7 ways to be smarter with your Facebook community management

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Do you run a Facebook page for your business?  If so, this short guide will help you realise the potential of your page by following a set process to make community management much more scientific.

1. Find Your Cost & Savings

Step one is probably the simplest of them all – whether you already run a Facebook page for your business or are just about to start, the first step is to figure out your costs. Not your advertising budget, or how much you’re paying an agency, but your true, full costs. This includes you & your team’s time, any impact on the brand if there’s a social disaster, project management, advertising costs, and the cost of any tools you may want to use.

2. Define Your Position

Reverse personas can really help here – don’t think at this stage about who your business is talking to in this arena (that comes in just a sec), but think about who your business would be if it were a person.

The key at this stage is to be creative whilst being true to your brand. Don’t decide to make your business something it isn’t for Facebook – stay true to who you are as much as possible.

3.  Understand Your Audience

Using Facebook’s Power Editor, Facebook insights, and other available tools, you can begin to profile your audience to find out who they are (if they exist already on your page), or who you want the audience to be if you are just starting out.

A useful technique is to create personas based on the data you’ve pulled and think of your audience in this defined way.

4. Eye Up The Competition

In step four we delve into competitors content (rather than their audience) to find out what is working for them in terms of content types, posting times, content themes and tone of voice to ensure that your Facebook content offering is competitive.

Our Datify data is really useful at easing the pain of this step as we can analyse any pages content quickly and efficiently, however there is a manual, but labour-intensive way of pulling this data out yourself if you are prepared to trawl through posts in the front end of Facebook.

5. Generate Ideas & Draw Up Your Content Strategy

Now that you understand your audience and can see how your competitors are doing (and what they are doing better than you) it’s time to put your strategy down on paper.  All of your hard work on the above steps will pay off at this stage.

With the above data in mind, it’s time to get a little creative, but with defined boundaries set by what the data says and what you want to achieve.  This will help you focus your brainstorm and come up with the most relevant ideas.

6. Monetise Your Engagement

As part of your initial content strategy it is absolutely acceptable to include some commercial posts – whether they be pushing your products, services or just about your key brand messages.  A common mistake made by social media managers creating their first content strategy, or for businesses taking their first steps on Facebook is to overload their content with too many commercial posts.  This can lead to a very unengaged page and needs to be avoided.

As a general rule, having one in five posts as commercially led is about right when you start out, and this can be increased to one in four, or even one in three over time depending on how your audience react and how your engagement rate performs.  Naturally you’re posting to Facebook to try to generate return on investment for your activity, but at first this can require a little patience so as to not alienate your early audience.

7. Measure & Iterate – or Pivot

At this early stage I’d recommend fully delving into your data every 2-4 weeks in order for you to measure what is happening and how you are performing.  In essence this will be a revision of steps three and four, to see how your audience is developing and how your content is faring versus that of competitors.

There is plenty of useful data to pull out of Facebook Insights to get a quick indication of performance such as post engagement, page reach, the demographics of your audience who are engaged and so on.  However, more value can be gained by using more bespoke methods.

Summary

If you follow this process, I am confident that your Facebook page will perform better than before and that you will be able to continually improve the performance of your page over time.  This will allow you to increase your brand awareness, and return on investment by using data to plan your content intelligently.

To find out more including seeing example data and learning how to pull out some of the key metrics please download our free eBook, “Facebook Community Management is a Science Not An Art” by clicking here.

Ben Harper is one of the co-founders of Datify  a data driven marketing company based in the UK. Datify specialises in insight led strategies focussed on driving ROI for a range of clients across the social & search arenas.

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