Developing an engaged following on Facebook isn’t easy. You run the risk of driving followers and potential fans away by either posting too much or too little, not responding and interacting in the way they like or, simply put, not giving them a reason to stick around. So how do you tackle this social platform in a way that ensures you effectively engage your followers, without falling prey to many of its pitfalls?
First, it’s important that you have the right personnel in place. Stephanie Agresta, EVP and managing director of social media for Weber Shandwick, says that the community manager role is one of the fastest-growing positions in digital media, and for good reason. "Community managers serve as the primary voice and publisher of all content. They should provide key performance indicators, and be responsible for overseeing and growing the community," says Agresta. "They must be authentic, listen, add value, build relationships, be an expert and evangelist of your product or company and engage both online and off."
Teams should also feature a monitoring expert—someone well-trained in monitoring tools and analytics and can provide qualitative and quantitative analysis. Maria Baugh, co-owner of Butter Lane Cupcakes, says that if you decide to hire, "it's imperative that the person understands your brand—no matter how well someone knows the ins and outs of Twitter and Facebook, it's dangerous to have someone out there that doesn't know your brand.”
Once personnel decisions have been squared away, it’s important to create a framework for how often your company or brand should update and distribute content on its social channels. With that in mind, Agresta provides the following rules of thumb for brands on Facebook:
- For pages with less than 100,000 consumers, post 3-4 times a week on Facebook, 1-5 times on Twitter and 1 blog post a day.
- For pages with less than 500,000 consumers, post 3-7 times a week on Facebook, 5-10 times a day on Twitter and 1-2 blog posts per day.
- For pages with over 1 million consumers, post 3-7 times a week on Facebook, 5-15 times a day on Twitter and 1-5 blog posts a day.
Agresta warns that content-posting generalizations aren't right for every organization, and that each must experiment and rely on its community for feedback.
It’s also important to take into account not only the size of the posts, but when they should be published. Johna Burke, SVP at BurellesLuce, says to keep posts short and sweet. "Posts that contain less than 80 characters have a 27% higher rate of engagement," says Burke.
For more on optimal content strategies and other information, trends and best practices about Facebook, register for PR News’ Facebook Conference in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1.