« Go Back | Posted in: Social Media - on May 9, 2015
Understanding how to engage on Facebook is crucial if you run a business. With its cat pictures, memes and viral videos, it has a high learning curve if you’re not already savvy on the platform. The good news is that if you invest some time and resources into learning how to use Facebook, you’ll most likely see a return. But you’ll want to be careful with how you communicate. You can risk your reputation with unfavorable comments or negative conversations if you don’t strategize appropriately.
(Cue the Jaws soundtrack). Facebook can eat you alive.
Just kidding. This isn’t meant to scare you. It’s just a simple reminder that the audience now controls the online conversations.
Each business has a unique culture, style, and audience. So this isn’t a one-sized fits all strategy. Instead the following questions are meant to make you think of how you should implement your strategy:
What Do You Want To Achieve?
The first step is to clarify what you want to achieve. If your vision is posting a special offer on Facebook and then waiting for the phone to ring, you’ll be disappointed. Facebook is much more of a soft sell, where you build up relationships with your customers and keep your brand, products or services at the forefront of their minds.
Realistic Facebook strategies include:
Raising brand awareness - to existing and new customers
Establishing authority - becoming an expert in your field
Communicating with customers - directly and collectively
Nurturing advocates for your brand - giving your super fans and most loyal customers a place to talk about how good you are
Your objective can include some or all of these goals.
2. How Will You Manage Your Time And Resources?
Despite the huge user base that Facebook has and the length of time that those users spend on it, many companies still allocate Facebook management to an intern or junior employee. Don’t do it.
Properly run Facebook strategies require a deep understanding of your customers - what demographic do they come from, what scares them, what worries them, what do they like reading, what do they enjoy doing, and what motivates them. Everything that you do on Facebook flows from this knowledge and understanding.
Plus you need to commit to Facebook over time - good Facebook strategies are not short-term. To make them effective you need to commit time and resources to continually iterate on what you learn about your audience.
3. What is Your Content And Tone?
At the core of your strategy is the content that you post to your page. This includes the profile information of your business, the cover and profile picture, the text, videos and images in your posts.
Here are some things to remember:
Post regularly - how regularly will depend on your business. But once a day is often about right. Avoid posting three or four posts in one sitting and then not doing anything for several days though. This will only annoy your audience.
Vary your posts - mix up your posts with text, images and videos
Produce content that is relevant – make sure your content is not overly promotional of your business. Instead make it informative, entertaining and educational.
Get the tone right - make sure your tone is professional, but informal, friendly and personal
Do not broadcast. If you post updates in the style of what you would see or hear on traditional news platforms, you’ll need to rethink this approach. It’s “social” media for a reason. Communicating like you’re a broadcast station is an outdated way to communicate. Note: You may want to consider hiring a social media agency if you don’t understand what this means. Getting your content right is crucial for success.
4. Do You Want to Run Advertisements?
Facebook as a business tool is no longer free. It wasn't always like this, but changes to the way Facebook operates over the last few years means it is harder than ever to get your posts in front of Facebook users.
Facebook advertising is a low-cost way to get around this. Here are some things you can do with Facebook ads:
Increase the Likes on your page
Increase the number of people who see and interact with your posts
Send traffic to your website
5. How Will You Engage in Conversations?
Finally, make sure you engage with every user who leaves you a message or asks a question on your page. If someone has taken the time to leave you a message (even if it is negative) you’ll need to take the time to respond.
These are the questions you’ll want to ponder to create a strong foundation for a good Facebook strategy. How you implement will vary based on your business. But answering these five questions are the first steps.