Facebook PVA Store Tips & Tricks #11

One of the most important questions to ask as you create your Facebook marketing plan is, “What do you want to achieve with your Facebook Page?”

To help you sort through the many layers of Facebook marketing, there are nine core rules to consider as you create your Facebook Page.

♦ Give your Page a human touch.
♦ Create fresh content.
♦ Cultivate engagement with two-way dialog.
♦ Create consistent calls to action.
♦ Make word-of-mouth advocacy easy.
♦ Encourage Fan-to-Fan conversations.
♦ Focus on smart branding.
♦ Be deliberate and manage expectations.
♦ Monitor, measure, and track.

Dive in to explore each of the nine core rules for a successful Facebook Page.

Rule #1: Give Your Page A Human Touch

To give your Page a human touch, highlight the team behind your Facebook Page. Your Fans don’t want to connect with your brand or product, they want to connect with you. As you have likely heard numerous times, social media is about transparency and authenticity. People want to know that they are communicating with the real you; that’s why first names and photos are the norm on Facebook.

Brands that allow their Page administrators to have real conversations with their Fans are much more likely to have active, engaging Pages. Here are a few key strategies to give your Facebook Page a human touch:

♦ Address your Fans by their first names and craft your posts in the first-person singular voice.
♦ Use a conversational tone in your posts.
♦ Encourage your Page administrators to add their name at the end of their posts.
♦ If you have multiple admins, add your Page administrators’ photos and bios on a custom tab. This allows your Fans to get to know the people that are representing your Page.

Have Page admins add their names to their posts.

Rule #2: Create Fresh Content

To get the most reach from your content, make sure that your content educates, entertains, and empowers your Fans. This will pique their interest and keep them coming back for more.

Also, publish everything you have, in as many places as possible. What this means is that you want to get your content online, and you want it to be seen by as many potential prospects as possible.

You can also monitor what others are publishing. If you see something that would be valuable to your audience, and is not in direct competition with your business, publish that content (and make sure to give them credit for it!). Third-party publishing is a great way to continue to add value to your Fans without your having to be the one who is creating all the content.

To help you create content consistently, we suggest that you create an editorial calendar. It might sound daunting, but it’s actually very simple. Here’s how you do it:

1. Create a six-month digital calendar.
You can do this in Word or you can find digital calendars online. One of our favorite digital calendar sites is www.calendarsthatwork.com.

2. Decide how often you want to create content and in what form.
Consider creating blog posts, video posts, articles, reports, podcasts, or any other form of media you know your audience will like. Mix it up and deliver your content in many different formats to attract a wider reach of ideal clients.

3. Brainstorm content ideas related to your brand or niche.
Again, think of what interests your clients the most. (Hint: Check out your competition’s content. This will help you decide what might be best for your audience.)

4. Create a calendar of content.
Choose the specific dates you plan to post and list the topic of the content and the type of delivery.

Remember: Stay diligent with your content calendar. After you create it, stick with it. The more disciplined you are sticking to your content calendar, the more traction you will see with your audience.

Rule #3: Cultivate Engagement With Two-way Dialogs

In a nutshell, engagement is about getting your Fans to take action, meaning post on your Page, comment on your posts, click the Like button next to your posts and share your content. A well-executed engagement strategy takes time and effort. More than anything, engagement is really about showing up daily and taking a genuine interest in the likes, interests, and opinions of your Fans.

The rule for engagement is to make it about your Fans and not about you. Remember that people love to talk about themselves, so craft your posts and questions around them, and you’re sure to see some great conversations begin to surface on your Page.

Make your posts less promotional and more inclined to engage people.

Remember: A massive Fan base left disengaged is a recipe for disaster! Take action and start talking with your Fans regularly.

Rule #4: Create Consistent Calls To Action

To move your Fans to action, you need to give them a reason to take action. Discounts or specials are a great way to reward your clients. You’re basically saying, “Hey, I really appreciate you being a Fan. Thanks for coming on over. I want to do something special for you now.”

Remember: You want to keep your Fans happy and get them to take action. Everybody loves a discount or a special, so think of ways you can incorporate these into your Facebook marketing plan.

Rule #5: Make Word-Of-Mouth Advocacy Easy

It’s a fact that customers trust their friends and other customers more than they trust a brand. Think of it this way: If you were going to buy a new pair of running shoes, who would you listen to the most: your good friend who is an avid runner and just purchased a pair, or the makers of the shoe who are posting a promotion about them on their Facebook Page? It’s human nature to gravitate toward the person you have a relationship with. That is precisely why word-of-mouth advocacy is essential.

To encourage word of mouth advocacy, you want to make it easy for your Fans to talk about you. Here are a few suggestions:

Ask a Fan to Like a post or Share a post. When you post a link to a new article on your Facebook Page, add a line at the end of the post that says, “If you like this article, please click the link to share it with your friends!” Keep it light and conversational, and your Fans will be happy to oblige.
Do something that encourages self-expression. People love to talk about themselves and share their thoughts, feelings, and feedback. Create an experience where they’ll want to share your content with their friends. This is how the viral experience is created. To do this, you can create a poll on your Page or run a contest that gets your audience excited to engage with you.

Rule # 6: Encourage Fan-to-Fan conversations

The key here is to enhance your Fans’ experience by creating a community that encourages peer-to-peer communication among your Fans.

Here are a few key strategies you can use to get Fans talking to each other:
Showcase Fans. Create a Member of the Month campaign on your Facebook Page. When Fans get recognized, they will tell their Friends — and that encourages even more Fan-to-Fan interaction.
Recognize top contributors. When you have someone on your Page who likes to answer questions from Fans, or who often offers tips or suggestions, take advantage of it. Ask the Fan to be an ambassador of your Page and encourage him to help out when appropriate. Give your biggest advocates specific guidelines and responsibilities and reward them with perks; their involvement will free up time for you to concentrate on other ways to grow your Page.

Rule #7: Focus On Smart Branding

One way to understand the power of a Facebook Page is to look at it as a mini-site of your own Web site. Some of the most successful Facebook Pages act as an extension of the brand and are essentially mini–Web sites inside Facebook. Smart branding allows you to create a bridge from Facebook to your Web site. The key is to create a Page that sparks familiarity with your brand when your existing customers visit your Page.

Remember: You can’t expect that consumers on Facebook will find you easily and automatically. Facebook users don’t typically search actively for a brand’s Facebook Page; instead, most users will stumble upon a Page, either through a Friend or from a hub, such as your Web site. Branding your Page allows you to make your Page dynamic (stand out above the rest) and viral (increasing the number of people who will see it).

Rule #8: Be Deliberate And Manage Expectations

Before anything else, you first need to decide why you want to have a presence on Facebook. What is your overall vision for your Page? Often, your vision for Facebook will be aligned with your overall company vision.

For example, if you own a high-end clothing store for women, your company vision might be to offer the highest fashion and the best quality clothing in your area to make women feel great about how they look. And on Facebook, your vision for your store might be to create a community for women who love high fashion and give them a place to talk about clothes and share ideas with each other. Your Facebook Page can become the hub for fashion-minded women (and the best place for you to engage with your ideal audience on Facebook).

A clear vision does two things: First, it allows you and your team to clearly understand why you are on Facebook. When you understand the “why,” your actions are deliberate and have purpose. Also, when you have a clear vision, you can communicate this to your Facebook Fans, and they then know how to interact with your Page.

Your vision is only as strong as the individual or team behind it. It’s up to you to spread the word. The good news is that after you have a solid Fan base, your Fans will help spread your message and virally attract new followers. It’s up to you to “sell” your vision to get others to pay attention.

Rule #9: Monitor, Measure, And Track

Although it may not sound like a fun task, it’s essential that you monitor, measure, and track your Facebook activity. The great thing about social media marketing is that it’s not set in stone. In the past, you’d have to print a marketing brochure for thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars and then cross your fingers that it worked, because if it flopped, you had to wait until that brochure ran out and then spend a handful of money to test something new.

On Facebook and other social sites, most of the time, tweaking a marketing campaign is as easy as a click of a button. That’s a huge advantage to marketing online.

The key here is to be diligent in testing what’s working and instantly tweaking what’s not. When you get into this habit, you can see progress much faster than you ever did with traditional marketing endeavors.

Remember: There’s a lot of noise on the Web about the dos and don’ts of social media marketing, and it tends to be overwhelming. These rules are meant to simplify your process.

If you add a bunch of extra components to the rules, you’re less likely to see the results you want — or worse, you’re likely to get overwhelmed and not take action. In short, ignore the chatter, and stick to the plan.

Creating a Facebook Page is fairly simple, but growing its momentum and getting it to thrive takes time, dedication, and some planning. Don’t expect to create a Page and then see a massive following instantaneously. Create valuable content, encourage Fans to share your Page with their friends, and tell people about it. With time and patience, your Page will grow.

Best & Warm Regards,
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