With 1.49 billion monthly active users, over 30 million business pages and almost $15 billion spent on Facebook Ads in the last year, Facebook’s influence in the social marketing space is undeniable. Marketers have incredible potential to scale company growth using Facebook for business purposes…when done right. The challenge, however, is that many miss on some crucial functions and best practices with Facebook for business which can negate its effectiveness. Here are 3 common Facebook for business challenges and of course, solutions for them!
I often hear businesses comment, “Why is a compelling content strategy on Facebook important? Why can’t I just share sales focused content exclusively?” Glad you asked.
When sharing on Facebook, it’s imperative to take a holistic approach that includes varied content that’s designed to educate, entertain, inspire, and delight your fans. If your content strategy is solely pushy sales messaging focused, your business will suffer diminishing returns on your content’s effectiveness and a loss in fans (and fan engagement). However, the amazing thing about a compelling content strategy is that it manages to establish loyalty, trust, and expertise in your fan base, which puts you on a path for lifetime loyal customers.
Additionally, with a content strategy, consistency is key. Without including educational, and entertaining content that is geared purely as a value add to viewers, it would be hard to produce enough content to consistently share new posts.
So, how do I do this?
Unfortunately, there’s no “silver bullet” to create a compelling content strategy, but there are a handful of best practices that can put you on the right course. First, carefully analyze trends in effectiveness for frequency of posting, post quality, and post type within your industry. Quality is always more important than quantity on social media, but perhaps there is opportunity for you to post more often for more success? Or, conversely, if your industry generally struggles with posting too much without enough variety (as the Real Estate industry does), maybe cutting down the number of posts to ensure higher quality would be a great change to make.
An insightful measure of how compelling your content is engagement per post. Take a look at how your content is performing and see if you can notice any trends. Before sharing new content on Facebook, ask yourself this question, “If I saw this in my newsfeed, what would I do?”
For more content strategy tips, like what the ideal ratio of types of content using the 4-1-1 rule, take a look at Likeable Local’s free eBook The 10 Commandments of Content Creation.
2. Differentiating Between Timeline Content & “Dark Posts”
You may or may not have heard of this thing on Facebook called “dark posts” and been slightly confused. What does this mean? Where do they live? When it comes to Facebook advertising, things can get a little complicated since there are so many nuances, so it's best to take a step back before staring to advertise on Facebook or embarking on a new campaign to make sure you are truly optimizing it for success.
Dark posts are Facebook Ads placed though Ads Manager or Power Editor that do not live on the business page’s timeline. These types of ads can have more specific goals (like app installs, website conversions, or offer claims) and can be a bit more complicated to run. Timeline content that is also advertised is called a boosted post. This is content that lives on the business page’s timeline but is given a “boost” as well which allows it to be shown to more people as a sponsored post in the Facebook newsfeed.
How do I know if I want a timeline boosted post or a “dark post?”
There are a couple great ways to think about this. One is to ask yourself, “is it evergreen or timely content?” For example, if you are promoting an eBook or product that will be around for a while, an ad for website conversions with a “buy now” or “download” call-to-action might be a great idea. But, if you’re sharing about something happening this week or this month, a boosted post would be a nice way to drive timely awareness.
Another way to decide is to assess your technical capabilities. Generally, boosting timeline content is the simplest way to advertise on Facebook. If you'd love to track something like conversions or installs and have the technical ability to place a tracking pixel on your website, for example, a dark post would be worth investigating.
3. Tracking Results Effectively
We’re all looking for social ROI, but you’ll have no idea if you’ve achieved that if you’re not tracking things properly! Since Facebook gives you so many available metrics, it can be hard to know what exactly you should be monitoring. Sometimes, too much data can lead to drawing no conclusions at all!
Some tips for tracking:
Always decide BEFORE your Facebook campaign what your goal is. Is it purely engagement on the post itself? Is it clicks through to an article? Is it downloads or conversations? Armed with your one most important metric, use tracking tools like tracking URLS or integrations with other platforms. Bit.ly is a great tracking URL builder with easy to use results tracking. At Likeable Local, we use Likeable Hub, Ad Espresso, and Hubspot to help us track the success of our social media efforts.