Three phrases we are all familiar with are "'Like' me," "Become a fan," and "Click here to 'like' us on Facebook." And, as marketers, these are all words we have used as part of our Facebook strategy. As Facebook exploded in growth, marketers initially focused most of their social bandwidth on building a Facebook audience. But now what? Once you have an audience, what do you do next? This article takes an in-depth look at how to redefine your Facebook strategy to build a tighter connection with your audience that will ensure growth and maintain ongoing engagement.
Evolution of a facebook strategy
For the most part, marketers have followed a similar path in building their Facebook strategy.
As Facebook emerged as the social media platform, marketers focused all of their attention on building a presence. Creating a page was the goal, and that quickly evolved into tabs, apps, and polls. New businesses were created to service this need.
After building a presence, marketers focused on getting consumers to engage with their Facebook pages. The race to drive fans was in full effect -- and it still is for many marketers. The most common social success metric still is fan size -- the number of fans a brand or page has. Marketers have done a great job growing these audiences by leveraging Facebook media, customer relationship management tactics, search, and display.
This is the next step that most marketers need to take in their Facebook marketing evolution. Now that scale has been achieved for many marketers, it is time to begin connecting with this audience to create sustained social engagement. For the most part, Facebook audiences remain a relative unknown. For instance, we might know that someone is a fan, but we don't know much about who they are or what they do. To take the next step, marketers need to encourage their Facebook audiences to connect with them -- a deeper relationship than "liking" a brand. This requires a fair value exchange that rewards a fan for taking that step and rewards a marketer with a richer data set to engage the social audience. Measuring "connected" fans against overall fan growth is a new metric every marketer should be implementing and evaluating on a regular basis.
As marketers, we need to resist the urge to create and execute our social strategy in a silo. Integrating the new insights driven by your "connected audience" is a crucial step in taking your Facebook strategy to the next level. The real opportunity is to leverage this new connection with customers to power better marketing opportunities across other marketing channels and media, such as email, search, site, and mobile.
We all know that targeting our Facebook audience with rich, relevant content will drive better ongoing engagement. Taking the necessary steps to build a richer social-audience data set will arm marketers with the information necessary to achieve smart targeting. Then, use the data to match content format and messaging with the right audience.