Within in every professional business plan, is a professional marketing plan. This standard section of a business plan outlines how you will Market your product to potential customers or clients and how you will Market the company as a whole to investors, employees, stakeholders and of course customers and clients. In today’s technology era, to ignore Facebook would be a huge mistake. Granted not all businesses will benefit from marketing their product or service through Facebook, but most can, will and should.
Before we discuss how to plug Facebook into your business plan, let’s take a look at the many features of Facebook.
There are many types of functionalities on Facebook. It is not as simple as just opening up an account and begin posting. After you open up a personal account, you may want to open start a Facebook Page for your business or brand. This is where you will run all your interactions for your business. Several sections and aspects of Facebook that we will review include:
- Facebook groups,
- Facebook pages,
- Facebook pay-per-click ads,
- Facebook events,
- Facebook social influencer marketing,
- Automating Your Facebook Page,
Let’s start with Facebook groups. After you create a personal profile on Facebook, there are groups that you can join. These groups can be Regional or buy Sector or Niche. For example, there are groups for Connecticut residents or groups for Texas single mothers or groups for coin collecting clubs. You should try to join a group that you think will enhance the prospects of your business. For example, if you are a website designer or provide a service that entrepreneurs could use, you should join all the entrepreneurial groups. Remember that some of these groups are worldwide so you will have members from all parts of the world. You will be able to post in these groups like you post on your profile page. Starting communications in these groups is a good way to get your product or service in front of the right people. Picture below is a screenshot of some Facebook groups where I am a member, notice the focus on numismatics & currency groups is to promote a business I operate selling coins at nickynice.com
Facebook Pages. Facebook also allows you to set up a page for your business, brand, nonprofit and even for a location. This in essence acts as a web page which can be found on or off Facebook. Having a Facebook page for your business is important, since currently Facebook only allows you to run sponsored post through a Facebook business page. When you set up a Facebook page it also allows you to use Facebook as an e-commerce site, allowing you to sell products or services right from Facebook, to others visiting your Facebook page. The post you publish on your Facebook page can be shared to your profile page or other Facebook groups. This allows you to generate traffic to your Facebook page or your Facebook ecommerce store. Facebook also allows you to advertise your Facebook page to gain more followers and likes. This is important to capturing the crowd that visits your Facebook page so you can re-advertise to them again later. Pictured below is a picture of the Facebook page for Cervitude Intelligent Relations. notice that Facebook allows a custom url so our url is Facebook.com/Cervitude
Pay-per-click ads & Boosted Posts. On Facebook, you can buy traffic to your website, by visitors that will call your phone number, Target people with a certain job title or interest, target people by region and more. Pay-per-click ads on Facebook also allow you to boost a post. By boosting a post you can increase the number of how many people see the post and this can also be targeted by geography, interest, age and other targeting features that Facebook has available. You can drive traffic to a shared link on Facebook or off of Facebook and they even allow you to drive traffic to videos. The main strength in Facebook advertising is the targeting. They go as far as allowing an advertiser to target individuals whom they know have visited a certain website or target specific individuals by uploading an email list and only showing the ad to those people. Pictured below is what you will see when you try to boost a post. Notice the warning sign. If Facebook thinks your ad will not be approved, it will let you know before you try. Ads with pictures that have writing in them, generally do not get approved. Notice also that you can start running ads for as little as $1 and 1 day. This is great for startups and great for testing.
Facebook Events & Calendar. Facebook events allows you to set up an event and invite friends and other people to the event. It allows you to sell tickets in advance and allows you to put together an RSVP list of people attending, not attending and maybe attending. It will also send out reminders and allows a user to run advertisements for events. This is particularly good for accounts whom already have their user base on Facebook or can target geographically. You can set up an event for your business grand opening, a sale your business is having or the launch of a new product. Of course you can also market a party, picnic, dinner, wedding or any social function.
Facebook Social Influencer Marketing. Well this isn’t really a Facebook feature but it can help businesses scale the social media platform. If you never heard the term “social influencer”, it simply means that a person of has a larger following and can influence the decision-making power of others. Examples include athletes, movie stars and now….social media celebrities with blogs or vlogs. The line between models and social media influencers for example is getting blurred with beautiful people posting great photos and gaining an audience. Once the audience is built, advertiser contact them directly for promotion on social media. This is social influencer marketing. On Facebook, if you are looking for a social media influencer, simply find one in your region or niche and reach out. Better yet, the lesser known influencers, ie those with followings between 10k-200k, are generally a better value for the money.
Automating Your Page. There are plenty of tools for automating all of your social media and Facebook is not exception. Facebook allows you to schedule post but this may be better done via third party applications. HootSuite offers automation of postings so you can preset the social media postings and focus on engagement (where hootsuite also helps). When you are growing a business, automation can be your best friend.
So How Do We Plug Facebook Into You Business Plan?
Ok, now that we have gone through the meat and bones there isn’t much left except insert this into your business plan. The common mistake I see, having developed hundreds of business plans and read a few hundred more, is that people simply make a bullet point statement of Facebook marketing in their business plan. Then when it is time to take action, they don’t know where to start. Explain to the reader in your business plan exactly how you will use Facebook to get in touch with your customer and stay in touch with your customer. Simply stating that you will utilize Facebook may not be enough for your marketing plan. Granted, space, page count and time considerations should be noted when developing a business plan; so do keep this in mind.
Hope this was helpful,
Need a business plan? Help with Facebook marketing? Want to put together a marketing plan that will grow your business and attract more revenue? Cervitude IR is a full service business consulting firm helping entrepreneurs and businesses grow. Contact us today.