Throughout the course of this year, we’ve seen Facebook pages develop into a solid marketing platform for brands. But, the reality of pages is that they are:
1) Very difficult to grow organically unless you already have an established brand and;
2) Can quickly cause a great deal of disappointment unless you have a forward-looking engagement plan in place.
Whether you are still figuring out plans to launch a page or gave up on your page months ago after failing to reach your quarterly goal of 500 new fans, let’s revisit a couple basic principles to help increase the chances of making your page successful.
Focus on Building a Base
What does it matter if we have 500 fans or 5,000 fans? A lot, that’s what.
In order build trust and long-term brand advocates that will talk about your brand on your behalf, you need to first have people who will listen.
Right off the bat, you should be taking the following actions to coincide with the launch of your page:
- Make a formal announcement about the launch of your page to your company, explaining its purpose and asking employees to show support by becoming fans and inviting their friends to do the same. Make it enticing to employees by tying in some type of giveaway or random drawing for those that join by a certain date. Also try to have the announcement come from the top. Employees are much more likely to see the page as a serious marketing tool if leadership is making the ask AND is legitimately excited about the page.
- Promote your new Facebook page (along with links to your other social media platforms) on your Website and call out the page launch in a highlight or news box, incorporating the easily identifiable button for visitors to take quick action.
- Provide a mention in your e-newsletter that identifies the purpose of the page and how your company or organization plans to put the page to use. Keep a link to the page (and other social media platforms) highly visible (left and towards the top is always an online hotspot) in future e-newsletters.
- Work with your marketing and PR department to brainstorm and explore all other possible options for building your fan base.
- The reality is that most brands will need some kind of external boost to get people to start paying attention to your page. If you have the budget, plan to run a pay-per-click Facebook ad campaign. Chances are good that your company dumps more than you’d expect into other forms of advertising. Why not try trading in a few print ads and instead running low-cost Facebook ads that will both help build your fan base and target key users to take some form of immediate action? A few other resources to get you going:
Develop Content That Counts
Beyond setup, hands down, the most critical factor that will impact the success of your page is the content you share. Facebook pages thrive based on status updates and the news feed. This is your lifeline to your fans. Ignore, abuse or cluelessly use status updates and your page is destined to hit the social media graveyard hard and fast.
Avoid this situation by providing content that:
- Captures your audience’s attention and shows that you’re not randomly broadcasting information but rather sharing news and info that is directly relevant to them.
- Is visually stimulating! Remember, you’re competing with a great deal of other traffic in a news stream and Jennie is far more likely to pay attention to what her best friend just posted than what brand X has to say about their latest product. Whether a photo or a quick video clip, occupy that news stream with something that pops and delivers. Write your status update like a news headline!
- Is a welcome presence. If you’re posting a new status update more than 3-4 times a week, step back and assess what you’re putting out there and put yourself in your fans’ shoes. Is this something they would really, really care about? If not, cut it.
- Is consistent. Yes, it’s fine to throw a curve ball once in a while but remember, most of your fans are going to interact with your brand through the news stream. Out of context updates are a sure bomb. Make things applicable to everyone.
Are you finding success with your company or organization’s page? Feel free to share a tip or two below.
About Scott MeisVP, Digital and Social Strategies for @wsseattle. I develop and execute online marketing campaigns for a variety of nonprofit, corporate and government clients. I thrive on creative content, communities and actionable results.
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