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Facebook marketing plan: No-nonsense tips to reach more customers

Unpaid promotion of your business is not as useful as it once was

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Are you using Facebook to promote your business? If so, the way Facebook treats posts can make it hard for you to reach your followers with some kinds of content.

Facebook restricts the distribution of unpaid promotional material to the news feeds of users. The company has identified the following three types of posts as too promotional.

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app.
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context.
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads.

So, if you’re posting promotional content on your Facebook page, you should expect it to reach only a few followers.

What can you do about this? Here are three considerations for your Facebook marketing plan.

1. It’s difficult to reach followers with marketing posts

Facebook targets sales and other promotional posts, but take a lighter approach with high quality, non-marketing posts. Your challenge is to create content that keeps your followers engaged, while making sure you’re not overtly pushing your products or services.

This actually forces you to do a better job of marketing your business, says Chris O’Shea, a BDC Business Advisor who specializes in helping entrepreneurs improve their sales and marketing results. You have no choice but to create interesting, informative, entertaining content if you want it to reach your Facebook followers.

Solution: Create high value content

It’s important to get to know your audience and strive to understand what content resonates with them. Draw from your daily experiences interacting with clients to inspire you in creating content that will interest them.

“Companies that do this on a regular basis have better connections with their Facebook followers,” O’Shea says.

2. You need to pay if you want to post promotional content on Facebook

You might be reluctant to put advertising dollars into Facebook campaigns because you, like many entrepreneurs, are used to considering it as a free tool. Unfortunately, Facebook is no longer a free marketing channel. To get any sort of reach to current or potential fans with promotional posts, you need to pay.

Solution: Consider paying to promote your products or services on Facebook

Facebook has more than two billion members. This is an audience that companies simply can’t ignore, especially if they need to reach consumers.

Why not consider devoting some of your marketing dollars to Facebook ads? See your page as a cornerstone of your online marketing plan. It has a multitude of easy to use tools to help you develop ads and target the right audience for your business by age, location, interests, etc. By understanding the platform and its potential, you can use your marketing budget much more effectively.

Ultimately, your Facebook strategy is only as good as your knowledge of how Facebook works. That’s why it often pays to get some help from an outside expert who can advise you on how to best use Facebook and your other social media properties.

3. You need to track the performance of your Facebook page

Facebook claims that reducing the number of promotional posts improves the quality of everyone’s newsfeed. It says companies that create high quality content are still able to reach their followers.

However, independent studies indicate that overall organic reach—how many followers your non paid posts are reaching—has been declining. If your overall organic reach is falling, it’s doubly important to evaluate what impact your posts are having when they do reach your audience.

Solution: Measure what you do

Your goal is to improve your conversion rate. Track your performance in reaching your goals (e.g. sales, contact form downloads, newsletter signups, calls, etc.) per marketing dollar invested. Measuring your results is a crucial step in what should be a continuous cycle of improvement: take action, measure the results, tweak your strategy and then do it again.

For more advice on using social media in your business, download our free eBook Social Media: A Guide for Entrepreneurs.

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