Howdy! It’s been a while but life, work and the summer got in the way. So I thought what better way to return than with something on a topic I know a bit about
Coming up in the next 4 posts are 100 Facebook Marketing Tips covering everything you need to know about the platform. From the basics to much more detailed stuff. These posts took a lot of work so show your appreciation by tweeting, likeing or even subscribing to my blog.
Part 1 – Before you start, Page Basics & Newsfeed Marketing
Part 2 – Edgerank Tips, Facebook Fans
Part 3 – Community & Page Management
Part 4 – Facebook Features, Ad’s, Measurement and Facebook Commerce
Things to know before you start.
Does your brand suit Facebook?
Answer honestly can your brand entertain fans with multiple posts per week? There might be 750 million people on Facebook, but none of them want to read bland corporate PR speak. There are 15 million competing brand pages on Facebook, why would someone really want to Like your’s?
Facebook Promotion Guidelines
Get to know these guidelines. Stick to these to avoid your page from getting suspended or deleted by Facebook. If that happens you lose everything.
Facebook Is Not Free
A good page needs a lot of creativity, time to brainstorm ideas, implement and manage campaigns, day to day management, and a budget for apps in order to comply with Facebook’s promotional guidelines. You either pay someone to do all that, or you do it yourself. Either way its somebody’s time your paying for.
Facebook Page Guidelines (internal)
Put together some guidelines for your staff to guide them on how to use the page and what’s acceptable behaviour. Here’s a deeper insights as to why this is a good policy (not just for Facebook) and here’s a handy template to use (PDF download)
You Page’s Goals & Objectives
What do you want to achieve with your page? Awareness for your brand? Act as an extension of customer service? Use it to drive sales? Work out what exactly the goals are and how they will be achieved. Having no clear strategy or unrealistic goals are the two biggest reasons why social media project fail.
Facebook Won’t Turn Solve Everything
If you have shoddy products, terrible service, poor marketing, non-existent customer service, Facebook won’t solve any of those problems. These are issues within your organisation that need addressing. If anything Facebook will give people a place to complain publicly about these issues. If you already know them, then why aren’t you doing something about it?
Time & Attention
Social media is like a flower, it doesn’t grow over night and it’ll die if you don’t pay attention to it. Get into it for the long haul or don’t bother at all.
II. Facebook Page Basics
Facebook allows for a max 180 (w) X 540 (h) pixel logo for Facebook Page. Avoid going too small and, with the new page layout, avoid going too long as it will push the navigation menu below the fold. Ideal size around 180 X 270.
Navigation (Tab) Menu
See the navigation menu and all the different tabs such as Notes, Discussions, Photos, Videos? The ones you don’t use are like blank pages on a website. There’s no point in having the discussions tab if you don’t use it, or photos if you dont have any yet. Get rid of them in the edit page section, you can always put them back later.
Facebook Page Guidelines (external)
What behaviour is acceptable amongst fans? Having explicitly stated guidelines act as a guide to fans, and also can be referenced in the case of a dispute. You can’t really go to far here, banning any form of criticism, for example, is way to heavy handed. Be honest and fair. Here’s a handy guide.
If your adding new 5% new fans organically (outside of campaigns and ads) each month your doing well. Post good updates and you can easily grow organically by 10% to 15% per month. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible either.
Off Your Page Promotion
There’s ton’s of ways to promote your page outside of Facebook. Try adding a social plug in to your website on your website, put a logo in-store, in your email signature, on a menu the list goes on. The easiest way to identify where to put a link or logo is to examine what parts of your business customers come into contact with and direct them to Facebook from there.
III. Newsfeed Marketing
The Very Important Newsfeed
The Newsfeed is the single most important element to Facebook Marketing. According to Facebook 85% of interaction on the platform occurs in the Newsfeed, although a more recent Comscore study puts this down to 27%, also stating that fans are 40 – 150 times more likely to consume content in the newsfeed than on a brand page. Thats how important Newsfeed communication is, it’s the key marketing space on Facebook.
The Starbucks Example
If that’s not enough to convince you how important the newsfeed is in terms of marketing maybe this is. Starbucks has 24 million fans on Facebook, but not all fans will be online all of the time. In May 2011 Starbucks managed to reach over 6.5 million fans through the newsfeed, impressive enough. But when you take into account the friends of fans who saw the brand pop into their newsfeed because of their comments and likes that figure jumps to over 17 million Facebook users. Thats the Starbucks brand in the Newsfeed of 17 million users without paying for ads, or investing in apps or video. It’s good quality newsfeed content that helped.
Your Page’s Icon
A page icon is the little square image that appears beside all your posts. Sometimes when brands change these I don’t recognise the brand immediately and I find it slightly off putting. Since this will be beside every post you make having a clear, distinct and recognisable icon is important.
Bring out your brands personality and do away with the the cheap off brand chit-chat. I am talking about such updates as ‘Happy Friday’, ‘Whats everyones plans for the weekend?’ etc. They lack any sense of what your brand is about and seem slightly banal. I mean really, a big corporation cares about what I’m doing this weekend? It’s insincere, boring and borderline spam. Just imagine the poor fan checking their newsfeed on a Friday to find all these crap clogging it up.
Post Content #2
Thats not to say it can’t be done successfully. The shoe superstore Schuh do ‘Happy Schuhsday’ every Tuesday and post up photos of what types of shoes their staff are wearing. Thats seriously good, it brings staff and fans together around the subject to hand – shoe’s.
Post Content #3
These banal posts lack any real personality. Perhaps it’s the fact you won’t know all your fans and written words can take a different meaning to how they were intended that see’s such a proliferation of such posts. But why sound like your competitor or any other brand on Facebook? Jack Nicholson didn’t stick an axe through a door and say ‘Happy Friday’ or ‘How was your weekend?’ Yes it’s all about conversation, but no-one wants to talk to the most boring person in the world. Dull posts are also a major reason why people unsubscribe from pages. Being different is good, in fact marketing is all about being different so why do brands insist on posting the same banal chatter? Think of that poor fan with the same drivel in his newsfeed on a Friday. A great example of a page for posts is Skittles. It’s crazy off the wall posts get thousands of likes and comments each, with no real competitions or campaigns.
Post Content #4
What type of posts get the most interaction from fans? It’s photos apparently. Which isn’t surprising – its an immediate visual payoff. Photo’s get almost three times the interaction of a link and almost double that of a video. Whats surprising is that the 2nd most popular form of post is a plain status update.
Post Content #5
If you are posting a link, include some personal analysis. In other words tell fans why the link worth clicking this increases the chances of them clicking through.
Post Content #6
Mix up the types of posts you make. You can add photo’s and video, but also think about using Facebook Questions or Events instead to notify fans.
Post Content #7
Buddy Media looks at the most effective words used in posts. Fans respond well to directions such as; Like, Take, Submit, Post, Comment, Tell Us. However they don’t like aggressive words such as contest or promotion. Instead they prefer; Win, Offer, Event, Winning, New.
Post Content #8
Also from that study the words Where, When, Would, Should were preferred over How, Who, What, Did and Why.
This is a biggie, because it’s so varied. I have seen studies that say the biggest brands manage an average of 24 posts per month, but then this study suggests that the optimal amount of times is 12 posts PER DAY. But juxtapose that with this study which says the number one reason why people unfriend brands is because of too many posts and you are left scratching your head. I’ve always said these studies are only guides because they take an average of so many pages and where does your page sit? Maybe it’s closer to the low end or the top end of the scale? I would expect a dozen posts from a news organisation, but not from a local business. In my opinion go for one post per day, but if you end up having to make banal posts such as in points 15, 16 & 17 above your’re better off not posting. You really have to make a judgement call yourself on this.
What Time To Post
There is so much research into this as well out there some of it contradictory and maybe Wednesday mid afternoon is the best, or maybe its the weekend between 5pm and 6pm. Again businesses vary in customer segments (Students versus Mothers), time zones (Dublin versus Sydney). Use insights and try to spot a pattern as to when your posts get most comments, likes and impressions (ie. showing up in Newsfeeds). You should also remember posting the same time every day could also miss out on pockets of fans who just aren’t on at those times. A litter variety could work better.
What Time To Post 2
Buddy Media released a paper (Strategies for Effective Facebook Wall Posts) which breaks down the best time to post by industry.
Entertainment: Friday – Sunday
Media: Saturday & Sunday, but avoid Monday
Business & Finance: Wednesday & Thursday
Food & Beverage: Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday
Healthcare & Beauty: Thursday
Travel: Thursday & Friday
Getting Content Ideas
Look at your competitors to try and get ideas for content. See what is working for them and what isn’t and don’t just look within your home market either. Look at markets your not even in to see what good ideas other brands are coming up with. However, never steal ideas, instead do them better.