Most businesses would like to ‘be better’ at Facebook. Being ‘better’ most commonly equates to improving interaction on said Facebook page.
While there is an enormous amount of discourse out there dedicated to this very topic, I’ve drilled it down to five easy ‘takeaways’ - the real basics, inspired by the things I most commonly observe on Facebook, in combination with some simple social media theory.
1. Be aware of user activity fluctuations
In layman’s terms, this relates to the days of the week and time of day that Facebook users are most frequently online, most frequently engaging with content and therefore most likely to be receptive to the things you are posting.
Quite logically, it is not going to be productive to post content to Facebook on a low activity day, at a low activity time. (And yet so many people continue to do it!)
With time decay and Facebook’s updated newsfeed algorithm, it is highly likely your content will have gone completely unseen and is dead and buried in your fans’ newsfeed.
So what are the best and worst times to post content?
Optimum traffic times Monday to Friday:
*As a rule morning posts tend to perform better.
Traffic drops off on weekends; posts are not recommended unless an event or promotion calls for it.
Never post on Sunday. It’s the least active day of the week, so do not bother – unless there are mitigating circumstances e.g. incident and crisis communications.
How many times a day should you post?
Again, there is no hard and fast rule. Generally, less is more, so aim for one post Monday to Friday and assess whether or not to post more, on a needs basis (e.g. if you have lots to post about or time sensitive content).
Avoid spamming/flooding your followers’ newsfeeds with content – it is a sure fire way to alienate your users and attract negative commentary!
The most common problems seem to come from companies with more than one administrator managing page content, and a communication breakdown results in multiple posts happening only minutes apart, or worse, multiple posts, on the same topic! So it pays to plan.
2. Do not ‘Like’ your own stuff!
Translation: Riley Mathewson Public Relations should not ‘Like’ any of the posts from Riley Mathewson Public Relations’ Facebook page.
Staff are welcome to ‘Like’ and comment on the content if they are so inclined, but the company should not (unless in reply to other fan comments)!
It is a rookie mistake and one that is easily made, but it just does not look good. You posted it, so that implies you already ‘Like’ it.
‘Self-likes’ do happen inadvertently, often when the people running the page see their company’s post(s) in their own personal newsfeed and ‘Like’ the post. However, they are not aware that they are ‘Liking as the company’, not as themselves.
It is easily avoided - just check your active identity before liking or commenting on content posted by the company page.
3. Be content conscious
It’s a huge subject, but put simply it boils down to this:
Good social engagement demands ‘good’ content.
Social media is not a passive environment. It is not acceptable to post purely self-serving content. It is important to be able to give people what they want, and learn how to package your messages in a format that does this.
Having consistently good content is often as simple as executing a balance between content that is created by the page owner, aka you (‘user-generated content’) and relevant content that is procured elsewhere and shared with your audience (‘curated content’). From there it is also important to ensure there is a nice mix of media across all content: text updates, photos and videos.
If you’re not currently striking this balance, correcting it is as simple as making a content plan and practising mindfulness in your daily content management. In other words, think before you post and make sure there is some variety in your content!
Check out other social platforms (Twitter immediately springs to mind), news websites, industry relevant websites, blogs, and of course good old Google!
Mix it up and train yourself to identify content that will entertain, enlighten and educate your followers.
4. You gotta give a little, to get a little
Social media consumers today are hyper-active, vocal, discerning and unforgiving. To engage effectively, you have to be part of the ‘social community’.
Try to do something positive for your audience each time, for example, respond to comments – good and bad - on your page pronto; never ignore your fans (or haters)! Always be sure to respond in a way that is respectful, keeping in mind that everything you say reflects on your brand.
Don’t neglect other users either! Engage with others by ‘Liking’, commenting on and sharing other users’ content (where relevant, naturally).
Allocate a couple of minutes each day to actively engage with your newsfeed, ‘Like’ some posts, comment, share and even search for some new connections and expand your social community.
Engaging in this way will make others more likely to ‘Like’, comment on and share your content.
5. Don’t be tone deaf
Social media is an extension of your brand, so odds are that people are following your Facebook page because they are familiar with your brand, they recognise it and are attracted to it.
Do your brand justice by creating and maintaining an appropriate social media tone (in line with your branding, of course)!
RMPR client Seasons Funerals is a great example of a well thought out and maintained social tone.
They are warm and colloquial, like a big virtual hug, so that their users feel comfortable and part of their family. In turn, their social identity reflects their personality and branding.
I also cannot emphasise enough how important it is to be consistent with tone. This is vital where there are multiple people managing and contributing to a company page.
For more examples of well-constructed and consistently delivered social media tone, check out:
Seasons Funerals: www.facebook.com/seasonsfuneralsperth
Just Cremations: www.facebook.com/JustCremations
Jones Ballard Property Group: www.facebook.com/JonesBallardPropertyGroup
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