Last time we talked about the changes in Facebook’s algorithm that have resulted in many brand and business pages losing significant reach and visibility among their community. You may think there’s nothing left to do other than pay to ensure fans actually see your content – but don’t get your credit card out just yet. Today we’ll cover some simple tips to optimize your Facebook strategy.
Be Real – Content & Conversation
It’s important to remember that Facebook is a community first. People go there to socialize with people they know and trust. And just like in real life, if you dominate a conversation by talking about yourself all the time, your friends are eventually going to tune you out. Brands need to offer real substance to the ongoing conversation – substance that people want to engage with. And when they do engage, it’s important to listen and respond. Basically – act like a person.
If you know your fans well enough, you know what they like. A photo or video can still go a long way if it’s the right fit. People will genuinely interact with and appreciate content that aligns with their interests. And the more they engage with you, the more likely you are to continue to show up in their newsfeed. And that’s a win-win.
Engage and Reward Your Advocates
Despite the loss in overall reach, brands need to continue to engage and nurture relationships with fans that are still being reached – because they clearly want to hear from you. At least Facebook seems to think so. These are your brand advocates and they are really valuable on social media because they have more influence on their friends than brands do. Social media users love to share so the key is to use that your advantage. Engage the people who are listening with content that they want to share, hence increasing your reach. When they advocate for you in any way, show you’re listening and reward them with small perks or exclusive offers. Doing so empowers and incents them to share your message. And is there anything more valuable than an endorsement for a brand from a friend you know and trust? We don’t think so. Unless it’s from your mom, of course.
Be Strategic with Your Time & Money
If you’re putting hours and hours into any social media channel, not just Facebook, and you’re not seeing a response or gaining any brand advocates, it may not be the right fit for your brand. That’s ok. It’s important to know what works and align your level of effort accordingly. If you’re not sure that your investment is paying off, it’s time to outline a social media strategy so that you can measure your efforts and assess:
- Goals & Objectives – What do you hope to gain from Facebook? What are you trying to accomplish?
- Tactics & Plan – What approaches are you going to take to accomplish your goals? How much time are you going to spend (or are you already spending) to make it happen?
- Measure & Assess – How are you going to measure success? Did it work? Was it worth it? What should you change?
It’s just like what social sharer Ben Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” The Facebook rules have changed (and mark my words, they’ll continue to). The key is to prepare your strategy, test the waters, optimize what works and know when to step away from what doesn’t.