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This post originally appeared on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud blog

With the onset of brands, both large and small, beginning to understand the value of Facebook marketing, the social media landscape is more competitive than ever. How do you stand out? In a joint webinar hosted by Salesforce and Facebook, titled "Why Facebook Marketing is as Important as Having a Website," Salesforce VP of Social Media Jamie Grenney and Facebook Head of Global SMB Marketing Chris Luo laid out the steps your brand can take to get up and running on Facebook.

1. Build Your Facebook Page
Create a compelling Page with a cover and profile photo that is designed well. Once you've aesthetically built your presence, update and add to it to avoid becoming stale. Write posts to keep your Page fresh and free of empty space. Add milestones to reflect your brand history.

2. Connect to People with Ads
Once your Page is created, reach out to your audience organically, virally or through paid media. As Luo explained, Facebook has a wealth of advertising capabilities available for your brand on the platform. While it's not necessarily a critical step to spend money on advertisements immediately, it's a good way to reach new and existing fans through targeted messaging. You can purchase Facebook ads directly on the platform or through third-party tools. Learn more in this ebook, Everything You Need to Know About Social Ads.

3. Engage People with Quality Content Step3
Facebook users are content hounds: they can sniff out and separate the good content from the bad. Your content will appear on your timeline, in the News Feeds of your fans, in the tickers of your fans' friends and on your fans' mobile apps. That's a lot of potential reach for your content, so don't just talk about yourself, and don't simply post links to your website. Ask questions, make jokes, post pictures and engage. You'll create a far more active community through this approach.

4. Influence the Friends of Your Fans
One of the metrics Luo discussed in during the webinar was the "friends of fans" metric, which gives you an idea of your total potential reach if all of your fans shared out your content to all of their friends. This is what makes Facebook marketing so powerful - the potential viral spread of information that can turn a simple post into a mega marketing message. When you're working on your content calendar for Facebook, think about what would make people share. You can do this through organic means, or you can purchase ads to target content to your friends of fans using Sponsored Stories. Sponsored Stories display actions taken by a user to their friends, adding a social element to your ads.

5. Measure Sales and ROI from Campaigns
Step5Luo mentioned three ways in which you can measure sales from your Facebook campaigns:
  • Audience Insight- Ask fans, upon purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter or filling out a form on your website how they heard about you. Make sure "Facebook" is an option for them to select. This will allow you to attribute conversions back to Facebook.
  • Exclusive Codes- Present Facebook fans with a special code that only they can use. This will allow you to determine what conversions were a result of people seeing the offer on Facebook.
  • Tagging URLs- Add a parameter to a URL posted to Facebook or used in a Facebook ads to figure out where people are arriving from on your website. Use a link-shortener to hide the ugly and long tracking code.
If you follow these basic steps, you'll have a Facebook Page in great shape in no time. But remember: it's not enough to just set the Page up and leave it be. You'll have to work to create content, cultivate community and conquer the Facebook marketing landscape.


Want to learn more on how to develop a Facebook content strategy? Click to find our data report, "Strategies for Effective Wall Posts: A Timeline Analysis"