I know your time is a precious commodity these days, but it’s time to analyze your Facebook content strategy. Whether you adore social media or think it’s a necessary evil, Facebook is the gateway to your tribe, to the people who need to hear your message and who can benefit the most.
With well over 1 billion daily active users around the world, your audience IS there. It’s just a matter of crafting your message and getting engagement on all your posts. It may sound like a daunting task, but once you get to know your ideal client and pinpoint the best time to reach them online, the rest of the process becomes easier.
So, please turn off your notifications and television, and let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of creating engaging Facebook content.
As you go through the exercises, you may already have some of this data, in which case you’re ahead of the game. However, if you created your Ideal Client Avatar three years ago, for example, I suggest you go through the exercise anyway. You want to work with the most current information, and a lot can change in your market in three years.
We’ll be talking a lot about data and results in this planner. Have no fear…it’s not complicated, but you WILL want to keep it organized. If you have a VA, have her create your spreadsheets and tracking charts, so everything is easy to read and consistent. If you’re a paper and pen type of person, print out the files; if not, keep them handy on your laptop for quick reference.
Lastly, don’t stress yourself out over making the right decisions, especially when it comes to the best days and times to post on Facebook. Your audience is unique, just like you, and these are simply guidelines to get you started. Nothing is written in stone. You can make changes as you see fit and don’t compare too many notes with friends because their results and plans may be vastly different from yours.
Social media and all your content plans are meant to be fluid so you can “go with the flow” of your audience. focus on the content they need from you, and you’ll soon learn to love the connections that social media brings.
We’ve all been in that place where you post something spectacular (in our eyes) on Facebook, only to have it ignored. Sure, cute puppy pictures and funny baby videos always get likes and shares but generally speaking, those won’t help grow your business.
Your marketing strategy is only as strong as your foundation, so you need to know the basics–namely, your audience–before you can decide what and when to post on Facebook. You can post the most amazing content all day, every day, but if the right people don’t see it, you’ll never get that coveted engagement.
You need to know your buyer and everything about them. You need to prove to them that you relate to their problems and that you’ve done your homework. Inserting yourself into their lives with the strict intent of just making money is disingenuous. Providing them with a product that helps them solve a problem because your care is authentic.
This name pretty much sums up what you’ll be doing in the following exercise. You need to know details about your Ideal Client so creating an avatar is like creating a composite of the person who would be most likely to buy your product.
This avatar does not have to be based on anyone you know; in fact, it’s probably better that you don’t base it on a real person because they won’t be as objective with your descriptions. Include demographics, such as gender, location, education, and family life, and include their pain points. What will make them turn to YOUR product for help?
Once you have your avatar created, compare those demographics, and answers with your product’s features. You may discover that certain features don’t mesh well with your ideal client demographics. Maybe your price point is drastically higher than what your ideal client can afford. Maybe your price point isn’t high enough, and your ideal client questions your value.
If you already have a Facebook business page, check out the Audience Insights page to look at who is already looking at your page. This can be helpful information to get a better understanding of your ideal client. Looking at this in reverse, comparing these Audience Insights may give you a flash of inspiration for a new product or program that will help these visitors.
Now that you know who your Ideal Client is and what they’re looking for, you can customize your Facebook posts more easily. You’ll have a much better idea of the content they need to hear, and you can then experiment with different formats to spread your message. Discussing a hot topic issue during a Facebook Live might be the engagement boost you’re looking for. Create a written post about this same subject for those who don’t like videos. Create a simple infographic to express your message further. Then test which of these formats resonate with your audience the most so you can continue creating that form of content in the future.
One last tip: Your Ideal Client Profile will likely change over time, so revisit your profile demographics at least annually. If you are aware of your market changes, you can address them with your product and/or marketing strategy.
You can follow all the pros and their advice for the best times to post online, as well as what kind of content will get engagement, but your business is vastly different from those of theirs, even those of your peers. And with good reason! You are unique and will attract a unique blend of people in your ideal client pool.
So, you created an Ideal Client Profile and have a strategy mapped out. How will you know if your posting plan is actually getting results? It helps if you track your progress, and that means learning how to track your metrics.
If that makes your head spin, don’t worry. Once you create a process for tracking your metrics (or assigning it to your VA), you’ll know immediately which posts are performing, which times of day are best, even what days your audience responds the most. Remember, it’s not about the number of posts; it’s all about the content’s QUALITY and the engagement.
You don’t just want to post for the sake of posting – that’s wasted time that you could be devoting to another money-making task. You want your posts to get results (i.e., engagement). Engagement is what makes social media work. You’re interacting with your audience. You’re proving your worth by sharing your expertise, and others are lapping it up. Once they get to know, like, and trust you, they will tell their friends about you and even spend some money. None of this happens without engagement.
We’re sticking with Facebook metrics for this planner but be aware that every page of your website that offers a call to action should be assessed each month, too. Here are the most important Facebook metrics you should track and what they mean:
As we already established in Step One, guessing what type of content to publish on Facebook is futile if you don’t know your ideal client all that well yet. But even knowing all that data about your ideal client doesn’t fully explain what content they are looking for.
So, how do you make sure your Facebook content is actually engaging? By giving your people content, they’re actually craving. Instead of guessing what that may be, try asking them instead.
Whether in person, on the phone, or via social media, every conversation is a chance to learn what your ideal client wants. But instead of reading between the lines for subtle clues, be more direct and ask the question.
Take notes about each conversation, especially if they have difficulty finding specific products, programs, or information. Maybe someone explains they love videos because they can multitask while listening. Or maybe another person will fill you in on the content that other coaches in your market offer so you can improve upon the quality.
Please pay attention to social media posts from others in your niche and their comments. Are clients requesting certain information that isn’t being produced or easily found? Can you find a hole in what other coaches offer that you can fill with your top-notch content?
Odds are you already have a lot of content out there on the web, and some of it is probably quite popular. Did you cross-promote that popular content on Facebook? If not, why not?
Start by looking at your own blog posts, email newsletters, and your YouTube videos. Which posts have received the most likes, shares, or comments? Please write down the topic, the content type (i.e., blog or video), and any other notable attributes (i.e., it was about a trending industry topic or current event, it was a personal story, it involved a client case study, etc.)
Now, look at your audit results with the most popular topics and formats. These are the topics that resonate with your audience. These are the blog posts or YouTube videos that have gotten the most comments. You’ll notice the same thing with the formats. Have your written blog posts get more comments than your videos or vice versa? Even if you’ve only blogged in the past, try filming a video about one of the popular topics and see what type of engagement you receive. You might be amazed!
Repurposing content is a shortcut used by many experts in creating engagement across all their social platforms. When you take one well-performing blog post and turn it into a Facebook Live video, you’ve just expanded your reach and your message.
You can also take another well-performing social post and cross-post it on Facebook. Make it different from the original post by adding a customized introductory paragraph. Do the same thing when you re-publish a post from 1-2 years before. Make it original again by updating your views on the topic or adding a unique case study.
Most importantly, set up a process to conduct regular content audits or keep the original audit results updated regularly. If you notice changes in popular topics or formats, roll with it and address them. Your market will change over time, so should your way of engaging them on Facebook.
Another easy (and reliable) way to know what to post about is to check out what others in your niche are already posting about–and seeing great engagement. It’s time to creep on the competition!
Now, before you think it’s not right to spy on your competitors, let’s add in this caveat: Plagiarizing is NEVER acceptable. Copying and pasting ANYTHING – including blog posts or graphics/photos – that does not belong to you is a copyright infringement and highly unethical. That’s a surefire way to ruin your credibility and your business.
Instead, observe which of your competitors’ topics received the most engagement from their audience. Your audience is different – you’re not out looking to poach customers from them – you’re merely researching and testing if the same topic will be as popular and engaging for you as it was for them.
This is called a competitive analysis in the corporate world, where you look for what’s working for your competitors and what’s not. Knowing this information can enlighten you about what marketing efforts may be worth pursuing and which others are better ignored.
Just as your audience is different, maybe you have a different perspective on the same topic. If you see one generic topic is performing well for your competitor, put your own spin on that topic – or discuss a controversial perspective instead. Go further by drilling that general topic down to fit your specific industry. Discuss hot-button topics from your industry as a way to showcase your expertise while keeping your audience in the loop. You’re not copying what they’re saying; you’re crafting a response to an inspirational idea.
Also, don’t just concentrate on watching other coaches as that’s awfully limiting. Who else caters to your audience but offers different programs or products? Check them out as an indirect competitor and do the same content audit. JV partnerships often occur between two indirect competitors who have a passion for serving the same market.
Don’t stop there! Check industry-relevant blogs regularly to make sure you’re always speaking about “hot button topics” on your page. You’ll want to take note of the topics they post consistently, but also the topics they’re posting about right now.
In the end, you’re looking to be INSPIRED by this competitive analysis, not to copy your competitors’ strategies exactly. Your brand and voice need to be authentic; have no fear…your audience members will call you out if you’re not authentic or if there’s even a hint of plagiarizing.
Also, remember that this research needs to be an ongoing task. Just as your brand and voice will evolve, so will your competitors’. Continue monitoring their content, engaging with indirect competitors, and staying on top of industry happenings once you perfect your processes for doing research and creating all your Facebook content.
Now that you’ve collected a ton of intel about your Ideal Client Avatar and the content they love, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to uniquely and memorably deliver that content. Developing a content creation plan and keeping a content calendar are two easy ways to keep your social media marketing on track without inundating your audience with too many sales pitches or meaningless posts that go ignored.
All social media content will fall into one of the three Ps: personal, purposeful (or educational/inspirational), promotional. Striking a balance between these types of posts is a safe way to grow engagement and relationships with your followers. Too many of one type will bore your followers, or they’ll think you’re only out to make a buck if you post too many promotions.
Examine your current posts. Which of the 3 P’s does your content fall into? Are you getting engagement? Do you lack a balance? What feels most natural to you to create?
Start there with what’s natural, but don’t get stuck in that comfort zone. You want to find a balance between what your people love and what you can create regularly. Why not try stepping out of your comfort zone and add a different type of post to your rotation.
Next, understand that social media marketing is similar to business networking in that you’re not trying to make a sale in the first conversation you have with someone. Instead, you’re learning about that person’s business, asking questions, and thinking about if this is truly someone who can benefit from YOUR programs or products.
Not everyone will be part of your ideal client pool, but all of these conversations are worthwhile. A networking conversation can lead to a referral, a JV opportunity, more introductions, or they themselves may say YES to you down the road. This process is all part of building relationships, which is so vital to businesses these days.
Does it make more sense now why you want to balance your social posts? Use any variety of these 3 P’s so your followers get to know, like, and trust you. If you’re constantly posting hard-sell posts, you’ll chase prospects away instead of wooing them into your circle of influence.
Sticking with a daily theme makes it easy to keep your posts balanced. Have some fun with a Throwback Thursday or a Motivational Monday. Create your own themes based on your business and audience, then go one step further by using a custom hashtag. Encourage your audience to use the hashtag in their own themed posts.
One popular time management tool that helps create content fast is the time block method. Block off a chunk of time – such as three hours – and get to work. Time blocking is especially helpful when recording videos because you can set up your equipment one time and record a dozen videos in that one session. If you’re a writer who gets into the zone, you can easily pound out 3 blog posts and a selection of Facebook posts in that same three-hour time frame.
Now that you know what messages you want to share, it’s time to decide how to share it.
Facebook is a multi-purpose platform, and there are several ways you can share your content: written posts, pre-recorded videos, Lives, and even Stories. This is where knowing yourself and knowing your ideal customer avatar comes in handy. What type of content do you want to create–and what type do you know your Ideal Client Avatar will devour? Again, it’s about finding the intersection. You won’t know until you experiment with all types, though. The only sure-fire way to figure this out is through action!
Social media gurus are plentiful, and each one has its own takeaway on the perfect time to post for maximum exposure. While these are terrific starting points, don’t think this is THE definitive time to get engagement from your audience. Every market has its nuances, and you’ll likely find some exceptions to the posting rule.
While there’s no blanket “magic time” to post on Facebook for crazy-high engagement, you can find the magic time for your business!
Generally speaking, experts agree that businesses should post on Facebook at least once per day but no more than twice per day. At a bare minimum, post at last three times a week. If you post on your business page more than that, you’ll be considered spammy, which can hurt your business reputation.
First, let’s use a little bit of common sense. If your market is working moms, they most likely won’t be online until the early evening hours after dinner and bedtime routines are completed. So, posting to that group midday will likely get lost.
However, if you’re targeting solopreneurs who work from home, anytime during the regular 9-5 workday will likely work for you because these people will take breaks from their work or log in to Facebook to schedule their own posts to see yours in the process.
This is why knowing your ideal client avatar is so important. You’ll know what type of job they work. You’ll understand their responsibilities outside of work, and these details will help you narrow down a time frame when they’ll be online.
Second, take a look at your own calendar. You should be available during this same “perfect” time frame so you can respond quickly to questions and comments. This one-step makes you appear approachable because you’re able to have these short conversations in real-time. Your followers will understand that you’re not just a robot scheduling posts; you’re a real person with a passion for helping them. With you being available for real-time engagement, you’ll increase the “like” factor, and others will see how easy you are to speak with.
Why is catching people in real-time important? Because we all know that posts “get lost” due to the Facebook algorithms, so it’s a risk to assume someone will see your post hours later. It’s also easier to carry on conversations in real-time because you’ll receive notifications when someone responds to you, which usually entices people to immediately click on the notification. When you see a post from 8 hours ago, you may be less tempted to leave a comment or ask a question based on the older timestamp.
Let’s not forget about your Facebook Lives. Do you want to speak to an empty “room,” or would you like viewers to watch you and ask questions in real-time? With a little experimentation, you’ll discover the perfect cadence for your Facebook content distribution.
You’ve done the hard part–now it’s time to make sure you keep up with it! Take all this data that you’ve collected and created an editorial calendar.
You’re not only going to want your content plan on paper in the form of an editorial calendar and actual posting schedule, but you’ll also want to make sure you have a way to track what’s working easily.
Keeping your social media posts organized and well-balanced is essential to making your Facebook posting process easy. You’ll create all the content in advance, set it up in your content calendar, then schedule it with a third-party management platform. Many social media management systems have the calendar’s built-in, so it’s really a two-step process.
MeetEdgar goes one step further in making your Facebook posting easier. Evergreen content that you load into your library is automatically scheduled at various times in the future. It’s almost like “set it and forget it,” except you still need to show up in person to engage with your followers.
SproutSocial is another platform that boasts amazing metrics and analytics. Everything from helping to understanding your audience and market trends to measuring your performance. Plus, they have your calendar feature to make scheduling a breeze.
If your budget doesn’t have room for a social media management platform right now, create a simple Google Calendar strictly for your Facebook content. You can always upgrade to a paid program at a future date.
When it comes to tracking your results, keep it simple, and use the tools that you have at your disposal. If you’re paying for a platform, use those metrics and spend time really understanding what you can track and what your results mean. If you’re using a Google Calendar, create a Google Spreadsheet to input your results. This task can easily be delegated to a VA, but you’ll still need an understanding of what you’re tracking and what your results mean.
Once you have your results, determine if you want to make any changes with the hopes of increasing your engagement. Maybe try a different format. Try posting at a different time of day. Maybe a particular day of the week is awful for your audience. Nothing is written in stone, so make changes and continue tracking those changes.