Ah, Facebook. The social network boasts more than 1.23 billion monthly active users (as compared to Twitter’s 255 million) and yet, so few companies know how to use it to their advantage. But let’s face it – that’s probably where a lot of your customers already are, so why wouldn’t your company use this social network? If you’re not convinced about the value Facebook can bring to your brand, maybe we can persuade you why you should befriend Mark Zuckerberg:
- It’s a great way to share content about what’s going on in your company, and why wouldn’t you want to brag about the awesome new projects you’re working on?
- It’s a way for your brand to come alive and help build relationships between it and your customers as you engage with your most loyal fans.
- It’s a way for you to get to know your customers – their likes, their dislikes, and their habits – all valuable information for marketers.
- By interacting with your customers on Facebook, you can get valuable feedback on your products and services.
- On a related note, it’s another way for customers to get their questions about your products answered.
- Simply put – because that’s probably where a lot of your customers already are.
First things first…
So we know how important having a Facebook presence can be – but it’s important to distinguish between having a presence and having the right presence. Before you rush to create your company’s Facebook page, there are some questions you should consider first:
- What is the goal of your page? Is it to get the most fans, to get sales leads, or to be a resource for customers with questions?
- Who are you targeting? Is it customers, businesses, or someone else?
- How often will you post? Once a day, multiple times a day, or once a week? What times will you post? Will you schedule posts or do them in real-time?
- What kind of content will you be posting? Do you think your target audience will be more interested in articles, videos, or some other content?
- What will your brand persona be? This is a complicated question, but it might be helpful to sit down with your marketing team and talk about what you want your brand personality to be. If your brand were a person, how would you describe them? Then, draft some ideas about what your brand would and would not “say” as a rough guideline for what to post.
- What kind of investment will this require? Who will manage the page – will you hire a social media manager, or will this responsibility fall onto someone already on your team? Equally as important, will you invest in advertising on Facebook?
- What is your competition doing? If they’re on Facebook, what kinds of content are they posting, who are their followers, and how much engagement do they get?
Get set up
Once you have answers to all of these questions and you’ve discussed them with your teams, you’re ready to create your Facebook page! Here are some starting tips:
- Set your cover photo and made sure it’s creative, witty, and represents your brand well.
- Set your profile picture – this is a great place to put your company’s logo.
- Organize your apps at the top. Have an Instagram account that you want to feature? Or a cool program or event you want your fans to know about? Add it to the apps under your cover photo.
- Clean up your timeline. Delete any old posts that aren’t relevant to your brand and add company milestones. Make use of the “star” and “pin” features to highlight your most important stories. Make sure the “about” section is filled out.
- Create a calendar with ideas for what you want to post each day and at what times. It could be as general as “Monday morning: post interesting article about my company,” just as long as you have an idea of what you want to post. Hootsuite is great for this because it allows you to schedule posts in advance and see how often you’re posting, all in one convenient calendar. Note: when you post depends a lot on who your audience is – for example, if you’re targeting the corporate world, you might avoid posting between 9 AM and noon. But generally, traffic is highest on Wednesdays between 1 and 3 PM, according to Hubspot.
Now, to the fun part: what should your content be? Well, that depends on your answers to the questions above, but here are some ideas to get you started:
- Photos, photos, photos. Facebook is very visual, and posting pictures is a great way to get noticed as users are scrolling through their news feeds. These could be photos of your products, your company, or your employees – really, anything that’s relevant to your brand! According to research, posts with photos get 39% more interaction than posts without.
- Relevant articles, blogs, links, and studies – these could be about your company directly or relevant to what your company does. Post anything that you think your audience would be interested in!
- Post a video of tips and tricks about how to use your product or service.
- Coupons, deals, and discounts on your company’s products exclusively for your fans.
- Run contests to foster engagement by asking fans to “like” or “share” a post in exchange for the chance to win a prize, like a gift card.
- Shout-outs to your company’s partners (this is a great way to get likes from them, too!)
- Be aware of holidays – both major ones and not as major ones. A nice “Happy Thanksgiving from all of us!” goes a long way and is a nice break from posting solely about your company.
- Ask a question or run a poll.
- Tell your community about a cool new event coming up.
- Highlight a Facebook fan that’s active on your page. Or, alternatively, highlight an employee who went over and beyond that day. Adding a human face to your posts can really make a difference.
- Talk about current events. Make use of #hashtags.
- Equally as important as posting is responding to questions and comments (both positive AND negative). Ben & Jerry’s does a great job with this – they will respond to customer complaints, praise, and questions about ice cream flavors.
Mea$uring your $ucce$$
Of course, the end goal of any Facebook page probably includes bringing in new customers that turn into sales leads and, in turn, increased profits for your company. But how can you measure if your efforts on Facebook are turning into increased sales? Facebook’s handy Page Insights are a great place to start. Check out how many people your posts are reaching and who’s interacting with your posts. Also, take a look at where your likes are coming from – are they coming from your website’s social media links or from ads? This can be a good way to see if you need to reevaluate your advertising strategy.
If you find that your posts aren’t getting as much attention as you would like, use Page Insights to see who’s liking your page. Maybe you’re targeting the wrong audience, or the content you’re posting isn’t relevant to your current audience. Also, pay attention to the types of posts that are popular (“viral”) and post similar content.
For more detailed information about your Facebook page, you can also use Google Analytics, which will break down how many fans you have, where they came from, and when they were active on your page.