Whether we like it not, social media has become a huge part of our culture and the way we interact with each other. And one of the things we do the most, is share content that we like so that our friends can enjoy it too. With over 50 million business pages on Facebook, your customer is going to expect you to be one of them. Not only is it important to publish your content to various social media channels, you have to know how each one works in order to use them effectively. Over several blog posts, we’ll take a look at the different channels available to us and how to maximize are marketing efforts
Let’s start with the one we all know and love(and maybe hate too), Facebook. It’s rare these days to find someone who doesn’t have a Facebook account, or at least had one in the past. As of 2014, the social media giant has garnered over 1.28 billion monthly active users and counting! Now that’s a huge number of potential customers to advertise too. But before you get too excited, you need to know that good ol’ Zuckerberg and his team have made it so you have to earn the right to advertise to their mind puppets.. I mean users. Even paid ads don’t have as great a reach as they used to. Now this doesn’t mean that it’s a futile path to take, it’s just gonna take some work to build up your audience. Let me explain…
Page Likes. We all know what “likes” are, it’s almost become a cliche term. So when someone “likes” your page, they are essentially opting-in to what you have to offer and they are proclaiming to their friends that they support your brand. Page Likes aren’t as important as they were when pages were new to Facebook. Now, we do still want them, but when it comes to likes, quality is better than quantity. What I mean is, say you have 5,000 likes on your page, but maybe only 1,000 of those likes are engaged, active users with your content(this means they are liking, commenting, sharing, and clicking on your posts), Facebook sees that only 1/5 of the users who supposedly “like” your brand are really engaged with what you are posting, and take it to mean that what you are posting probably isn’t all that good. So Facebook starts to limit how many user’s news feeds your posts shows up in. I mean, after all, if it was any good, all 5,000 people would be sharing it with their friends, right? Technically, yes. Unfortunately, that might not be true. The content you’re posting might actually be really good, and 1,000 people seem to think so. What might be happening though is that the other 4,000 unengaged likes might not even really care about your brand at all or worse yet might not even be real accounts!
So, you can see why it’s better to have fewer but engaged “likes” on your brand page. Even if you only have 500 likes but 400 of those users are actively engaged, Facebook’s complicated algorithm’s will see that the majority of users are engaged with your content and therefore it must be worth engaging with and push it out to more and more people.
Likes, Comments, Shares and other engagement. I won’t lie. Facebook can be a complicated machine to get running smoothly, it takes a lot of effort and research to figure out what your audience likes and doesn’t like. I don’t just mean pushing that little thumbs-up. In order to engage your audience, you need to give them what they want. Now this is gonna take some time and experimentation to see what type of content performs better than others, but it will be well worth it down the road.
Think of likes, comments and shares as a sort of rating system for your posts. Likes are only worth 1 point. It’s the easiest thing to do. A like is sort of like a digital “meh”. Sometimes, people will like a post without even clicking on the link to see the rest of the content.
Comments are worth 2 points. If someone cared for your content enough to speak their mind about it(either or good or bad) than that’s worth a whole lot more than a “meh”.
Shares are worth, you guessed it, 3 points. When someone really enjoys your content and thinks it worth sharing with their friends than you have done a good job and are awarded 3 points.
The more points your posts get, the more news feeds it shows up in and the more exposure your brand gets. Now this isn’t technically how Facebook’s algorithm works but it’s a simplified picture.
FB now actually tracks how long a user stays on the website that you have linked to, and judges that content as either good or bad depending on how long they stayed. The longer the stay, the better the content must be. So it’s up to us a the content providers to make sure it’s interesting material as well as providing other relevant content within the site that the user will want to continue to browse.
Link, Photo/Video, and Text. Let’s talk about the different types of posts you can publish. Text posts are the most basic of posts. This is just you typing a status update about how your new product came in, or your hours have changed. We want to avoid plain text posts! That’s right, Facebook nor it’s users really care for just plain old having to read. Especially when scrolling through thousands of posts on your news feed the last thing that will catch someone’s attention is a block of text. And plain text posts don’t get as much visibility. This is where photos and videos come in.
Photos are what catch people’s attention and draw them in to reading that block of text. Facebook favors posts with photos or video over plain text posts. You want your photo to be relevant to the content you are posting about as well. Don’t go attaching a photo of little billy on an article about shampoo products. Unless it’s an article about baby shampoo and little billy has a sudsy head in the photo! Videos are another great way to get people engaged, especially when it comes to sharing. If it is a well produced video and has relevant content and/or is really funny people will want their friends to watch as well.
Link posts are good way to drive people back to your website. Links can be a little tricky though. If you post a photo with a link attached in the text, Facebook doesn’t give that as much reach as a link with a preview image in it. This is when you copy and paste a link into the update status box, and Facebook generates a preview image that is sourced from the link itself. This is the best way to post links to FB.
Paid Ads. Paid ads are a great way to extend your reach beyond the people who like your page and their friends. With paid ads you can set your target audience such as people who are engaged, or only people who are male, or between certain ages.
The only con to this is it costs money but the it can be worth it if you do it right.
Follow the 70-20-10 rule. 70 percent of your posts should add value to your store, build brand recognition, and educate your customers. The best posts in this category are fun in nature. Ideas can range from relevant business tips to local news and recent community events. Other ideas include: asking your fans survey questions, posting your favorite quotes, get creative!
20 percent of your posts should be sharing others’ ideas or facebook posts. Tagging other business pages, promoting their event/sales, clicking ‘Share’ on posts they like or find interesting.
10 percent of your posts should be promotional in nature. Endorsement of new products, store sales and events, coupons/discount codes, and general info about your business. Now this doesn’t have to be exactly 70-20-10, but it’s a good guide to keep you on track.
Facebook can be daunting at first, but with patience and persistence you can have your brand page up and running and bringing people onto your website and into your door. The key is to create and share great, relevant content that your audience finds interesting and helpful, and that is what’s gonna drive your reach up and out. The more engaged your audience is with your posts, the more they will see your future posts in their own news feed and the more it will show up in their friends news feeds as well.
These are just some basic tips to get you started on the road to success with your brand on Facebook. If you need some more help or have any questions Dark to Light is always here to help! And If you don’t yet have a FB page, we will help you get one setup free of charge! Just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org