Is there a simple Facebook strategy that gets your small business page off the ground? These are the fundamentals of launching an engaging Facebook page, together with an easy-to-maintain plan.
More than 90 million small companies use Facebook and its products to reach their customers online. Facebook has proven itself to be a great place to engage with various audiences and to build a vibrant community of repeat buyers around a brand.
Entrepreneurs eagerly join the platform, expecting sudden and ongoing sales. Soon, they discover that finding and keeping an audience is more challenging than they thought! With a few minor adjustments to your mindset and some useful Facebook marketing tips, a successful strategy is still achievable.
Here is how to put a mini-Facebook strategy to guide your daily practices on the platform.
Facebook Marketing for Small Business: Start With Strategy
As a successful venture capitalist once said, “strategy is easy…tactics are hard.”
Yet, for inexperienced small business owners, a strategy is often forgotten or mistaken as the day-to-day tactics they perform on the social media site in an attempt to sell their wares.
A strategy is essential for succeeding on a platform like Facebook. Competitors are already there, and they have many years of experience nurturing audiences and priming them for conversion. As a new page, you start with no likes and followers, no engagement, and no reputation.
This is ground zero.
Before you try to sell anything to anyone—there needs to be a community of potential customers. That’s why your first Facebook strategy should focus on goals built around brand awareness and audience discovery—and retention. Ignore overt sales for this part, or they are likely to scare potential followers away.
#1: Setting Goals for Brand Awareness
The first step to a solid mini strategy for Facebook is to understand the goals involved. Entrepreneurs must focus on these goals and shape their tactics around them.
As a small business, these are the goals that matter:
- Establishing reputation, authority, and relevance
- Gaining credibility
- Increasing website traffic
These top-level strategic goals are meant to guide everything from the daily tactics that are used for audience acquisition to figuring out how to secure a Facebook community that regularly clicks over to your business website. Use them to shape a mini strategy for your page.
#2: Pairing Goals With Achievable Facebook Metrics
Facebook isn’t the same for every business owner or marketer. What works in one niche sometimes does not translate into another. It is best to measure the tactics you use daily, weekly, and monthly—to see if they are working and to optimize your time investment.
That is why goals need to be paired with metrics. A metric is a standard of measurement that will shed light on whether the tactic used has value or needs to be changed to achieve the goals that have been set that month.
Facebook metrics for brand visibility:
- Likes (the size of the community)
- Post reach (how many people are seeing the content)
- Facebook referral traffic (how many people are clicking to the website from Facebook)
These basic metrics should increase with every post or tactic that a small business owner executes for their page. Remember that it is nearly impossible to expand a company page on Facebook without hyper-relevant posts that spark engagement for a specific audience (organic) or by investing in Facebook advertising. This is the reality of the Facebook algorithm.
#3: Free Up Your Precious Time To Engage
Small business owners have a tight budget, and because of that—a lot of them end up doing their own Facebook marketing and run their own Facebook pages. This is despite having no previous experience with the platform and not having the time to invest in daily content and promotions.
Part of a good strategy is about resource division—buying time and skill. In exchange for very little, you benefit from professionally done content and have time to implement a plan.
Here is how to simplify your infrastructure:
- Hire a freelancer to set up the Facebook business page (design, writing, SEO)
- Hire a freelancer on a marketplace like Fiverr to create a set of 10 brand-centric Facebook posts each month
- Spend an hour sourcing ten relevant conversation-starting articles, videos, or podcasts
- Schedule these posts to publish at the same time every single day
Consistency is half of the battle. By automating this process for a small ($50-$100) outlay, your time is free to engage with your audience, which is where the real Facebook magic happens.
Most entrepreneurs are not content creators. They get stuck spending all of their time populating the page, never getting to marketing it or implementing a basic Facebook strategy, with metric targets to guide their tactics. Make the process easier and consider outsourcing some of the more automated steps.
#4: Start Slow With a Few Basic Tactics
There are a million ways to execute a million different Facebook tactics. Don’t do them all at once. Scaling is the most important feature of a smart social media strategy.
Initially, once the daily content is automated and rolling as a baseline, you will want to engage in the following tactics to stimulate audience discovery and conversation.
- A weekly live video
- Join one large, niche-relevant Facebook group and engage every day (offer value!)
- Like other Facebook business pages and be a top commenter (never sell, only chat)
- Start a group of your own (post daily)
- Run a Facebook ad
A mini strategy can focus on 1-3 of these daily for a single hour. Engagement, presence, and adding conversation to Facebook is a sure-fire way to crack the algorithm. Plus, high visibility encourages an audience to engage in return because they know someone is always checking in.
Savvy entrepreneurs that do this well will grow their Facebook communities without much investment. If no budget is available or only a shoestring budget is possible, scale this way down to a post or two a week—but keep up the high engagement.
#5: A Facebook Community of 5000 Genuine People
On this journey, you will achieve certain milestones—the first time the page hits 1000 likes, then 3000, and then 5000. The benefit of scaling with a mini-strategy on Facebook is that it can be handed over to an intern or social media employee when the time comes.
A community of 5000 engaged followers that frequent your online business and like, comment, and share the content from your brand is extremely valuable. Shortcutting an audience like some companies do when they buy likes and followers leaves you without these benefits.
In social media marketing, 100 active members are more valuable than 100,000 bots, fake accounts, or foreign followers who never intend to buy from you. Don’t be tempted. Ultimately there are no shortcuts if real sales, real engagement, and real growth are what you’re after.
To recap: Start marketing on Facebook by establishing strategic goals. Link them to metrics, and shape tactics around them. Automate your content as much as possible for consistency and free the time required to engage in person. Begin small and scale when things start working.
A mini-Facebook marketing strategy will do more for a new business page than skipping vital steps and muddling through a jumble of unmeasured, hasty tactics. Plan ahead to get ahead.