Facebook can be an overwhelming platform, particularly if you’re already being pulled in a million other directions with your business. The good news is you don’t have to spend hours upon hours managing your Facebook page. There are several simple things that you can do each day to help you stay on track and use Facebook to get the results you want with minimal effort. To start, try incorporating the following into your daily schedule.
Become a problem solver.
The quickest and easiest way to develop a trusting relationship with your followers is by helping them solve their problems. Engage your followers by regularly offering your insight and expertise. Answer their questions and participate in discussions. Encourage them to submit their problems or concerns and take the time to present them with real, actionable solutions. The more you interact with your audience, the more they will view you as a go-to expert in your field, and the more likely they will be to share you with their networks as a valuable resource.
You should also provide your audience with helpful material that they can access even when you’re not logged on and interacting with them live. Ask yourself what information your fans and customers would find most useful and then add up-to-date links to helpful articles and other resources that will provide them with assistance in your absence. The more valuable you are to your audience, the more you will set yourself apart from the competition and effectively turn prospects into paying customers.
Interact daily on an individual basis.
You don’t have to commit hours a day, but simply set aside a few intervals – say 3-5 times per day for 10 minutes at a time – during which you will focus on commenting on other people’s pages and posts. Visit a few of your fan’s profiles and take a moment to comment on a photo or status update. This lets them know you care about them and are genuinely interested. To be most effective in your personal interactions, try to always use first names when you address your fans, keep it brief but be yourself. When you interact and participate in real conversations, you develop valuable relationships.
Pay attention to your activity.
Understanding what type of activity is happening on your Facebook page is an essential part of growing your audience and keeping people interested. To start, access your Facebook Insights and take a look at the following metrics on a weekly basis:
- Total number of fans
- Number of new fans
- Growth from prior week
- Number of unlikes
- Number of weekly actives
- Actives growth from prior week
Tracking this information will give you a simple snapshot of how your page is doing from week to week. Obviously, the goal is to see regular improvement. There are also a number of other tracking tools available on the web that offer additional insight into your Facebook activity. For instance, EdgeRank Checker lets you score your overall engagement, including the days of the week when you had the most and the least activity on your page. This is especially helpful in analyzing the results of a particular campaign or promotion you’re running and determining the best time to do so.
It may be helpful to create a Google doc to track your activity on a weekly basis. This way you can easily view and analyze your metrics to identify what is working and what might need a bit more work.
Change what you need to.
When it comes to marketing, the important thing to remember is that when something isn’t working, you need to change it and move on. Otherwise you may be wasting valuable time or worse, losing the interest of your fans. The key to doing this successfully and efficiently is to first create realistic goals and establish a specific timeframe in which to reach these goals. If you haven’t achieved what you’ve set out to do by the deadline you’ve set, make the necessary changes and start again.
For instance, let’s say you’ve been devoting time a few days a week to answering fan questions with the goal of increasing the interaction and exposure of your page within a month’s time. If by the following month you realize you’re only getting responses from the same 2 or 3 fans, it’s probably time to change your approach. This could mean simply changing the time you’re available for these Q & A sessions to a time that your page has more activity (which you would have discovered from analyzing your Insights). Whatever it is that needs to be tweaked, identify it and do what you need to do to move forward.
Update your content regularly.
To effectively engage your audience, you absolutely must post fresh content regularly. Offer content that educates, entertains and intrigues your audience. The goal is to keep them coming back for more and to compel them to share your content with their own network of friends, thereby increasing your exposure. If you’re not sure what to write about, check out our recent article on Discovering Great Content Ideas for some tips. Also, to ensure maximum effectiveness be sure to utilize all of your online resources when you’re providing new content, including your blog and other social media outlets like Twitter and YouTube.
It’s important to remember that you don’t only have to generate your own content. If you come across an article or other helpful resource that you think would be valuable to your audience, share it! As an added bonus, this will also provide the opportunity to develop valuable relationships with others in your industry and hopefully they’ll return the favor.
The best way to stay on top of your content is to create a detailed calendar on which you can schedule your posts to ensure a consistent flow of fresh and up-to-date material. Don’t worry – it’s not as complicated as it may seem. Just follow these steps:
- Create a calendar in either Word or through an online application and make sure it covers a timeframe of at least six months.
- Determine how frequently you want to post new content and what that content will entail. Try to mix it up and schedule a variety of mediums including blog posts, videos, articles, podcasts and anything else you think your audience would benefit from.
- Brainstorm some ideas for content related to your niche that you feel would interest your audience and would be most likely to be shared.
- Fill in the calendar with your schedule. Pick the dates and times that you plan on publishing each item.
It’s that simple. Once you’ve created your calendar, just be sure to stick with it. Your discipline will pay off in the long run.
Share and share alike.
One of the golden rules of social media is sharing. By sharing other people’s content, whether it’s an interesting blog post, helpful article or funny video, you will begin to develop valuable relationships and increase your network exponentially. Whenever possible, tap into the resources of other influential people and businesses within your industry to further your own credibility and build those connections.
Finally, don’t forget to acknowledge any good content that happens to come in from your fans. It’s a fantastic way to earn their loyalty and create a fan for life! By sharing other people’s content you contribute to both your audience and to the person or business that created the content, creating value on both ends. (Just be sure to always give credit for anything you share.)
Marketing successfully on Facebook may seem like a time-consuming task, but it really doesn’t have to be. By implementing these simple habits and sticking to them you can achieve the results you want without having to devote too much of your valuable time.
Not sure if your Facebook page is as effective as it should be? Take a look at these 10 Tips for Enhancing your Facebook Fan Page to be sure you’ve got a good foundation to work with.