Your Facebook Page – Creating a Strategy
In my previous post, I explained the basics of setting up a Facebook business page. Now I’d like to give you a few great tips on building your community and posting content that people will want to engage with.
1. Getting Started
When you first set up your Facebook business page, it can feel rather lonely – you only have a few “likes” and no-one is interacting with the page. Often the best way to get things going is to share your page to your personal Facebook timeline and invite your friends to like it. This might feel a bit “spammy”, but if you only do it very occasionally it shouldn’t upset anyone. Many of your friends may be unaware of your business so they may well be interested and who knows, they could eventually become clients! The “share page” link is found in the Build Audience menu at the top right of your Admin Panel. (see below)
2. Post Regularly
Make sure you post updates on your Facebook business page regularly – I recommend at least once per day. Experiment with different times – your audience is unlikely to identical as regards Facebook use. Don’t neglect evenings and weekends; many people don’t have time to browse Facebook at any other time during the week and it’s often the case that engagement is higher at these times. Also, make use of Facebook’s post scheduling tool. You can schedule a week’s (or more) worth of updates in advance if you so wish, although you do still need to check in daily to reply to any comments. But scheduling can be very helpful as you can do it when you have a spare half-hour or so, instead of worrying every day about what you’re going to post! The scheduling tool is the little “clock” icon at the bottom left of the update window (see below)
3. Find Interesting Content
This is something that many people struggle with and I’m often asked by clients how I find the content that I post regularly on my social networks. I love telling people about Google Alerts and Google Reader because it’s always a “lightbulb moment” when they realise just how simple it is to find great content on any topic! Additionally, just by keeping an eye on what others in your industry are posting, you’ll come across blog posts and articles of interest to your followers. It’s very easy to post a link on your Facebook business page – copy and paste the URL from your browser into the update window. Facebook then generates a preview image with a snippet of text from the article – all you have to do is add a comment of your own and hit “post”. Try to make sure that any links you post do have images included; most people won’t bother to click a link if it only has plain text as a description. Below is a screenshot of a link I posted on my page recently.
4. Be Aware of EdgeRank
You may have realised that not everyone who’s liked your Page sees all your updates. This is because of the algorithm that Faceboook uses to (allegedly!) keep people’s newsfeeds relatively uncluttered. It’s broadly similar to the way in which Google ranks web pages. On average, for any update you make, only 16% of your fans will see that update in their newsfeeds. You need to understand how this works in order to know what type of content will be most likely to reach more of your community. EdgeRank is based on 3 factors:
- edge weight – the type of update. Photos and videos score highest, links lower and plain text lowest.
- affinity – the relationship between your page and the user, i.e. how they have interacted with your page in the past by commenting, liking, sharing etc.
- time delay – how recently the post was made
Basically then, you need to ensure that the majority of your updates are accompanied by images or videos. You also need to post regularly to minimise the “time delay” part of EdgeRank. And you need to make your content interesting enough that people will want to engage (like, share, comment). The final one can be the most difficult! In a future article, I’ll go into more detail regarding how to keep on top of EdgeRank and ensure your content generates maximum engagement.
5. Use Timeline Features
When Timeline for Pages was rolled out in March, there was an immediate outbreak of whingeing, mainly because it was no longer possible to set a “landing tab” for first time visitors to a Page. However, the new format offers many other advantages, one of which is the ability to highlight specific dates in the history of your business. For example, if you have historic photos of the founder of your business, you could add them to your Timeline, just as the famous New York department store Macy’s (founded in 1858) has done.
You can also set up an Event, or ask a Question. The former is perfect if you run workshops, promotional events etc, The Questions feature is an excellent means of generating interest and engagement – it allows you to set up a poll on your page, whereby you ask various questions and get your community to vote for their preferred answer. You could of course also use this to do a bit of market research! Make sure you give these features a try.
6. Run a Contest
A Facebook contest can be a great way of generating interest and new likes for your business Page. However, BEWARE – Facebook has very strict rules around running contests (see “Promotions” on the link). If you do not stick to them, you risk your Page being deleted. A huge percentage of contests currently running on Facebook do breach the rules so make sure yours isn’t one of these! Basically you must use a 3rd party app if you intend to set up any sort of contest or sweepstake on Facebook – or run it elsewhere (e.g. on your website) The rules state that you cannot use Facebook functionality (e.g. liking, sharing, commenting) as a condition of entry to a contest. Here’s an example of a Page breaking the rules – one of many!
If you do run a contest, try to ensure that the prize you offer is something that actually fits with your community. For example, if your prize an iPad and your business is hypnotherapy, you may well get lots of new likes, but most of these people won’t actually be interested in what your business has to offer – they will come and like the Page for a chance to win the iPad, but they’re unlikely ever to return and interact. Instead, offer a free hypnotherapy session!
7. Make Use of Insights
You’ll remember that I talked about Page Insights in my previous post about setting up your Facebook Business Page. Once you have 30 likes, you get access to this powerful analytics tool. Insights are similar to Google Analytics for your website in that you get an in-depth view of your Page’s history; who your fans are, which posts generated the best engagement, which were shared and so on. It’s essential to keep an eye on your Insights as they will guide you towards planning a strategy for posting on your page. See image below:
The purple blobs represent updates (larger blob = more updates). The green graph is “people talking about this” and the blue graph is “weekly total reach”. You want to aim for more “people talking about” your Page – this means that they have liked, commented or shared an update, or have posted something on your page. It’s one measure of engagement. You can also view your updates, ranked by various factors. Virality is one to watch – it’s a measure of how many people, besides your fans, have interacted with a specific update. (see below)
One other number that you should look at is your engagement rate. This isn’t shown in the Insights tables but is easy to calculate – it’s the PTAT (people talking about this) divided by your total number of fans (likes). Research has shown that the average for Pages is around 2%, so if yours is less than this you should look carefully at your posting strategy.
I hope this article has given you a clearer understanding of how Facebook Business Pages work, and what you need to do to keep your growing community of fans happy! If you like the post, please share with your networks. I’d love to hear how you’re getting on with your Facebook Page, and what has worked best for you. Please add your comments below 🙂[hr]
Need help creating a Facebook Page strategy for your business? I’d love to work with you, so go ahead, take the first step! Contact me on 01777 249075 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org[hr]