These are the first three of the nine steps small companies should follow, or at least take into account on their Facebook marketing campaigns. Steps that come from most part of the successes and some of the failures I lived through as a specialist.

1 – Observe, read, learn, spy…

It’s not about launching your fan-page, start reading and learning only to realise short after that creating the page was your first mistake. You aren’t the first to make this mistake and you definitely won’t be the last.

It isn’t exclusively about setting your goals either. This would be something that you had already done when you were doing your company viability project, right? And what do you want to achieve through the social media? Increase your client portfolio, obtain a better brand loyalty and, since you are getting started, share the image of your brand around…

No; there’s something else you should do before getting started. Watch, read your target, identify their needs and find out what are they passionate about within the field your company works on. “Spy” your competition too.

Ok, the perfect theory. This is not the first time you hear this but, how do we get it done? ·

  • – Use tools such as Social Mention (Filter through Facebook and use keywords from your field) to read what are your fans talking about. Moreover, once you’ve found them, check their profiles and find out what do they like. Here you can find a few other tools that are easy to use and that can also help you “listen”.
  • – Take notes of what you see. Their likes and priorities. Do they hit the “like” button on posts? Or do they rather add a comment? Do they like images or links?
  • – Learn from your competitors. While you investigate you are likely to find the pages of your rivals. If you haven’t, you could use Monitter or even Facebook’s search tool to find companies from your line of work. Visit their pages and watch their actions and what sort of campaigns they do.
  • – What am I looking for with these pages? When and how much they post? Daily or weekly? At what times? Do the post links or images? Find out what’s working out better (In total “Like” and comment numbers since those are the only numbers you will have access to)
  • – Also observe the distribution of their Facebook tabs. Do they have welcome tabs for instance? Grab the best ideas for your own fanpage.

 2 – Learn the social media rules

It’s not that simple and those of us that work on this filed know it. It is not easy to acknowledge the fact that a good amount of your daily effort won’t translate in direct sales, maybe not even in a near future. But you will gain other advantages that could down the line help in the generation of sales.

So, what are the rules?

  • – Release a minimum of a post a day and a top of three. This could differ depending on the person, and I just speak of my own experience. A post a day, works. Two do as well but more than three could saturate the user who would eventually delete your fan page from their news wall.

At what times then? Your own experiences will eventually decide this. Try to start with three posts a day at different time and, after a few days, you can find out which ones had a better reach, which ones got more “Likes” and which ones got more comments. Facebook provides these metrics and you will find out (Maybe on a post still to come) that they are very easy to read.

  • – Don’t try to sell; matter of fact, separate yourself from the sales. Fight to obtain the loyalty of your fans by offering what they want to read.
  • – However you can’t forget your purpose as a company and maintain a goal of directing some traffic to your website. Just find the perfect balance.
  • – Encourage your fans to participate in your posts. It will be hard at first and you won’t see many likes or comments but you will see how those numbers increase with time.
  • – Stay positive, charming and above all, be fun! After all, Facebook is a social network used for entertainment.

Start by sticking to these basic rules and, from there you can make your own that will make your fan page work better.

3 – Learning the lingo will help you make the most of Facebook

Once you know what are you going to offer in your Facebook page, to whom and how, then is the right time to launch it. Ok, allow me to advise a short review of the terminology that it’s often used. For instance, I was asked a couple of days ago by a small company owner the difference between a fanpage and a group.

Next week in How to develop a marketing campaign in Facebook in 9 steps: Part II we will find out this difference and other terms that you will need to know in your race towards a successful social media campaign.

In the meantime, shall we discuss these two first steps? We await your feedback in the comments below and our fanpage!

Also, follow the latest trends and info about social media via our Twitter or Google+ accounts, find new pictures and infographics on Pinterest or join our interesting conversations with other specialists on the fanpage and LinkedIn Group. I’ll be waiting for you!