Setting up a Facebook Page for your brand is deceptively easy. In just a few clicks you can have an outpost on the world’s largest social network of over 800 million users — a population big enough to be the world’s third largest country. This is prime real estate for brands of all shapes and sizes. When you consider the impressive reach of Facebook it’s easy to see why you need a storefront on the internet’s most crowded shopping mall.
Remember how I said ‘deceptively easy’? After you stand-up your Page and management pats itself on the back for being ‘on Facebook’ a looming question appears for your social team (in some cases maybe that’s just you and a sock puppet). The question: What’s next? Like Neil Armstrong, you’ve planted the flag on the new frontier but how do you keep your ‘likes’ growing? Sure you got that initial batch of fans but many of those were ‘easy likes’ — friends, family, co-workers, and early adopters. How do you get to the next level?
Here are some ‘Dos and Don’ts’ to help you take your Facebook Page from good to great.
- Build a Front Door, Not a Wall – By default potential new fans arrive at your Page’s wall with chatter you can’t always control. A better strategy is to install one of the many free apps that can give you a one-time welcome message tab for new fans that you can customize with branded design.
- Maximize Your Avatar – Because Facebook limits your ability to customize graphically, you need to use all available real estate for your avatar to fully brand your Page. (The max size allowed is 180px by 540px.) You’ll also want to set the thumbnail and design it accordingly to make sure you have a nice ‘squarable’ logo crop for fans to clearly identify on their wall.
- Complete Your Info Tab – Just like you should use all available avatar space, make sure you fill in all fields under the info tab. This is a great place for your brand’s story and useful links.
- Upload Photos – Duh. But the new layout makes your Page look especially bare at the top if you don’t have any. Don’t forget to encourage fans to share photos as well (you may have to enable this setting).
- Be One with Your Page – In the upper right corner of your Page is an option to ‘Use Facebook As Your Page.’ This allows you to ‘like’ stuff as your Page. If you click out, you’ll even see a wall for your brand where you can interact with other Pages and share their content.
- ‘Like’ Off-Topic Things, Too – In addition to liking similar organizations’ Facebook Pages you should branch out and find community organizations and charities that your brand is affiliated with. This gives you good alternative content to share for the public good.
- Set a Social Schedule – As with all things social, setting a schedule helps drive engagement on both sides. Find a schedule you can keep and execute it. Whether it’s once a day or once a week doesn’t matter as long as you are consistent.
- Share Responsibility – You can designate as many Page Admins as you want. Share the fun with your team by alternating the updating duties. This also helps you avoid burnout.
- Drive Traffic to Your Site – Don’t forget a key goal in building community and engagement on Facebook is to get increased traffic back to your website.
- Carefully Give Facebook Your Traffic – Often brands link out to Facebook from their site too readily and lose their user to the Facebook abyss. As such, remember to have your links to Facebook open in a new window or tab. It’s also easy to promote your Page if you …
- Set a Username – Pages with over 25 likes can set a username such as facebook.com/yourbrand. You can set your Page’s username here.
- Use a Profile for Your Brand Page – Profiles are for people and Pages are for brands. It’s that simple and yet most of us still see unknowing businesses using Profiles. Beyond best practice this is important as Facebook has banned users for doing this.
- Sell All the Time – Fans will ‘unlike’ or hide your Page updates if you’re always selling. Find content of value to your community that you can share. Some can be yours but you should also share others’ content as well.
- Tag Fans Without Permission – It’s kind of screwy but Facebook only lets you tag people in photos that you are personally friends with.
- Start a Page and Quit – Don’t leave your fans hanging. If you start a conversation you need to keep the lights on. This is why scheduling and sharing the work is so important.
- Abandon Your Website or Blog for Facebook (or Google+) – You can’t throw your brand out with the bathwater. Though social media and sites like Facebook are increasingly the centers of our online lives, you need to own your online hub and the long-tail search traffic that leads to it.
Again, anyone can create an average Facebook Page and plant a flag on the shiny new thing. To take your brand’s social media engagement from good to great you need to maximize the tools that Facebook gives you and create consistent systems for success at your organization.
Facebook management is an on-going journey not an item on a checklist. And like the journey, you need to pack and plan accordingly.