There’s no digital marketing without an effective Facebook marketing strategy. The social media giant has gone through controversies, rebrandings, and rumors of downfall, but it remains the most popular network worldwide.
For all social media managers out there struggling to find inspiration for their Facebook marketing in 2023, here are some must-do steps (including scheduling Facebook posts and Facebook Reels), and creative ideas to help you stay competitive.
What is a Facebook marketing strategy?
A Facebook marketing strategy refers to the various approaches that businesses and marketers employ to advertise and promote products and services on Facebook. The strategy includes defining goals and audiences, creating a content calendar, setting up Meta Ads, and tracking results.
With 3 billion active users, the social media platform offers a wide range of marketing opportunities and advertising tools to reach targeted audiences. Having a solid strategy in place allows brands to use Facebook to support business objectives, generating engagement and favoring community building.
How to create a killer Facebook marketing strategy
Facebook marketing can help you reach various business objectives, but it can also get overwhelming. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a Facebook marketing strategy that eliminates your doubts and boosts audience engagement.
Step 1: Define your audience
Everybody and their mom (literally), is on Facebook. This means your Facebook marketing campaign has the potential to reach many people. But it’s also tricky: you and your mom don’t necessarily respond to the same kind of social media posts or ads.
Here’s where specific targeting comes in.
Define who you want to reach on Facebook. Who is most likely to engage with your brand? Who are your potential customers? Here are some ways to research demographics, interests, and preferences:
- Social media listening. Look at your own social media pages and those of your competitors. Observe discussions, trends, language, topics, and issues that resonate with your audience.
- Facebook groups and other online communities. Groups and forums are great at getting to know people, their problems, ways of expressing themselves, and reasons for buying.
- Google Analytics. Understand who’s visiting your website and why. What are the most popular pages and topics? What patterns of behaviors do you see?
- Interviews and questionnaires. Face-to-face discussions with potential customers are valuable, and so are online questionnaires, which you can send to your newsletter subscribers, for example.
- Industry research and reports. Market research conducted by reputable sources can give you essential data on consumer preferences, behaviors, and trends.
- Facebook audience insights. Not least, take advantage of the Facebook business tools that offer advanced information about both people on the social network and those connected to your page.
With this information in mind, create and save Facebook audiences to use in your campaigns. For each group, identify problems that your product and services solve and the type of message and creative ideas that will resonate.
Step 2: Set up your goals
Goals help you stay focused, make strategic decisions, and measure results so you can improve. And they depend on your business.
For example, a coffee store will try to convince people to pay them a visit, while an eCommerce business will aim to sell products online. A software company might be looking for subscribers, while a furniture shop is more likely to want to maximize the value of each sale.
What’s more, the same business will have evolving objectives. Here are some common Facebook goals that apply to various business types:
- Awareness. Aim to reach as many people in your target audience as possible, with catchy messages that make your brand memorable. Important for new brands or freshly-launched products.
- Traffic. Create Facebook ad campaigns that convince people to visit your website, landing page, app, or even a physical store. Crucial for connecting the dots of your digital marketing strategy.
- Engagement. Ask questions, make people curious, and convince Facebook followers to like, comment, or click on your content. Essential for building communities.
- Leads. Use Facebook’s dedicated tools (forms, messages, calls, sign-ups) to collect leads for your business. Great for moving people down the marketing funnel.
- Sales. Target people who are already interested and who are more likely to buy with relevant and convincing offers. Powerful for growing your business and demonstrating Facebook marketing ROI.
Set up Facebook goals quarterly to help support your overall marketing strategy and business objectives.
Step 3: Perform competitor research
Competitor research helps you gather insights and analyze the Facebook pages, posts, and campaigns of your competitors. Understand what works and what could be improved, and apply the learnings to your strategy.
Here’s how to conduct Facebook competitor research:
- Make a list of competitors, both direct competitors, as well as those who target a similar audience or operate in a related industry. Consider both local and global competitors.
- Analyze competitors’ pages and their Facebook marketing strategies. Look at the types of content they post, their messaging, tone of voice, posting frequency, timing, and engagement.
- Explore Facebook’s Ad Library to see what types of ads your competitors run. For example, if you’re a soft drinks manufacturer from Portugal, Pepsi’s campaigns in that location are relevant. As seen below in Facebook Ads library, the page runs a lot of video ads — an indication that this type of ad is effective for its audience.
- Observe engagement strategies. How do competitors get followers to react? It can be contests, giveaways, polls, user-generated content, or something else.
- Expand research beyond Facebook. Explore other social media platforms, websites, and email marketing campaigns to get inspiration for your own page, and see how you can integrate Facebook efforts into your overall marketing strategy.
Remember to filter everything through your own goals, target audience, brand identity, and marketing strategy. For example, even if Ryanair’s Facebook page has great engagement rates, this tone of voice is not suitable for all brands.
Step 4: Optimize your Facebook page
Algorithms and features evolve, and so should your Facebook page. Revisit it periodically and make sure it remains engaging, informative, and relevant. Keep an eye on Facebook updates to pages and ensure that you use all features to your benefit.
Fill out all the necessary information in the “About” section of your Facebook business Page, including a clear and concise description of your business and contact information.
Pay close attention to what appears in the “Bio” section. Starbucks does a good job here by using a warm, inviting tone of voice to create familiarity with the brand and increase engagement on the page.
Choose a high-quality profile picture and cover photo, representative of your brand and visually appealing. As much as possible, make them complementary to create a nice visual effect — and beware of how they show on different devices.
Not least, customize the Facebook call-to-action button and align it with your social media marketing objectives. You can invite followers to “Shop Now,” “Sign Up,” “Learn More,” or “Send Message”. Link the CTA button to the relevant page, form, or app.
All these optimizations improve your brand’s image on Facebook, increase your likeability and the chances that people will perceive you as a trustworthy, professional brand.
Step 5: Plan your content strategy
First, identify your relevant content pillars and themes. These are the broad focus topics for your Facebook posts. Let’s say you have a tourism brand. Your content pillars could be destination guides, travel tips and advice, and local culture and traditions.
Second, determine the types of content you’ll create. Take into account your audience’s preferences and the format that best helps you convey your messages.
Here are a few popular content types:
Educating and informing your audience should be a priority in your social media strategy. According to the latest studies, some of the main reasons for logging into social media for most age groups are reading news stories and keeping up with trends.
Provide relevant industry trends and happenings, and also useful evergreen content, such as tutorials, how-tos, guides, etc.
Remember to keep posts short and readable and to use relevant visuals.
Links to blog posts or website pages
Links to interesting articles or to pages on your website are definitely something to include in your Facebook content mix.
Write an interesting description that makes people curious to click and read more. Use cool, fun hooks, but avoid clickbait — it may get people to click in the short run, but it can eat away at their trust.
Here’s how Tourism Ireland’s Facebook page uses short, catchy copy and beautiful imagery to entice people to visit their website.
Infographics are a great way to present data in a visually pleasing way. They’re also share-worthy.
Transform industry reports, analyses, and trends into short infographics that catch people’s attention. The Schengen Visa Info page is doing it right:
Engaging video posts
Video content has been a trend in social media for years, and it’s not slowing down. A Databox 2021 survey showed that video ads and posts performed better overall than static images. So Facebook video posts are a must if you want to get engagements and remain relevant.
A great way of getting more authentic, creative video content is to collaborate with influencers in your industry who are known for this type of format.
Include special offers in your Facebook content calendar to help increase sales — but don’t overdo it, as they can be a turn-off for audiences.
People like to discover products on social media, so take the opportunity to talk about benefits and about the problems that you can solve for your target audience.
Stay on top of your content strategy
It’s not a lack of content ideas that marketers find most challenging when it comes to the Facebook content strategy. It’s consistently executing the strategy every day, week, and month.
Planable excels at helping teams work together on creating and publishing Facebook content on a consistent basis. With its highly visual and interactive content calendar, it makes it much easier to plan and stay consistent in the long run.
Step 6: Schedule and publish your content
When should you post on Facebook? According to the American Marketing Association, the best times to do so are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. They also advise against posting on Saturdays.
Aim to publish content between three times a week to daily. Post several times a day only occasionally, and if it’s really necessary.
For example, a festival might have a high posting frequency as it’s happening, with practical information for participants, photos, videos, etc. But an online store on any given day won’t need to communicate as often.
This being said, analyze your own Facebook insights to decide on posting frequency and the best times to schedule posts.
Scheduling social media posts improves effectiveness, and Planable helps you do that easily on multiple platforms at once, so you save time and stay organized.
Step 7: Engage with your audience
Have you ever visited a brand’s social media profile to find posts with zero comments, few likes, and no trace of shares? It’s a sad image.
Many times, it’s not for lack of trying. The brand posts regularly. But that’s not enough. Internet users are oversaturated with content, so you have to be strategic about it.
Here are a few tried-and-tested ways to increase your Facebook engagement:
- Be relevant and authentic. Below, innocent is acing the engagement game by using humor in the right context.
- Reply to comments on posts. Show people you’re actively participating in conversations to encourage users to join.
- Don’t post and forget about it. A bar in my area made this mistake. They posted on a controversial topic on Friday and went on to enjoy the weekend. By the time they got back online, their page was in full backlash.
- Don’t ignore negative comments or, worse, start arguments. Even if you believe people to be wrong, keep a polite tone and have a problem-solving attitude.
- Do report spam and inappropriate speech. Facebook has its own filters, but keep an eye out and make your page safe and clean.
- Following up on the example above, here’s how innocent keeps the conversation going and creates loyal fans through content.
- Use Facebook Messenger. Encourage people to contact you and reply quickly. You even have the option to show ads in Facebook Messenger as a great way to spark conversations naturally.
- Manage reviews. People rely on reviews in their online research. Just as with comments, reply to reviews in a respectful manner and consider them valuable feedback. Take the opportunity to build trust — just like a former boss of mine who offered a free consultation to someone who had left a negative review on Facebook. The result? A new customer in days.
- Involve employees. Encourage your team to interact with your Facebook content. It helps boost engagement, and it shows others that you’re a trustworthy brand.
Step 8: Set up Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are a powerful tool to be included in all Facebook marketing strategies. With organic reach decreasing steadily over the years, ads have become a must to reach Facebook users.
Facebook Ads has rebranded into Meta Ads, allowing businesses to advertise across the Meta ecosystem: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.
Here’s the process to create a Facebook ad campaign, in brief:
- Campaigns and ads are created from the Ads Manager, which you access from your Facebook business page. Once there, click on “Create” to get started.
- Choose the ad objective: awareness, traffic, engagement, leads, app promotion, or sales. Depending on this, Facebook will optimize who it shows it to.
- Opt to do A/B testing. This is useful to compare the performance of different ad copy or visuals.
- Set a daily or lifetime budget for your campaign. Facebook will use this budget in an optimum way throughout your campaign period.
- Within each campaign, you can have different ad sets with individual ads.
- For each ad, choose a saved audience, add the creative elements, and preview how the ad shows on different platforms.
- Lastly, publish the ad. It will go through an approval process before going live, which can take up to 24 hours.
Another essential step is setting up the Facebook Pixel — now Meta Pixel — on your website. The pixel is a Java snippet that allows you to track users’ actions.
Gather information on people’s behaviors and preferences and use it to analyze campaign performance, but also to improve ads and create remarketing campaigns.
Step 9: Collaborate with influencers and ambassadors
Influencer marketing is now part of most digital marketing campaigns, enabling businesses to reach wider audiences, enhance brand credibility, and drive engagement and conversions.
For successful campaigns, influencers must fit your brand in terms of interests, type of content produced, and tone of voice. Make sure that their Facebook community is not only large, but engaged. You can also work with micro-influencers, who have a smaller following but are very active and trusted.
Set up objectives for your collaboration and also leave creative freedom to influencers because they know what works best for their specific audience.
With long-term collaboration, influencers can become brand ambassadors and be a constant source of high-quality, highly-engaging content.
Step 10: Analyze results and optimize your content
Access the Meta Business Suite from your Facebook Page to view audience insights and get information about how your content performs. Alongside, consider using a third-party Facebook analytics tool to gain deeper insights.
Monitor key metrics, such as reach, engagement, or click-through rate. Identify trends in behaviors and types of content that perform best. Based on observations, adjust your Facebook marketing strategy and enrich your content calendar.
By being data-driven, you improve the performance of your business page, maximize social media ROI, and achieve the goals you set at the beginning of the process.
FAQs about the Facebook marketing strategy
Is Facebook marketing free?
Yes. Creating a business page and publishing content is free. However, reaching wide audiences is generally possible only through Facebook advertising, so brands typically allocate a budget for their business page.
Do hashtags work on Facebook?
Yes. Though not as popular as on other platforms, hashtags work on Facebook, and you can add them to your posts to increase reach.
How much do Facebook ads cost?
You can run Facebook ads for as little as $1 per day, but you’re competing in an auction system, so a very small budget might give you modest results. Start small and increase budgets as you feel more comfortable with Facebook marketing tactics.
Get started on your best Facebook marketing strategy
So, are you ready to compete with photos of pets and dreamy holiday snaps?
You got this. With the strategic steps highlighted above and the examples provided, you’re well on your way to populating your social media calendar with relevant, engaging posts that will make followers fall in love with your brand.
Remember: Planable supports your successful Facebook presence with a user-friendly interface that simplifies content planning, creation, scheduling, and analysis. It also allows you to collaborate with your team or clients, manage feedback, and get content approvals. Give it a go — the first 50 posts are free.