Facebook changes have created more of a challenge for businesses to stay in front of customers on Facebook. Research shows that once someone likes a business page, they rarely return to it. As a marketer, what does that mean? That means that a customer may like you on Facebook, but once they do, it’s up to you to stay in front of them, because they likely won’t be seeking out your page any time soon.
In thinking about this, I’ve realized it is true in my own life. I’ve liked several pages, but unless they’re posting regularly, I tend to forget about them. When they do post and it shows up in my news feed, I may be inclined to check out their page, thinking, “Hmm…I forgot about them. I wonder if I’ve missed some of their posts.” That may cause me to go to their page and check it out. After that though, the page goes back into my distant memory.
Depending on how Facebook users set their wall settings, they may see recent or highlighted stories first. Many more users are relying on the news feed, or ticker, at the side of their page to see what people are up to. Staying in this news feed is important for visibility. Another factor to consider is that the more engagement your page has, the more visible it will be on user’s walls and news feeds. It’s a vicious circle – if no one is engaging, then you’re content isn’t being seen as much on Facebook; if it’s not being seen, how can users engage with it?
Below are some tips to maintain a presence while keeping users engaged:
1. Build it so they will come: as I mentioned, if a page pops up that I haven’t seen in a while, I will likely click on their link to look at their page. If I see content I’ve missed, it will keep me on the page. If this is the first content they’ve posted in a month, I’m off and running again. The point is – before you worry about staying visible and present in the eyes of your fans, make sure you have great content to post. Creating a plan, or editorial calendar, will help. Spending time now deciding when and what you’re going to publish over the next several weeks will make life easier in the long run. If you’re using a social media management service, you can easily schedule the content as well, making the time up front pay off later on, since you’re not continually worrying about getting to your Facebook page to post content.
2. Mix it up: posting a variety of content, both business related and unrelated, but fun content, will increase engagement. Studies show that status updates with pictures and status that include content that asks users to like the status or post their comments get the most engagement. You would think that if you’re posting a question, users will automatically comment – that is not always the case. Adding a quick “post your comments and tell us what you think” will encourage people to engage with your content. As people engage with your content, it will show up in the news feeds of their friends as well, thereby exposing your page to new people who may in turn be interested enough to check out your page and end up liking it.
3. Post more often: it used to be that posting at least daily was sufficient. That’s not the case anymore. Your content will stay at the top of someone’s wall or in the news feed only a short time, and with users popping in and out of Facebook at all times of the day and night, you want to make sure you get in front of as many people as possible. As it is with Twitter, it is suggested that you post at least three times per day to make the most of your page. Don’t post the same content multiple times though, or even similar content (ie don’t post three status updates about an upcoming event) because you don’t want to turn people off who are keeping up with your page.
4. Host a Facebook event: this is something you can try to gain exposure. Decide on a fun Facebook event you can host – it can be something as simple as a “Fan Appreciation Day” or an “Everything you wanted to know about XXX day (you can fill in the blank as it relates to your industry and expertise).” Setup the event for a day where you can ask fans to “attend” and share an experience with your business. You can encourage people to participate by offering a coupon, or a drawing for a small item. If you run a Q&A type event, have someone manning the page to answer any questions people might have about your industry, business, or any other topic that will get people talking. Be creative and make it fun!
5. Advertise to your fans: this may seem counterintuitive, but it may be a way to re-engage your fans. Advertising to your fans is simple to do through Facebook Ads. When you’re creating an ad, there is an option to only show the ad to people who are connected to your page. The benefit of this is that your ad will stay at the side of their page a lot longer than a status update will stay in their news feed. Facebook advertising is also relatively in expensive, and may be a good way to get people back to your page. Make the ad fun and ask for an action from it, whether it’s sharing your page with their friends, taking a poll, or weighing in on a topic of interest.
Social media marketing can definitely be challenging. Finding news ways to increase visibility and staying on top of the latest trends and news in social media will help keep your efforts successful. If you have any tips or tricks to share, we’d welcome the comments!