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You realized you had to do it so you got your brand new Facebook Fan Page for your business set up, uploaded all your images, now what? Most people will go from day to day, making posts as and when they think about it but that’s not the most effective way to use social media to promote your business. You need to ask if: - Do you even have a Facebook marketing strategy and if you do, - Is it working? After reading this, we know you’ll be on your way to planning, implementing, and seeing results in social media, especially Facebook.

The first thing you have to understand is any successful strategy shouldn’t solely involve Facebook, it needs to be part of your other marketing efforts.

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You need to have a good website. This is where your products, services and content lives. It should look professional and be clear about what you’re offering your customers. You’ll also need an email delivery service. Email is not dead and is your best chance of being seen by the bulk of your current and potential customers. There are many email providers out there to choose from (eg. Benchmark, GetResponse, MailChimp), find one that fits your needs and budget. Once you have done these things, you can get started planning your Facebook strategy with these 4 steps.

1. Set Goals

Any strategy begins with goals. What do you want out of your Facebook Page? Sales are the obvious choice, but there can also be secondary goals that lead to sales. Consider some of these goals as you craft your plan: - Increased exposure and awareness. This goal can be a bit difficult to measure, but one way could be the new likes to your Page. - Build a loyal fan base. Before people do business with you, they need to get to know you, like and trust you first. When people come back sharing good experiences about you with their friends, you’re building trust and credibility. This goal can be seen from the People Talking About This figure. - Gather leads. Using some type of email opt-in is a great way to gather leads from people who may be interested in your product or service. You can give away a freebie that relates to your product, host a free webinar that may have an offer at the end or host a contest that gives away your product to the winner.

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- Get sales. Selling directly from Facebook can present a challenge. You can’t push your sales messages on your fans too often (I suggest 10%–20% of your posts, max). But you can track your sales. Make sure you attach special links (eg. Google Analytics) to track conversions from your sales messages. If you are running Facebook ads, make sure you know how well they’re doing.

Whatever goals you decide on, make sure you attach specific numbers and deadlines for each goal.

2. Research

Identify your perfect customers and where they spend their time. If you’re targeting a specific segment, you can look at the demographics of any Facebook Page by clicking on the Likes tab to get more information. Research your competition and watch what is working for them. Searching for other Pages on Facebook has gotten a little more challenging with the new Graph Search feature so you’re still better off using Google to find other Facebook Pages.

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Understand the latest techniques. Make sure you know the latest techniques on Facebook that are effective. Keep up with what topics are trending so you know can keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening and leverage on the buzz to create more interest in your business.

3. Set Up a Calendar

This can either make or break your strategy. Have a plan in place for what you will post each week. Because you can schedule some of the posts within Facebook, look for good content and be regular with your posting. You can use a spreadsheet to plan what you’ll be posting daily, weekly, or monthly. Take some time to map out your long-term activity and marketing plan, along with an estimate of your outcomes. That way, you know what techniques you need to be learning or setting up beforehand.

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4. Track Your Progress

Take time to look back at your progress on Facebook so you know if your marketing is working. Understand how Facebook Insights work so you know which posts are working for you. You can sort your posts by Engaged Users to see how many people are interacting with your content in some way (includes likes, shares, comments and link clicks). Understand what you should be measuring on Facebook and also track your goals. Take a few breaks throughout the year to assess and tweak your plan when needed. And give yourself a pat on the back for doing what most marketers don’t do—setting up a plan!

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Stop Losing Facebook - Success Resources Richard Tan  

4 Simple Steps to Effective Facebook Marketing