Having a Facebook marketing strategy and plan is the difference between businesses that succeed with Facebook, and the ones that crash and burn.
Let me show you how you can grow your brand and implement a good Facebook marketing strategy for your business while spending no money on your digital marketing.
I know what you must be thinking…
“But Jean-Pierre, you want me to create a Facebook marketing strategy for my business, but if Facebook organic is declining, why even waste my time?”
So, if you have just asked yourself that question, you are 100% correct.
Let me tell you something…
After a couple of days of research, I was on a mission to get to the bottom of this whole organic reach, and how can we as small business owners regain our power and win back our Facebook followers?
What I found was very interesting, and really a no-brainer.
Right now, Facebook has more the 65 million businesses advertising on its platform.
This has led to a problem for Facebook!
Facebook wants to ensure that all its users get to see content in its news feed that relates to friends and family instead of just marketing content randomly.
So, what happened was that Facebook started to run out of room in the news feed space, and found that businesses are bombarding this news feed with marketing content and all other types of rubbish.
This led to a fall in the user’s engagement with Facebook.
So, how did Facebook tackle this problem?
They decided to tighten up on the news feeds and take a note out of Google’s SEO playbook.
Facebook cut organic reach for businesses marketing on Facebook down by 98%.
This meant that we can no longer reach all our fans on our business Facebook pages when we post content.
Coming back to why even then bother with a Facebook marketing strategy?
Well, after doing a lot of research I discovered a way around this problem.
I am not saying that it’s easy, but if we follow the rules that Facebook has set out for us, and understand how the algorithm of Facebook’s news feed works, we will have a better chance of gaining back our power and engaging with our future customers on Facebook.
Below I have listed one word that I have found in my research to be the master key to unlocking your Facebook marketing strategy, the word is…
Keep this keyword in the back of your mind while reading this blog post, as we will be using it later.
What is a Facebook marketing strategy and how will it help my business?
Back in the old days, I would post content on my Facebook business pages whenever I wanted to, and whatever I wanted to.
This was a big mistake!
My Facebook followers were getting confused as to who we were as a business, as well as what our brand stood for, even though we reached almost all our followers, it was still BAD!
Only later on, I started posting content in a more structured way. It was after sitting down and deciding what my end goal would be for my posting, and what my Facebook followers expected from us as a business.
Having a Facebook marketing strategy and plan will not just help your followers receive content that relates to helping them, and gaining their trust, as well as help you start a better and more meaning full conversation, but it will help you position your brand better.
And don’t forget, you will become way more competitive in your market.
Below I have listed everything you will learn from this blog post, as well as having your very own Facebook marketing strategy and plan at the end of it.
You can also use the links and headings below to skip to those sections in this blog post by clicking on them.
- Understand Facebook’s news feed algorithm
- Using your Facebook insights for market research
- Setting your Facebook engaging goals & outcome
- What to use for your Facebook posts strategy
- When should you post your Facebook content
- Creating your Facebook post strategy and plan
- Free tool to use when posting your Facebook strategy
Let’s get started…
Understanding the Facebook algorithm & creating your strategy and plan.
Follow all the steps below to create your Facebook marketing strategy and plan. Remember to use the comment section at the bottom of this blog post if you have any questions.
Before we create any strategies or plans, we need to understand how Facebook news feed’s algorithm works.
Facebook has made it harder for our content to be seen by our followers, and this new algorithm is good for us, even though we might not like it.
It’s going to force us to create content that is more engaging, which leads to better conversations between us, and our customers or followers.
Below are the four new changes to the Facebook algorithm, I will also break them down for you.
- The Inventory of all posts available to display
- Signals that tell Facebook what each post is
- Predictions on how you will react to each post
- A Final Score is assigned to the content based on all factors considered
The process is based on the Vickrey-Clarke-Groves algorithm, which “operates as a closed auction,” in which advertisers’ bids are kept hidden from one another, prompting them to bid their real value.
I know, this sounds very confusing!
But allow me to break it down for you to get a better understanding of how it works.
The 4 factors that determine your Facebook content’s ranking:
Inventory represents the total stock of all content available that can display to a user on Facebook’s News Feed.
These are what Facebook uses to help choose which content goes out. It includes a list of criteria.
I have listed all the ones I know here, with the bold ones being more heavily-weighted by Facebook.
As you can see Facebook is all about proper engagement from people, such as comments and shares on Messenger.
- Comments and likes on a person’s status or photo
- Engagement with publisher content posted by friends
- Shares on Messenger
- Replies to comments on a video
- Who posted the content
- When was it posted
- What time is it now
- Technology (what type of phone, how strong the internet connection is)
- Average time spent on content
- How informative the post is
- Completeness of a profile
It’s also worth noting that Facebook will give more weight to conversations between people, compared to those between a page and a person.
You want your content to signal to Facebook that it’s meaningful and relevant to your target audience.
Predictions represent the behaviour of a user and how likely they are predicted to have a positive interaction with your content.
This is where Facebook uses your profile and previous behaviours to decide what to show.
They attempt to work out how likely you are to like or interact with content, keeping stuff they think you won’t engage with, out of your timeline. Although it’s worth noting a Pew Research Center study found 27% of people think the algorithm gets it wrong (make of that what you will).
This refers to a value assigned to a piece of content that will determine its ‘relevancy’ to the user. The higher the score, the more likely it is to appear in the feed.
Obviously, this means content will get different scores for individual people.
Now that you have a better understanding of how the new Facebook algorithm works, you will also have a better understanding of how your content will be ranked and displayed in the news feed of your followers.
Remember to use the comment section at the bottom of this post if you have any questions.
The next step will be to get a better understanding of who your audience is, and what they like to engage with on your Facebook business page.
This process might not work so well if your Facebook business page is brand new, and you have never posted a single bit of content.
But let’s say you have posted at least 10 pieces of content over the lifetime of your Facebook page.
I want you to navigate to your business manager’s account, click on your insights, and then click on the Posts link on the left side of the screen.
As you can see from the image above here, I have marked all the content that has had the most views and engagement.
Next, go into those posts and research why most of your followers decided to engage with that content.
This will give you a better understanding of the type of future content you should be focusing on.
Now that you have a better understanding of how the Facebook algorithm works, and what type of content your audience likes to engage with most, we need to set our goals and outcome.
Remember, I told you to keep that one keyword in mind…. can you remember what it was?
Yes, that keyword is “conversation”.
All my research has pointed to one main outcome that Facebook is looking for to help us get a better reach, as well as engagement with our marketing strategies and content.
Example of a goal and outcome
Our goal with Facebook is to build better content that engages people more. Meaning, content that our followers want to interact with and help them start meaningful conversations with each other, and us.
The outcome is to build a stronger brand, and have more people share our content, and in return, grow our fan base, and gaining more leads for RAS Digital Marketing.
This was simple but effective, I set my goals and presented my outcome.
This part can be tricky, and extremely time-consuming.
Not to worry, I got you!
The question of what to use as content for your posts on Facebook is really a process of launching, testing and gaining feedback on what worked best for your industry and followers.
Once you know what works, keep posting that type of content until you find it has gone stale and then swap it out.
Below I have listed different content ideas that you can use, I have also created a full blog post that will break each one down for you, based on what it can do for you, and how you should use it.
- Ask for advice
- A contest post
- Run a poll
- Share poll results
- Inspirational quotes
- Fill in the blank
- Follow Friday
- Seasonal post
- Blog post
- Fan-only discount
- An expert tip
How would I use these posts for RAS Digital Marketing’s Facebook strategy?
If I was going to use some of these post ideas for RAS Digital Marketing’s Facebook strategy.
I would first divide my year into four quarters, and each of those quarters into 3 months.
I would focus on testing 5 different post ideas in a month, allowing me to gain some data before making the call to keep using the post ideas.
As an example:
I have selected these 5 for my first month of testing.
- Follow Friday
- Blog posts
- Inspirational quotes
- An expert tip
- Free lead magnet
If you want to see these posts in action, then click here and follow our Facebook page.
This question has had me puzzled for years!
Instead of following data, I get from online research about the best times to post on Facebook, my journey in finding the perfect time to post has come from using my own data.
You can find this data in your Facebook insights tab.
But, let’s say you don’t have this data yet.
Okay, then let’s fall back on some research that will indicate what the best times are that we can use right now, while we gather data for ourselves over the next couple of weeks once we start doing our own posting and research.
Below I have added an image that will show you the best times to post on Facebook
As you can see, the best times are…
- Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
- Between the hours of 11:00 and 16:00
Next, we are going to plan out our content and put it all into one calendar.
Now that we have decided what we will be posting, we also know what the best days and times are. Now, we need to add it all into a marketing calendar.
I have been toying with the idea of creating one for everyone that reads this blog post, so if you think I should, then drop me a comment in the comment section and I might just create one.
Below you will see a posting calendar for my first week of the year.
So, in a year there are roughly 52 weeks give or take.
I want you to create a document that looks like the one you can see in the image above.
Number your sheets from 1 to 52 no matter which week of the year you will be starting, week 1 is always going to be your first.
Below I have broken the days up for you to get a better understanding.
Mondays are mostly very dead days.
Due to people coming back to full email inboxes at work, and new weekly meetings, the amount of activity on Facebook is low on this day.
So, let’s not waste any of the good stuff on this day. I will rather send out a good motivation quote in the morning and get people amped up for the week.
I would then also send out a second quote by mid-day.
Tuesdays, through to Thursdays are going to be the sweet spot.
So, on this day, I will start the morning off with an inspiring quote, nice and early, while everyone is still in bed, drinking coffee and checking their Facebook news feeds.
Then by 14:00, I will send them out a handy tip.
This tip will be about helping them with something that they are struggling with, or something they did not know of which could help them.
And in doing so, I am positioning my brand as a leading expert in the field of business that I am in.
Wednesday, it’s time we get some traffic to our websites with our well-crafted content.
I will send out a link to a blog post at 15:00, which is just before home time, and I know that most people have already started to switch off at work and are looking online for anything other to do than actual work.
Why not let them spend time on your website, which is why this day is perfect for a blog post.
Thursdays are our power days.
People have now started to switch off from the workweek and have mentally started dreaming about the weekend.
Today is a perfect fit for the Free Lead Magnet.
I will send out my link on Facebook inviting all our followers to come and see what we have to offer.
Who likes to work on Fridays?
Why don’t we have some fun today?
This day is perfect for my Follow Friday, I will invite people to post a link to their business Facebook pages on our Facebook business page, and for each one who does this, we will follow back.
Great for creating engagement, and the possibility for our own fans to see who else is out there.
Saturday is a bit of a dead one again.
This day mostly works for businesses that are running their businesses on the weekends, but even then, Facebook is a bit of dead space on the weekends.
So, I will rather keep the good stuff for next week, and just send out a motivation quote in the morning.
Note, I will send this quote out at 8:00 in the morning, as most people are not really up on the weekends at 6:00.
The day of rest for Facebook and all our followers.
Sundays are really rubbish when it comes to posting, as it’s such a dead day.
Let’s keep it simple and roll out only one quote in the morning and let everyone get a good rest while we all prep for the coming week.
Now that was not hard!
As you can see, I have planned out my whole week’s posting, as well as what times and days we will be posting.
I am also posting with a strategy and have put some thought into when to post what content.
Remember to mix things up, change the times of your posts every month and see which days and times get you the best engagement.
Lastly, we now need a tool that can help us deploy our amazing content without us having to do it manually.
There are many different tools that you can use, but I have found that Zoho Social is one of the best I have used, and for the price, it’s a real steal.
They even have a FREE version that you can use. Click here to open your free Zoho Social account.
Next, I want you to follow the steps that Zoho will take you through to open your free account and connect your social media pages.
Once you have done that, watch my video on how to schedule your content.
You are all done, and ready to start building your brand on Facebook and creating some great social media engagement, and conversations.
We know that Facebook organic is slowly dying, but by following the new rules of Facebook we can actually get around this problem and build even better engagement with our followers.
In this blog post, you will have learned how the Facebook algorithm works, where to find the data that can help you understand what your followers really want to see from you, as well as created a well-designed Facebook strategy and plan.
Pro tip: Place a small ad spend on your content that performs the best, you will get cheap Cost-per-clicks that will help your page grow. Add in anything from R 10 per day upwards.
Free Facebook advertising invite
I want to do something different today.
I want you to share your Facebook business page in the comment section of my blog today.
This will give you some free exposure to all the people that come and read this blog, and maybe you even get some free traffic to your Facebook page from it.
Also, if you are struggling, or maybe I did not explain something well enough then let me know in the comment section.
Thanks for reading my blog post today, Cheers, till next time.