20 Jul Social Media Best Practices for Facebook
By Jane Hainze
We’re back with another post in our “Social Media Best Practices” series. This time it’s all about getting connected to the do’s and don’ts of Facebook.
These days, most businesses—whether it’s your corner coffee shop, the latest savvy startup, or the corporate behemoth downtown—are well-aware of just how important social media is to engaging with a modern, digital customer base. Facebook, with its boggling 1.44 billion registered users, has always held a special appeal to brands as a way to drum up a social following and engage with new consumers. But building a brand page that has real appeal to consumers—while working within Facebook’s limitations—isn’t as straightforward as it sounds.
As you might expect, there’s more to Facebook than just posting photos of merchandise or puppies and hoping for a string of likes. As the platform has placed increasingly stringent rules to curtail brand activity on the platform, many companies have been left feeling a little lost when it comes to best practices and how to create a presence that resonates with your existing audience and attracts new consumers… without relying on puppy photos.
A quick Google search can tell you that there’s a seemingly infinite (and overwhelming) set of resources dedicated to helping brands navigate the occasionally murky waters of the site. We’ve compiled a streamlined set of those tips and tricks that have helped us when working with clients’ social presence as well as our own. Read on for some of our favorite Facebook hacks!
Avoiding the Algorithm Problem
It’s no secret that marketers have become irked by new regulations from Facebook’s algorithm, which prioritizes posts from friends and media over brand pages in a user’s News Feed. As a result, the organic reach of brand pages has been reduced to a slim 2 percent of their total audience.
All of those cumbersome changes don’t have to relegate brand pages to becoming irrelevant, though; there are plenty of ways to sidestep the issue:
- A handful of unique images in your post will help bump up your rank in News Feed.
- Tagging other users or brands in posts where relevant and posting about trending topics will also help maintain your place in the News Feed.
- Got a photo? That’s great: posts with photos get 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments and 84 percent more clicks.
- You should try to post directly to your page’s timeline first though for optimum engagement. While albums on Facebook are great for organization, including photos within an album limits the engagement per photo uploaded.
What you don’t do in your Facebook posts is often equally important to ensure that your brand’s updates don’t aren’t lumped into the bottom of users’ feeds. We recommend avoiding any duplicate content or posts, “overly promotional” posts, or those that push users to like, share or comment. A good rule of thumb? Consider what you’d like to see as a user (chances are it’s not advertorial) and design your posts in that same style.
The Facebook Style Guide
You get the drift: a lot of your success on Facebook’s News Feed hinges on the way you format updates to optimize engagement. The same can be said for the actual copy and style of your updates. Quotes, questions, tips, stories, blog posts—all of these can take your engagement a lot farther than the standard brand update.
While Facebook isn’t Twitter, a lot of the same rules apply here as well:
- Keep your posts short, ideally with 80 characters or less to get 66 percent more engagement.
- If you’re posting links, which also up your engagement, be sure to track them as well. Services like bit.ly provide useful insight as to how your audience is interacting with your content.
- You’ll want to be sure to keep your copy succinct by removing the URL you’re sharing from the text in your post, though. Any user can click on the generated thumbnail or title for that URL, so there’s no need to include it in the copy of your post as well.
How are you making the most of your Facebook strategy? Let us know in the comments or send us a tweet @LaunchSquad.
Image c/o stuff.tv