Facebook is a seemingly unending portal of business opportunities. Yet, if you’ve left your brand’s Facebook presence unattended for a while, you are well aware just how quickly your brand can become lost in the sea of information and conversation on the world’s largest social media platform. If you’re wondering how to get the most out of social media, just read on, because I’ve put together the ultimate 2013 Facebook marketing checklist!
1. Become a Page, not a Profile
Let’s stop trying to pretend that people want to be “friends” with our businesses. Besides, it’s easier, smarter, and considerably more professional to convert your Facebook profile into a business page. Your awaiting public will appreciate your efforts if you do so, trust me. As if you didn’t need another reason, there’s a great deal of better data access available on a Facebook business page.
2. Keep Things Current
The about box, the page name, and other semi-permanent elements of your Facebook page need occasional attention. As you change your overall marketing direction, your about section should reflect this. Think of how much your whole approach evolves over a couple years. If your Facebook page hasn’t been updated from the bottom-up lately, now would be the time to do so.
3. New photos help
One of the best things to update is your profile (or rather, page) photo. Tip: make sure it’s a good picture that represents the current state of your brand, or yourself, as the case may be. New photos let even the most casual of our followers know that you are still alive and kicking. You don’t need to worry about updating this on weekly or even monthly basis, but year-over-year updates are a must.
4. Have a Content Schedule
So often, we sort of wing it on Facebook, taking actions out of equal parts convenience and desperation. News flash, that’s just what random, spur-of-the-moment “campaigning” seems like to our Facebook followers: desperation. You can avoid this by applying a content schedule to your Facebook posting efforts, just as you would with a blog. Take control, and see the results you planned for become realized.
5. Facebook Data is Your Friend
You are aware that you can export your Facebook data, right? The number of likes, followers, and other interactions can provide valuable insight into what is and is not effective. Data is always good and helpful, and it’s easier than you might think to gather interaction data from Facebook.
6. Test for the Best Timing
Chances are that you are aware that timing matters in the world of digital marketing. This is totally applicable to marketing on Facebook, too. Certain demographics are more or less apt to be more active at a certain time. A little bit of research will let you know when users from your specific niche are watching, so that you can post accordingly.
7. Have a Contest
Engagement is everything, and few investments urge engagement like a good contest. Contests can draw in new prospects, as well as regenerate interest from older ones. Oh, you are not able to effectively manage a contest from a personal profile, so the aforementioned business page becomes a must if you want to take advantage of this marketing tool.
8. Respect the Rules
Facebook has its own set of rules – all of which are well-documented. There are rules for everything ranging from photos to contests, and special offers. Rules for advertisements exist on Facebook, too. Of special note is the fact that violations of the ad policy can get your profile banned – which is never a good way to cast a professional image.
9. Make use of a Sponsored Result
You can purchase a sponsored search result in the Facebook search engine. In the early stages of marketing your brand, this will let you catch a ride on a search for a competitor or related industry term. This will provide you with an insight into what Facebook users are searching for, so that you can better target users in the future. Of course, the ultimate outcome of the search is that you gain a prospect that would have otherwise found a competitor.
10. Custom Audiences
The Facebook Power Editor offers you the option to create a custom audience based on certain criteria. The case may be that you would like to sort users based on their email or phone number, or other user-submitted information. You can even match up your existing email list to the profiles of Facebook users for optimized targeting ability.
11. Integrate with Your Website
Your standalone website shouldn’t truly be standing alone, at this point. You’ve probably already seen sites with prominent sharing or ‘like’ buttons, and your site should be following suit. A webpage is one part of the online presence of a brand, and social sites like Facebook are absolutely required to get the word out about your brand, and its website.
12. Check for Mobile Compatibility
Your Facebook page’s elements should be formatted for seamless viewing on mobile devices. Users are put-off by non-mobile ready versions of pages, so you’ll want to double check that all photos and other elements of your Facebook pages are friendly to the small screens of mobile devices.
13. Keep Updating, Sharing, and Starting Conversations
Perhaps the most important principle of all rounds out our Facebook marketing checklist – that is the need to keep the dialog going. Posting regular, interesting posts, photos, and open-ended questions is a perpetual must-have for Facebook marketing. Likewise, following and commenting on industry leaders and friends is all part of the course. The more your engagement through Facebook, the more prospects you’ll eventually convert.
Social media is an indispensable tool for marketers, and using this Facebook marketing checklist, as well as your own best practices already in place, you can be sure your company changes with the evolving expectations placed on businesses operating on “The Social Network” in 2013 and beyond.
Are you seeing the results you expect with your Facebook marketing efforts? Is your brand’s Facebook page just sitting there, collecting cyberspace dust? Put Facebook to work for your business this year and going forward by checking off as many of the above pointers as possible.