You use it every day but creating a page and running it is something different altogether. Did you know, for instance that facebook does not show your posts to all of your followers? The less they engage with you, the less they see and sometimes they just don’t see it anyway. I’ve heard that founding a facebook group will provide you more reach, that is if you get people to join and regularly check the feed. So here’s to master facebook like a boss!
Private or not?
If you as a person are your own brand and are looking for an engaged communication, you might want to consider using your private profile as a platform for you. The positives include instant chat functions with your customers and fans, no need to constantly switch, more reach (as the algorithm doesn’t apply to you) and the option to still choose which posts reach which of your friends. The downsides are that you won’t have access to analytics, you won’t have a complete private profile, and the list of friends could become overwhelming.
Start a Page
If you are serious about growing your facebook, you need the analytics insights and therefore creating a page is a must. It is pretty straightforward, anyone can create a page and you can choose what category to put it in. However, one word of caution. Always do it from an actual profile and never create a ‘dummy’ account as facebook might shut both down at any time. You can run it by yourself or give other people administrative rights (or take them away)!
You cover and profile photo are part of the first impression and we all know how vital that is. So make sure it counts! Both should work well together, i.e. carry the brand colours, fonts and style but keep in mind that it is the profile picture that will be seen more. A fun idea is to integrate both. Both images should be labelled with a description and link as well. See it as your advertising space!
As with all social media, the key to be social is also to be human. Not only do you have to engage but you have to do it honestly and with your own voice. Do not be afraid to deviate from just posting content you produce, but also share snippets from behind the scenes, silly stories or even a random cat pic (as an exception). Most of all, you want people to be emotionally involved and therefore you have to trigger those emotions.
As with any other social platform engaging and interacting with your fans should be your main priority. To get there, ask questions, make polls, post quotes and special announcements and maybe even start an exclusive facebook group. Make special announcements on facebook alone; enable the message function. The list goes on. Especially in the beginning, answer ever single comment no matter how short, even if it wasn’t a question. Show them you listen.
This one seems super simple and a no-brainer but how often do you just make statements or encouragements and do not pose questions to your audience? Let them share their thoughts and dreams and just ask them something. The only thing is they have to be short or easy to answer. You want to make it as easy as possible. Everyone’s time is limited.
If there is one thing you should see in your analysis it is that posts with photos receive much more interaction! To be more precise, image posts will gain 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs, according to Fast Company. That are some serious numbers! Another thing to keep in mind is that facebook changes what gets more attention. For a while it was linked pictures (paste your URL and facebook does it for you) and then it was pasting URL and photos seperately in one post. The bigger the photos, the more prominent the presentation!
Did you know that after the fifth line, your message will be cut short and you can click the ‘read more’ to see the whole thing? It is always better to keep it shorter than that but if you can’t do so, be sure to put the link within the first 5 lines so that it is instantly clickable for lazy readers.
Call to Action
Now you have written your content, pasted a link and picture and want to push ‘send’? Don’t! The final check (apart from grammar) should include a call to action. What is it that you want your fans to do? Share, like, comment, click through? Let them know but don’t be bossy. And never spam! It could even get you removed or blocked by facebook.
You have probably played facebook games (come on, admit it!) and know that you can run apps on here as well. The same thing goes with pages, so be sure to integrate your other social platforms, such as instagram, twitter and pinterest. You might also consider polls, notepads for messages (such as the important ‘Impressum’ for German pages) and your shop. With all that going on, do not forget the call-to-action button over your header picture. You can choose what it will say and where it will link to.
Make sure you post and check your notifications and messages at least once per day. But diversity is just as important. Do not only post your own content. Have you heard of the 70/20/10 rule? It means that 70% should add value and more recognition, 20% should be shared from another source and only 10% is promotional. The message here is that you have to show what you stand for instead of just selling yourself. Become respected first.
Another handy function within facebook page is the scheduling. To make sure your posts are evenly distributed at the right times, reach the right audience and especially when you cannot post it live (for instance during your night’s sleep) or are super busy with answering all the comments, you can simply tell facebook to do it for you. And this affects future and past posts. You can even backschedule – though that will hardly provide you with much reach.
You can schedule your own posts and ensure better reach and perfect timing. However, what if you want to publish a post you found on another page at a later time? This function is as of yet still unavailable, but I have got a special trick for you! Did you know there was a facebook function, that of saving a post for later? Do that and it will appear on the left bar on your home screen (beneath your photos). From there you can manually publish it at a time that is more convenient to you.
Facebook is rather greedy. If you start a facebook page you need to keep your audience engaged, otherwise facebook will make you disappear from the passive readers. Or you can pay to be kept on their newsfeed. To check how many people you have reached, you can check the respective numbers for the whole week on the right side bar and for each post above its comment section.
Don’t forget to check into the analytics section facebook provides. You can have a look at different time spans, can set other pages to compare yourself to and even download a spreadsheet of all collected data for a more in-depth analysis. If you opt for paying facebook for reach or ad placement, you can compare organic and paid growth to see what really pays off for you, for instance.
Of course you are curious about the competition. But be careful, you should always do what suits your brand and not be a copy cat. If you are interested, anyway, you can have a look at www.Facebook.com/search and then select the ‘pages’ option. Type in brand names or hashtags and see what they have been up to. You can also compare your basic stats with a selection of 5 in the analytics.
To ensure reach, however, there is a secret little weapon. The ‘pin to the top’ function. Sometimes facebook can be a bit random and your latest posts don’t even show with active followers. If you pin a new or important post to the top of your page, it will be seen by every one who looks at it for as long as you don’t pin something else to the top or unpin it. To highlight certain posts and give them more prominence, you can also chose the star function, which can also be activated in the top right corner of each post.
Were any of these completely new to you? Or do you know more? Be sure to share other findings you migt have stumbled upon with us all. But most of all, let’s get connected on facebook!