Keep the Compelling Content Flowing on Facebook

Samantha Willems

With Facebook slated to hit the 1 billion user mark this year, communicators have been testing various tactics to convert these users into fans. But as a PR professional, you know getting someone to "like" your brand page is just the first step in developing ongoing interaction with your community. In the following Q&A, Old Navy’s manager of brand marketing Samantha Willems says creating a steady stream of engaging, conversational content is the key to keeping your fans connected to your brand. Willems will elaborate on content strategy, engagement and more at PR News' Aug. 9 Big 3 Conference in San Francisco.

PR News: Describe your content strategy on Facebook.

Samantha Willems: We have an extensive content calendar, which we share with our creative and media agencies, which is inclusive of Facebook and Twitter. We try to plan our posts about a month in advance, but since social media excels in the real-time, we revisit the calendar every day, several times a day to optimize.

PR News: What tips can you recommend for increasing engagement on Facebook?

Willems: Try to add a piece of multimedia to every post – we find photos work best for us. Also, use open-ended questions to solicit comments from your fans.

Though several studies describe the best times of day and days of week to post on Facebook, it varies widely from page to page. Test on your own page and see what works for you.

Finally, watch the comments closely. Equip your customer relations team with the information needed to respond to customers. Your fans will appreciate if you respond to non-customer service issues as well (e.g. We often provide styling advice).

PR News: What is the most common mistake you see brands make on Facebook?

Willems: Being too self-absorbed is the most common mistake I see. People are still primarily using Facebook as a way to communicate with their friends – brands are not their “go-to” in this space. Therefore, treat them like friends. Have a conversation and don’t blast them with messages to sell at every moment.

Attend PR News’ Big 3 Conference on August 9 in San Francisco and learn more from social media leaders like Samantha Willems.

Follow Regina D’Alesio, @reginadalesio