So you’ve decided that you want to be the coolest community manager on the block. You know you have to start posting and interacting, but how do you actually go about it? What do you post? How often to you post? How do you get people interacting with your posts?
Well, a lot of that is going to depend on your industry and the kind of people you have and want to have following your brand on Facebook. But here’s an overview of all the different ingredients that you can mix together to create a compelling brand story.
Okay, so let’s talk about your brand so we can get it out of the way and move onto what users actually want to hear about. As a general rule, communities are about the members, not a brand. It’s about bringing them together and helping them.
Source: Wildfire 2012 Social Marketing Trend Forecast
For this reason, your branded content should comprise about 20-30% of what you post on Facebook. That branded content, though, can take on so many forms, and can include:
- Top 5-10 Lists
- Industry Insights
Basically, your branded content should consist in your brand sharing its expertise with your fans in a way that helps them make better decisions. This way they come to trust your brand and think of it first when thinking of your industry.
Of course, with branded content taking up only 20-30% of your Timeline, you’ll need other tools to elaborate your brand’s story.
3rd Party Content
Another way to engage users is by sharing others’ expertise and insight. This might be a mainstream media pieces of content, such as newspaper article or video clip, or it might be from a blogger.
No matter what industry you’re in, there’s probably bloggers doing a good job of covering it. Tap into these influencers and share their content with your Facebook fans. This will show them that you’re truly passionate about helping them have a great product/service experience, and not just talking about your brand.
If you go the blogger route, moreover, see if the blogger has already posted the content on their own Facebook page and share it from their Timeline to your own. This way you can possibly engage them and introduce them to your own brand story.
Photos Story Telling
According to Facebook’s internal data, Facebook posts that include a photo album or a picture generate about 180% and 120% more engagement than their non-visual counterparts. So how do you leverage photos? Well, there are several approaches.
First, you should set-up and optimize your page’s photo albums. Here, you can showcase your products, but you should also try to feature other kinds of photos, such as from events. Then, when you want to post a photo to your Timeline, post it from the album. This way, there aren’t duplicates, and likes, shares, and comments from both the album and the Timeline are aggregated together – giving the photo maximum viral reach.
featured fan-submitted images to adorn its cover photo, tagged with the fans’ profiles, and of course, the Verizon Wireless device used to capture it. The result [was] an authentic cover photo that [gave] fans a reward, all while showcasing products in a positive light.
Finally, if your brand is using Pinterest, consider posting links to your pins on your Timeline. Not only will this raise awareness of your brand’s Pinterest profile, but it can demonstrate that your brand truly is interested, engaged and passionate about community.
Survey Your Fans
There’s a saying that “the way to be interesting is to be interested.” Well surveys are a great way to do just that.
With Facebook surveys, you’re literally asking your fans what they think. Not only does this show that you care and are curious (like a real human being), but it’s a great way to your brand’s story into their activity feed, and further expanding your reach.
And if you can’t come up with something you’d like to ask your customers (every week or so), you have bigger problems than managing a Facebook page.
User Generated Content
Lastly, you might consider opening your Timeline up to users. While this might take up more resources in terms of moderating your Timeline, it’s an effective way to increase the number of users “Talking About” your page and increase both your Reach and Engagement metrics.
Having people “Talk About” your brand is an important metric for Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm, which decides how prominently to feature your content in users’ news feeds. So generating activity around your brand and its content is important. This includes everything form Likes and Shares to comments.
Let’s give’em something to talk about…
By opening up your Timeline to users, you also open another way for users to “Talk About” your brand and boost your Edgerank. Coca Cola had done this with its House Rules which has resulted in over 300,000 fans Talking About their brand.
As you develop different kinds of content to share on your Page’s Timeline, you want to both be consistent and maintain diversity. For instance, you can just post product photos all week and then expect users to answer your survey.
So develop a posting schedule were you can both respect the 20-30% rule about branded content and mix it up with other kinds of content. For example, you might do something like:
- Monday – Survey
- Tuesday – Branded Content
- Wednesday –3rd Party Content
- Thursday – Photo
- Friday –3rd Party Content
A posting pattern along these lines will help you maintain both posting frequency and a diversity of content.
Measure and Refine
As you continue to post content, make sure to measure it’s effect. Look into your Facebook Insights and go beyond the Likes, New Fans, and Reach.
Specifically, Facebook insights will tell you the Reach, Engaged Users, Talking About This, and Virality of each individual post. From here, you can extrapolate the kind of content that’s most popular with your fans (and potential customers), and refine your content strategy for maximum effect. For example, you might find that branded content is actually in much higher demand than the 20-30% rule would otherwise allow for.
The point is not just go about managing your Facebook Page blindly and on auto-pilot. You should be taking steps to understand what kind of content really resonates with your users, and making efforts to focus primarily on that.