(Warning: this is a very long post, and despite my attempt to break it up with bullet points and puns, you may need to bookmark and come back to really soak it all in!)
When I attended Social Fresh 2011 a few weeks ago, we spent an entire day on one topic.
You know it. You love it.
From personal profiles to pages to check-ins to ads and analytics, even a full day wasn’t enough to really get into all that Facebook is. I mean, just look at the stats:
- More than 500 million active users
- 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
- Average user has 130 friends
- People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
- There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
- Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
- Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
- More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
The $50 billion question is…how do YOU get a piece of the action?
First, I’m going to assume a few things: you’re on Facebook already and you’re reasonably Facebook literate. If not, no worries — just go play around and come back to this post when you’re ready.
Second, if you have not started a page yet, head here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and pick the type that is most appropriate for you.
Third, make sure you’re up to speed on the latest Facebook page features (they changed in the last couple of weeks). A few resources to check out:
- Facebook’s Official Annoucement: An Upgrade for Pages
- Mashable: Facebook Launches Official Pages Redesign
- Inside Facebook: Facebook Pages Redesign Guide 2011
- Forbes: 10 Ways to Make the Most of the New Look Facebook Page
Successful Facebook Strategy: A Few Basic Tips
1. Connect with your fans by letting them behind the brand
Why do people “like” your brand to begin with? Web Trends has some really interesting stats**:
- To take advantage of promotional benefits
- Because I like this brand
- To be informed of new products
- To access exclusive information
- To give my opinion about the brand
So remember to treat your fans like VIPs — and let them in on the stuff they won’t see in your official news releases. I shared the above picture of my boss and his dog at a recent fashion show on The Growing Bolder TV page on Facebook and people went nuts! Now, all day before and all day after, I shared important, work-related information, but this is what made people smile. It’s all about the balance, so when in doubt, do something surprising and special on your page.
2. Respond and get engaged
Ask questions. Answer questions. “Like” comments and be out in front of possible problems. Please consider setting your wall so that it shows posts from both admins AND your fans, so it doesn’t look like you’re having a conversation with yourself.
As Brian Simpson says — “The conversations are happening. Choose to be a part of them.”
(Remember that you can now subscribe to email notifications for your fan pages: https://www.facebook.com/editaccount.php?notifications or even better, via Hyper Alerts)
3. Post every other day, early in the morning (and make weekends a priority!)
I’m a little lukewarm on this one, so take it with a grain of salt. But studies show that when you factor in Facebook’s EdgeRank (the algorithm used to decide which posts show up in your feed and when), posting every day can actually hurt you.**
(Bonus info: sharing things about sex and or Facebook will get you a lot of interaction)
4. Include images and meta descriptions
We recently celebrated a big milestone at Growing Bolder, and we shared pictures of our cake with our fans.
Our best picture? Nope. Super serious? Nah. But it was a way for us to put our faces on our brand…because who really wants to be friends with a logo?
Photos and meta descriptions (the short summary that comes up when you share content) are crucial, and usually they can be automatically pulled from your website. So make sure that your plugins are correctly configured and that you include photos in as many posts as possible.
Another example, from the A Night With The Hops Facebook page:
5. Keep things simple
Should you share company/organization news? Offers? Complex crisis management?
Sure. But you should also keep your asks very simple.
- How many of you have seen the latest episode of “Growing Bolder?” What did you think?
- Click “like” if you’re glad it’s Friday!
- Fill in the blank: The thing that makes me most happy is _____.
I’ve had great luck with all of the above…because those are easy-to-answer prompts.
What else should you be doing? Making it super easy to like your content on your website — if you’re not using Facebook Social Plugins, you’re missing out.
Did you like Steps 1-5?
Coming soon (NOW HERE!):
6. Ask users to get involved
7. Choose your landing page wisely
9. Offer exclusives
10. Spread the word