I spoke to you last week about the Part 1 of this series – covering 5 of my Top 10 Lessons Learnt from Facebook. Today, its time to finish it off and look at everything else that I have learnt as a social media manager of a number of different pages.
In the Facebook world where engagement is low low low (some are suggesting as few as 3% of your Facebook fans actually see your post), the only best way to keep people engaging with your posts is to get them to regularly ‘Like’, Comment on or share your content. By doing any of those actions, the follower is guaranteed to see more of your posts for the next little while (although this flow-on impact time is getting shorter and shorter). If they don’t engage with your posts again in that time, then they will see less posts. That’s why you will often see the same people liking and commenting on your posts all the time.
SO! The challenge is to get the page follower to interact and engage at all. And even if the start of that interaction is NOT your original work – maybe its an article you shared, a meme or a pop culture reference – its still on brand (as we spoke about last week), and it will at least make sure that they will see your next bunch of posts. The trick is to keep them engaged from there.
7. Find a voice and stick to it.
One of the hardest things to do as a social media manager is to get the “voice” of a brand right. When you are a small business owner, and you are operating your own Facebook page, its easy – your voice is the voice. But its an important exercise for you to consider anyway. Who is your audience, and what is their vernacular (speaking pattern)? What are the words that they are using, what is the tone of their conversation? By getting these elements right, you are again creating that notion of the conversation with your followers. You are speaking TO them in THEIR language – not at them as a completely separate entity. This creates engagement and interaction with your followers as they start to relate to you. By getting your tone right, you actually GET your audience.
- Use advertising sparingly.
This is one of the more difficult lessons, and its one that page owners don’t want to talk about. We know that Facbeook is limiting the number of people that see your social posts in order to get you to pay for advertising. They are a business at the end of the day, its not really an uncommon or unexpected move. However, what ive seen with my clients is that those who feed Facebooks advertising game, fall harder at the end of the day. By advertising once or twice, you are actually setting yourself up to see less of your customers – because you haven’t created genuine engagement. You’ve created paid engagement, and Facebook sees that you are a prime target for future purchases. So they cut the number of people seeing your posts down even further to get you to pay again and again to see your posts. Instead, create interesting content that people can relate to, and create genuine engagement to see long term results out of your facebook page.
- Drive engagement by getting into your customers head.
Similar to the idea of tone creating a one-to-one conversation, the easiest way to create engagement with your customer and pushing them from interacting with your brand to actively purchasing from your brand is to get inside their head. What is it that makes them tick? What are their needs, and how can you as a service or product supplier fill those? Are you a hairdresser who casually reminds your facebook followers that Christmas is coming up, and its time to book in your pre-holiday-party haircut? Are you a garden designer that wants to take the stress of designing a productive backyard away from your clients by coming out and consulting with them? By understanding your customers, you are half way to solving their problems, and creating a strong connection between your brand, solutions and ultimately the customer.
10. A Facebook page is not a complete digital strategy
This is the one point that I cannot stress enough. Its simply not enough to JUST have a Facebook page. There are lots of reasons for this – its not branded, it might not be the right environment for some customers etc. – but the most important reason is that its not YOUR space. Its not OWNED space. Its simply rented. If Facebook advertising has taught us anything, its that they are aware of the power they have over us as a user. There might come a day where they will cut businesses off from Facebook completely – and then how will you communicate with your customers?
We have to remember at all times that Facebook is ONE part of the digital marketing mix. By using different digital pillars like email, Twitter, Websites, advertising (more on that later), Google Maps etc. you both open your brand up to being discovered by a much wider audience, and make sure that you don’t suffer dramatically in the instance one of your pillars fails. We will talk more about how to establish a digital strategy in the future, but for right now, please accept that a Facebook page is not everything you need.
Having read this far through this post, you might be sitting here thinking that a lot of the recommendations and learnings that have come out of this post aren’t that different to typical marketing. And you would be absolutely correct. Its my firm belief that Social Media is only a vehicle for traditional marketing, not a completely new ball game. What you need to know to operate well as a small business on Facebook is which tools to use and how to speak the language of the space. Hopefully this (rather long) set of tips will at least get you thinking about the way that you could be doing things differently on your own Facebook page.
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