Like it or not, Facebook is the giant… the behemoth (first time I’ve used that word in a blog!) in the marketing world. Want to get a message out to your congregation, donors, constituents, Facebook should be your first tool of choice. In fact, at IFR, it’s been a good week when our Facebook pages update shows our weekly reach is up over last week (this week was especially good – our reach jumped 2,751%!). You probably have a website that you keep updated, but Facebook can drive more people to your website while increasing your personal touch and engagement to your audience.
I came across this article today and thought it may help as you try to use Facebook more effectively and efficiently throughout the end of 2012 and into 2013.
Facebook changes its features and functionality on what seems like a weekly basis, so it can certainly be difficult to keep up with what’s new. As a result of a slew of recent changes, you may not have noticed a number of updated features that give you more control over your Facebook page and, by extension, your Facebook marketing efforts.
Consider this your cheat sheet. If you’re not already putting these features to work on your Facebook page, now is a great time to start.
Here are seven little-known tricks to maximize your Facebook page:
1. Track your organic and viral visibility.
Statistics are a goldmine for marketers, and Facebook provides no shortage of data and insights to help you track how your content resonates with your audience, as well as which posts spark the most engagement.
You can also see how many people view your Facebook posts organically (your page’s fans) and virally (friends of your fans). Simply hover over the “X people saw this post” link below one of your posts to see the count.
Regularly checking these numbers can help you fine-tune your content so you can post information that resonates with your page’s audience and their connections.
2. Reposition photos.
Whether you love or hate Timeline, you can’t deny it’s a much more visual experience for Facebook users. That being said, a photo sometimes may not appear as you envisioned because of the site’s automatic cropping and positioning parameters.
The good news is you have control!
Go to your post and click the pencil icon in the top-right corner. Select “reposition photo,” then use your mouse to better align the photo within the space provided. This is a great trick for the default photo size, as well as photos you enlarge when you highlight a post.
3. Schedule posts.
I don’t advocate automating your entire social presence. (You’re not a robot—you’re a person!) But, the ability to schedule posts can save you time, and ensure your page is covered during traditional downtimes like evenings and weekends. A lot of page administrators see increased Facebook traffic at these times.
To schedule a post, make sure you’re in your page’s admin view (you can see insights at the top, and your page’s posts below). If you switch over to your page’s news feed and try to post from there, you won’t be able to.
You’ll see a clock under the status window. Click it, and add the year, month, date and time you want your post to publish. Once you’re done, a window will pop up that confirms you scheduled the update.
4. Define admin roles.
If you work with a team of people to manage a Facebook page, you’ll want to take advantage of the admin role functionality. Facebook defines several roles: manager, content creator, moderator, advertiser and insights analyst. Each role comes with a varying number of responsibilities. Managers have complete access to all tasks.
This way, you can ensure your admin team can fulfill various page-related tasks, even if it’s not appropriate for every member to have full access.
5. Edit links.
It has happened to all of us. You find the perfect link, copy and paste it into the status update window, and bam—the meta data leaves a lot to be desired.
Facebook automatically imports this information from the source, and although you can’t change a link’s thumbnail, you can edit the title and description. When the link preview pops up under your status window, simply double click the headline and description text, and you’ll be able to make edits as needed.
This might seem like a small adjustment to make, but let’s face it, everything you post on your Facebook page counts. And the more polished and enticing the information is, the more engagement you’ll likely see.
6. Highlight fan posts.
One of the more consistent complaints with Timeline is that it consolidates fan posts into one window on the side of the page, rather than interspersing them on the page’s main feed. Just as you might highlight a status update, you can highlight fan posts to draw more attention to user-created content.
Click the wall posts box, select the post you want to highlight, and click the X in the right corner to select “highlighted on page.” Not only does this feature give your page some increased content diversity, but it tells your fans you’re paying attention to their content and appreciate their contributions to your page.
7. Watch your likes.
Getting people to like your Facebook page is the key to a robust presence and an engaged community. It’s also important that you like other pages, and they return the favor. Not only does this increase the size of your Facebook audience, but it creates a more robust news feed and allows you to more easily share updates and activity from other pages.
To see which pages like your page (and so you can return the favor, if applicable), go to “new likes” in your admin panel. Click “see all,” then go to the top left and change from “people” to “pages.”
You’ve likely heard the saying “the devil is in the details.” Facebook marketing is no exception. By incorporating these tips into your Facebook strategy, you’ll make subtle yet noticeable improvements to your page, and continue to know more about your audience.
When you factor in Facebook’s fast-moving stream and continually growing user base (it’s approaching 1 billion people), you need all the competitive advantages you can get to make your Facebook page stand out.
Have you discovered any other little-known Facebook tips or tricks that improved your Facebook marketing efforts?