Cape Gazette

How about a little insight, Facebook?

By Lana O'Hollaren | Mar 13, 2013

After enough pushing, prodding and hearing the “But everybody’s on Facebook” argument, you finally decided your business needed a page. About 90 percent of small businesses are on it, so welcome to the club. Whether your page is brand-spanking new or a couple of years old, you want to know how you’re doing. As with any other aspect of business, you have to check your figures, right?

Before you get started, make sure your Facebook page represents a business, not a person. If it doesn’t, the Facebook FAQs can take you through the transfer. Once you’re all squared away, you’ll find your business page equipped with free analytics (yes, free) called Facebook Insights. Not only is Insights complimentary, but it’s also fast and relatively painless.

Managing your social media pages can be time-consuming, so the last thing you want is to spend more time crunching numbers. No worries. Insights spits out the important information, giving you just enough not to be overwhelming.

First, know this: Once John Doe “likes” your page, he isn’t coming back. “What do you mean? Where is he going to see my posts?” Try the News Feed, where your posts will compete with updates from his friends and family - and they usually win out over businesses. Second, the majority of your fans won’t ever see your posts. On average, about 16 percent of followers see a post.

Frustrating, isn’t it? There are certainly ways around it, such as Facebook ads or promoted posts. While these paid solutions are a great complement to your Facebook marketing strategy, you can reach more people simply through posting smarter.

The Facebook Timeline can handle it all: text, links, pictures, videos and most other things you can dream up. Go ahead and try them all. Social media involves a lot of trial and error. There is no perfect answer. Your industry, customers and business personality will shape your social success. Mix it up - then look to Insights to show you what worked and what didn’t. Be as visual as possible. Photos generate twice as many “likes” as text updates.

And don’t be overly promotional. Would you share a post from some business spouting off about how great it is? Unlikely. If your page is fun and vibrant, people will want to share.

Lana O’Hollaren does business development and account management for Aloysius Butler and Clark and manages the agency’s southern Delaware office. She can be reached at 302-249-4438.


Comments (1)
Posted by: Michele Walfred | Mar 13, 2013 16:26

I have also found, that if you go to your business page, click on "Edit Page" and "Use Facebook ,XYZ name"  then move off your page and comment on other stories - other Facebook pages in your community - as your business or organization. On Facebook, Cape Gazette, for instance has more than 5,000 likes. Should a story get posted on their Facebook page that has relevance to your profession or business, then why not comment as your page?  More people will be aware of your comment and your page!  Don't over do it. Commentary should be genuine, otherwise it is transparent that you are angling for exposure.

I agree with Lana, that posting "we have this deal," or"aren't we great" or some other promotion isn't going to cut it in the long run. But being social as your business identity is helpful. Ask questions, post photos. People share photos-if they share yours they are sharing your page! I administer several pages. Pay attention to those stats. When do you get the most activity? Try and repeat that model.  You can ask your new "likes" to click on the like box and make sure "Add to News Feed" is checked when they do.  Some will, some won't.

If you have a business page, of course it is important to be professional and post original content, but don't be afraid to have fun and share light-hearted moments. Hair salons can take a look back at old style photos. Produce growers can share recipes featuring ingredients they grow.  Furniture stores can comment on the wall color their customers chose.  Share good knowledge from others when appropriate.  Respond to comments, even negative feedback, promptly and politely.

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