Creating content for Facebook can be a daunting task to many small business owners, who may feel more comfortable with the daily running of their business than the world of social media. How do you start? What should you post about? How often should you post? Creating a social media strategy is an easy (we promise!) and worthwhile way to get a handle on this important marketing venue, and we’ll walk you through it.
This blog post outlines our approach to social media strategy from start-to-finish, so use the handy table of contents below to skip to the information you want, or walk through from the beginning at your own pace!
Table of Contents
- Step One: Research & Review
- Step Two: Plan
- Step Three: Content Planning
- Moving Forward
Step One: Research & Review
To craft effective updates, you need to know what your current audience wants to see and read. Tapping into your current audience will help you grow in the future. To figure this out, always check out the insights tab first when diving into a new Facebook strategy.
1.1 Insights Tab
As a business owner, you’ve probably seen the insights tab many times and looked at the information on it without knowing how to leverage it to your advantage. Here are the basics we cover in every review:
- Review the people tab to learn about who is engaging with your page (gender, age)
- Analyze the posts tab to see what content your audience is engaging with (reach, reactions, shares, etc)
- Review pages to watch on the overview tab to gain insight into what the top three pages are doing successfully
During this review, take note of patterns in subjects of updates, voice, images, and other aspects of posts that are popular. The key is to find what is working and build upon that.
If you haven’t been active on Facebook, this information may not be as accurate as you’d hope. Still, go through the process and focus your energy on competitors’ pages that are doing well. It’s okay to utilize ideas from their successes and failures, but remember you’re just borrowing ideas – not their entire strategy and content. Be as original as you can with all you do online for your business.
Step Two: Plan, plan, plan
“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy” – Brian Tracy
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal.” – Cornelius Fichtner
Planning is the key to making sure your efforts are trackable and measurable so you can analyze and make adjustments as needed.
There are two major factors in your strategy that you should be planning. First is personas (the categories of people who you will be marketing to), and the second is content (what you will be posting about).
A persona can be defined as the aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others. Working out who your business’s top persona groups are can be helpful for your social media strategy. With each update, it is more effective to engage with a specific type of customer than try to appeal to everyone.
To figure out your persona segments, think about who your brand should appeal to. Who is your target demographic? For some brands, this is a very easy process if they have a niche product, but for others, it may take a little time. Start by writing down general statements about your customer groups. Here’s an example for a restaurant in a high tourist area in Florida:
- Tourists looking for a meal to please the whole family
- Local middle-class families
- Beachgoers who want quick, delicious take-out to enjoy in the sand
Your goal with this is to try and identify what would get these people to walk in the door. What do they want to know about? Start with building out 2 or 3 main personas and add more as they come to mind. Remember to stay broad enough that you cover a lot of ground with one persona, but not so broad that you can’t identify the key aspects of your business these customers want to know about.
There are many types of people we could define, but these are the three main categories this made-up restaurant is attracting and wants to continue pursuing. With this information, we can build out the personas a little more, considering things such as:
- why they want to come to the restaurant
- age ranges of the decision maker
- the frequency in which they will come to the restaurant
- other brands they connect with
We can hear your mind churning about all your personas! Keep the excitement going and start planning out your content. Figuring out what to post about can be a challenge as you work out how to execute all your ideas. Start with defining your voice.
First, think about your brand. Define who you are as a business. What is your vibe – are you a formal business or a casual business? What do you do? Then, think about the personas you just identified. What do they perceive from your brand? Who do they think you are?
Combine those two things above to find your businesses voice. It might be informative and serious, or informative and funny, or even relatable. Most of the time the business’s voice takes after the owner, so if you’re the owner – what is your voice? Who have your customers come to know and love? What voice will they get when they come into your business or work with you? These are all factors that will help you establish your business’s voice for online marketing.
Step Three: Content Building
Building content can be great the first time around, but then you get stuck and can be drained of ideas. Here’s where personas are key – they give you ideas about what to update about! The types of content we found that work best for most businesses include, but are not limited to:
- Basic information such as location, hours, products/services/menu’s
- Specials, sales, and coupons
- Answers to frequently asked questions
- Any PR you receive
- Relevant industry news
- Local weather & sunsets/sunrises
- Local events
- Pets & animals
- Special perks of your job/business
We also always recommend the content you come up with follow these best practice standards:
- Use photos and links often
- Keep it short & sweet
- Include a CTA (call to action)
- Post 3+ times a week
- Ask questions
- Mention (and tag!) other businesses/brands that complement your brand’s identity
This should get you started! If you need help building out personas and content for your company, request our getting started guide and contact us to talk about how we can help build your Facebook strategic plan!
Moving Forward with Your Strategy
After all this work, now it’s time to implement your plan! Stick with it and be persistent, intentional, and responsive! Do not just schedule your updates and check back in a month. Make a point to check on comments, messages, and reviews at least once a week, ideally 2-3 times. This may take just a minute of your time if you’re still growing your brand on Facebook, but showing up is the most important part.
Remember to also analyze what performed well and what people are responding to, and continue to make more of that content. This will help your brand grow organically on Facebook because people engaging with your content helps to get your brand in front of the right eyes and onto Facebook timelines of potential new customers.