For months, your Facebook marketing strategy has been lagging—ignored and set aside—other marketing initiatives taking priority, your current strategy half-baked. You know there’s room for improvement, which is both a big opportunity to stand out at your brand and a point of stress.
You find yourself obsessively refreshing your analytics, hoping the strategy you put in place will begin yielding meaningful results, but you know it won’t without making a change. As the exhilaration of taking on this new, exciting responsibility of managing your brand’s Facebook channel dwindles, you’re becoming acutely aware of the expectations you and others have set for this initiative. There has to be more you can do to make sure your strategy is a cornerstone of your social media efforts.
When you think you’ve done everything you can, where do you turn? These five overlooked features will breathe life into your 2017 Facebook marketing.
This feature has a bit of a caveat in terms of classifying it as an overlooked feature. That’s because Facebook Live is at a turning point: it’s transitioning from a fairly unfamiliar, under-utilized marketing tool to a now very central focus and priority for the social media giant. With platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter experimenting with live streaming, it only makes sense that Facebook is shifting in this direction as well.
When Facebook Live was first announced, I was admittedly skeptical. I certainly overlooked it as an end-user. That’s not to say, however, that others weren’t absolutely loving it:
As Facebook continues to push live video, it is no longer a feature that can be over-looked by end-users (in fact, Facebook recently instated notifications for when friends “go live”). Brands can therefore no longer afford to overlook it in their marketing strategies, either. Thankfully, brands like Benefit Cosmetics, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Callaway Golf have successfully tested the waters and provided useful examples for brands to follow. With that said, do keep in mind that Facebook Live may not fit into every brand’s strategy. Only after confirming that Facebook Live is the right decision for your brand should you begin to look to these brand examples and craft your own approach. It is absolutely worth, at the very least, consideration and a brainstorm session or two.
In part two of this series, we took a look at the presence and strategy of five particularly exemplary brands on Facebook. I’ll be honest, though: it was surprisingly hard to come by a brand that had every aspect of their profile updated and fully utilized. The profile should be the easy part! If the culprit wasn’t an outdated events page, it was an incomplete milestone list. Outdated pages in your sidebar don’t need to exist at all: if you no longer value that page in your marketing strategy, remove it! Brands have this kind of control over sidebar customization through the “Edit Page” section of Manage Tabs, so make sure you’re not overlooking the ability to update and customize your sidebar to reflect your social media strategy priorities.
It’s also worth noting that overall templates can be selected based on user or administrator needs in the Edit Page tool: there are layouts for shopping, business, venues, politicians, professional services, and restaurants.
Facebook additionally allows you to integrate various apps to your sidebar that you might value in your social media strategy. This is a great way to create a central social media hub through your Facebook page, which fans will undoubtedly appreciate.
Layout preferences provide the added choice of a thumbnail click-through (on the right rail) to the integrated apps, and—pro tip—these thumbnails are customizable, too. Many brands overlook this feature, leaving the thumbnails to their defaults:
Other brands, like Lululemon and McDonald’s, have created their own icons for this app section via the Manage Tab tools. This provides a consistent and cohesive brand experience on their page:
Once you’ve customized your overall template and sidebar, you can shift your focus to the opportunity Facebook gives to organize the posts and tags on your page. Have a post you want to drive a lot of attention to? Pin it to the top of your page. Don’t necessarily want customer feedback (let’s admit, it’s not all going to be positive) blasted front and center on your timeline? Move it to the left rail. Want to be able to monitor those posts? Or, do you want them hidden altogether? Mark those preferences in your General Settings, found via Manage Tabs.
While Facebook mostly attempts to maintain consistency in how brand pages look, it does permit certain customizable features, as mentioned above. Don’t be a brand that overlooks or undervalues these features when setting up and maintaining profiles.
The “all-service” app trend proves that users love being able to have their needs met all in a central place. That’s one of the reasons we specifically called out integrated apps as a feature to take advantage of. Another way to provide customer satisfaction and a positive user experience for your fans is by capitalizing on the “buttons” Facebook offers to create for your page.
Providing users with an easy way to contact, learn more, or take the next step in your intended funnel benefits both your audience as well as your marketing team.
A simple, but sweet, feature to leverage is the ability to highlight which other pages your brand Likes. Many brands use this as an opportunity to bring attention to their own related pages or drive traffic to other destinations affiliated with the brand. This overlooked feature can be a useful, brand-selected “recommendations” module.
As we say goodbye to 2016, we mark “another trip around the sun.” Facebook took the liberty of memorializing this trip by creating a “Year in Review” for each of its users. I couldn’t help but smile when the video took me through photos I’ve either uploaded or been tagged in throughout the year. I also couldn’t help but question how much time I waste on Facebook when they so kindly reminded me I’ve liked 1,000 posts this year.
Nostalgia and judgment aside, looking back presents an opportunity to reflect on your Facebook marketing strategy. With this series now complete, you’re equipped with an understanding of Facebook basics, brand success, measurement tools, and hidden features. 2017 can definitely be “the year you do it.”
Check out the rest of the series below: