Posted by Micheline Sabatté, Product Marketing Manager, Paid Search & Performance Media
A Facebook Page gives brands and companies a new way to stay connected with their customers, adding another touchpoint in the marketing communications mix. No matter what your brand is, Facebook Pages should first-and-foremost be developed with a customer-centric strategy in mind.
The recent changes to the Facebook home page design (the topic of my March 26, 2009 column), which place heavy focus on the “stream” of updates, announcements, links, videos and other pieces of content that friends and brands share in real-time, empower people and brands to share their messages as often as they like. This power requires a comprehensive, integrated marketing strategy to ensure those messages are perceived as relevant and valuable, rather than clutter and spam.
So what are the components of a good Facebook Page content strategy? A good place to start is to focus on the people you want to engage—you must think about which tools and content are relevant to their needs. You can do this by creating a simple matrix that answers the following questions:
1. Who are your various customers/audiences?
2. What are their needs?
3. What actions do you want them to take?
To illustrate this concept, let me create a matrix using Performics as an example. As a leading search engine marketing (SEM) agency, Performics' main audiences are current clients, prospective clients, employees, job seekers and the press/media. Each of these audience members have a need for seeking information or interacting with Performics. The goal of our Facebook Page (which I mentioned last week is currently undergoing a major makeover) is to ensure that we have content and interactive tools that address these audience needs.
Current clients are an important audience for Performics, but since a lot of the information that audience group is seeking is confidential, it would be risky and problematic to try to use Facebook to post information for that group. Similarly, employees are also an internal audience and the information they need would likely be found on the company's intranet. Therefore, the information for these two internal audiences would be delivered via other channels such as client status meetings, all-hands employee meetings, e-mail, client portals, intranet, etc.
Looking at the remaining audiences for Performics, we can create our matrix to outline a content strategy for encouraging these external audience groups to take a desired action. Here's our simple content strategy matrix for our audiences:
|Audiences:||Their Needs:||Desired Actions:|
|Prospective Clients||Learn about upcoming Webinars and events, understand product and service offerings, look for evidence that Performics is a thought leader, etc.||Register for a Webinar, contact a sales team member, read articles from the blog, etc.|
|Job Seekers||Find out which jobs are available, learn about employee benefits, learn how to contact the HR department, get a sense of the agency culture, etc.||Review job postings, apply for a job, contact a member of the HR team, etc.|
|Press/Media||Look for evidence that Performics is a thought leader, find out how to contact "talking heads" and executives for interviews, etc.||Read about the Performics' point of view on topics related to digital advertising, schedule interviews with agency executives, etc.|
Based on these objectives, we can see that our Facebook Page will need the following interactive tools and information for our external audiences: List of upcoming Webinar events with registration form, company contact information, lead generation form to qualify prospects and set them up with the right sales person, an application that pulls in content from the Performics Blog, list of current job openings, contact information for HR, application form for applying for jobs, information about employee benefits, bylines from agency executives, and contact information for how to set up appointments with agency executives. In addition, it is important for employees to contribute content to the Page to provide a sense of the agency culture.
Defining audiences and the types of content they will need is only part of the content strategy. We'll continue this topic in next week's column by focusing on how to keep the Page fresh and current in "Part 2: Select Content Producers to Keep Information Current."