Following on from my last post about getting the most out of Facebook, which focused on whether Facebook is a suitable channel for your marketing efforts, this time I’ve got some insights and tips on how to use Facebook. So here goes.
Facebook profile or Facebook page?
OK, first up, if you want a Facebook presence for your business, you need a Facebook page. Facebook profiles are for people – individuals – whereas pages are for companies to build relationships with customers and promote their business and brand. The main difference between the two from a marketing functionality point of view is that people can ‘Like’ Facebook pages (or companies).
Get the balance right
Nobody likes the guy at the party who just talks about himself all night. In fact, he usually ends up in a corner by himself. Engaging people on Facebook works the same way – it’s a social thing.
With this in mind, strike the right balance. Keep it social, say, 70-80% of the time. Steer clear of anything too heavy or business-related. That way, people will be more willing to listen and engage when you are talking about business.
Consider posting outside business hours
Recent research by Buddy Media shows that companies that post on their Facebook page outside working hours enjoy 20% higher engagement rates, the theory being that most people do their Facebooking before or after work. Timing is central to top-of-mind visibility in a fan’s newsfeed.
Thursday and Friday are best
The same research also shows that engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursday and Friday. And remember, engagement is what Facebook is all about – it isn’t a platform for broadcasting your brand’s marketing message, it’s a forum for engaging in meaningful dialogue and inspiring action and loyalty among existing and potential customers.
Take all that with a pinch of salt
As with most things in marketing, especially in the new media age, the main rule is: there aren’t really any hard and fast rules.
While the research about timing your posts to optimise engagement is useful, you need to think about your market or fans. Not everyone works regular hours. In fact, not everyone works – for instance, stay-at-home mums and retirees will be ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’ at different times.
Keep it snappy
Buddy Media also found that shorter posts (80 characters or less) work best, especially combined with calls to action in the Facebook vernacular. If you encourage fans to ‘like’ or ‘comment’ then, funnily enough, they are more likely to. Go figure.
Don’t you love being asked questions?
Asking people what they think, either face-to-face or Facebook-to-Facebook, is a good conversation starter. So show you’re interested. Get a dialogue going. Ask some questions. What’s the worst that can happen?
Dealing with criticism
Now this is a tough one. Nobody likes copping criticism, particularly in a public forum, and especially if the gripe is unfair or unfounded. So what should you do?
Most importantly, have an open mind. The criticism might be fair. And even if it isn’t strictly true, try to take some lessons from it. Say thanks for the feedback. Ask questions to ascertain the details. Suggest a solution or provide a preferable outcome. Keep the conversation friendly, open and productive. Follow up once the issue is resolved. And crucially, be seen to be doing all these things.
In short, turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Get your Social Plugins plugged in
Facebook has a bunch of plugins that you can use to enhance your Facebook page experience, including things such as the ‘Like’ or ‘Log in’ buttons – lots of juicy stuff to take your Facebook presence viral.
And there’s more…
These are just some basic tips, but there’s much more you can do with Facebook if you’re so inclined. Contact the Alyka team for more tailored advice on how to make the most of your social media marketing opportunities.
Guest blogger Paul Leonard is the co-founder of Caboodle Copywriting, a team of freelance website copywriters in Australia.
Posted: 11/05/2012 5:00:02 PM by
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