I’ve gotten this question dozens, if not hundreds of times. So let’s settle this issue, once and for all, with a definitive post.
If any of these answers is not an enthusiastic yes, then your answer is no:
- Are you willing to transparently share the best of your knowledge for years with no expectation of immediate return?
- Do you have deep knowledge in a particular field, backed up by a network of similar people?
- Are you willing to spend your own money promoting your content across different networks and perhaps get a virtual assistant to help?
- Are you willing to build up a mailing list, whether MailChimp, Constant Contact or Infusionsoft, to build training sequences?
- Are you regularly blogging, as in once a week for the last 6 months?
- Do you have a clear mission — the why that drives you and attracts others join your cause?
The impulse to buy a puppy for Christmas shouldn’t be the same one to create a public figure or brand page.
That puppy will be a full-grown dog soon enough, if you take care of it and consider the time commitment.
Just having a Facebook page won’t grant you a magical surge of traffic, any more than putting up a random website. The same is true for Twitter, YouTube, or any other network.
Sure, when a celebrity tweets, they get gobs of traffic, even if it’s just a picture of their dinner. Don’t expect the same unless you also have a well-developed following.
And even if you were maintaining your website, now you’ve got to maintain yet another “site”, if you have the time. If you have a public figure page, know that it’s not the same as your business page, unless your business is in being a personality.
Now that we’re past the sobering reality of get rich quick web schemes and unrealistic expectations, let’s talk about how to do it right.
1) Decide on your mission
This is your reason for existence, the itch you scratch that keeps you up at wee hours of the night.
Mine happens to be creating jobs for young adults — bridging the school system with the workplace.
Watch Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why”, if you haven’t already.
2) Get a website
Before you start claiming your profiles on the hundreds of social media channels out there, get a blog first.
Not on wordpress.com or wix.com, but a true WordPress install either on your own domain or a subdomain.
Without a site you control, you can’t control the pixels to collect Facebook custom audiences, run Google Analytics, and do other things.
3) Write regularly there for at least 3 months, getting to 50+ posts
This shows you can consistently publish and have the depth of knowledge to not run out of words or pictures.
Install the Facebook comments plug-in and Facebook domain insights, so you can build your connections to Facebook.
Collect emails on your site, managing your list through one of any marketing automation vendors.
4) Now start setting up your public figure or business page
Many influencers choose a different profile picture for their public figure page versus their personal profile.
Don’t create a user profile for your business or it will eventually get discovered and shut down. Incidentally, I created a user profile, not a page, for my pet rabbit, Mister B.
He was one of the most connected pets on Facebook, at least among search engine marketing people.
Put in a landing tab to let folks sign up for your email list or whatever item you’re offering in exchange for their email.
Use Heyo or Tabsite to connect your Facebook page with your email program with drag-and-drop simplicity.
You can backdate a number of posts, include key milestones — you wanted a blog first so you can reference your blog posts here.
5) Then start promoting your page
Use the GCT (goals, content, targeting) strategy to build up your fan base.
It’s less about fans than engagement, for sure, but optically, you’ll want a few hundred fans.
Having a dozen fans just looks weak, though if your content is good, when boosting posts, you’ll naturally get fans.
If you set up your page without having these first steps done, you have no “gas” in the tank.
A Facebook page sitting unknown and unkempt is a sorry sight.
What’s the sound of one social media consultant falling in the forest?
6) Promote your posts
Boost posts, dare I say — yes, I do it all the time.
Folks like Neil Patel will shamelessly admit he spends 6 figures boosting his content to generate exposure.
If you’re not well-known yet, you’ll either have to wait a really long time to build the audience or you can pay for exposure.
This is the age old SEO vs PPC argument, which we’ll not get into here.
7) Enlist your converts
Perhaps half of your posts will be recycling and reframing what you’ve shared in other channels.
And the rest will be curated content — stuff from colleagues who feel similarly about your topic or news that you find.
When you’ve got all your channels synchronized (web, email, social), it’s a beautiful sight.
You’ll see your brand traffic in search engines increase and cause that to increase your Facebook traffic. Your increases in Facebook traffic will cause your website and email channels to grow — symbiotic.
Because you set your goals/mission first and are tracking them in Google Analytics with conversion tracking, you can measure ROI. You can assign value to email collection, new leads, and especially sales.
If your fan page is a labor of love, then you’ll have to measure yourself in the same way you measure a hobby — influence and impact.
This is not a 12 step program
I would have added 5 more steps, but didn’t want you to think that I have an addiction to cure (which I do).
Know the importance of doing things in the right sequence — for the same reason that you follow a recipe for your favorite dish.
See how everything connects together in an overall framework, the funnel, if you will?
The same is true for personal branding versus content marketing.
Your personal brand extends into your company’s content marketing efforts.
If your company has multiple people, then the sum of these efforts becomes the fuel of your company’s overall brand.
If you’re fretting about whether you should spend time on your company website or your blog, work on your personal brand first.
On Facebook, people more readily identify with personal stories than faceless companies. Michael Jordan has more engagement than Nike Golf, which beats Nike overall. You’re connecting at a people level: H2H — human-to-human, if you want to use the new buzzword.
Likewise, if you truly believe in social, which means activating word-of-mouth, you’re actively caring for your customers. And when you do, they produce content so credible and in such quantity, that this becomes your marketing.
The best musicians know this — the raving fan base is more important than the record label. So view your Facebook page as a destination for your fans to be inspired and engage with you.
It’s an extension of your other properties, not some magical thing you pay the social witch doctor to cast spells over.
There is no getting around the basics, these 7 steps, unless you fall into a very niche situation. These principles will last, even when Facebook makes their many changes.
A certain class of social media consultant, the self-proclaimed guru, is mad when we make Facebook marketing practical.
But if you believe there are laws that govern physics, why not marketing?