5 Tips for an Effective Facebook Page Management Strategy
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Posted by: Lukas Pleva
These days, if you have a business, not having a Facebook fan page is the 1990s equivalent of not being listed in the Yellow Pages. For better or worse, it’s something consumers have come to expect, and with more than 750 million users worldwide, it’s a marketing channel that business owners can’t afford to ignore.
But whether it’s acquiring more fans or eliciting response to your posts, maintaining a successful
Facebook page is not easy. It takes time, patience and lots of trial and error. That said, social media marketing is not an entirely new concept and there are rules of thumb that can make the process a lot less painful and more rewarding.
Nothing is more of a turn-off than a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated in weeks, or even months. If you want your fans to keep coming back, make the time to update your page at least once a day. There is, however, such a thing as posting too much. ExactTarget, an e-mail marketing company, surveyed 1,500 consumers about their habits on social media networks and it found that 44 percent of the respondents said they "unlike” brand fan pages because "the company posted too frequently”. The once-a-day rule has worked for our business, but every page is different. If you increase the frequency of your posting and begin to see a fan exodus, take a hint.
Content, Content, Content
Your Facebook page is not, I repeat, is not just another channel to push sales pitches down your customers’ throats. Use your page to share interesting and valuable content about your business and the industry you work in, as well as anything else that you think your fans may find valuable. There is nothing wrong with the occasional announcement that you are running a promotion or are offering a discount, but let’s be real: just as YOU find most marketing messages annoying and inconvenient, so do your customers. Forty-three percent of respondents surveyed by ExactTarget reported they "unlike” brand fan pages because their "wall was becoming too crowded with marketing posts.”
Respond to Everything
Whether it’s a question, a shout-out, or a mind-numbing rant from a disgruntled customer, always personally respond to every post. It will show you care about what your fans have to say, and may even transform that disgruntled customer into your most enthusiastic brand advocate! Oh, and speaking of disgruntled customers, here’s a cardinal rule of Facebook (and every other social network): You never, ever delete a negative review. Remember the paper feedback cards that businesses often asked you to fill out? Deleting a negative review on Facebook is like being handed the paper form and ripping it to shreds right in front of the customer, while everyone else is watching.
Develop and Install a Landing Page
A Facebook landing page is a customized page that displays for users who are visiting your profile for the first time, or who haven’t "liked” your fan page yet. By default, Facebook loads the page wall – not always the best venue for converting prospective customers into fans. An effectively designed landing page will maximize click-through rates (essentially the number of people who view your page and decide to "like” it) by providing incentives for users to become fans and including a clear call to action. Zappos is a great case study. Notice the company’s Facebook landing page is simple and elegant, and has a strong call to action ("click above”, with an arrow pointing to the Like button). Most importantly, it tells us WHY we should become company fans – to get access to exclusive discounts. ExactTarget found that 36 percent of Facebook users "like” brands to "get a freebie (free samples, coupon).” To get started, read
this blog post from HubSpot.
It’s Not All in the Numbers
This may sound counter-intuitive, but don’t become fixated on the number of fans. Sure, acquiring thousands of "likes” is good for the ego, but it is much better from a business standpoint to have a smaller but more engaged following than a large number of fans who don’t visit your page and don’t respond to your posts. Remember, your goal is to build a community; it’s not much a community when everybody keeps to themselves.
Lukas Pleva is a student at The University of Chicago and the Marketing Director for St. Pete Bagel Co. He is an intern at Webhead Interactive, a Tampa-based Search Engine Optimization, web development, and social media marketing firm.