Facebook can help small businesses, but it’s not always easy to find the time to spend pushing content out and engaging with fans. To assist with the day-to-day management of Facebook, here are essential tips.
1. Post Regularly
To have an active Facebook page and an engaged community, you need to post frequently. Typically you should post at least once per day. Test the frequency to determine what gets you the best reach and engagement. You don’t want to overwhelm your fans but you do want to be relevant and timely.
2. Plan Out Your Content for the Month
While it’s important to be relevant and timely and post content on the fly if there is specific news or updates, planning your content calendar ahead of time can save time and allows you to be more thoughtful and strategic in your posts. Consider spending a few hours each month planning out posts for the next month, knowing that you always have room to add timely posts that come up throughout the month. Follow the 80/20 rule as a guide and post 80 percent owned content and 20 percent curated content. You don’t want to always be talking about yourself; there is value in sharing relevant content from third parties. This helps build an authentic community and partnerships with other businesses and organizations.
3. Leverage a Posting Tool or Facebook Post Scheduler
It’s easy to forget to post daily. Consider scheduling your posts in advance, once you have created your monthly content. You can schedule it all to post so that you can focus your time engaging on your page. It’s important to note that just because you schedule your content, doesn’t mean you can “set it and forget it.” Many big brands have gotten in trouble doing this and not paying attention to what they have scheduled. For example if you have a light-hearted engagement post, such as “Like this if you are ready for the weekend,” go out on a day of a national weather disaster, like Hurricane Sandy, there is no doubt you will get backlash. So the lesson here is that you can schedule your post, but always keep an eye on what is planned and make adjustments as needed.
Facebook’s Post Scheduler function allows you to schedule your post for a day and time in the future.
If you are managing other social media channels in addition to Facebook, you should consider using a third party tool that enables you to schedule posts out to multiple channels.
4. Develop Content Categories
Categorizing the content you post can help in your planning as well as balance the mix of conversation on your page. Engagement, promotion, culture, and news are often categories that work well for most businesses. Here are some general examples of each.
- Engagement. Posts that will get fans to engage, Like, Comment, or Share. “Like this is you are ready for the weekend.”
- Promotion. Posts that promote your company, sale, or offer. “Get 20 percent off your order today, use code GET20.”
- Culture. Posts that promote your company culture, what it’s like to work there, and do business with your company. “Its National Donut Day, are you celebrating? Check out the sweet treats our staff is enjoying in celebration.”
- News. Posts about company or relevant industry news. “Today marks the opening of our new location.”
5. Reoccurring Content Series
Have fun with your content and consider a recurring series of content. This will help in your content planning and give fans something to look forward to each week. Examples of general series include: Featured fan of the month or week, product of the week, quote of the week, and employee of the month.
6. Cover Photo
Take advantage of the cover photo real estate and update it monthly. Include cover photos in your content planning and think of it as your billboard and maximize the space to promote what’s currently relevant or important to your business. Update it to reflect your current marketing campaign, focus or seasonality. This will give fans a visual indication that the page is fresh and updated.
7. Engage Consistently
Even if you only set aside a half hour each day, make sure to check in on your Facebook page daily to engage with fans. Both positive and negative comments warrant a response or even just a “Like” from your page. This will help to illustrate that your Facebook page is an active and a place where fans and customers can ask questions and engage. Insert a time on your calendar to remind yourself.
8. Analyze and Optimize
Facebook Insights provides page owners with valuable data on content. At minimum, on a monthly basis, export your page and post data to help you understand how people are interacting with your page. This will help you identify content themes, categories, and types that work well for your page and fuel ongoing post ideas. Leverage the data Facebook provides to inform your content planning.