Can a CEO or star employee boost your Facebook engagement?

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As organic reach continues to decline, Facebook page admins are looking for any way to get their messages read by more of their fans. Some companies are experiencing success by operating two pages: one for the business, and one for the CEO or popular employee. SumAll, a marketing analytics firm, has found that the employee page (not a profile) has in many cases outperformed the business page for engagement.

SumAll CEO Dane Atkinson described this approach to Inside Facebook:

Even before the great mess of the algorithm, it was a good point to have your major personalities driving attention to your overall brand. It could be a chef for a restaurant, or for a bigger company, there’s a thought leader or a CEO or a great engineer. There’s things out there that help bring attention. … There’s a lot of content that you don’t want to put money around, and you’ll find that the personal page still has a multiple of how much its content gets used.

Atkinson noted that brand pages usually get 5 percent reach nowadays. He’s seeing double that on personal pages.

For example, a business collaboration software startup in the U.K. also has a personal page (not a profile) for their CEO. The page for the CEO has proven to be much more effective for engagement. Here’s a look at the company’s Facebook performance over the past month:

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Even if you don’t have a famous CEO or a superstar chef cooking up engagement for your company, getting the message out in front of more people, utilizing this two-pronged approach can be successful.

An animal shelter with a popular Facebook page also uses a page for their social media manager. While, in this example, the page for the employee has less engagement, the social media manager often comments and links to the main company’s Facebook page posts, giving more of a personal touch and exposing posts to a larger audience. This kind of strategy allows companies to put a more human spin on posts, making the interactions a little more genuine. It can be a way for the brand to take on a more approachable voice.

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Atkinson talked with Inside Facebook about why the employee page can be vital to a company’s efforts on Facebook:

Facebook’s very smart. They know that brands have money and they know that brands tend to create content that isn’t as exciting as content created by truly passionate people and individuals. Of course, those brands really pay up to have their content seen by their fans. … If you have good content and you have people that are experts in your organization, you can get a lot more mileage by letting them create their personal fan pages and build audiences. You can still drive a lot of engagement to the overall brand.

Readers: What do you think about this strategy?

Photo by Praneendra Kuver for Inside Facebook.

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