Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to run your own Facebook Page - an entrepreneur's perspective : Part 3

This is the last post in my three-part series on How to run your own Facebook Page. In Part 1, I discussed the basic thinking and objective-setting that you need to do before you start. In Part 2, I discussed the nuts and bolts of execution and daily posts. The current post will discuss how to manage your page, monitor, and course correct.

1. Keep a reasonable response time and stick to it

It's obvious that you need to respond to all comments or questions within a reasonable time frame and I am sure that you will.  But take a call, depending on the nature of your business. what that time frame is. As a consultant, I do not want to give the impression I am on Facebook all the time. I do respond to business queries on LinkedIn instantly. However, if you are selling products or services then it does make sense to address queries immediately because customers have a deadline to buy or order, and may go elsewhere if you do not meet it. Whatever it is, figure out a time frame and stick to it - response within 1 hour, within a business day. It will become a ritual for you, and customers' expectations will get set.

2. Observe page etiquette

As a page owner, you need to be careful about etiquette - avoid tagging people on posts unless they are really your close friends. Avoid tagging people as a page admin, switch to your own (personal) ID and then tag your friends on a post. Aggressive tagging may at worst lead people to  boycott your page - at best, it may lead them to think you are pushy and desperate for business. Facebook offers enough advertising methods which are reasonably priced and if you really need to promote an event or product, use this route rather than riding on friends to get publicity. If you do not want to spend on advertising, then don't focus on numbers, instead focus on the quality of content. Your best content WILL get shared, and appreciated. 

3. Monitor your statistics

If you are serious about using Facebook to promote your business, then you must check your page statistics regularly. Even if you do not run paid campaigns on your page, you must still stay on top of your page performance and ideas to improve it.

This comes from personal experience. I have had a blog page for a long time - but until I started looking at the statistics, I was not motivated to publish regularly, or try out what worked. I am a data driven person, and one of the reasons that Facebook is so popular with marketers is that it offers best-in-class analytics to business users, free of cost.

While there are many different statistics that you can monitor, at different levels of sophistication, here are some simple measures that anyone can look at:

a. At an overall level, you need to measure reach (how many people your page is reaching daily and weekly). This is dependant to a large extent on how many people are liking, sharing or commenting on your posts. 

b. From a long term perspective, you need to be aware of how many 'likes' or fans your page has and whether this figure is increasing or no.

c. At a post level, you need to form an idea of what types of posts work better than others and why this happens, so you can create more of the same type of content. Let me give a simple example. I noticed on my Facebook Blog page that technology specific posts (eg. phone reviews) get lesser hits than those that talk about technology and its impact on people, behaviour and pop culture. I fine tuned my content curation, gathering interesting posts on Social Art, how parents are using technology to monitor kids activities, the newest fads of coffee preparation etc. And I saw that this helped increase my reach hugely. So much so that I modified my page description to read 'Curated content at the interface of people, culture and technology.' 

If all of this seems too much to do, at least keep track of reach at a macro level, and the posts that work best at a micro-level. It's hard to go wrong if your content is good.

Here is a tip to increase your reach. Whatever you post to your page, share it again from your personal ID. It will increase your reach hugely because  Facebook treats posts from individuals more generously than it does posts from pages.

This concludes my three part series on managing your own Facebook page. There is plenty more material on the net, from people with more expertise and experience. Reading has helped me hugely. I continue to learn a lot by what others share, which has prompted me to also put up my own experience.

In case you have any questions, shoot them and I will be happy to answer!