Unfortunately, notwithstanding the potential, I often hear from Facebook Page owners that in spite of their hard work on creating their pages, they are frustrated by the fact that they have few fans, and the ones they have aren’t engaged.
Something that contributes to this problem is inadequate planning and no clear purpose for their Facebook Page. Purpose and planning aren’t the most exciting words out there, but they payoff big time. Once business owners take the time to put a plan, known as an editorial guide, in place, everything else falls into place. As a result of this, their fan base grows, and engagement begins to happen to the point where it no longer feels like work, but fun.
Here are some tips for creating an editorial guide for your Facebook Page.
Define Your Purpose
Ask yourself the following three questions to help you define the purpose of your Facebook Page:
#1: Why Have a Fan Page?
Hint: “everybody else is doing it” is not a good reason! Instead, consider what you hope to accomplish through having a Facebook Page.
#2: What Will Differentiate Your Fan Page from Your Website?
You need to think about what you can provide on your Facebook Page that will be different from what is available on your website. Think of ways that your fans can interact with you on your fan page that they can’t on your website. The more interactive your page is, the more successful it will be. Fans will have no reason to visit a static Facebook Page.
#3: Define Your “it” Factor
What is different and special about you and your employees? What do you provide that is different from your competitors? Build your fan page strategy around what makes your business unique.
Now that you’ve considered the three points above, it’s time to work on your editorial guide. Here are the things you’ll want to be sure to include:
#1: How Often Will You Post on Your Facebook Page?
Although we engage with our fans throughout the day on Social Media Examiner, we also have specific chunks of time set aside for certain types of content. For instance, in the morning, we post the latest Social Media Examiner article. In the afternoon, we post a link to content from a third-party that we know will be beneficial to our fans. Then, a few times a week, we post a question late in the afternoon. Although most of the questions pertain to social media, some are on other topics.
#2: Decide What Type of Content You’ll Post.
Knowing this ahead of time makes it easy to find great content for your fan page. At Social Media Examiner, we consistently find valuable content on about 20 different websites. It’s fine to branch out occasionally, but having a list of great sites you go to regularly for content makes it easy to find valuable content to share with your fans.
#3: Determine the Post Format.
Define ahead of time how you want you and your team to put posts together. Some pages are informal and conversational and others are more factual and informative, like a news source.
Since we have three people posting on our fan page, we always end each post with our names, so people will know who posted. This adds a friendly and personal touch to our posts.
#4: Plan Out How You’ll Respond to Your Fans’ Comments.
On the Social Media Examiner page, we have a goal of reaching out to everybody who makes a comment on our page. We want our fans to know we are listening to them and interested in their thoughts.
#5: Determine What to do About Promotional or Negative Posts.
It’s not uncommon for fans to post promotional bits of information regarding their services and products on your Facebook wall. This can make things cluttered and can hinder legitimate conversations from taking place. It’s important to determine ahead of time which types of posts you’ll allow and which ones you’ll delete. Be sure your entire team is on the same page regarding this.
One thing to keep in mind is that your editorial guide is just a guide, not something that can’t be changed. The goal of the guide is to keep things running smoothly without hindering you from going with the flow.