How To Use Facebook in 2017: My 4-Part Strategy
I wrote an epic post on how all of the following plans from 2017 played out, lessons learned, what to do about "Facebook Zero", and how to adjust and use Facebook in 2018. Read How To Use Facebook in 2018: New Strategies + Lessons Learned.
Original Post from 2017:
Facebook is a fickle beast. It’s getting tougher and tougher to reach your target audience as a business trying to cut through the content on people’s newsfeeds. Paying for ads is now a must and having your content “go viral” is pretty much a pipe dream.
So what is a kickass, on-a-shoestring-budget solopreneur to do??
Evaluate. Adjust. Plan. Execute.
***psst - don't want to read but want the Ultimate Facebook Group Swipe File?
CLICK HERE BOSS!
I took a look at my Facebook Insights several weeks ago and was not at all happy. Engagement was down and my content plan just wasn’t hitting the mark.
As any badass bosslady should do - far from being discouraged and taking it personally - I sat down, did more research, and formed a new plan. I did a Facebook Live video chatting all about this last week.
You can watch past Facebook Lives in my Rockstar Solopreneurs Group.
Here is my 4-part Facebook strategy for 2017:
Best practices for all social media platforms (especially Facebook) includes valuable and interesting content for your fans. The most important stat you can track to see if your content is working is engagement. Is your content interesting/valuable enough for someone to actually like, comment, and share?
My previous plan entailed providing the best of the best articles about the social media and the small business world for my fans to digest. Turns out, my Facebook fans either don’t want to take the time to read articles or they aren’t as interested in the industry as I am.
Time to redefine and test what IS valuable for my fans. In looking at my Insights again, the most engaging content is the funny stuff (memes, quotes, etc). I can make the argument that providing my fans with a laugh is indeed valuable - perhaps the most valuable - content I can provide.
I had originally kept that type of content to my Instagram account, but I think overlap is justified at this point. How am I going to keep my content relevant? By making sure it falls into my key subject areas I’ve defined in my brand voice: social media, mompreneur/solopreneur stuff, small business, productivity, and occasionally coffee/adult beverage.
I’m not going to totally get rid of the industry news - after all, I consider my main purpose and passion to be educating my audience about how to use social media effectively for their businesses. I am, however, going to bring much more levity to my page.
I’m guessing you belong to several if not a f*ckton of Facebook Groups. They cover every subject and need, and you probably see online entrepreneurs everywhere recommending you start your own group to connect more directly with your audience.
I think there are groups run very well, and very poorly. There are groups that help you form great business relationships and ones that are a suckhole of people hawking their bullshit.
When I coach people how to use Facebook Groups well, it’s always about authentically engaging. Unless you’re not actually doing any business, it is very difficult to really engage in more than a handful of groups.
I have chosen 4 Facebook Groups to participate in for 2017 (including my own). I know that business relationships happen when you really get to know people and build that “Know, Like + Trust Factor”. I want to bring value to those relationships and meet new people - which can’t happen if I hop into 10 different groups every couple of weeks to drop my blog link (no, no).
This brings me to my super-duper freebie for you all!
Whether you plan on starting your own Facebook Group or participating more and hopefully getting good business leads, this go-to guide will help you be more consistent and plan your strategy.
It includes a participation plan taught to me by Cat Paterson (she’ll be guest posting about this later in 2017) as well as a list of topics, questions, and ideas for your own group.
I’ve developed this plan based on tons of research and self-education for my own execution in 2017, so I invite you to use it with me as we tame the Facebook beast!
Lastly, I don’t necessarily recommend that you leave all the groups you’re in, but instead keep a watchful eye on what people are talking about in that group. It can help inform you of topics and trending issues. Just don’t be the jackass the takes and doesn’t give.
You’d have to be living under a rock to not know that all social media platforms are pushing video as their “preferred” type of content.
For Facebook, this means uploading videos directly from your file (as opposed to linking from YouTube). If you don’t have the original file, you can use ClipGrab to pop in the YouTube link and it’ll create a file for you. (**disclaimer - always follow credit/copyright laws and don’t steal - it’s bad juju)
Video will play a big part in my content strategy as well - from consistently doing Facebook Live Office Hours in my group to creating explainer videos via Biteable, to using the Instagram Stories feature. If you have a product, I highly recommend creating videos about them too!
The final part of my Facebook Strategy in 2017 will be Facebook Ads. Regardless of how pissed you are that you have to “pay to play” now, you can either bitch about it or get to work. I vote, get to work.
One of my main goals for 2017 is to expand my business to more fully cover Digital Marketing as a whole, not just Social Media Strategy. I have determined the one big piece that my skillset is missing, is a more thorough knowledge of Facebook Advertising.
I’ve put myself on “shiny-object” restriction and decided the one type of course I’m allowed to buy will be about learning Facebook Ads. While I have yet to decide WHICH course I will invest in, I know the right one will find its way to me.
What whuuuut? Here’s a short list of reasons why this is AWESOME.
- Facebook users don’t have to leave Facebook to give you their info (low barrier to entry).
- You can follow up with them directly (they get into your sales funnel more quickly).
You have all the amazing targeting features of Facebook Ads and can split test just like you would any other ad.
I am focusing on this type of ad in particular because I know that I have a high success rate of closing the deal when I get to chat with a potential client face-to-face (including online chat). By directly collecting their email, I can shoot them a follow-up message asking if they’d like to book a free 20-minute consultation to see if working together is a good fit. Pretty cool huh?
So that’s it - simple but strategized! I’d love to know your thoughts and hear about what you’re doing for your business on Facebook - comment below!
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Hey hey, I'm Cara - Pinterest marketing evangelist and lover of all things Squarespace website design. I team up with online entrepreneurs to get tons of website traffic into sales funnels (marketing speak for getting eyeballs on your website and turning them into customers).
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