While there aren’t any hard and fast rules in social media, there are some general “best practices” that are you can start with as a base. Ultimately you will have to carve your own way with what works with your audience and what they need from you.
You will notice that successful brands on Facebook don’t preach or sell to their fan base, they engage with them. Just like in the real world. Customers know when a salesperson is being disingenuous and it turns them off. They also know when a salesperson is genuinely interested in understanding their needs and finding out how best to meet those needs. Facebook is no different.
Here are some good general rules that you may find you need to adjust for your audience:
1. Post every day. That may seem excessive to you but as people make more friends and Like more pages, your posts may be missed. If you are only posting once or twice a week then it could be a long time between posts if your community misses one or two of them. There are studies that show posting between 3-5 times a day can be good amount for Pages (make sure you are varying your posts and also watch your statistics to see what works best for your community). You can decide that you might take the weekend off but also realize that the weekend is when many people are on Facebook.
2. Focus on engagement. You are trying to connect and get response from your community. Ask questions, post helpful tips, links to articles that your audience will Like and Share. When you make the posts about your audience and what they need rather than selling, you will develop a richer and deeper relationship with your community. You will sell more as a byproduct of that deeper relationship. Set aside time to follow up on posts and respond to questions on your Wall.
3. Have a call-to-action. Tell people to click the Like or comment on the post. Or have them watch your video or go to your website. Link directly to landing pages for ebooks and webinars to generate leads from Facebook.
4. Don’t oversell or undersell. No one likes a never-ending sales pitch. By the same token, make sure you do highlight your wares from time-to-time! Use the 80-20 rule for sales messages vs. content/connection posts. So if you decide to post five times a week, one of the posts should be a sales message and four posts will be other helpful or fun content for your community.
5. Ask for the Like. Facebook is about building a community with your leads and customers. As a marketer it is your responsibility to build you Facebook presence. One important part of growing your Facebook Page is being direct and asking visitors to like your page. This could be done by by using targeted calls-to-action on your website or by using a like-gate on your Facebook Page.
6. Make it fun. Facebook is a social community. People are there to have fun. This is a place where you can let your corporate hair down a little. Stay true to your brand but think of ways to entertain your audience.
What would you add to this list?
Originally published Oct 24, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017