Social Networking Platforms Part 2: Facebook
Last time, I highlighted Twitter as a social media platform ideal for promoting your business. For the next few posts, I’ll focus on Facebook.
Today, there are approximately 1 billion users according to Facebook – and you’re probably included in that count. It is the preferred social networking site for business-to-consumer marketers, but is not currently in the top three for business-to-business marketers. It’s essentially a closed community—one that requires a login. It’s designed for sharing short paragraphs and visual multimedia, such as photos, videos and infographics. It’s the most visually-friendly of all—with the best support for visual content compared to Twitter and LinkedIn.
In our experience, we’ve found that the best content is visual in nature. Think about what represents your company, it’s areas of focus, and events that you can represent using a picture, infographic or video. It’s certainly made me think outside of the normal text updates and can be a fun way to engage your followers.
As for the details on Facebook, you probably know the drill…a business or an individual writes or posts content and images on their Facebook pages. Users can also post on the walls of businesses they’ve chosen to “Like” by pressing the “Like” button on the business’ page or friends who they’ve “friended” by invitation or accepting an invitation. The content posted by a business or an individual shows on their page. Additionally individual users have a home or newsfeed that shows posts for the last day or so from all of their friends and businesses/organizations they have “Liked.”
Facebook does include basic analytics or “insights” into your page. I’ll cover this more in depth later as well. There are also external tools you can use to measure how you’re doing—that’s also a future topic.
Best practices to get you started
If you opt to get your company on Facebook, here are my suggested basic best practices:
- Post 5–10 times a week if possible.
- Include a call-to-action in your posts—what you want your customers to do and ideally a link for them to follow (so you can see how your posts are working)
- Take advantage of your timeline and include visuals, visuals, visuals.
- Be responsive and continue conversations started by visitors.
- Show off your company culture and the fun or unique aspects of it.
There are a few newer developments with Facebook that have interesting implications. The first is selecting ‘Get Notifications’ for pages that you like. Instead of offering a stream of updates similar to Twitter, Facebook uses algorithms to deliver the posts you most likely want to see. This means you won’t see every update for pages you’ve liked. But now there is an option to select ‘Get Notifications’ under the ‘like’ button that will now enable you to see every update for said pages.
Additionally, Facebook is now offering what they call ‘promoted posts’, not to be confused with the ability to purchase ads (more on that later). This essentially means you can pay for your posts to be seen by a wider audience. This also has an implication for your engagement metrics if you do (or don’t) purchase promoted posts. As with any marketing spend, do some research to make sure buying promoted posts makes sense for your social strategy.
So I’m curious, do you have a Facebook page for your company?