendar (the next thing on your to-do list) before determining true investment costs. Think about a few of the items listed below when determining the investment you are willing to make into this new venture:
- # of employees it will take to accomplish your goal
- Training time
- Time to analyze social media metrics
- Research and strategy hours
- Monitoring/QC time
Social Media Calendar (Quarterly)
I’m a firm believer that organizational calendars do indeed work. I’ll admit I’m toying with the idea of using Kanban as a social media task organizer. Regardless of the method you prefer don’t check this task off your to-do list until you’ve sufficiently laid out and organized your quarterly social media efforts. Below you’ll find some of the items I often include in my social media calendars:
- Specific platforms to publish messaging to (it’s not just about Facebook with this calendar)
- Themes consistent monthly, weekly or quarterly
- Consistent messaging strategies on a regular basis
- Contests and promotions
- Days to report measurement results
- Strategy meetings with team members
- Training days
Measurement (Monthly or Weekly)
Arguably one of the most important items on your to-do list is measuring the effectiveness of your efforts. On a weekly or monthly basis this item most certainly cannot be missed. Several tools are available at your disposal to help determine if goals are being met. Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t state the obvious fact that no one tool is completely accurate or caters to your exact needs. That’s why I suggest looking at a variety of tools from Google Analytics and Bit.ly (or other URL shorteners) to Facebook Insights and large monitoring tools like Radian 6. Below you’ll find a small list of activities your brand should be monitoring on a weekly or monthly basis.
- Total “Likes” to establish growth and “Likes” on specific posts. Facebook posts receive 50% of their Likes in the first 1h20m, 80% in the first 7 hours, and 95% within 22 hours.
- Daily and monthly stream impressions to monitor and track reach
- Monthly gender and age data to monitor and track fan demographic trends
- Traffic referrals generated from Facebook to your site
- Conversions attributed to Facebook traffic onsite or directly on Facebook (if customers can purchase directly from Facebook)
Customizing your Facebook Page can be a timely and costly adventure, but the possibilities are endless. Applications for contests and giveaways, to allow fans to purchase your products, or play games on your Page are just the start. There are many companies willing to work with your brand at customizing aspects of your Page that cater to your fans, or DIY-ing it is always an option too. Below are a few great resources to help you figure out which option will work best, based on your goals and time/investment allowance.
- How to Make a Custom Facebook Page Tab with iFrames
- 39 Business Apps for Your Facebook Page
Did you find this checklist handy or have items to add? Let us know in the comments below.
Find more of these helpful tips in Kaila’s new book “Facebook for Business: A How-To Guide”, available in the Vertical Measures store for $9.99.