In this mini-series from Laura Bodell of Bella Spur Innovative Media Inc., we are going to look at a few of the social media platforms available, and examples of companies and not-for-profits that are using them well. You can find both Bella Spur and Green Hectares on Facebook.
This week, we are talking about Facebook – how to use it, and who is using it well.
Being free and with an audience numbering close to one billion, Facebook is a great entry point for many businesses into the world of social media. In addition to the basic functionality of a professional page, there are many applications available to enhance the way you interact with fans.
The most important thing to keep in mind, as ever, is to put yourself in the audience’s shoes – think about what they want to hear, and be cognizant of the percentage of hard-sell statuses you post.
Here are a few strategies to managing a successful Facebook professional page:
- Quality content. Consider your audience’s interests, and post as many statuses/links/photos/videos about things they would be interested to learn about as you post about your own business or organization.
- Post frequency. You want to post often enough to build your rapport, but not so often as to become annoying. Use your discretion.
- Visual branding. The new Timeline format allows for much better visual branding through the use of cover and profile images, application icons and highlighting images on your landing page.
- Tagging. Facebook’s functions to “tag” people, places and pages in status updates promotes relationship development by encouraging you to connect with others. (see how-to at https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=218027134882349)
- Facebook Advertising. Set up as a pay-per-click system that uses daily or lifetime budgets and provides performance reports, Facebook Ads allows you to target a very specific audience based on a wide array of demographic and behavior points. This can be useful in generating awareness for new pages.
- – - – - – - -
Who is doing it well
Business: Paige Albrecht Artistry
Though this is a relatively new page, they have done a great job of building an engaged audience and connecting with them.
- Visual branding represents the business’ product/service, and also characterizes the artist as a person to make her recognizable.
- Good use of applications to add functionality that extends interaction with viewers.
- Her launch contest rewards people not only for liking her page, but also for sharing her art with their network.
- Great conversational tone that gives readers the feeling that they know the artist.
Organization: Alberta Milk
Alberta Milk has done a great job of identifying and speaking to their target audience.
- They provide a variety of recipes and facts about milk that are useful to their page followers.
- Knowing their audience’s interests, they post links and statuses that build their rapport as a source of information on more than just milk.
- Images are used effectively to draw attention to their status updates in people’s news feeds.
- They encourage fans to connect with them on additional platforms through an e-news signup and links to their various websites interspersed in statuses.
Personal: Crystal Cattle
Crystal Cattle is a photographer, blogger and agvocate who breeds Hereford cattle with her husband and works for a national agricultural company. She connects very effectively with her audience on a personal level that makes them feel comfortable to participate in discussion on her page.
- Ties together all her social media platforms (blog, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter) without automating them, which makes her statuses more unique and engaging.
- Uses tags to connect with other pages for added exposure.
- Encourages discussion through real questions, such as asking for advice or encouraging people to post about their experiences.
A couple other great Facebook pages that are not agricultural, but provide great examples to learn from:
By Laura Bodell, Bella Spur Innovative Media Inc.