Sometimes, it feels like Facebook is a trap.
Our clients often ask us if they should still be using Facebook Pages, and these clients sound weary. After years of posting and trying to keep up with changes and new features and scary news about privacy, they're not sure it's worth it anymore. They kind of want out, but they’re not sure. Is it safe?
Our answer is usually that you don't have to have a Facebook Page... but it will leave you out of the hearts and minds of a pretty significant portion of the population.
If you personally don't like the company and don't want to use their services, that's fine, and there are lots of people who agree with you. (Delete your Facebook and Instagram accounts by following these steps.)
For marketing purposes, however, Facebook is still a widely-used platform where people are getting their news, finding new things to buy, connecting with causes, and customer service. Even after everyone said they would #DeleteFacebook last year, 68% of Americans are using it. We're sure at least a few of those folks are in your target audience. And since Facebook owns Instagram, more and more of Instagram's features are getting folded into Facebook all the time, so your Instagram-only strategy might not be sustainable for much longer.
We don't think you should only use Facebook to get your message out there, but it's still worth putting some time in.
Use these tips to take control of your Facebook Page in 2019:
Use Facebook's Insights to better understand your audience, what posts work and what don't, and your average engagement rates. How do you know if Facebook is working for you or not? Check. The. Numbers! Use this walk-through to understand your metrics, and this one to learn about your posts. Do this once a week, at a minimum, so when we ask, "When was the last time you looked at your metrics?" you actually have an answer.
Use Facebook Templates. Here's our guide to picking a template for your Facebook Page and making the most of it. You'll look more professional.
Do not sleep on Facebook Stories. You'll see us saying this again and again: Get comfortable in front of your phone's camera, because Facebook has decided that Stories are the future. There are lots of features to try out now, including integrating Facebook Events into your Story (helpful if you're promoting an upcoming event!), CTA and music stickers to drive engagements, fun filters and effects, and, if you have a Facebook group, you can put Stories there too.
If you're the social media manager at your org, check with your team and figure out who might be the best spokesperson, who is willing to regularly talk about your work with your fans... and then get to filming!
Don't be afraid to get personal. Some of our clients hesitate to share content from their business Pages onto their personal profiles, but the truth is that there is no line between "personal" and "professional" anymore. Your friends, family, and colleagues are interested in what you have to say and what you're working on, and they all have friends, family, and colleagues too; don't be nervous to share your content with anyone who might be interested.
And for those of you working in big offices, talk to your staff about sharing your org's content on their personal profiles and getting your message out there regularly. This is also more likely to drive personal interactions and comments, which is exactly what Facebook is hoping for.
Get that advertising budget together and use our walk-through to start boosting posts to your fans. You don't need a big budget; start small, say, $20 per week, and experiment with boosting your posts to all of your Page's fans or to a small group of people who are likely to be interested in your content. Plus, you can experiment in multiple language thanks to automatic translation for your ads!
Many of our clients are now doing this on an ongoing basis, to ensure their audience sees their content and to test their content with different groups to see what's effective. That's what marketing is all about!
Fundraising on Facebook is still a thing, so if you're a nonprofit or you love them, use the tools they provide. Facebook removed fundraising fees from their platform recently, and they're making moves to compete with GoFundMe and other giving platforms. (We're sure you've seen at least a few birthday fundraisers this month!) Learn about creating fundraisers here and, at the very least, be familiar with how this works in case a future donor or partner wants to use this for your benefit. It'll prepare you for any future changes coming down the pike.
Be original, please! A quick and easy way to keep your page updated is to just share news links and log off, but it's lame. You should be posting original (entertaining, useful, informative) content on this channel and all of your channels. Post polls and surveys, work with a designer or photographer and post more images (make sure they're mobile-friendly!), film some explainer videos, make some gifs... whatever you do, prioritize content creation. If you're just re-sharing content that someone else created, why should I follow you and not them?
If nothing else:
Keep your Page active, and respond to any comments or messages you receive. Facebook isn't going anywhere for a while, and in the future there might be a new tool or feature that you'll want to try, but starting over with a brand new Page and building your audience over again can be really difficult.
And try everything. Facebook might not be where your biggest audience is, and that's okay! Use the platform to experiment and try out all the new features as they come out; you never know when you might land on something that really resonates, or when a new feature could work really well for your content.