I want to talk about the current moment of “Facebook Flaws” – the recent high profile errors by Facebook – but not from the usual angle. Some marketers worry that users’ concerns about Facebook may impact their pages. In fact, marketers should see this critical moment as also a moment to re-examine their page engagement and enhance customer experience.
Those “Facebook Flaws” have been clearly highlighted. Much of the criticism has been centered on security (the hijacking of 90 million accounts) and vetting third-party developer access (Cambridge Analytics, notoriously, as well as developer access to theFacebook Photo API).
Facebook has learned the hard way that when you have something valuable – the attention of 2 billion people on a digital platform – bad actors come like ants to the picnic.
If you put aside the criticisms, however, you will find moderately good reasons for refreshing your page. True, Facebook has reached a peak for high user acquisition growth. It’s a condition that many of the other social media platforms reached in 2018, and it won’t change for 2019. Social media is ten years old, so like most industries, growth slows. In fact younger platforms like SnapChat and Instagram, which have attracted young adults, are the current plays
But reaching peak user acquisition means retention tactics are now essential to connecting more deeply with existing users. There are features which can help ensure that posts are being shared and seen by real people, ultimately attracting meaningful opportunities for sales.
Social media platforms have been responding to peak user acquisition, and the response has dovetailed into their recent responses to fight fake news. In adjusting its algorithms over recent years, Facebook has been rewarding pages that contain higher engagement and quality content with increased visibility in the news feed. Pages that demonstrate limited fan engagement, and poor content, lose positioning in the news feed. Twitter, another social media veteran, has made similar adjustments.
Thus marketers should be encouraging more dialogue on Facebook pages, so that page posts – and the pages – are discovered naturally.
So what guidance should marketers give to page adminstrators to improve egagement? Here are a few ideas.
- Consider creating a Facebook Live series, with topics that entice people to participate. You can plan videos that cover how to meet a challenge customers regularly encounter using your product or service. Avoid lengthy awkward pauses and plan talking points for a natural ten minute conversation. Facebook Live can stream for a longtime – Facebook allows up to four hours – but marketers should select a balanced time: longer than a Snapchat, but not overwhelming for fans. The key is to select helpful ideas so that people can keep commenting, even after the broadcast time is past and the stream ended (fans can view the video at anytime). A live series can demonstrate how your brand stays up to date
- Marketers should deploy paid media for a page, or for particular posts that best represents the page. Ads can be targeted to the interests that your page fans share. New ad features such as Facebook Stories Ads can also allow imagery that explains the appeal of your page
- Make sure the main website or app download page contains the Facebook ad pixel. The pixel is essential for measuring visits from your page to your site. The best way to manage the pixel is to add the pixel to a tag manager, opening options to measure visits to landing pages or media to which the tag container is attached
- Take time to identify and remove fake fans where feasible. The effort can be tricky – many times people connect but don’t use Facebook much. But some really bad profiles come with adult material linked, or with spammy deals filled with clickbait (posts that overemphasize a call to action). A prudent pruning of possibly bad profiles can help protect your page from bad actors interacting with your fans and even attempting to defraud them
- Marketers should leverage Messenger to share announcements, keep page fans updated with breaking news, or guide followers to the latest post. Messenger also allows smaller organizations to quick plan meetings while on the go – I have used Messenger to communicate quickly with small business owners for years.
- A second option on Messenger is to deploy a chatbots to handle questions repeated asked by fans. If you are not sure what people are interested in, consider using the search query reports from your web analytics. Chances are the phrases people typically type are topics and services that they are seeking. Your chatbots can be programmed to help guide to cover those topics, turning your page into a go-to resource to attract fans. The Facebook page can also be support reigniting communication and engagement in the process
- Product/service previews, white papers, or unique event announcements can be exclusively shared on the page. A better idea is to find ways to acknowledge fans exclusively on page. Doing so –explaining the “why” behind the comment – can make the fan feel special and shows other fans that their investment in the page is worthwhile
These tips will help ensure that your page is not perceived as being an abandoned p[age, or worse, a spam page. The key is to scale back on trying to build fan numbers, while amping-up the value of every post and interaction with fans. Showing Facebook fans love is the best way to help fans forget about
“Facebook Flaws.” Most importantly, the better engagement will show Facebook fans how much they are really appreciated.