How to run your own Facebook page - an entrepreneur's perspective : Part 1

As I posted on tumblr some time ago, entrepreneurship brings its own benefits. One of them is learning to do new things everyday. And one of my favorite new things is assuming the role of a page admin. I have been doing this job for our own Facebook company page and my blog page, and recently for a few others as well. In this series of posts,  I will share how to create, streamline and run a self administered Facebook page efficiently. And I have learnt from my mistakes, as well as from projects where I have been fortunate enough to work shoulder to shoulder with seasoned professionals. I will keep updating this series, as I learn more. 

Part 1 deals with the thinking that you need to do before you start a Facebook page.

1) Define your objective

This is an obvious one - but whether you run a blog page, company page or brand page, it's important to define why you are there and what you want to accomplish. The more specific you can be, the better.

My Facebook blog page exists not to drive traffic to my blog, but to share my passion for technology. I blog just once a week but I read lots of more interesting stuff which I have a perspective about. 

Our company page exists to keep us salient in the eyes of our ex-colleagues and potential clients. We aim to keep ourselves and clients updated on the latest developments in digital marketing.

An NGO I work with uses Facebook in a very interesting way - to showcase and acknowledge their growing volunteer network.

Notice that all of these are 'soft' objectives. It is tempting to use social media to drive conversions and sales but the fact is that it is not a decision making medium. It can aid decision making - at either an early or later stage, depending on your product category. But it is ideally suited for 'sharing' - information, news, well written articles - and then leaving people to decide. 

2) Define your target audience

Again its an obvious one - but it's worthwhile to spend a few minutes doing this exercise simply because it will help you to decide what you write and why. Don't arrive at a simplistic decision in a hurry (the big temptation is to define your user base as current and potential customers - and then you may end up becoming a customer service page - unless that is what you want.)

Think tangentially when you define your TG. In social media, you must think in terms of multiple target audiences. the Geek Afterglow Facebook page does not target people who read my blog. It reaches out to my larger circle of friends who are not interested in hard core tech stories but still appreciate interesting updates eg. technology that ensures safety of kids. Smart helmets. A new way of making coffee. 

The target audience of my friend's NGO is volunteers and their social networks. Volunteers are key influencers to bring new people into the fold, and they are bound to share updates which recognise what they do. This in turn facilitates them to introduce their work to interested friends and recruit them for the cause.

3) Define your brand 

This is a luxury that entrepreneurs often do not have time for. We spend time working, re-working and tailoring our credentials deck for each prospective client. We agonise over defining the perfect elevator pitch. In the case of my own company, my partner and I have created dozens of brand positioning statements and run Vision and Mission workshops for clients regularly. But we never got round to doing the same for ourselves.

If you are not going to be on mass media, it's still important to define your brand. And if you are going to be on social media, then it becomes necessary. At Bright Angles, we hold the view that a brand on social media needs to be three dimensional, like a human being, because people want to connect with other people, not brands. We have a digital branding template which we use to bring a brand to life. Even if you choose not to use this, you should answer some basic questions about your values, personality and tone of voice. It will help you to develop a consistent brand identity. It will guide the way you write (formal or casual? Funny or serious?) It will also help you to take decisions like which pages to follow.

The next post will be about the mechanics of running a Facebook page. Stay tuned!


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