DOs and DON’Ts for Facebook Business Pages
Unless you’ve spent the last several years marooned on an uninhabited island with your volleyball companion, Wilson, you’re already very familiar with Facebook. I bet you follow your kids there (if they haven’t blocked you ;)) or maybe stay in touch with old school chums. But do you really know the best way to exploit its powers to help you reach your business goals? Here are some best practices to get you on your way.
Once you have your Facebook business page up and running (Don’t forget to set up your custom URL), follow these DOs and DON’Ts to help you maximize your ROI.
Adhere to Facebook guidelines.
They change on a far too frequent basis, so stay on top of what’s in/out by following the All Facebook Page. Breaking Facebook’s rules can result in poor page performance or worse, your page being suspended.
Start growing your fan base using your personal networks.
Share your page’s URL with your friends through email and invite your Facebook friends to LIKE your page. Even if you get only 20 or so LIKEs, it’s a quality Fan foundation on which you can build.
Post “high-value” content.
Quality content engages with visitors; sales pitches turn them off. 80% of your posts should be “social” not promotional. Here are some suggestions for posting engaging content.
- Photos and videos achieve higher Reach than text posts. But be careful here. Photos that include a URL in the caption have recently been devalued by Facebook, so if you’re going to post a photo, just post the photo and plain text in the caption. You can add a URL to a comment under the photo once it’s published (a little trick I learned :)), but don’t put it in the caption.
- A link post that includes an image will get more Reach than one without.
- Relevant industry news or blog content works well. For example, if you sell a putting aid in golf, you might want to post some golf tip videos from Youtube or Tiger Woods’ putting stats (Hmmm…maybe not ;)). Just make sure you add a little commentary of your own to make it personal and include a question at the end to strike up a conversation with readers. Don’t forget to give credit to the source.
- Multiple choice quizzes, polls and fill-in-the-blank questions are fun and get more engagement.
- Contests (sweepstakes, photo contests, refer-a-friend or video contests) can be very successful with the right reward/prize.
Play around with different kinds of content and see what works for your audience and don’t forget to check your Insights to see which posts perform the best.
Pay lots of attention to your Facebook page Insights
Facebook page analytics are called “Insights” and they are extremely important for anyone looking to maximize reach and engagement with fans. By analyzing your Insights you will learn the best times to post, what posts get the best reach and engagement and the demographics of your fans.
Use the data to tailor your content and timing to maximize your page’s performance.
Before you even have a single fan, start posting on your page. You want to make sure that when someone does come to check out your page they are greeted with friendly, informative and non-promotional content that will make them LIKE you and keep them coming back for more.
Posting high-value content multiple times a day will help grow organic reach and fans. Remember to include a call-to-action with every post.
How many times a day?
There was a time when posting more than a couple times a day was bad because it “cluttered a fan’s news feed”, but not anymore. Today Facebook only shows about 1-2% of your posts to your fans anyway, so posting quality content a few more times a day can help to increase your Reach and won’t clutter anyone’s feed.
Use social media scheduling tools to space posts out during the times your audience is on Facebook. Use your Insights to see how your frequency is affecting your engagement.
Acknowledge fans whenever possible.
The reason fans post comments is to get a response. So Respond! You’re building a relationship with these prospects to establish trust, so treat them with respect and give them what they want.
LIKE business pages related to your business.
Your partners, industry associations and non-competing products and services should be on your radar. Building relationships and leverage them to promote your content. Scratch each other’s backs for a win-win.
Learn from your competition.
Facebook lets you follow up to 100 pages within Insights, so use the Facebook Pages to Watch feature to keep up with your competition. Copy what they do best and avoid what falls flat on the Facebook floor.
Engagement and trust are established through social media, but email lists will grow your sales. To build up your database of prospects on Facebook, use campaigns/apps (e.g. Heyo, Lead Pages) to entice them to give you their contact information in return for something of value.
You could run different contests with draws for a prize (e.g. gift card, free product or service) or offer a give-away to anyone who opts-in (e.g. eBook, coupon) in exchange for the information. Whatever you do, make sure you are delivering high value for a fan’s contact information.
Once you have the information, don’t over-sell them. The last thing you want is for them to unLIKE you and unSUBSCRIBE from your email list the moment they got their goodie.
The moment Facebook went public, revenue became a major shareholder imperative. As a result, the social media mogul started controlling news feeds and Reach to “encourage” (Dare I say blackmail?) businesses to “pay to play”.
The good news is that it’s not nearly as expensive as traditional advertising. So allocate a small monthly budget to Facebook ads, keep your content flowing and watch your engagement grow.
Facebook will figure out pretty quickly that your “fans” aren’t engaged with you and you’ll pay for it. Your posts will rarely see the light of day on anyone‘s news feed. Remember, quality trumps quantity every time.
Sell, sell, sell.
Use the 80/20 rule – No more than 20% of your content should be promotional.
Beg for LIKES or SHARES on your page.
LIKE-gating has recently been banned by Facebook to ensure better quality connections between businesses and fans. Although begging is not forbidden, posts that contain it aren’t rewarded with much Reach from the news feed Nazi.
On Twitter, posts with “Please Retweet” still more tweets because Twitter doesn’t filter users’ feeds (YET), but Facebook does.
Post and “Faget about it!”.
Questions or comments that go unanswered are a sure way to turn away your audience. Never miss an opportunity to engage with a fan who took the time to communicate with you. If you ignore them, they will ignore you. It’s that simple.
Live in your own walled garden.
Remember that social media is all about “relationships”, so get off your page and join groups/communities where you can contribute to discussions. Your future fans are there; so let them get to know you and they’ll soon begin to LIKE you.
Auto-post across social media
There are apps out there that will allow you to post once on a network and have that post automatically publish itself on all your other sites. Do not use those apps!
I know they seem like a great time-saver, but auto-posting makes you look like a spamming robot. Be human, not a machine. It’s not that you can’t post the same content on different networks; just make sure it’s slightly different on each site and sized appropriately for it. Space them out to publish at different times/days so your sites don’t look like carbon copies of each other.
Boost posts blindly.
Boosting is so easy, but it’s one of the fastest ways to waste your money on Facebook. If you’re going to spend money on advertising, make sure you know how to use the Power Editor on Facebook. It’s not rocket science, but it called the “Power” editor for a reason. It does require some training to maximize its effectiveness.
So there you have it. I know there is a lot in here to digest; so if you have any questions or need help with using any of the tools, you know how to reach me!