Engage your fans to become stewards of your brand

Having a Facebook business page is quickly becoming an integral aspect of any business’ marketing plan.  While the fruits of a successful business page can be difficult to quantify, Facebook is a great way to tell your brand story, and it is one of the best ways to build up an enthusiastic customer base.   As such, it is imperative that all business pages actively engage fans to build this enthusiasm.  

If you do not post regularly to your business page or if you do not post on topics that are relevant to your customers, your fans will have no reason to actively engage with you and your company.  However, if you post regularly on topics that are relevant and meaningful, your fans could become stewards of your brand as they share your posts with their social network.  Here are a few suggestions to keep your fans engaged.  Some of the points might seem a bit simplistic, but they can certainly help you build a thriving fan base on Facebook. 

1.  Post regularly!

This might seem entirely self-evident, but it is extremely important that you post on Facebook on a regular basis.  Depending on your specific business, it is generally recommended that you post on your page once a day.  Studies have shown that smaller businesses get the best fan engagement by posting two to three times a day.  If you post more than once a day, be sure all of your posts are spread out by at least two hours.  However, if you post too frequently, you may seem too spammy, and your fans will begin to unsubscribe or unlike your page. 

You will definitely need to undergo a period of trial and error to find out when is the the post to your business page and how frequently those posts should occur.  Studies have shown that posts get the best engagement on Thursdays and Fridays when people are looking forward to the weekend.  This makes sense since people do not really want to be at work towards the end of the week.  Therefore, traffic on Facebook increases and your posts see more active engagement (which includes “likes” and comments from your fans). 

2.  Consider using a post planner to make posts automatic

One of the major issues businesses have with Facebook is that performance generally cannot be measured via increased sales.  This can be a difficult problem to overcome, which makes posting regularly on Facebook seem like quite a chore.  To ease this social networking burden, there are a number of Facebook apps that allow you to schedule your future posts at one time.  For example, you could take an hour on Monday to create all of your posts for the coming week.  You simply input the text and/or picture that you would like to post coupled with the date and time it will become live. 

It seems as if every time you log onto Facebook you will invariably waste your time browsing through other posts and profiles.  Since these apps keep you from “surfing” on Facebook, they are a great time saving tactic. 

3.  Create a thematic posting schedule

Constantly posting everyday can be extremely difficult not only because of time but also because coming up with different posts every day can be quite taxing.  To combat this, you should create a theme for each day of the week.  For example, a portrait photographer might have “Wedding Wednesday” and “Family Friday.” 

Be careful that you do not constantly post marketing pitches for your company.  Your fans will quickly tire of your posts and will more than likely unsubscribe or unlike your page.  With that being the case, it is generally a good idea to post articles related to your industry, and it is generally smart to post photos related to your business. 

Remember you are using Facebook to market yourself, your product, and your industry.  Facebook is an excellent way to tell the story of your company.  Pictures and insights into the everyday life of your business are generally great topics to post on. 

4.  Engage with your fans

It is extremely important to actively engage with your fans on a daily basis.  Make sure your posts are engaging and solicit fan feedback.  It could be something as simple as asking what everyone’s new years resolutions are.  This will get people talking and more actively browsing your pages.

Also, when a fan comments on any of your posts or photos, you should always reply to their comment.  If you simply operate as the man behind the curtain, your fans will not feel connected to you on a personal level.  By responding to your fans, you will help build your story because your fans are actively talking to you.  This personal connection shows that, although you might be busy running your business, you have time for your customers. 

Be careful when you are replying to posts because you may have a high propensity to “waste” time doing this.  Facebook is certainly important, but it is not so important that you should be taken away from the everyday running of your business.  When you are replying to your fans, be sure to set a time limit and stick to it. 

5.  Make your posts relevant, short, and include photos

As has been touched on before, it is imperative that your posts are relevant and engaging to your fans.  Specifically on Facebook, it is imperative that these posts remain short and to the point.  In fact, a study has shown that posts under 80 characters in length get the highest amount of fan engagement.  This seems to make perfect sense since most people scroll through Facebook at a rapid pace.  A quick, simple post will grab someone’s attention much more quickly than a long paragraph. 

Additionally, you should frequently post photos that are relevant to you and your business.  Photos generally get the most active engagment from a fan base since they can easily be digested in seconds (as opposed to a paragraph of text).  Photos can also be easily shared on Facebook, which means that a photograph has the potential to become “viral.”