Once you have made the decision to use Facebook as part of your social media strategy, mapped out that strategy, and started your initial posting, at some point you are likely to hit a snag. One day, you will head out to that Facebook page, determined to put something out there, and suddenly realize that you will have to keep this up forever. And you may start to wonder if you are going to be able to come up with enough things to keep posting on your page. You have heard the truism that a Facebook page that sits empty is just as bad, if not worse, than a page never started. You don’t want that. What do you do? You start hyperventilating. You wonder if you will need to be prescribed heart pills.
The first thing to do is relax. The whole social media thing should be fun, even though you are using it for business. If it becomes a major chore that sends you into fits of apoplexy, then maybe it isn’t the right thing for you or your business. Yes, you need to keep posting things, but you don’t need to be the world’s most prolific writer who has to generate new content every single day from scratch. If you attempted to do that you might end up with a file full of original content longer than all of the works of Shakespeare rolled into one really long play.
1. Keep the information valuable. Remember why you started the Facebook page. This can also be applied to your blog. Remember that the people who came to you and found you are interested in what you created the page for. Try to stay on topic and add things that they will find valuable. At the same time, remember that you can share links to other articles, YouTube videos or anything else you find online you think might be valuable to your Facebook fans. It doesn’t all have to come off the top of your head,
2. Post consistently. Remember that you need to keep posting consistently. If you have a Facebook page that’s created and empty, it can look bad, however, one that is posted to erratically makes you look disjointed and confused. Some say you should post something every day. At least once a week is mandatory. Letting months and months go by between posts, then a sudden burst of activity, then six more months with nothing looks bad. Try to create a publishing schedule and stick to it. Of course, a publishing schedule should have been part of your initial strategy sessions before you even started.
3. Find your voice. Remember that this is the voice of your company. What does it sound like? What is your voice? Are you opinionated? Do you like humor? Let that come through. Don’t go too wild, but let yourself have fun. Don’t try to be something you are not and don’t try to write about things that you are not familiar with, either. Each post should not be a term paper where you have to do three weeks of research first.
4. Engage your fans. Facebook is really a conversation. The “social” aspect of social networking is important. Ask a question. If someone comments, comment back. If someone posts a question, make sure you answer it right there on the page. You can even run little contests and things like that. Ask people to caption a photo. Ask them to share stories. You don’t have to do all of the work.
5. Don’t sell all the time. You will be very tempted just to rant and rave about all of the great deals and things your company has. You are also going to be tempted to talk about your products and try to convince the people on your page that they need to pick up the phone and call you NOW to buy them. That turns people off. That kind of thing gets you un-friended. Engage people and use most of the time on your Facebook page to talk about the business you are in without selling.
6. Don’t overreact to negative comments. People love to complain. They do it all the time on people’s Facebook pages. Don’t attack. Don’t automatically remove the comment, especially if there is validity to it. Instead, use it as a way to publicly make a wrong right. What is that person’s complaint? Can you fix it? If you can, right there, on your page, you now have a public record as a company that listens to customers, fixes problems and will do it for all to see.
7. Guest posters. Get the CEO of your company to sit down and answer questions from fans. Or, get him or her to write a post. What is the marketing department up to? Is there anything they’d like to talk about? You don’t have to do it alone, and the Facebook page should really be the concern of everyone within the company to begin with.
With those things in mind, you are well on your way to being a consistent Facebook user. As mentioned, this also applies to Twitter, your blog and your Google+ profile. Any social media outlet will not work if you do not use it consistently. The key is not to panic, and plan ahead.