There’s lots of good advice out there for running a good Facebook Page and how you can build a long-term community. I wanted to offer something a little bit different and look at those simple tips that you might often overlook, but are fundamental to running a good Facebook Page. A Facebook Page itself is now almost shorthand for running a social media presence altogether, yet it’s still such a unique medium that many of us are getting our heads around. There’s certainly no tried and tested right or wrong method to it, though many brands are making the mistakes as they go and importantly learning from these. Check out our own tips, and let us know your own below!
Write for the newsfeed, not for your wall
When you write an update for your Facebook Page, by default you are likely to be on the wall of the Page itself. It can be confusing however, to consider that the wall is not the place that 99% of your fans are going to see your update first. Though some people will be lead straight to the wall through a link or ad for example, your existing fans are going to see your update in their newsfeed. I’ve seen many updates from Pages for example, that show up in my newsfeed and tell me to click on a certain tab, with no link in the update. This is no use to me when I’m skimming my newsfeed, and I’m not likely to go the Page to find out more, if I haven’t been provided with the link. Remember that saying something like ‘check out our tab on the side’ is completely out of context for people seeing this update in their newsfeed. For this reason you should also try and use photos, to draw people into your updates.
Restrict ads to people that don’t Like your Page
“The most awesome stage”
Last year, Facebook's VP of Design thought the TNW Conference main stage was the best she'd ever been on.
Just today someone asked me if it was possible to choose to only show an ad to someone once, to avoid the risk of over-exposure of ads and annoying people with the brand and message. Though there isn’t a direct option for this, you can do this in a roundabout way by simply choosing to only show your ad to people who don’t already Like your Page. This is an easy option to select whenever you set an ad up and it means that not only do you avoid paying to remarket to existing fans, you also avoid bombarding new fans, who may not have decided if there’s any value in your Page yet.
Don’t worry about writing too little
There seems to be an increasing amount of worry by brands, who want to update more and more frequently, probably so their fans won’t forget them. Thought updating a Page regularly is best practice, it’s not actually as necessary as you think. Think about the brands you follow on Facebook. Would you notice if one of them missed an update, or would you prefer it if you saw only the best posts in your newsfeed? Many brands are guilty of filler content to keep fans entertained but the nature of Facebook Pages is you’re really only going to see them in your newsfeed. You’re not going to keep returning each day to check they’ve made an update. Frequency of content isn’t as important as it might seem, provided it’s being backed up by good content and a generally active Page.
Invest in sponsored stories – they work
Sponsored Stories are a great addition by Facebook into their advertising platform. Essentially these allow you to place ads for actions on a Page or app, such as when someone Likes your Page. This will show up under the ‘sponsored stories’ sidebar of Facebook profiles, alerting you to organic activity by your friends. Having spoken to many brands and advertisers, it seems that not many people are taking advantage of this, but it’s actually a great way to grow fans on your Page. As they focus on organic activity, the Sponsored Story will always show at least one friend’s Facebook profile, in the same way that you can see which of your friends also Like a Page on a traditional ad. We’ve seen Sponsored Stories work brilliantly for our clients, and some advertisers are recording click through rates as much as 46% higher than standard Facebook ads. Sponsored Stories can be set up through the standard ad interface, though you don’t have the option to change the text associated with the ad.
Accept you won’t work a 9-5
The fact is that if you’re going to run a successful Facebook Page, you’re (unfortunately for some) going to have to say goodbye to the usual 9-5 routine. Your Facebook Page could experience some of it’s busiest times outside of work hours, as people access it from home. They will often expect a reply there and then and might not care too much about the fact that your office hours don’t match their Facebook hours. Smart brands will often have evening and weekend social media moderation in place, to monitor any issues they may need to reply to, or make important announcements. This can be managed in a way so that your fans know the best time to reach you, while ensuring there is some level of activity outside the standard 9-5 of a customer call centre.
Don’t forget to send an update to fans
This is a great feature for Facebook Pages that has slowly become more hidden as Facebook make changes to their Pages. An update can be sent to all fans of your Page and will appear as a notification in their Facebook inbox. In this way you can help to ensure that all fans see an important announcement you may have to make, if they missed it as a wall post. It can be easy to forget about this option, but this can be accessed by clicking on ‘Edit Page’, then ‘Marketing’, then ‘Send an Update’
As this does appear as a private notification to fans, I’d recommend you use this sparingly and only for particularly important announcements. If people think that Liking your Page means they’re subscribing to constant private messages being sent, they might well leave the Page. This can be a great tool when used well, particularly in conjunction with a competition or app for example, that can help to grow fans on your Page.
Use Edgerank to find your best & worst days
The free Edgerank checker tool allows you to access insights about your Page that tell you a bit more about how people are interacting with your content. Edgerank is essentially Facebook’s version of Pagerank – it’s the algorithm they use to determine which content appears in the ‘Top News’ section of a newsfeed, which is how the majority of people (according to Facebook) access their feed. By using the Edgerank checker for Pages, you can see which are the best and worst days for gaining new fans on the Page and when you’re achieving your best Edgerank. The higher the score, the more likely your fans are to see your content. This information should be used to optimise your Page ; if you see fans interacting with you more on a certain day, this might be a good time to start a promotion or time an important announcement :
Allow your fans to tag photos on your Page
Photo tagging is a great way to grow the fans of your Page and add engagement for your existing fans. What many people don’t realise is that this currently isn’t set to default for Facebook Pages and it is not as easy to change as you might hope! To allow fans to tag photos on your Page, first go to the ‘Edit’ section of your Page, then click on ‘Apps’ on the left hand side. Scroll down to photos and click on ‘go to app’. You’ll then see the option to change your photo settings, which includes allowing fans both to upload photos and also tag photos. When this is done, why not let your fans know and get them to tag a photo on your Page?