Tag: content

How to create engaging content for your Facebook fans

Facebook have taken a number of steps this year to become more celebrity-friendly, taking notes from Twitter, and introducing features which benefit users and personalities.

This year has seen the introduction of Facebook verified accounts, allowing users to recognise legitimate accounts (just like on Twitter) as well as hashtags, and a test of a ‘Trending Topics’ feature. Facebook have even hinted at introducing features, which will make it easier for celebrities to connect with fans in the near future.

So while you’re waiting for some of these fantastic new features roll out, how do you get the most out of Facebook as a personality (or brand)?

Rule #1 – Stick to Facebook best practices.

No matter who you are, if you’re using a social network, you need to use it correctly. Setting up a page and not using it a Facebook cardinal sin, it’s like having a phone you never answer. Post regularly and post the type of content that engages your audience. Text posts can often get the best reach, so mix it up with text, photo, video and links to keep your audience interested and interacting with your page.

Rule #2 – Be yourself

It sounds corny, but if you be yourself and show your personality online, it will be better for your personal brand.  People use Facebook to connect with friends, so by adding personal thoughts or the occasional candid photo to your page, you make it easier for your fans to feel like they are ‘friends’ with you.

Rule #3 – Give back to your community

There are so many fantastic ways to give back to your fans and thank them for being loyal followers. Ricky Martin recently hosted a live Q&A on his Facebook page, delighting fans when they received replies to their questions.  Use your page to host contests, answer questions, and provide fans with exclusive content or information. When you give fans an exclusive or reward, your content becomes social currency, an asset which is valuable to those who know about it and will share with those who don’t. You also strengthen your relationship with followers when you acknowledge and reward them for being fans no matter what.

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Rule #4 – You can get help

If you want the exposure, marketing opportunities and community support that social media can offer, but don’t have the time or ability to do it yourself, a social media manager can help. Stars including Star Trek’s George Takei, Britney Spears, Kanye West and more admit to having professional help with their social media. Takei himself admits to paying a ghost writer $10 per Facebook post. Whether you want to disclose it or not, having help with posting is beneficial for a number of reasons. It allows you to fill in gaps where you are too busy to post something yourself.  Also, if you have difficulty with spelling, grammar or expressing yourself through text, a ghost writer can help to make your message clear.

Example of content written by Lady Gaga herself and also by a page manager.
Example of content written by Lady Gaga herself and also by a page manager.

As a personality using social media, you have the benefit of your popularity to building page likes, and exciting, interesting content to drive engagement. There is a wealth of opportunities for using social media to maintain a loyal following of fans to support you in the years to come, and Facebook is a great place to start.

The Pros and Cons of Facebook #hashtags

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#Hashtags

Just in case you’re not sure how they work, hashtags turn words and phrases into clickable links. When a user clicks on a hashtag, it will take them to a list of posts featuring that particular hashtag so they can find similar stories, updates and follow trending topics.

Facebook added hashtags to their network back in June, and since then a number of pros and cons have been noted.

Pros:

Allows you to include and associate your update with a topic of conversation, as you would with Instagram and Twitter. For instance, if you wanted to tell people more about your location, you could add #Adelaide to your content.

You could develop a hashtag for your business, eg. #AdelaideCoffeeHouse, and encourage your Facebook fans to use the hashtag when they check-in or post about your business. This would allow you to see and reply to content with #AdelaideCoffeeHouse.  As your hashtag serves as an online word of mouth tool, it would be a good idea to acknowledge and reward fans who use it.

Using hashtags will be beneficial if you have connected accounts, as the tag will be live across multiple networks, including Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

Cons:

As there have been some months to examine the effect of hashtags on post reach, Edgerank Checker conducted a study and found that the use of hashtags did not increase the organic reach of a post. Further to that, posts without hashtags had more viral reach than those with hashtags. Edgerank Checker’s conclusions to this were that the lack of increase in reach could simply stem from users not clicking on hashtags, especially when they were used in conjunction with promotional content (which often receives less engagement, clicks and therefore, reach).

Facebook’s response to Edgerank Checker’s report pretty much sums up how you should approach the use of social media – with quality content:

“Pages should not expect to get increased distribution (what some call virality) simply by sticking irrelevant hashtags in their posts. The best thing for Pages (that want increased distribution) to do is focus on posting relevant, high quality-content — hashtags or not. Quality, not hashtags, is what our News Feed algorithms look for so that Pages can increase their reach.”

Thus far, Facebook don’t really seem to have put a lot of effort into making hashtags work as well as they do on Twitter. Maybe users aren’t used to it yet and are not sure of what to expect, or maybe they just don’t fit in with Facebook-style conversation. Hopefully Facebook will add a ‘trending topics’ feature to make it easier for users to follow what interests them, and for brands to join in the conversation. Currently, to use hashtags well on Facebook you would need to follow them closely, and as suggested before, follow up with fans that use them.

If you do use hashtags, use them sparingly – #no #one #enjoys #reading #a #sentence #that #looks #like #this.  Pick hashtags relevant to your conversation or topic, or even create on specifically for your business or promotion (just check that no one else is using it first!) Again, a custom hashtag would be ideal for use across connected platforms.

Tell us your thoughts, do you use or would consider using hashtags on Facebook? Leave a comment below or join our conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

 

 

 

The Social Media Principles

Keeping up to date with all latest news and inner workings of social media is a part of my job that I really enjoy. I love learning new things and discovering how and why people interact with social media content, what works and what practices will get the best results.

I was reading about Jonah Berger’s new book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, which highlights six principles that make people share content, ideas or talk about products. Understanding why people share things is very important to social media marketers and businesses so they can make the most of their social media efforts and avoid wasting time. These ideas come back to a necessity that we have pointed out in previous blog posts, which is, use the right bait for the right fish. That is, know your audience and use the right message to reach that audience.

Keeping Berger’s six identified principles in mind when creating content or campaigns for social media will certainly help in the success of those endeavors.  Obviously, most things you post will not become a viral success like Psy’s Gangnam Style, but can still be shared and interacted with by many.

Watch our latest video to learn more about these six principles and how you can apply them.