8 overlooked ways to manage successful Facebook pages

Many companies have Facebook pages, yet most don’t use them to their full potential. These tips offer new ways to make the most of your page.

There is a lot of good advice out there about running a Facebook page and building a long-term community. I want to look at some simple tips that you might often overlook, but that are fundamental to running a good Facebook page.

A Facebook page itself is now almost shorthand for running a social media presence altogether, yet it’s a unique medium that many of us are still getting our heads around. There’s no right or wrong method, though many brands make mistakes as they go and learn from them. Check out these tips, and tell us about yours below.

1. Write for the news feed, not your wall

When you write an update for your Facebook page, the update will most likely appear on the page’s wall by default. It can be confusing however, to consider that the wall is not the place where 99 percent of your fans will see the update. Though a link or ad will lead some people straight to the wall, your existing fans will see the update in their news feed.

I’ve seen many updates from pages in my news feed that tell me to click on a certain tab, with no link in the update. This is of no use to me when I skim my news feed, and I’m not likely to go the page to find out more if I haven’t been provided with a link.

Saying something like “Check out our tab on the side” is out of context for people seeing this update in their news feed. For this reason, you should also try to use photos to draw people into your updates.

2. Promote your page to people who haven’t ‘liked’ it yet

A client asked me if it was possible to show an ad to someone only once to avoid overexposing and annoying people with the brand and message. Though there isn’t a direct option for this, you can do this by choosing to only show your ad to people who don’t already like your page.

This is an easy option to select when you first set up an ad. Not only will you avoid paying to remarket to existing fans, but you will also avoid bombarding new fans who may not have yet decided if there is any value on your page.

3. Don’t worry about writing too little

Some brands want to update their page frequently because they worry that their fans will forget them. Though regularly updating a page is a best practice, it’s not as necessary as you would think.

Think about the brands you follow on Facebook. Would you notice if one of them missed an update? Would you prefer to only see their best posts in your news feed? Many brands use filler content to keep fans entertained but, by the nature of Facebook pages, you will only see the content in your news feed. You won’t return each day to see if the brand posted an update. Frequency of content isn’t as important as it might seem, provided that it’s backed up by good content and a generally active page.

4. Invest in sponsored stories—they work

Sponsored stories are a great addition to Facebook’s advertising platform. Essentially, these allow you to place ads for actions on a page or app, such as when someone likes your page. These stories will show up under the “sponsored stories” sidebar of Facebook profiles, alerting you to your friends’ organic activity. I’ve spoken to many brands and advertisers and it seems that not many people take advantage of this, but it’s a great way to grow fans on your page.

Since sponsored stories focus on organic activity, they will always show at least one friend’s Facebook profile, in the same way that you can see which of your friends also like a page on a traditional ad. We’ve seen sponsored stories work brilliantly for our clients, and some advertisers are recording click through rates as much as 46 percent higher than standard Facebook ads. You can set up sponsored stories through the standard ad interface, though you don’t have the option to change the text associated with the ad.

5. Accept that you won’t work a nine-to-five day

If you want to run a successful Facebook page, you’re (unfortunately for some) going to have to say goodbye to the usual nine-to-five work day. Your Facebook page’s busiest time could occur outside of work hours, as people may access it from home. People will often expect a reply right away, and might not care that your office hours don’t match their Facebook hours.

Smart brands will often have evening and weekend social media moderation in place to monitor any issues they may need to reply to, or to make important announcements. You can manage this so that your fans know the best time to reach you, while ensuring there is some level of activity outside of the standard nine-to-five of a customer call center.

6. Don’t forget to send updates to fans

Updates are great for Facebook pages, but have become more hidden as Facebook makes changes to its pages. If you send an update to all of your fans, it will appear as a notification in their inboxes. By sending updates, you can ensure that all fans see your important announcement in case they missed it as a wall post. It can be easy to forget about updates, but you can send them by clicking on “Edit Page,” then “Marketing,” then “Send an Update.”

Since updates appear as private notifications to fans, I recommend that you use them sparingly and only for particularly important announcements. If people think that liking your page means they’re subscribing to constant private messages, they might leave the page. Updates are great when used well—particularly in conjunction with a competition or app—and can help grow fans on your page.

7. Use Edgerank to find your best and worst days

The free EdgeRank checker tool allows you to access insights about your page that tell you a bit more about how people interact with your content. EdgeRank is essentially Facebook’s version of PageRank—it’s the algorithm Facebook uses to determine which content appears in the “Top News” section of a news feed. (According to Facebook, this is how the majority of people access their feeds.)

By using the EdgeRank checker for pages, you can see which days are the best and worst for gaining new fans, as well as when you achieve your best EdgeRank score. The higher the score, the more likely your fans are to see your content. You should use this information to optimize your page—if you see fans interacting with you more on a certain day, that day might be a good time to start a promotion or time an important announcement.

8. Allow fans to tag photos on your page

Photo tagging is a great way to get new fans and engage your existing fans. What many people don’t realize is that photo tagging isn’t currently set to default for Facebook fans on pages, and it is not very easy to change.

To allow fans to tag photos on your page, first go to the “Edit” section of your page, then click on “Apps” on the left hand side. Scroll down to photos and click “Go to App.” You will then see the option to change your photo settings, which will allow fans both to upload and tag photos. When this is done, let your fans know and tell them to tag a photo on your page.

Lauren Fisher is one of the founders of Simply Zesty, where this article originally ran.

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