At every event, presentation, and workshop I’m asked a plethora of questions. Eventually the questions boil down to the four below. Here is a breakdown of best practices and standard procedures that will display your professionalism and ultimately aide in the success of your Fan Page.
1. How often should I and or the business post?
Post Frequently but remember that people who “Like” and are passionate about your brand, are probably not wanting their Facebook News Feed flooded with updates at the top of every hour. Keep in mind that a user’s News Feed is live and real time information and is used the majority of time as a personal environment.
Posts are more effective during the week when people are typically checking Facebook (in the morning, just before or after lunch and in the evening). Have a posting schedule just like you would for other media.
Post frequency can also differ depending on the industry your brand is a part of. For example, a news brand may post more often than a restaurant. The users are expecting more posts from a news organization than their restaurant which makes more post acceptable to the user.
2. What type of content should I post?
Types of posts – Not only do multi-media (text, audio, still images, animation, video, and interactivity) content forms posts present engaging content, they also create discovery components that help content become viral. Here is where the Facebook “share” function is so valuable. The link is automatically included on every wall post using the Facebook “links” app. Facebook’s video, audio and image posts lets users share with friends via news feeds and notifications, which helps create WOM so they keep coming back.
3. Long URLs look bad and unprofessional, what should I do?
Short URL – URL shorteners are Internet tools that shorten longer URL links. These shorteners will accommodate character space, are more aesthetically pleasing, and the professional standard online. These shorteners also allow brands to track the analytics of a link. Analytics like: how many times the link has been clicked and redirected, and where the link is being shared. Quite a lot of online services offer to shorten your URL for free but I would question their creditability and accuracy.
4. How do I build an audience?
Building an Audience
· Driving traffic to your page is the key to Facebook success. Facebook offers “Facebook ads” that can increase the amount of people to your page thus increasing the likelihood they will connect with your page. When using Facebook ads, promote the Fan Page not a website. When people “Like” your page you will be able to have an ongoing dialog and be able to share more content. Promoting Facebook exclusive offers is another way to attract users to your page. Each environment requires a specific interaction style, make sure you’re not just duplicating your tweets.
· If applicable, cross-promote with other associated official fan pages to give credibility to your page. For example, if you have an official company page and have offerings to other pages, make sure you link them to their main page for user reference and vice-versa. That way, users who are connected to one page have the opportunity to see the other pages and connect with it too.
· Fill out your page information with as much detail as possible within the Info tab and the blurb box underneath the profile image. In the blurb box don’t just write your business’ mission, write purpose of the page and how are you will engage your supporters and bring them value. Page info helps users find your page when conducting a Facebook search for your company.
· Focus the brand’s social presence by limiting the number of pages. Too many separate company pages can lead to over-fragmentation, which can be confusing for users trying to find accurate information.
· Updates should ideally be posted when most people are checking their Facebook accounts. Posts are more effective during the week when people are typically checking Facebook (first thing in the morning before 9am, just before or after lunch and in the evening).
· Brands should set a goal to post 2-3 times a day to keep content fresh on their wall. A brand who posts occasionally will have outdated content which will not encourage users to return to a page. A brand who posts too much may annoy their audience, which may result in their social connections opting out of your company’s updates.
· Posts should solicit as much engagement as possible. The preferred way to engage your audience is by asking questions (not open ended questions), sharing relevant content that the audience will want to comment on and share. Fan comments are more desirable than “likes” because they show more of a time investment from the audience. Also when a fan comments, it gets broadcasted to their friends through their news feeds.
· Remember, users are on your page to interact with your brand, so try to respond to user comments and wall posts in a timely fashion. Fans will appreciate the attention and might tell their friends about the experience.
· Moderate fan posts and comments for obscenity and spam as defined in your company’s social media policy. Moderation is extremely important as it will allow for a safe environment for all ages. Of course, some brands will accept various levels of language depending on their brand personality.
· As mentioned above, it’s crucial to use a branded URL shortener to give your links trustworthiness and guarantee that the link will redirect to an applicable page. Another benefit of using branded URL shorteners is that they protect against making your links analytics public. Tip – If you add a “+” to the end of any bit.ly link, the analytics become public.
· Social media is a more informal landscape than traditional media; the brand communication should reflect that and be more personal. Please balance promotional offers with conversation. Users expect a two-way communication — don’t simply use social media as a push medium for promotions.