More and more companies now have a Facebook Page, but very few of them have a good Facebook Page. A tremendous percentage of company Pages consist of nothing more than an information section and a handful of Wall posts. Many others are updated regularly, but only with a stream of sales and promotions. To keep your Facebook Page fresh and engaging, here are a few tips:
- Post Regularly.If you start a Facebook Page, but never post to it, you leave the impression that you’re not on top of things, that nothing is new, or that you don’t care about your customers. If you’re not going to be an active Facebook participant, you’re better off avoiding the medium altogether.
- Vary Your Content.Often, companies don’t post more often because they don’t think they have anything to say. They’re stumped for interesting content beyond the occasional sale. Here are just a few suggestions:
- What’s happening in your business: What new products are you carrying? How’s the weather affecting your crops? What shows are you exhibiting at?
- Ask your fans questions: What’s their favorite tomato variety? Their biggest lawn problem? The most drought-tolerant perennial in their yard?
- Provide links to helpful information, whether it’s on your site or not.
- Feature success stories solicited from your customers.
- Introduce people who work behind the scenes in your business.
- Thank your fans at every opportunity – for their orders, their questions, and their suggestions.
- Keep Up the Conversation.If a fan asks a question, answer it, preferably within 24 hours. Unless the conversation involves a disagreement better discussed offline or something that’s terribly complicated, post the answer on your Facebook Page instead of simply referencing your website.
Even when a fan doesn’t ask a question, if they take the time to post a comment, a brief response helps build both relationships and credibility.
- Use Different Media.Remember that posts don’t always have to be text. Using photos liberally attracts more attention, and livens things up. Likewise, video and audio posts keep things interesting.
- Be Conversational.Don’t write your Facebook Page in the same tone as your catalog, website, or sell sheet. Think of it as a conversation with a friend, not a recitation of benefits or a big sales push.
- Avoid Overt Salesmanship. I had to laugh at a blog post I just read on writing social media content. It advised readers to avoid sales talk, but the headline on the post itself smacked of hype:10 Foolproof Steps to Writing Hot Social Media Content. If you follow Guideline #5 above, you’ll be on safe ground with Guideline #6.
- Keep Posts Keyword-Rich. Remember, Facebook company Pages are searchable by search engines. When writing your posts, use keywords for which you wish to be found in the search engines, and you’ll help your boost your rankings.
- Check Your Analytics. Facebook’s analytics program, Insights, gives you valuable information about how fans interact with your Page, including likes, comments, and unsubscribes. Learning what strikes a chord with your fans can only help you provide better content in the future. If you’re a Page administrator, you can access Insights at www.facebook.com/insights.
- Consider Timing.When you create a regular stream of new Facebook content, it only makes sense to post it when the greatest number of people will see it. According to the Social Media Scientist blog, posts on Saturdays get 40% higher engagement than weekdays. Likewise, late night or early morning Facebook posts are likely to get higher visibility. Your mileage may vary, so try different times and see what works best for you.
- Develop a Plan. If Facebook marketing is something you plan to do “when you have a spare moment,” don’t even start. To be successful, you need a plan. Brainstorm the different types of content you can post, create a Facebook marketing calendar, and assign specific people in your organization to follow through. If you don’t have the resources in-house, use an outside company well-versed in both your industry and social media.
Follow these ten tips, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a Facebook Page that will engage, inform, and inspire your fans – and in doing so, build relationships that will increase your sales.