If you use Facebook marketing in your business, you've likely wondered if it still works.
Problem is, a simple Google search provides a range of answers. You're met with everything from:
Facebook Marketing is Alive and Well, to the proclamation that:
Facebook Marketing is Dead, What's Next?"
With so much information, it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. But look, while I know you'd love an easy answer, the truth is this.
You need a better Facebook marketing strategy.
That's why we decided to conduct a survey. We wanted to know, what's your biggest Facebook marketing challenge?
What processes, strategies, and tactics would you love to master?
But more than that, what holds you back from succeeding at Facebook marketing?
And that's what we aim to offer through feedback provided by over 700 marketers just like you.
A solution to your biggest Facebook challenges!
In our most recent survey, we learned that you are passionate about your business. That you're entrepreneurs, freelancers, and brand builders who love what you do.
You just need some help in promoting your company, product, and service effectively.
So here it is:
The top 5 Facebook challenges marketers face and the exact strategy you need to conquer them.
Ready to Conquer Facebook Marketing for Business? Here's your step-by-step Guide!
How To Get Better Facebook Marketing Results In 2017 [Case Study + Strategy]
Challenge #1: Finding and Sharing Quality Content
One challenge faced by more marketers than not is content.
29% of respondents said that finding and sharing quality content. We heard things like:
"I want to leverage Facebook groups, both my own and other's, to create vibrant and engaging communities that will change lives on big and small levels," said Stephanie.
"I'm eager to put out better content not only related to my business but to what others can learn, understand and utilize. More video how to's and encouragement that they too can succeed," Leona said she desired as goals.
“I'd like to build a real meaningful connection with my clients, readers, and fans,” said Stephen.
We all want tribes these days, people who consistently follow and believe in your brand’s content.
At the same time, the elusive viral post beckons to many marketers. This challenge is related to engagement because engagement only works when content is high quality.
Solution: To foster connect with fans, try to educate and learn from them at the same time.
A lot of this is empathy, putting your feet in the shoes of your customers, and understanding what they would like.
Another huge chunk of this is research, actually looking at what your audience’s tastes and demographics are.
To think more specifically about the type of content your audience will like, it's a great idea to work with a marketing platform like BuzzSumo to find the most popular shared content pertaining to your niche.
You would enter your keyword or a term that’s related to your niche in the search bar.
For example, you’re selling a case for iPhone. Enter the keyword “iPhone” or “Apple Phone”, and a bunch of popular social media posts will show up.
In addition, Facebook offers Insights and Audience Optimization to really get to know your followers and write specifically to them.
Challenge #2: Engagement! Engagement!
This second most commonly cited marketing goal for Facebook marketers was engagement.
In fact, 28% of our respondents mentioned engagement as a primary goal and top challenge.
Rebecca's sentiment is similar to what many business owners want:
“To post more VALUABLE content in LESS time, so I have time to engage with my customers.”
Magda agreed that engagement is important, but time is a challenge. It was a sentiment echoed by the majority of our survey respondents.
26.4% of marketers said that time is a huge obstacle to achieving improved social media results.
"I want to build and maintain a high level of engagement on my Facebook Page, but struggle to find the time to stick with it."
And many, like Evelyn, were specific in their engagement goals:
"I want to grow to 5,000 followers, and I want my engagement to be high. I want my talking about number to be at least 25% of my followers' number. I want Facebook to bring traffic to my website as well."
Mark chimed in with:
"I want to increase engagement by at least 3% and grow net volume of engaged social followers by 50-80%."
Reading through each response, the consensus is clear. Engagement is a top priority, but time is a big hindrance.
So how do you bump up those Facebook likes, comments, and shares?
Whatever users are doing that their friends might see in their news feeds counts as engagement. It also amplifies your message to your followers' friends.
Solution: There's not a magic trick to increasing engagement with fans, despite what some may tell you. It'll take persistence and hard work.
However, luckily, you don't need to stumble around the internet to find what type of content to share with your audience. We've written a whole lot about it!
Here's a few ideas to get you started:
- Focus on interesting, evergreen content, not constant product pushes.
- Ask your current followers to Like your Facebook page, for example in your email updates.
- Add Share and Like buttons on your website and other social media.
- Work from a general perspective and gather ideas from places like Post Planner, where we rank content by virality and provide hundreds of status ideas in a variety of categories.
We even put together an infographic on how to "Conquer Facebook One Status at a Time."
Talk About the News
Ask for Likes
Target Different Fans
Talk About Facebook
Those are just 8 brainstorming ideas out of literally hundreds you can find.
Also, look at your favorite popular Facebook pages and see what content gets engagement from their fans. Then use it to kickstart your sharing.
Find out the best time to post on Facebook. Some sources like HubSpot say it's at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, a pretty precise answer! Your target audience may have a different time, so you'll have to experiment.
Many people are on Facebook on Fridays, a good time for a lighthearted post as they finish their workweek. So they don’t miss a post, you can ask your biggest fans to turn on all notifications from you.
Sometimes off-peak hours work better to post as your content has a bigger chance of being seen.
Think about whether or not your followers would respond well to weekend posts or not. Then try scheduling some at different times to track what works best and tweak it accordingly!
Take the time to research and experiment with posts, and it'll pay off with increased engagement.
Challenge #3: More Fans and Followers, Please
Knowing how to build your Facebook community isn't always easy.
Especially when you're starting from scratch.
19% of respondents said that growing their Facebook fan base was a top goal and challenge.
“To be more active on my page and increase my number of followers!” said Alaina.
“To grow my followers and my online presence," Randall said.
Hakan wisely put it, “I want to have 5K fans in 6 months, the old fashioned way--by earning it."
Although you could just go out and buy Facebook followers, you shouldn't - it'll hurt you in the long run.
Solution: What you can do to grow your followers is run Facebook Ads to reach more people who may be interested in your company.
You can also organically target any of your posts to specific audiences without spending a dime.
A note on Ads: Although you might prefer totally native, organic followers as opposed to ads, Facebook’s methods aren’t going to help you out in that arena.
Organic reach is consistently declining, and Facebook says you should assume it will eventually fall to zero.
This aligns with Facebook's priority at being a moneymaking tool, asking page owners to pay for ads in order to be seen.
AdEspresso studied the best ads to run and discovered: "The clear winner to get more Facebook Likes is...the Mobile Newsfeed. We’ve said this before, social ads on mobiles performs really well and constantly deliver Likes and engagement at a very cheap price."
Still, for the most engaged group of people, just keep focusing on providing quality content to the followers you have now. If they are engaged, their friends will notice, and this word of mouth advertising will help you grow your followers.
Challenge #4: Master Scheduling
You've heard that if you want your Facebook fans to see your content, you need to post consistently.
And we've proven that time and time again. When Simply Measured analyzed our Facebook growth over a 12 month period, consistency was key.
But knowing how to juggle finding, planning and posting content can feel overwhelming. And it seems our survey respondents agree.
18% said their top Facebook marketing struggle is scheduling content.
"My goal is to master social media scheduling for all of my accounts, and to improve my social listening & engagement for all of my audiences," said Ginger.
"Establish a posting strategy," said Ismail.
"More consistent, effective posting," chimed in Ashley.
First off, let me put your mind at ease. Scheduling consistently doesn't mean that more is better.
We've moved beyond the days of a "churn out as much content as you can" approach. Today, the Facebook algorithm wants quality first.
So, how do you get consistent with your Facebook scheduling? We've found a 4-part approach to work best.
1. Analyze Your Current Posting Schedule
Before you begin, take some time to review your Facebook Insights. There's a lot to learn from the past.
What type of content resonated with your audience? What time outperformed all others?
2. Choose Your 5 Best Times
Spread these out based on when your audience is online.
3. Automate the Type of Content You Share
Take advantage of automation. It's there to help you, not hinder your Facebook strategy.
And let's face it, spending all day every day on Facebook isn't healthy.
It's also not necessary.
Use the right tools to free you up so you can get in and engage with your audience.
4. Add Content to Your Queue Each Week
Add content consistently to stay ahead of your posting strategy. Working from behind will tire you out and leave you frustrated and overwhelmed.
When used correctly, it becomes your one-stop-shop. You can share engaging content and predict the outcome.
Once you've thought those first four steps through, it's time to do flesh out the details.
1. Define your goals for Facebook posts
What type of content do you want to share and how often?
Create a goal for each type of content:
- Links / Articles
- Blog posts (your original content)
- Share 50 / 50 - 50% your own content and 50% other people's content
- Video (the golden child of today's marketing world!)
- Commit to 1 short, original video per month
- Images: Photos and graphics that engage your audience
- Memes, motivational or inspirational quotes, funny graphics
- Webinars, events, local promotions
- What answer is your audience looking for? Create a Q and A day and pose a FAQ that your fans want answered.
2. Develop a Calendar
A content calendar will keep you focused on your monthly goals. It will also help you stick to a consistent process.
Rather than guessing what you'll post next, a calendar will become your content roadmap.
Along with the weekly content you've decided on, add in:
- Seasonal posts
- Special events
Begin by brainstorming in a Google Doc. From there, drop that information into a content calendar.
Not sure where to begin?
Download a copy of our Social Media Marketing Calendar here.
3. Plan Your Week
We've all heard the saying, "those that fail to plan, plan to fail."
Don't go into your week without your content schedule in place.
Choose the day you'll gather content. Dedicate 30 minutes each week to look ahead. Take the time to think through what you want your audience to see and learn from you.
For a few weeks, commit to doing some testing of how different approaches to Facebook posts resonate with your audience, like posting with different photos and headlines.
Keep in mind your overall goals, then break them down week by week to see what smaller steps you can accomplish each day.
Challenge #5: Grow My Client Base (Sales)
It's probably no surprise that marketers don't just want engagement. They're looking for conversions.
But what was surprising is that only 6% of respondents said sales was their top Facebook marketing challenge.
Kind crazy if you're a markter, entrepreneur or business owner.
We also wanted to know, what their biggest growth goal was.
"Our biggest goal is to have more interaction with our followers and convert "Likes" to actual clients," said Rasheed.
"I want to be known and recognized and referred," David stated.
Stacy said of her goal: "To generate fans and qualified leads in order to broaden my referral base, drive prospective clients to download content and to my website. To build my business!"
And then we asked, what growth strategies are you currently implementing?
While Facebook should be one of the tools you use to build your company, keep in mind that simply posting on Facebook probably won’t be the primary means by which you gain many paying clients.
It’s an engagement, awareness, and support platform that leads to your website where you can convert. So, how can it help you get to that goal of more clients?
One way is by adding a Call-To-Action button to your Facebook page. This prominent button asks page viewers to do things like “Book Now,” “Shop Now,” or “Sign Up.” If you’re selling something, make sure this is on your Facebook page!
To gain more potential clients, use networking as a handy tool. It takes diligence but gets results.Click to Tweet
Reach out to key influencers in your arena and ask to swap content or guest posts.
Grow your client base by growing the number of potential clients who may see your brand.
As Krista Neher explained in a great article on ClickZ, “The Real Value of Facebook Isn’t Your Likes or Fans,” getting new customers on Facebook can most effectively be done through your existing fans.
She goes on:
Here are some of the ways that you can use your current customers to generate awareness with their friends:
Encourage interactions with content to build awareness
Run contests or trivia where your fans reveal interesting things about their personality
Ask customers to post photos on your Facebook
Feature customers on your Facebook
Provide incentives for sharing
Build contests for sharing and social spread, not to maximize entries
Create an extraordinary visual experience that customers want to share
Build mass momentum with events
All of those approaches capitalize on the fact that a page’s current fans will be engaging with the company, which will be seen by their wider circles.
We’re inspired by Facebook marketers willing to overcome their biggest Facebook challenges and grow their dream business.
Sure, organic reach is becoming more difficult. And you only have so much time in the day.
But with a little extra planning, a focused and strategic approach - you can make Facebook marketing the most effective tool in your arsenal.
Good luck and have fun. Now go accomplish those goals like we know you can!