The rise and rise of Facebook are producing a scramble for marketers in companies and non-profits to leverage its huge global database, passionate communities, and traffic generated by its 750 million users.
Google is looking over its shoulder as Facebook grows at over 10 million users a month and sits currently at number two on web traffic rankings according to Alexa.com.
Facebook Overtakes Google
Last year Facebook surpassed Google for the top ranking for total time spent online.
Google is even being forced to continually adjust its search engine algorithms to cater for the social web that provides more prominence for social channels in its search results.
Facebook has also become the 3rd largest video website with 46.6 million viewers sitting behind number one ranked video content property provider Google with its YouTube site and Yahoo at second ranking.
Google has taken the threat so seriously that it has recently launched its own social network Google+ that has been 12 months in the planning.
A recent report from eMarketer has revealed that more than 90% of all social media marketing was conducted on Facebook and the majority of respondents rated Facebook’s marketing excellent or good.
The growth of the social web is both an opportunity and a challenge to how non-profits plan and implement marketing and engage with their target audience(s) to further enhance their traditional marketing strategies.
The Benefits of Facebook Marketing
One of the major benefits that Facebook offers is the ability to provide a global and local community portal where you can build conversations and comments and create a buzz that can tap into the energy of their passionate supporters and fans.
As engagement grows potential donors have visibility via sharing to the excitement for the cause that a charity stands for.
Facebook provides the ability to implement paid social media marketing that can deliver messages to very targeted communities based upon the very finite demographic data that is captured from each user on registration.
Another key benefit of social media is its ability to create ‘Buzz’ through its power to leverage and market through ‘world of mouth”.
Facebook the Marketing Multiplier
“World of Mouth” is a marketing multiplier capable of exponential amplification of links, content and conversations with its “many to many” marketing power.
In an ideal perfect social media sharing model, the potential is that 100 people sharing with 100 of their friends who then share with another 100 individuals produce a potential audience of 1,000,000. Now this isn’t how it works in real life but it explains why marketers get all hot and sweaty when they see the leverage and experience its benefits for themselves.
Marketing of events can be spread virally as people post and update their Facebook pages that then become visible in the news streams of friends and family.
Challenges for Implementing a Facebook Strategy
A lot of non-profits and brands leap into social media marketing because they ‘need to have a Facebook page’ and because everyone else is doing it.
This is a knee jerk response that leaves a lot to be desired in terms of making sure that it is being done for the right goals and communicating to the correct target audience with the information and tactics that are congruent with the message and brand of the charity.
Other challenges for implementing a focused social media marketing strategy include obtaining management buy in ensuring that there is an appropriate allocation of resources including
Expecting someone to do it after hours or on weekends can be fine short term but presents long term planning, quality, and control issues and usually doesn’t lead to success that will encourage management to commit proper resources.
So what are 5 steps to creating a planned Facebook marketing strategy?
5 Step Facebook Marketing Strategy
1. Define Target Audience
Defining your target audience is the foundation of any business or charity marketing plan and strategy. Examples of a target audience could include major cashed up high wealth benefactors, females 18-30, or it could be baby boomers.
The target market may be geographically focused and include other demographics such as age, gender and income. This will be driven by your not for profit business plan and goals that should already have been defined.
2. Determine Goals and Objectives
You need to decide what you are trying to achieve with your Facebook presence.
Some examples of the types of goals you may want to achieve with your Facebook marketing campaign include
- Increase traffic to the organizations’ website and blog
- Improve the “call to action” conversion rates for the donate button
- Increase donations.
- Save money on traditional marketing costs
- Deepen the relationship with possible donors and benefactors
- Grow the brands Facebook ‘likes’
- Increase email subscriptions to the newsletter
- Run a successful event
What does Success Look Like?
What will success look like for these goals?
- Will you be looking to increase donations by 20%,
- Reduce marketing costs by 30%,
- Grow Facebook ‘likes’ by 50% per month.
- Increase newsletter subscribers by 40% per annum
So putting specific metrics in place for goals allows you to gauge degrees of success or failure and allows you monitor and adjust your tactics that you implement to achieve those goals.
Case Study: Marie Curie Cancer Care
The Marie Curie Cancer Care Facebook page with 300,000 Facebook fans is a Facebook page worth studying closely regarding design, features, and functions.
This shows how strategy goals translate into tactics with two calls to action that are about achieving two goals on the Facebook landing page.
1. Running a successful event with an invite to “Hold a Blooming Great Tea Party”
2. Acquiring new email subscribers and potential donor information with a subscriber form on the Facebook landing page
3. Design, Develop and Implement Tactics to Achieve Goals
This is where the tactics will be implemented to achieve your goals.
This could include updating the Facebook page with the latest blog posts and other types of updates.
There are 4 major types of updates:
1. Conversation – is designed to stimulate conversation with the fan base by asking thought-provoking questions that encourage short succinct answers from fans. This could include a Facebook poll using the native Facebook question app.
2. Pictures – upload images that the that you want to expose potential customers to this is especially important for a blogger such as photographers or art or any of the creative disciplines
3. Link – Deep linked updates that that drives traffic away from Facebook to your other online properties such as website, online store, blog or YouTube channel
4. Product – spotlight a new product that is releasing or will release. You can test new designs and get feedback on possible new items or even headlines for an upcoming eBook
- Sending out an email to let people know you have a Facebook page and to connect with you there and like your page
- Designing, developing and implementing a landing page on your Facebook welcome tab that provides a call to action as simple as ..”Click ‘Like’ to discover how you can attract hundreds of people to your organisation each week!“
Case Study: Red Nose Day
Red Nose Day started in 1988 just 2 years before the first website was even launched in 1990 and social networking wasn’t even invented or even dreamed about.
Fast forward to 2011 and Red Nose Day has a very successful social media presence
- Over 330,000 Facebook fans
- Over 85,000 Twitter followers
- Received more than 25 million views of its YouTube Channel
What should be kept in mind is that a Facebook marketing strategy should not happen in isolation from other social media marketing channels such as Twitter and YouTube.
The Facebook marketing plans should also be integrated into your traditional marketing plans and activities.
Red Nose Day’s Facebook page had two primary goals in mind when it created its Facebook page
1. Increase its fan base by ‘liking’ its page
2. An email address subscription function to build its email marketing database
4. Monitoring, Measuring & Reporting
Monitoring is not about hard core metrics and is not specific or easy to measure as measuring as you need to be checking for sentiment whether positive or negative. These are what you call the subjective soft metrics that enable you to detect subtle patterns and shifts in community moods.
Reporting provides the formal aggregation of your results that can be used for validation of your success and hence obtaining more resources and securing budget for the next 12 months from your major stakeholders.
This is looking at the comments and feedback to see if you are getting the appropriate responses in your social networking conversations such as many negative comments or no feedback it may indicate that you are doing something wrong and should lead to an adjustment in your tactics.
These are soft metrics and measuring tone is still an inexact science so you will need to manually read and monitor this feedback to ensure that the tone is positive and engaged.
There are a few tools you should have in your toolbox that will give you the metrics you need to measure traffic, conversions, landing page hits and other discrete objectives.
The three tools worth considering are
- Facebook Insights: Facebook Insights provides Facebook Page owners and Facebook Platform developers with metrics around their content. By understanding and analyzing trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content, and creation of content, Page owners, and Platform developers are better equipped to improve their business with Facebook
- Google Analytics: If you have a self-hosted blog (not on blogger.com or WordPress.com) but hosted on a platform like GoDaddy.com then load Google Analytics (free) to your blog site and this can provide you extensive details on traffic to specific pages. You could measure hits to landing pages and whether people are then going to the registration page and converting
- AllFacebookStats.com: This site provides a range of measurements with the free entry package providing an entry-level statistics showing, Fancount statistics, advanced statistics. The entry-level package allows you to see the statistics for the last 30 days and other premium paid packages starting from $69 a month provide greater detail over longer timeframes.
Reporting the weekly results from your Facebook marketing campaign provides you with the numbers in black and white and can be as simple as
- Increase in fans for the week
- Increase in Fans for the month
You can also combine statistics for Facebook insights and AllFacebook Stats to provide a comprehensive report if required for a corporate environment that could include averages per day and a total for the week for:
- Post Quality
- Interactions per post
- Wall posts
- Page views
- Unique page views
- Photo views
- Brand exposures
5. Modify, Rinse and Repeat
The monitoring and measuring enable you to assess your progress and adapt and change your tactics. You may need to modify the landing page or even spend some of the marketing budgets on Facebook advertising that targets your audience to achieve your goals.
You may find comments on Facebook may not be that positive about your updates or blog posts or you are receiving no interaction. This is telling you that you need to work on making the content more compelling.
So adapt, test and keep testing.
The Keys to a Successful Facebook Marketing Strategy
So the underlying keys to a successful Facebook marketing strategy are to
- Emulate examples of other charities and not for profits that are already successful
- Put in place a Facebook marketing strategy that is well resourced and supported by senior management.
- Don’t forget to integrate with your traditional marketing efforts to further enhance your current activities
- Synergise by sharing and leveraging the Facebook marketing efforts using Twitter, YouTube and other appropriate social media and social networking channels.
Also, remember that this is still a fast evolving marketing and community building online social networking ecosystem that will require you to test and modify, so be prepared to experience some trial and error while having some fun.
Original Article by: Jeff Bullas
Posted by: Shane Barker
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.