Facebook page managers are constantly looking for help, asking what to post and when. Luckily, a speaker at the AllFacebook Marketing Conference in New York
has the answers. Emeric Ernoult, the CEO and founder of AgoraPulse
, laid down six simple tips for page administrators who want success on the social network.
Ernoult noted that pages are not created equal. He tracked pages with fewer than 1,000 likes, and found that, on average, they reached 22.2 percent of fans and had an engagement rate of 8.7 percent.
In contrast, pages with more than 1,000 likes reached only 6.6 percent of their fans, with a 7 percent engagement rate.
So what can page administrators, regardless of the size of their pages, do to improve themselves?
1. Know when to post.
This is one of the most frequently asked questions, but there's no magic answer for all brands. Ernoult urged social media managers to study their audiences and test posting at different times, then gauge times when the response is highest. While posting around 10 a.m. every day may work for one page, it won't necessarily be for another.
[Related: Saturday is best for social media engagement]
2. Know what to post.
Just as different fans will react to posts at different times, there's not one magic bullet for the type of content to post, either, though studies have shown that text-only posts get more engagement.
Use metrics to find what kinds of content connect best with users, and plan your Facebook marketing around that. Study what gets engagement and what gets reach.
[Related: Photos and video drive the most engagement on social media]
3. Identify your best (and worst) performing content.
Just because you like pictures of cute kittens—which spread throughout Facebook like crazy—doesn't mean your fans will. Just as not all pages are created equal, neither are all posts.
Ernoult told attendees to study what works, but also what doesn't. By looking for trends, companies can figure out which stories tend to get more engagement and which get flagged as spam or hidden. It helps to analyze both sides of the spectrum.
4. Qualify your fans.
Ernoult talked about how Facebook pages are a gold mine for marketers: They are full of people who indicated, by liking the page, they want to learn more about the brand. However, Facebook doesn't tell you much about the person who liked your page.
Say you own a bike shop. How many of your fans own one of your bikes? If so, which model? Dig a little deeper to learn more about the people who like your page; it can go a long way toward the page-fan connection.
Ernoult also suggested using a spreadsheet to serve as a database, so you can see why most of your fans liked your page.
5. Identify your ambassadors.
Ernoult talked about how finding the people who are willing to not only like and comment, but share a brand's message, is key for success:
"Once you know that, and you can reach out to them in some way, isn't that a great way to say, 'Hey, we have this ambassador program'? Using those people will create some good," he says.
6. Spy on the competition.
Football teams prepare for upcoming games by looking at film of the other team's most recent competition.
Facebook page managers can take this same approach by seeing how their competitors' fans like, comment and share. Several programs offer this capability, including AgoraPulse and PageLever. Checking in on the competition can give pages a solid measuring stick for key metrics such as engagement and "people talking about this."
What other tips do you have to get ahead on Facebook?
A version of this article originally appeared on AllFacebook.com.