I have been spending a lot of time working with Facebook Pages recently, and I wanted to share some best practices that I have picked up.
Status updates are the bread and butter of Facebook Pages. They are your primary source of communication and through likes and comments the primary source of interaction by your fans. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your updates:
- Update Frequently – But not too frequently. You want to find that happy medium where your fans are engaged but not turned off. Your updates will appear in your fans’ home feeds, so you should provide content that will be of interest to them. You want your page to be active, since it in turn reflects on the activity of your organization, but you don’t want to appear spammy.
- Be Personal – When I post an update to the Young Democrats of America page, I include my name before the update. People prefer to know with whom they are communicating, and unless you identify yourself in your update it will feel impersonal.
- Ask Questions, Encourage Interaction – Your Facebook Page shouldn’t be a one-way communications tool. Fans have the opportunity to communicate with you and with each other. Asking questions encourages your fans to comment on your updates, which elicits a feeling of participation as well as boosting the exposure of your page (updates that receive a lot of interaction appear on the homepage sidebar). It also provides you with an opportunity to learn more about your fans.
- Share – You shouldn’t solely post updates based on your own content. If you see a news article that would be interesting and relevant to your fans, share it. If an allied organization is doing something impressive, let your fans know.
- Promote and Recognize Members/Chapters – If one of your members or chapters is doing something interesting, received press coverage, or wrote a great article, share it with your fans. People like to know what other members and chapters are doing, and your members/chapters that you mention will appreciate the recognition.
- Don’t Update Using Twitter – While Facebook Page status updates and tweets seem like similar media, there are differences between the two, and using a one-size-fits-all approach will not be as effective. Though you may end up sending the same update to both sometimes, it should be a case-by-case decision.
Status updates aren’t your only communications tool on your page. Here are some tips for other types of content:
- Blog Syndication – If your organization has a blog or website with an RSS feed you should import the posts into your page using Facebook notes. This will increase the reach of your blog content and help drive your fans to your website.
- Multimedia – You can share photos and videos on your Facebook page, and often this content generates the most response from fans. Post multimedia content from events, rallies, campaign videos and photo galleries, etc.
- Help Fans Connect to You – You should make it easy for your fans to connect to you on different platforms through your page. Occasionally share your website, Twitter account, YouTube or Flickr accounts, etc. You want your fans to be as engaged in your organization as possible.
Insights is the built-in analytics tool for your Facebook page. It is important to keep track of the statistics of your page and fans in order to chart your progress in growth and engagement.
Through Insights you can see how many new fans you have added each day compared to the number of fans that have removed themselves, which is a good way to measure whether you are posting too frequently or not enough. You can also see how engaged your fans are with your content.
Another useful feature is the ability to look at the demographic of your fan base by age, gender, and location.
Your Facebook Page can be an extremely useful communications and engagement tool if used effectively. Hopefully these tips will help you improve your results. If you have any of your own best practices for Facebook Pages, please share them in the comments.
P.S. I still need your support in the DFA Netroots Nation Scholarship Competition, so if you could send a vote my way I would appreciate it.