A lot of clients come to me because they’re concerned about “doing their business Facebook page wrong”. After a little bit of conversation, it soon becomes clear that they’re not really sure what this Facebook page is for and what it’s meant to do. They often aren’t familiar with all of its features and don’t know how to use it. They turn to me to explain it to them and give them some clear strategies for how to best use their Facebook page.
In this simple five step process, I will walk you through the actions you need to take to develop your very own Facebook Content Strategy.
Set Measurable Goals
It’s quite common for business owners to set up a Facebook page for their business because they think, or have been told, that it’s the right thing to do. But no-one has every told them why.
The good news is that you don’t need an expert to tell you what your Facebook page is for. It’s something you get to decide.
Broadly speaking, your Facebook page is there to generate engagement, or conversation, with your clients and potential clients. It’s your opportunity to show them why they should know, like and trust you enough to buy from you. So keep those broad goals in mind when developing your content strategy. They can be a really useful checklist to go through every time you post something on your page. “Is this helping my clients get to know, like, trust or buy from me?”
In addition to these broad goals, you should decide on more specific goals, for example – more sales, more traffic through the door, more appointments, more referrals. Ideally, you will add a measurable number and timeline to these goals, for example, “I want to increase my sales by 20% in the next 3 months”, or “I want all my classes to be full for Term 1”.
Be careful when setting a goal that relates only to the number of likes your page has, or its “reach”. It’s important to be clear why those goals are important to you. For example, if you know that 5% of your Facebook page likers, end up being clients, then yes, it makes sense to set that goal. But setting a likers goal just for itself is not always beneficial. You can have several thousand likes on your page, but if none of them ever become clients, or refer clients to you, then what is the point of that number? For example, one of my clients was a local cafe whose owner was Irish. She posted a lot Irish memes and content on her Facebook page and had thousands of likers from across the world, but her actual client base remained static. She was told she needed a Facebook page, so she made one, but she couldn’t see the point of having it, because she didn’t set any goals and didn’t see any results.
2.Develop An Action Plan
Once you have your goal, you will have a better idea of what kind of posts to share on your Facebook page. For example, if you want to generate more sales, your posts should be promoting your products, sharing client testimonials, asking for client reviews, promoting specials and new products/services. This will work for both a product and a service based business.
Keeping in mind our broader goals, consider what kind of things you can post that will allow your potential clients to get to know, like and trust you. Share personal content about yourself and your staff. You could create a whole series of posts that introduce your staff – these should include their photos, or, if you’re a bit more ambitious, short videos. Share “behind the scenes” content of how your products and services are made. Share your blog posts, if you have a blog, or articles relevant to your industry, to showcase your expertise and educate your likers.
Images and video content usually reach far more people than plain text or links. Using tools like Canva or Picmonkey makes creating visually interesting content easy and even fun. I have to admit that creating content is something I do on the fly. I create it as I need it, but it makes much more sense to set aside time regularly to create and compile content for the week, or month and one day I might even do it myself. In the meantime, don’t do as I do, but, instead, schedule that time in your diary.
Make sure that all your posts are actionable. For example if you are promoting a new product on your page, ensure that you include information on how to purchase it. Or maybe you want to generate discussion about it – again, say that in your post, for example – “What would you wear it with?”, if it’s an item of clothing, or “Which muffin is your favourite – A or B?” If you want people to book appointments with you, again tell them how and make it easy – this could be a link to your online booking form, or a phone number to ring.
When to post
There are lots of reports out there that will give you information on what are the peak usage time for Facebook. From my own experience, the results quoted in those vary hugely from source to source. What is really clear is that the group of people you are trying to reach will have their own Facebook usage cycle. For example mums of young children will check Facebook at their children’s sleep times, while tradies will usually check it at morning tea time and after work, which is usually between 3.30 and 4.30 pm.
There will be peaks and troughs and you will only discover those with experimentation. Post at different times of day for a few weeks and then look at your Facebook Page Insights. This will tell you what kind of people (demographics) are looking at your page and when they are looking at it – days of the week and times of day.
Once you know your people’s cycle you can start to post regularly during the peak times.
How often to post
Again, there are varying views on this. Ideally you will post on your page at least once a day. If your page has a huge following, then you will probably be posting several times a day, to make sure your fans don’t miss out on your Facebook goodness.
It can be hard to remember to make these posts when you’re in the middle of your work day, so set time aside, either once or twice a week, to schedule your posts. You can do this either directly from your Facebook page, or by using a tool like Coschedule, Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Buffer and MeetEdgar. Then all you need to do is check your page when you have a free minute and respond to any comments and questions.
3. Create a Schedule
Use the decisions you made in Step 2 to create a Schedule for your Facebook page. Ideally, your schedule will look like a grid with days of the week on top and times of day on the side. You can then fill your grid with different types of content to fill up the week. You will then use this schedule to post on your Facebook page, either as you go, or by using one of the scheduling tools I mentioned. Additionally, you can use the schedule to outsource your daily Facebook page management to someone else, like a Virtual Assistant, who might also be able to create the content for you.
Use your schedule to create and post content on your Facebook page, or outsource it to a skilled Virtual Assistant. Check your page daily to respond to comments and questions.
Add a call to action button to your Facebook page. You can link it to your website, to your diary, to your online shop, or to your blog.
Make sure that your about section is accurate and up to date. Add your opening hours, your website address and your phone number.
Use the Insights tool on your Facebook page to track the performance of your posts. Find out what kind of posts are getting good engagement and reach and which aren’t – adjust your content accordingly. Analyse which topics are popular and create more content on those. Monitor the times of day that get you the best results and adjust as needed. What questions are people asking on your Facebook page? Can you use that information to create new content?
Lastly, make sure you have a way of relating your activity on Facebook to your overall goals. Is your diary fully booked? Are your sales up? Can you track the connection between your Facebook activity and your business results? For example, you could be asking new clients for how they found you. When people purchase something, ask them how they found out about the product/service.
Do you need help?
If reading this article has helped you and you are ready to develop your own strategy, that’s brilliant. Off you go!
If however, it’s made you feel like, “Oh, no! Not another thing for me to do!”, then let me help you with the process. I have designed my Facebook Content Strategy package to take the best of both worlds – your expertise in your business and my expertise in managing Facebook pages and developing strategies.
We will meet for 30 minutes, in person, or via Skype, to discuss the key elements of your business and then I will develop the Content Strategy for you. You can find it here or by clicking the image below.