Do you have a Facebook page for your business? Or are you employed and thinking of running a Page for your boss? If you’ve ever wondered what goes on “behind the scenes” when professionally managing a Facebook business page, this blog is for you! We come across lots of folk who think Facebook success is about posting some pictures… and, er, that’s about it. Unfortunately – like most things in business – if it’s easy, it ain’t worth it. You might be able to post photos of your lunch on your personal page and lots of your friends like it… but managing a business page effectively is different. Ultimately, if it’s costing you time and not making you money… well, the business owner is losing out.
You see, a Facebook business page is like an iceberg; the public page posts are just the tip. Most of the real work goes on beneath the surface. There are many assumptions that looking after Facebook for a business is an easy gig, a bit of fun, but – if you’ll allow – let us break down just how much knowledge and time is needed to ensure things work effectively. We are still having to learn ourselves, and we have been managing Facebook business pages for over five years!
“Facebook? Isn’t that just posting pics?”
There are many things to consider in order to provide engaging content for a Facebook business page. Content has to be consistent (and sometimes persistent), current and tailored to the company. And it’s all about that word – engagement. If you’re posting photos that people don’t react to, comment on or share… they’re not going to be seen by many people. At the moment, the average organic (i.e. free) reach of a Facebook business page is just 4%-5% (social@ogilvy); that is only going to get lower if you don’t research your content.
One of the worst mistakes is to post too much. If you have a team of researchers behind you who can find informative or entertaining and varied content multiple times a day, OK, that’s different. A news agency or a company such as LadBible. But most SMEs haven’t got those resources, nor can they talk about anything and everything. And what’s worse than posting un-engaging content? Posting un-engaging content lots! Posting more and more is not the secret to Facebook success. It is better to put out four or five strong posts a week than ten so-so posts a week, believe me. That’s a bitter pill to swallow for some, especially old school social media “gurus”. They churn out things that they think are interesting or funny but not many other people do…. And if people don’t engage, they are unlikely to give your business money or recommend you to a friend.
So if you can find or create strong content, spread it out. Schedule it. Many people in business don’t even know you can schedule your Facebook posts. You don’t have to post there and then. There’s a lot of research that goes on behind scheduling posts. That’s what my team spends much of their time doing at Key 3 Media. When is the best time to post for each client? When is their target audience online but also when is their competition less active? Fight through the clutter, basically.
And mix things up. Pushing your services is necessary, yes, but if every post is sales orientated, people will quickly switch off. “Buy my stuff, buy my stuff!” Yawn Central.
You need to find other sources of content. What articles are out there that your target audience would find interesting? And before you share that article, is there anything on that page that might cause a problem, such as a sponsored link to one of your competitors? Or an image that doesn’t align with your company values? Is the article even from a credible source? Fake news is a massive problem.
Sharing a quote is always fun but are you sure the quote is by a person that the business will be happy to publicise? This is where being familiar with the tone and style of the business is essential. Just because a quote resonates with you doesn’t mean it is suitable for business use. It is about empathy and putting yourself in the target audience’s shoes. All you need is one influential person to have a problem with what you’ve posted and there can be trouble.
But again all this researching and scheduling is just the tip of the iceberg. Providing strong content is important, but are you monitoring comments and enquiries too? Then there’s growing the audience, analysing engagement to see what kind of posts work the best and when, deflating negative situations before they get out of hand and monitoring which complimentary organisations have content that you can share to make them look favourably upon you and maybe return that favour…. Giving a business page your attention a few times a week is simply not enough.
“What do you mean – I have to work weekends and Christmas?”
Managing a Facebook business page is an ongoing process. You can prioritise time for researching and scheduling but you can’t place a time period on interaction. Full Facebook management means exactly that – full-time attention. So you have to be available outside of office hours. Weekends, Bank Holidays… even Christmas perhaps. One of our clients was running a special offer over Christmas and it was Christmas Day, post-lunch, when lots of people decided to ask questions about the offer. And someone had to respond.
On Christmas Eve, another client was facing malicious reviews and comments on their page; again, this had to be addressed at the time, not on January 2nd. Your company may have office hours of 9-5 Monday to Friday, but if a potential customer is browsing your page at 9pm on a Saturday and messages to enquire about a service and you don’t action it until 9am Monday morning – they will go elsewhere. People don’t like to wait when it comes to online. That’s the beast we have created!
Or perhaps an ex-employee starts posting negative comments on your page and it’s not addressed or even noticed. These are all areas where full management steps in. Looking after a business page properly is the difference between a sale and a lost sale.
“It’ll be easy to post a few pictures, won’t it?”
Posting an image to a Facebook page is simple enough. Anyone can do it. But have you considered what the potential risks might be? If it’s a picture of the staff or customers, do you have their permission to use the image? Might there be a child in the background whose face you can see? Could the way you’ve written the accompanying text be misinterpreted? Might it be advocating behaviour that doesn’t align with your company ethos?
We recently received photos from a client asking us to schedule them; what they hadn’t realised is that there actual some partial nudity in the background! Sounds funny but if they’d gone live, it wouldn’t have been funny at all! So we have to protect as well as promote. Key 3 Media has been called in to troubleshoot for many a business who post the wrong thing and it goes viral. They have lost business, they have even been threatened…. Again, not a laughing matter.
Also, if the picture isn’t provided by staff or customers, where has it come from? Perhaps you’ve found an image online that’s relevant to your company, but if it’s not a stock photo from a copyright-free website. Do you actually have the rights to use it? To save yourself a copyright issues headache, you have to be careful whose photos you are using. One business we know came back from holiday to find an £800 bill for using the wrong photo. And that’s is a low copyright infringement charge. Going onto Google Images and using whatever you find there is a dangerous game, and some people don’t know that or don’t think they’ll get “caught”.
Are you prepared to commit to this process of sourcing strong, relevant and legal content every week? A Facebook business page need regular, fresh content to keep customers engaged. It’s not like a personal page, which you can update whenever you feel like. Once a month, ten times a day… irrelevant when it comes to a business page. We get asked this a lot: “How many times should I be posting?” The answer is, “Quality over quantity.” Better to post good stuff four times a week than spam four times a day.
“I don’t need to do Facebook Ads, do I?”
The short answer is yes. If your business’s main drive for using Facebook is that it’s free, you’re in trouble. Facebook is pay-to-play, make no mistake. But this is a good thing (unless you hate parting with cash, full stop). Facebook Ads is a crucial tool for increasing engagement for a business page when used properly. We don’t mean just boosting posts here and there. Ads should be designed specifically to interact with your target audience, but sometimes really niched down.
This is the beauty of Facebook Ads – it’s not just the volume of users, but the depth of user data. Targeting people by their interests, income, purchasing behaviour, relationship status… where else can you do that?! We won’t be too specific about this as we have written a blog focused on the importance of using Facebook Ads professionally, which you can see here. Basically, Facebook Ads is another part of the full management service that Key 3 Media provides. If someone decides to “have a go” at ads without doing the relevant research, then the likelihood is they’ll lose money or rather their money won’t work as hard for them as it should.
Full management for a Facebook business page is like holding down the fort. A page shouldn’t be left unattended or badly manned – this creates a poor image of the business. Again, some people think they can take on the responsibility of managing a business page because they are popular personally on Facebook, but it’s not the same. The rules are different. HUGELY different.
Facebook’s Ts & Cs for businesses are different too. You see all those ‘like and share’ competitions? They are breaking Ts & Cs. Why? Because again Facebook is all about genuine engagement. These people who like and share your page or post… Are they genuinely interested in your business or are they just doing what you want in order to win a prize? And when they don’t win the prize, they are likely to disconnect anyway. It is better to build real interest in your business by posting good organic content and using properly targeted ads. It might take a bit longer but you’re in business for the long haul, no? Plus ‘like and share’ competitions look cheap, which might not suit your brand. If you’re a budget gym, that might be OK. A premium health club? No.
If you want your Facebook page to reflect your company as professional, you should be professional about managing it. So one option is that either you or someone on your team learns how to use Facebook for business correctly. Another is that you employ someone full-time to learn and manage your social media. The third option would be to pay a marketing agency, like ourselves, to do the job. Some businesses would prefer to employ, others to outsource. There’s no right or wrong.
All I can say is that Key 3 Media doesn’t have sick days or holidays and we pay to learn from the best. We are proud to continually learn! Social media is fast-evolving, so we don’t see how it can be any other way. If we stay ahead of the curve, that means increased brand awareness and enquiries for our clients. Simples!
To find out more about professional social media management, please call 01743 491356 or fill in the form below.