I’ve been asked by several organizations about how to run a successful Facebook page. Anyone can set one up, add photos and post information on it, but you have to know what you want to get out of a Facebook page or you are wasting your time, and the time of those who visit your page. I’ve come up with five basic tips for launching a successful Facebook page, and my clients have found them very helpful especially when they’re starting out with a social media plan.
1. Have a Moderator or someone in charge. When you have several people posting, making announcements, responding to comments and updating, you can lose the cohesiveness in your organization’s “voice.” Having one person in charge of updating, posting and responding keeps your page consistent and makes running the page easier.
2. Advertise. Find and invite people to your page. Start with your personal friends and even family. Email them the link to the Facebook page and tell them what they can expect to find there, and what value it is to them. Run a Facebook Ad. You don’t have to spend much – just $50 over a period of a month can encourage enough clicks – depending on your industry and competition, but more about that in another post – to get your page growing. And don’t forget to advertise your page offline as well. Include your Facebook URL and/or Facebook icon in your print ads.
3. Set your Facebook Page settings. Search engines are starting to use Facebook links and likes as criteria in how your page ranks in online searches. So don’t lose this opportunity to bump your name up. Fill the “Info” section with lots of keywords about your industry, your specialty, your market, and whatever else you think users would search for. Also, make sure your settings allow users to post on your page. If your page doesn’t allow interaction, people are less likely to visit it again.
And lastly, don’t forget to set up your custom Facebook page URL. It’s hard to promote a Facebook page URL that looks like this: http://www.facebook.com/jsdlfiagsh/234jksldig$*jsl. Instead, once you have 25 fans, you can set a custom URL so your page can be found by typing in http://www.facebook.com/yourfacebookpagename. Use your company name and it’s much easier to promote in print ads and online – and much easier for people to remember.
4. Make it social. Facebook is all about two-way dialogue. Don’t just create a “bulletin board” of information strictly about your business. Then you have just created an online ad. That’s boring. There’s nothing wrong with promoting your services and information, but some posts should just be useful information for your customers, or even questions aimed at creating some feedback or dialogue with them. Always share content of value to your readers, and think about what they want to read or see. And remember to come bearing gifts – contests and giveaways are always a good way to get people interacting on your page. Offer a prize for input on something, such as a gift certificate for posting a response to a question you ask, or some other kind of feedback.
5. Don’t give up. It can be slow going, but don’t give up. If you ask a question and no one responds, move on to something else and try again later. Some things will work and others won’t, but keep responding when people post on your page, and keep offering information of value to your readers, and ask them for feedback or input. Once you’ve built that trust with them, you’ll see that interaction grow, and you’ll see interesting things start to happen. (More about that in another post too. 🙂 )