PR News Q&A: The Long Tail of Content Sharing on Facebook 

Paull Young

Expanding your number of "likes" on Facebook—and holding on to the fans you already have—requires a content strategy that suits your community and is in sync with your overall communications plan. Paull Young, director of digital at nonprofit organization charity: water, organizations, will elaborate on what kind of content works best on the social media platform at PR News' Facebook Conference on May 24 in New York City. Young, along with Weber Shandwick's Stephanie Agresta and Butter Lane Cupcakes' Maria Baugh, will speak on the panel "Develop a Winning Content Strategy to Engage Your Followers."

PR News: What is the first step in developing a content strategy on Facebook?

Paull Young: Alignment. The first step is to understand your overall content strategy and then augment your Facebook plans to fit the rest of your integrated communications.

 While Facebook is more personal and immediate than other mediums—and requires daily attention—it still needs to fit with your wider communication strategy.

PR News: How do you determine the correct tone to use on Facebook?

Young: This will change from brand-to-brand, and again alignment with your existing brand tone and messaging is very important. A lot of brands make the mistake of being overly informal in an attempt to fit the culture of social media. However, if this is a wide departure from the normal tone of your content, the communications will seem forced.

 Facebook is a personal venue, so a more personal tone is key, but your brand page is still your brand. There is no need for text message lingo and “LOLs!” if you’re a professional services organization.

PR News: As a nonprofit, how much time and resources are you dedicating to Facebook activity?

Young: We have a creative team of three, including a full-time content producer responsible for our blog, social media, videos and photography. We devote a great deal of time to all our communications efforts, including our Facebook strategy.

PR News: How have you been able to link Facebook activity to your business outcomes? 

Young: The explosion of the Facebook audience means that it is increasingly an important driver of business outcomes for our brand. At charity: water we saw our site traffic from Facebook lift 1,000% in the second half of 2010 as the rise of the Facebook Open Graph saw users sharing even more content within the site. Facebook is an important tool for our fundraisers, and last year we raised nearly $7 million online.

PR News: What's one key tip you'll share with our audience at the Facebook Conference?

Young: Remember that Facebook can mean a lot more for your brand than just your brand page. Create content that users can easily share through their own Facebook profiles. You’re likely to get much more traction from the long tail of your supporters sharing content than your own brand page.

Attend PR News’ Facebook Conference on May 24 and learn more from social media experts like Paull Young.

  • Urs E. Gattiker – @C

    Great article love it. I just wonder how Paul measures the long tail for Facebook content.

    Love to hear I tried some of it on our blog.

    Unfortunately, I have not find an easy way to measure the long-tail of shared content on FAcebook.

    But maybe everybody here has solved this challenge a long time ago?

  • Susan Weinstein

    Content readers can easily share–example?