No one likes to fail.
And failing at social media can definitely hurt your business. Especially if you’re putting time, effort and money into a strategy that’s not working. And what if you’re putting all your marketing eggs into your Facebook basket? You’re risking your entire business if you're pursuing a strategy that isn’t working.
But it’s certainly not hopeless. Social media can be challenging and frustrating. The good news is that it’s also data-driven. And that means you can see exactly where you’re failing and make a new plan that pinpoints important information so you can make a new long-term strategy – one that actually works.
In 3 Simple Ways to Promote Your Passion and Business, I shared easy ways to promote your business through social causes. Yet, that’s only one small part of an overall Facebook strategy. It’s time to think about your long-term goals and create a better Facebook plan that helps you meet your marketing goals.
Set the Right Goal
Maybe your goal is to reach 10,000 followers. But what does that mean in terms of helping your business grow? Sure, it looks cool when you hit a big number and you earn some bragging rights, but it may not be the right metric for your marketing strategy.
Think of your sales funnel and where Facebook followers fit into the process. Remember, they don’t count as potential customers until they actually take some kind of action.
Here’re a few examples:
- Sign into your email list or register as a customer
- Contact you (by phone, email, or messaging)
- Purchase a product (or at least put it into a shopping cart)
- Sign up for a webinar, class or other incentives
Facebook calls these “Actions on Page”. Choose the action that drives users into your sales funnel and set up your Facebook page to reflect the action you want the most. This is your main goal and the metric that everything else supports.
Track Posts Users Love
We share a lot of stuff on social media. Videos, personal pictures, interesting articles, cute stories and even what we had for dinner. Basically, it’s a free for all.
But what are the types of posts that your particular followers like the most? In The Ultimate Social Media Dashboard, Cyfe’s Kristi Hines explains how social media dashboards can be used to track the types of posts your user's love:
“You can also configure this to show you your top posts by impressions, comments, or shares. It’s a great way to figure out which posts you should try to recreate in the future for the most engagement.”
Start tracking metrics that highlight the most popular posts on your page and see if you can find a pattern. Let’s say you found out videos had the most engagement. While you may not be able to share new videos every day, you can spend more time creating new ones or adding new types of videos. Create a social media schedule that shares your best stuff, and forget posts no one looks at.
Get to Know Your Fans
It used to be hard to figure out exactly who your target market was. Now, social media tells us exactly who likes us. This is magic information. We used to spend weeks researching just to get half this information.
Now we can get it at our fingertips! This is an example from one of my pages that shows the gender, age, and level of engagement of our fan base. It’s valuable information and gives us a starting point for niche targeting.
You can also get to know your fans simply by asking questions. In 26 Tips for Better Facebook Page Engagement, Derek Cromwell explains:
“One of the simplest and most effective ways to kickstart a dialogue with your Facebook fans is to ask them a question. Basically, you’re inviting a response. If fans can relate to the question and you find a way to leverage people’s interests or needs, they’ll find it hard not to answer.”
Treat your fans like friends. In this example, the biggest group of engaged users is women between 35 and 44 years old. We could tailor new content for this group, including the fact that they may be mothers (works perfectly in our niche). Get to know your fans and start creating content that gives your best niches exactly what they want.
Create a New Plan
Stop wasting time on Facebook strategies that don’t work. Instead, take a look at the available data and make a different plan. And you can always tweak the details if it’s not working because it’s incredibly easy to track your results over time.
We like to say that business isn’t an exact science, but you can literally see all your metrics every day. You know exactly what works and what doesn’t. It’s just time to use the tools at your fingertips to help you reach your goals and stop winging it.
Just remember that social media is a numbers game. And if you’ll lose if you don’t know how to play.