The Ultimate Facebook Marketing Strategy

January 5, 2015

Because of my Facebook marketing efforts over the last week, my blog has gotten more traffic than in any other week over the last two years.

In fact, this blog got twice as many visits in one day last week than on my highest traffic day in all of 2014.

I’m about to share with you what I consider to be “The Ultimate Facebook Strategy”.

Does that sound interesting? Then continue reading.

Facebook Hysteria

Facebook_Marketing_Strategy_PinterestFacebook has been somewhat of a hot topic over the last few weeks and months.

With the changes that they made to their algorithm on January 1st, in essence eliminating the reach of promotional posts made by Facebook pages, I definitely understand why so many people are tripping.

But could it be that we’re missing something? Like, something BIG – especially for bloggers and other marketers?

Last week I wrote an article on why you need to change your Facebook strategy in 2015 and that really seemed to have struck a chord with many bloggers.

For the last week, I’ve been experimenting with Facebook. I knew that changes were coming and that I needed to be prepared.

I was also extremely optimistic about what it could mean for bloggers and marketers who do Facebook the right way and felt that I could use Facebook to drive a considerable amount of traffic to my blog despite all of the doom and gloom predictions out there.

Now I will admit that I’m sharing this strategy with you pretty early in my experimentation, and there’s a risk to doing that. I can’t give you months or years of data.

However, I'd rather share this with you while I’m doing it so that you can test out the concepts yourself and be on what I consider to be the cutting edge. I try not to hold back any secrets from you if I think they can help you. So here goes.

Your Facebook page as a gateway, not a platform

What I’m about to share with you is a strong deviation from what is typically taught.

Many of us marketers have been taught to look at our Facebook pages as a platform, and while that holds some merit, I think it’s thinking a bit small.

I would encourage you not to view your page as your platform (especially not one of your main platforms) for the following reasons:

Info-forecastReason #1: You don’t own Facebook

The fact is this – Yes, Facebook is a great place to get the word out there about your blog or website, but since it’s not a platform you own, you don’t control it. You own your blog, your website, your inventory, your products and yourself, but you don’t own your Facebook page.

Facebook can decide tomorrow that they don’t want you on there and from one day to the next, your “platform” can be gone. Don’t believe me? Well that’s what happened to some gun sellers a few months back.

Reason #2: Facebook doesn’t care about you

Yes, I know – that wasn’t the bed of roses you expected, but I’ve come to believe that it’s true. Facebook isn’t in the business of growing your business. They are in the business of growing Facebook and their businesses. When it comes down to it, it’s about their bottom line. If it’ll make them more money, they want to do it, regardless of how it affects you (once again – my interpretation).

Reason #3: Your business, your time

If you’re going to invest a ton of time into a business, shouldn’t it be your own? Shouldn’t you be more concerned with feeding YOUR family than helping Zuckerberg make more money? Nothing against the guy – I actually kinda like him, but I like my family much more 😉

So, instead of looking at your Facebook page as a platform, I would encourage you to look at it as a gateway for reaching people. It’s a place where you can put content out there to attract people to your brand (or in our case, your blog). Because THAT’S where the REAL value happens.

With this model, your number of likes isn’t the strongest indicator of how effective your Facebook page efforts have been. In fact, I’ve heard personally from a number of bloggers that they have a ton of likes, but are only reaching a small fraction of those people, in a way making their Facebook efforts seem almost worthless.

However, if you do it right, I believe that your reach can extend WAYYY beyond your number of “likes”. Here are my Facebook Stats for the last week:

Facebook_Insights

As you can see, although my page only has 2,480 people who have liked it, in the last week, I’ve been able to reach 12,338 people, which is an increase of 3,971.9% from the previous week.

Of that 12,338 people, 1,225 people actually engaged with (liked, commented, shared) my content (an increase of 3,400%) and 2,225 people actually took action and clicked on my post.

But that all means nothing to me if it doesn’t result in an increase in traffic to my blog. Well, here’s what Google Analytics has to say about that.

Google_Analytics_Growth

As you can see, there was a SIGNIFICANT increase in traffic last week (red arrow) and that makes me happy.

*Please note: The increase that you see with the orange arrow is actually artificial. It mistakenly includes traffic from my Biology blog during that week. Don’t ask – it was a technical mess-up on my end, and I don’t want to revisit it, lol.*

So, if we are to look at that one week, one of my main goals has been accomplished – more traffic to my blog (which also resulted in more engagement on my blog).

The TRUE Value Of Your Page

value2Since we’re looking at your page as a gateway, in my opinion there is one main way that your page offers you true value instead of what you might be thinking.

It’s not in the brand recognition you can receive from having people see your content on Facebook.

It’s not the social proof you get from your potential audience seeing the number of likes, shares or comments on your posts.

For the astute marketer, the TRUE value is the Facebook page Analytics – or as they call it, your Facebook Insights.

Why do I say that? Simple, because that’s where you are able to track the performance of your posts, see what your audience resonates with and make decisions on the type of content you should be sharing.

The Ultimate Facebook Marketing Strategy

making-connections-(3)Alright, with all of that said, lets talk about what I did last week that generated an increase in engagement (and traffic).

This entire strategy revolves around three questions:

Question #1: What is my (compelling) brand story?
Question #2: What does my ideal target person want to share with their friends related to my brand story?
Question #3: What’s hot right now related to your brand story?

Allow me to take you through this process for my blog, and while I do that, think about how this can apply to yours (or whatever else you do online).

My (Compelling) Brand Story

Story time: Once upon a time, there was a guy whose name was Leslie. He was a simple guy who had use blogging to do very cool things. His biology blog landed him his dream job as a University Professor and made money each and every month even though he has hardly worked on it over the last 3.5 years.

Blogging has made it so that he could leave that dream job to work on building the life of his dreams – a life where he is building a very successful business, has time to spend with family and have the freedom to get up and go whenever, wherever.

A life where he makes enough money to not only take care of his family’s needs, but to also help out a significant amount of people.

A life where he can share his message with the rest of the world – the message that we all have something of value to share, and that by creating content and putting it out there, we can inspire others AND change the world, all while building successful online businesses.

This is the story that’s at the heart of what he does. It’s what he wants you to know, and as a result – it is what he shares, regardless of the platform. (story time is over)

Here’s an example of that:

Facebook_Video2

I’m currently in the Bahamas on a 35 day trip. How was I able to do that? Because of the type of location-independent business I’m currently building. I share that journey with my audience.

This is all a part of my brand story.

The Sharing Factor

social-network-(2)The reason my reach for the last week was so high is not because of how awesome my page is. No, not at all.

It’s for one simple reason – it’s because people shared the content I created.

And they shared it because I thought about the question of what my ideal target person would want to share.

So what do people want to share? According to a study conducted by The New York Times Customer Insight Group, we share content for one of five reasons:

  1. To bring valuable and entertaining content to others
  2. To define ourselves to others (give people a better sense of who we are and what we care about)
  3. To grow and nurture our relationships (helps them connect)
  4. For self-fulfillment (allows us to feel more involved in the world)
  5. To get the word out about causes or brands

What’s at the heart of all of that is one simple word – relationships. Not starting a blog. Not studying biology. And no, not even making money.

So, as I create content, I need to think about these factors because I want people to share my content. Here examples from my posts from the week:

Example 1

Facebook_Video

It’s January 2015 and people are thinking about what they want to accomplish. Of course with that comes fear. It’s an emotion that everyone deals with and in many cases, it holds us back, because it can be such a strong emotion.

As a result, 50 people have shared it so far and it has reached 9,384 people (probably more by the time you read it).

Example 2

Facebook_Image_Quotes

Notice anything? Yep, it’s directly related to the video. In fact, it was posted on the same day. It appeals to the same emotion and people will also be likely to share something along those lines.

What’s Hot?

This is something I learned from Mitch Wilson from Sports Chat Place, an EXTREMELY successful Sports website that provides insightful analysis and predictions about a ton of games that are happening right now.

sportschatplaceHere’s the thing – because all of his content is about games that are going on right now, those games are the hot topics for the day (or a few days). His content is not evergreen, but they are very time-bound and very HOT.

Because of that, he gets A TON of traffic from those daily “hot topics”.

Well, I’m trying the same thing for my blog. What’s the hot topic right now? You guessed it – Facebook’s algorithm changes. So what do I talk about right now? How to survive when Facebook has a mood swing (inside joke for the podcast listeners).

Because a lot of marketers are very concerned about that right now, there will not only be a lot of searches – you will also be more likely to share.

(side note: if you’re finding this article helpful, please help prove me right and share it with your networks 😉 )

Are there key events that are happening that you can comment on in the context of your blog? Are there key emotions that people are feeling in response to specific hot topics that you can tap into?

Do it – over and over and over and . . . well, you get the point.

Amplifying your reach

social-network_croppedSince the key component of your strategy is to get your content shared, one great way to do that is to get the ball rolling.

Look – we all know that Facebook reach for pages isn’t as good as they used to be.

But you know what? If you are building the kind of brand that I encourage you to build – the kind where you are so proud of your content that you want to share it with the world, then you should get the ball rolling.

You can help to amplify your reach by using your very own Facebook profile to share the awesome content you are posting to your page.

Here’s the key – your brand has to be something you believe in and what you share on your personal profile should be an ongoing story that is congruent with the brand you are building.

The benefit here is that you get to combine the power of your personal profile with the detailed analytical insights you get from having a Facebook page.

Think about it – I currently have 3,310 friends on Facebook and 475 followers. Because my brand story is essentially MY story, you can see a lot of my journey on my personal profile.

Yeah, I know – I probably share too much, but it works for me. I’m an open book.

Because of this, and the fact that I’m very proud of what I’m building, I’m happy to share it with my friends. I no longer ask people to share stuff that I’m not sharing myself.

I want the world to hear my message, because I think it can transform lives.

Start WOrkingIf you REALLY want to take this to the next level here are two additional tips:

  • When you have something REALLY awesome that you can tell is resonating with a lot of your audience (like an awesome video), reach out to a few influencers in your niche (that you’ve developed a relationship with) and ask them to share it.
  • Connect even deeper with your most engaged “fans” (and I hate using that word). If you notice that there are a few people who are really engaging with your content, reach out and try to connect with them on a deeper level. You’d be surprised at what people will do once they realize that you actually care.

Now some of you will inevitably be thinking something like this – “Leslie, that’s good for you, but it won’t work for me. I’m not friends with a bunch of influencers and I only have a few hundred friends on Facebook.”

My response is simple – GET TO WORK! When I started on Facebook, I had zero friends and I didn’t know any influencers. Relationships take time and effort. Make it Happen. Start reaching out there and connecting with people.

Tip – Get on that video stuff

videoI don’t know if you’ve realized it, but while many of us were sleeping, Facebook has been growing a beast and it’s called video.

Yeah, I know – video isn’t new for Facebook (or any other social networks).

However, they have been working significantly (behind the scenes) on their video features and capabilities.

They’ve added autoplay (even though some people find it annoying) and now you’re seeing the video views at the bottom of their videos.

A few months back, it was even revealed that Facebook video views have surpassed Youtube.

Mark my words – Video on Facebook will be HUGE in the future. Well, it kinda already is. Starting posting videos.

Here’s the key – let your videos be an extension of your brand. Have them tell your brand story not just attempt to sell a product or service.

Where it all comes together

emailLets assume that you’ve embraced this strategy that I outlined. You have a compelling brand story and you post hot content that your ideal target person wants to share.

You’re also doing it consistently (very important).

I need you to remember that I said that the platform you’re building shouldn’t be on Facebook.

This is something that I’m in the process of working on right now and is an important element of the story.

Your goal in building your gateway is to get them on your email list – not just to your blog.

To do this, you need to have one consistent call to action. This was the shortcoming of my strategy last week, but it will no longer be that way.

Here’s what I decided to do. I purchased the domain becomeablogger.tv, which redirects to a squeeze page. Go ahead and check it out so that you can see how I’m doing it firsthand.

I’ve made the conscious decision that when someone signs up to my email list, they will get the best free content I have to offer. I want to share tips to help people (like you) build the kind of lifestyle business I’m building.

I know that it won’t be an easy road and I want to help people on this journey.

So, whenever I engage with people on Facebook (or any other platform), the goal is to get them to that squeeze page to sign up for my email list, so that they can get my free training, and ongoing support. And of course, my email list is directly tied to my monetization strategy – but that's another post for another day 😉

BTW – if you aren’t on my email list, you’re missing out on my “10 hour blueprint” where I walk you through how to build your blogging business in 10 hours/week. You're also missing out on my updates with new content whenever I have something available to help you. Go ahead and sign up here:

Click Here For FREE Access!
I started my business with a full time job, so I know how crazy it can get and want to help to make that journey easier for you.

The future looks bright

Yes, I know that I’m speaking very soon. I’ve only been actively doing this strategy for about a week now. However, I’ve been doing a ton of research. I’ve taken courses, read blogs, looked at research and the future looks bright (from my perspective).

I will be actively engaging in more thorough research when it comes to Facebook marketing, especially for bloggers. I will be compiling data and doing some in depth analysis to really figure out what works for businesses and entrepreneurs like myself.

The absolute best way for you to keep up to date with my research on the topic is to make sure you’re subscribed to my email newsletter (as I mentioned above).

Click Here For FREE Access!

You’ll get lots of free stuff to help you on this journey.

Question: Which of these tips resonated most with you? Let me know in the comments below.

Proof This Works

This section was added after the fact. It's something I just HAD TO share. Two days after I posted this article, I got this comment on Facebook:

THIS STUFF WORKS. That's all 🙂

Resources Cited:

Become A Blogger Content Cited

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29 Comments

  • richsense.org says:

    Leslie, This is great insight, but I’m still new at this blogging thing although I enjoy doing it. Thanks for your openness in sharing what you are doing. Rich

  • Emeric says:

    Hey Leslie, thanks for mentioning Agorapulse in your resources 🙂 Happy new year!

    • You’re very much welcome and Happy New Year. I actually just started using your services. It actually seems like something I would use as opposed to the many CONFUSING ones that I’ve tried before. I’m still on the trial, but trying to do a full analysis. Keep up the good work.

    • Emeric says:

      I can’t wait to chat with you Leslie 🙂

    • Dave MacKay says:

      I ‘think’ I saw that a person can design a page using your service, however, I did not see that feature on the site. As a newbie to FB, I need mega help with a page. LOL Can you point me to the design page.. Thanks

  • Elaine Argaet says:

    Hi Leslie, Best wishes for a fantastic New Year. Thanks for sharing so much quality information.

  • [email protected] Diving says:

    Ok, I’ve got Facebook figured out: give people the stuff they’re interested in, and you’re golden. It’s actually very simple. I’m going to be un-modest for a second (soooo unlike me) and say, I’ve got an awesome Facebook page. I speak as if my followers are friends. I share personal info. I ask engaging question that I really want to know answers to. It’s all one big party :). My strategy is more concrete than yours though: schedule FB updates 8-10 times per day (8am, 10, 12, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11pm).

    My 8 am post is something funny or inspirational, and at each time point there is a pre-determined category that goes with each time. I will post 2-3 of my own posts at popular traffic times. Il the rest of the times, I choose posts from popular and relevant pages and share with my readers. I share Amazon free ebooks, as well as pics of things they’d be interested or entertained by.

    This strategy has worked well. But the point is to share a piece of myself with each thing I post. My page isn’t huge bug it’s grown since I started this. And my reach is always pressing even for FB standards!

    Serena @ Thrift Diving

    • [email protected] Diving says:

      Silly typos. Sorry. I was going to add that I started this strategy of posting often and posting of engaging popular content from other pages from one of the women in my mastermind group. I adapted it to fit categories. And then I track what I scheduke out, then go back and wrote down its reach. The goal will be to see if something did well in a time slot or if it wasn’t comtent people really liked, etc.

      Life has gotten busy recently so I haven’t been sticking to this so much in the last couple weeks. But I try! 🙂

    • That’s awesome. Yes, you do get great engagement on your page.

      I think there are two main differences between what you do and where I am:

      1. The amount of time you are willing to invest in it
      2. How long you’ve been doing it for.

      What I’m building for my page is very similar to what you’re doing. However, I’m taking it slow and building it at a rate that I’m willing to sustain.

      At this point, I’m not willing to do as many posts, so I start with trying to post daily, but consistently. I will be upping it to 3 times a day by next week and then doing that for a while (using different categories like you described) and then evaluating whether or not I want to increase it, but once the right systems are in place, which will possibly involve outsourcing.

      I just don’t want to dive in with frequent posts, have them go that way for a month and then die off.

      On another note – you up for being on a podcast episode to dive into this a little deeper?

    • [email protected] Diving says:

      I’ve only been doing this for the past couple months, so I don’t know how much I can offer :). But sure, if you’d like to talk about it! But I think you said something key–do what you can do, and do it consistently. I was doing it consistently, but due to stressors at work, I had to back off of social media a bit, and I don’t do it consistently now. My goal for this year is to definitely do it consistently, even if not 8-10 times per day, at least 4-5. All this talk is reminding me I need to go schedule my FB status now…. 🙂

      P.S. Let me know if you’d still like to do a podcast about it!

    • Of course I’d still like to do a podcast about it. If nothing else, at least we get to catch up 😉

      Seriously though, as I said on Facebook – you’re doing something, it’s working, we can have a discussion about it. I’m sure it’ll help many people 🙂

  • KH says:

    I manage a creation science website, and we schedule out 4 posts a day, which seems to work better than when we posted less. I try to also personally go on once or twice a day, and share something interesting from a relevant page. My biggest problem is that I have a hard time figuring out how to keep things personal, when we’re a group of people spread across the globe. And how do I make science personal? I didn’t even use FB until April, so I have that learning curve on top of the fast growth of the website, as well. Any ideas?

    • Ideas – yep. Share things that you’re audience will find interesting. It doesn’t HAVE TO be personal if it’s more of a company structure. It can simply appeal to personal emotions (for example).

      Actually, one way to make it a bit personal is to share some of the stuff individuals in your company are doing in relation to your mission.

      It all comes down to testing. I don’t know what will work for you, but by trying different things and then tracking your Facebook insights, you’ll get the info you need to make good decisions.

    • KH says:

      Thanks, will definitely try that approach!

    • Let me know how it goes 🙂

  • Hey, Leslie – great post and the timing couldn’t be better, as I’m trying to get off and running at Photo Tripping America! After reading this article, I’ve taken notes and put together my own “brand story” and “ideal target reader” to give me more structure and focus when I write content. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to deliver a wealth of useful information in everything you do, from blog posts to podcasts and beyond!

  • Hey, Leslie – great post and the timing couldn’t be better, as I’m trying to get off and running at Photo Tripping America! After reading this article, I’ve taken notes and put together my own “brand story” and “ideal target reader” to give me more structure and focus when I write content. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to deliver a wealth of useful information in everything you do, from blog posts to podcasts and beyond!

  • Financial Services says:

    hi…Good Work…Nice post. I have fully read the post. Thanks for sharing it..Financial Planning Services

  • Mathavan Karthikeyan says:

    Hie Leslie, Hearty wishes for a fabulous New Year. Thanks for sharing such a Quality info.

  • Well explained……….but how to target particular location audience?

  • Dave MacKay says:

    Wow, I do like this post! I have a small blog and still learning to make the good things happen, no Facebook page yet but have been sorta wondering about it. You have convinced me to get started! I have a question. haha You mention in a reply that you are going to increase the number of posts per day. and the question is…. Will the posts be on your FB page as well as your blog, or are these only for FB..? and. because I am late to the party and you will have already started…… are you pleased with the numbers? Thank you

  • sharplessons says:

    thanks a lot for such a informative and quality show of post.

  • sharplessons says:

    Thanks a lot for such a informative and quality show of blog.

  • Vince says:

    Good article and a very important point to keep in mindI Love the idea of creating a story.In this competitive world, companies need something to stand out, and I think brand story is a great way to connect with a customer on another level.

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