There are lots of things you can be doing to cultivate genuine followers and enthusiasts for your brand. Let’s talk about some good ones.
Most articles will provide a list of things you should NEVER do on Facebook. If you feel inclined, go ahead and run your own search. If you begin to type ‘6 things you should…’ there’s a good chance the suggested results will begin to populate with ’Stop posting on Facebook,’ ‘Never say on Facebook,’ and the list goes on. Instead of focusing on the Dont’s, let’s focus on some Do’s. There are lots of things you can be doing to cultivate genuine followers and enthusiasts for your brand. Let’s talk about some good ones.
Create a Content Strategy
Creating a content strategy is a critical step in successfully organizing a campaign. With no strategy, efforts get lost and content takes longer to curate. Remember that a Facebook content strategy is different than a social media strategy. Twitter followers are going to be interested in different content than Facebook fans. The same goes for other social media outlets such as Tumblr and Pinterest. With so many distribution channels, you begin to see how an organized strategy will not only save time and money, but will also help to guide pieces of content to relevant media outlets for the most impact. When thinking about a strategy, try and pinpoint resources that you have at hand. This will make arriving at a final strategy simpler. For example: at Brolik we have coders, designers, business development-ers, account folks, video people – the list goes on. Encourage them to send along interesting content when they find it. This diversifies the types of content a single person could find while increasing the amount of applicable channels and adds a larger potential audience.
Post Relevant Content
Good content reigns supreme. Around 15% of fans will organically see content you post. This supports research that shows close to 85% of the content posted Facebook never gets seen by a page’s fans. Why? Well, there’s a simple answer and a more technical one. The simple answer – it sucks and nobody wants to read it, like it or comment on it. Let’s suppose it doesn’t suck and people interact with it and repost it more frequently. By taking the time to make relevant posts, you take a big step to ensuring the virality of your content. Like Google, Facebook has a proprietary algorithm, (Edgerank) that chooses content to show more often because people are interacting with it. Take time to make sure content is relevant and engaging to your followers. Stop thinking content should simply inform followers, and instead think of content as a conversation starter. Remember, conversation is a two way street.
Interact with Your Followers
Place importance on starting conversations, because there are many different ways to interact with your fans. Ever see somebody leave a comment that went unanswered? Ever think it was weird that nobody responded to them? Why would someone go through all the work to create a strategy, push content to the right places, and then leave fans hanging when they engage with it? It makes zero sense. Interactions with fans should be one of the main reasons to do all the work in the first place. A fan is much more likely to interact with a brand again if they have a positive experience. The exact opposite goes if they have a negative experience. Jeff Bullas, number 14 on Forbes ‘Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers’ has some great tips about how to structure your posts to receive the most engagement on Facebook.
Run Ads and Promotions
Ads are important. Not every fan is on Facebook at the same time, and unless Edgerank chooses to show a post more frequently due to its virality, you’re stuck. Ads and promotions ensure a larger percentage of fans see your content. Remember, fans are a brand’s most loyal and die-hard enthusiasts. They are the most likely people to share and repost, so it’s important they have access to your content, but running ads can be tricky. Here are a few tips to make sure a campaign is set up for success.
- Create and run a Litmus test with multiple ads. Run the tests for a day or so and whichever one does better, run that one and discontinue the rest.
- Get specific and creative with your ads, so instead of including the demographic who has liked the ‘Philadelphia Eagles,’ (although that could be included as well) diversify your demographics. Include people who have followed Mike Vick, DeSean Jackson and Nnamdi Asomugha. Not only does this diversify the ad, it also more specifically targets fans who have a higher chance of interacting with it. (More tips on running ads.)
If you want to run your campaign organically and not spend money, take into consideration some metrics research has shown us. Those that posted 1-4 times per week received 71% higher user engagement than those that posted 5+ times in one week, and posts with 80 characters or less receive a 66% higher interaction. (Want more tips for organic growth?)
Track Your Analytics
I prefer to set up my own spreadsheet to track insights. It provides the freedom to customize metrics how I see fit. Analytics platforms can get complicated with tons of data I may not use, so with that in mind I prefer to keep it simple and straightforward. It takes a bit more effort to choose what to include, but it’s worth it. If that doesn’t sound tempting there are plenty of programs and apps to use. Facebook’s ‘Insights’ tab allows data to be exported in .csv and Excel formats. This is also an easy way to organize data, and there’s a ton of it – fans, reach, engaged users, virality, etc. Programs such as Socialbakers and Wildfire allow you to track not only your own performance, but also your competition and benchmark performance. Whatever level of customization you prefer, it’s important to track the data. Otherwise, all that work you’ve put in doesn’t have anything solid to back it up. This is especially important if you’re planning on running campaigns for clients and not just internally.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Garnering a large, enthusiastic fanbase doesn’t happen overnight, and you’re bound to misstep. Don’t be frustrated, just simply learn from mistakes and continue moving forward. I think this is the most important thing to do in working towards a successful Facebook presence. The old adage, ‘You learn more from a loss than a win.’ fits well here. Sometimes ads won’t work. Figure out why and apply those lessons to the next campaign. Sometimes content won’t be as relevant as it could have been. Decide why and learn from it. Rather than what could possibly work, you have a concrete idea of what doesn’t work and what not to do. Perhaps that’s why there’s so many more Don’t articles rather than Do articles.