I have been teaching Facebook marketing techniques for the last six years, and I am surprised to see that some business owners are still using very old-fashioned techniques and expecting the page to do well. They end up scratching their head and saying “why are people not buying from me?”. In this blog, I am going to share with you a critical list of do's and don't's that all page owners should abide by. If you are not keeping to ALL of these rules, then you should not pass go or collect £200!
#1 – Do – Post every single day for maximum exposure.
When I am coaching businesses, I am amazed how many people are only posting once or twice a week and expecting results. When they do post, it is usually a sales type of message. Ideally you should be active on your Facebook page every single day. You can use tools such as PostPlanner or Hootsuite to schedule your posts so that you have something going out every day. However, we have found that using the native Facebook scheduling tool has the best reach. (Find out more about Facebook scheduling here).
For optimum exposure, check out when your fans are online by clicking the “Insights”, “Posts”, “When are my fans online”, and see what times of day you should ideally be posting to your page. You may be surprised to learn that you need to start scheduling your posts for 10pm or 6am.
#2 – Don't post too much.
What is too much? This is a difficult one to answer as every business is different. The best way to find out is to either ask your audience or simply experiment by looking at your reach figures. One of our clients posts around 14 posts a day (they are a global company, and they post 247), another company only post twice a day, and they are also highly effective on conversions.
The Green Umbrella page now schedules posts twice a day. A Tip at 6am every day, an article that is relevant during the day (usually around 2pm). This is our 20% content. In addition to this, we post “beans on toast” content at least once a day, however, this can increase depending on what we are doing. If we are attending an event, or we have numerous clients that have been to see us, then we will not miss an opportunity for a quick photo! We have found that the maximum posts for the Green Umbrella page is 6. If we post more than this, then we see a decrease in likes.
How much do you post on your page? What is your sweet spot?
#3 – Do – get involved with local businesses
If you have attended one of our workshops on Facebook, then you would have heard me talk about the Facebook “like” strategy. Facebook has given business pages a life of their own (unlike LinkedIn). This means that your page can have a voice, and it can venture out and start communicating and talking to your clients, prospects and other businesses (where your target audience may be hanging out). Getting involved with other companies on Facebook should be part of your Facebook five a day. To watch this strategy in action, click on the video below.
#4 – Don't – get involved in complaints in the public domain (take them offline).
One of the main reasons why certain organisations to not venture into Facebook is that they believe that they are giving their customers a platform to complain. When I listen to this objection, I tell them a horrendous story that happened to me a few years ago where one of my temporary staff openly moaned on his Facebook profile saying how bad our agency was because we had not paid him. His language was very colourful, and I was shocked when I read the post. I will never forget it as it was Christmas Eve morning (my birthday!). We checked BACS to check if we had missed his pay transfer and to my delight, we had paid him. So why had he put this on Facebook? In the meantime, the number of comments on the thread was increasing, with other people asking “Is the agency going bust?”, “How bad is that as they have not paid you on Christmas Eve”! As you can imagine, our reputation was going down the drain fast!
In the end, I phoned the temporary worker and said “James, why have you put that comment on Facebook? Looking at our records, we have paid you”. “Oh yeah,” he said. “I've just checked and a direct debit was taken out of my bank account that I had forgotten about. I thought you hadn't paid me, but you have, so it's cool!”.
It was not “cool” as we now had a problem on our hands. James offered to delete the post, but we told him to comment on the thread to say that he had made a mistake, not our agency. And then remove the post 1hr later, which he did.
The moral of this story is that James would have posted this on Facebook, whether my business was on Facebook or not. It's important to be listening to what people are saying online about you and your business.
If someone does say something negative on your page, NEVER delete it. (Unless there is offensive language used). Always respond and try to get the conversation offline as soon as possible. Get them to message the page first or ask for their number or email address so that you can communicate out of the public domain.
#5 – Do – Mix your style of posts (photos, videos, audio, text long and short)
We all know that Facebook works best if you use visuals (photos and videos), however, it is still important to use text in your posts. Facebook Queen (Mari Smith) only posts a few times a day, but each post is very lengthy, and it works well for her.
I suggest looking at your “insights” and see what type of posts do your audience like?
#6 – Don't – use any image that you find on Google images. Be aware of copyright rules.
Only this week I was shocked to find that one of my clients was adding images to their WordPress blog by going on to Google Images and right clicking / save image as… Please DO NOT do this. A few years ago I was personally fined £895 for using a thumbnail image on my site which I did not have the rights to. There are many places where you can source images. To find out more then check out this article from guest blogger, Sarah Marsh Collings. Images and Copyright – Keeping It Simple.
Facebook is a great place to run your business online, if you play by the rules.
See you on Facebook!