By: Jimmy Smith – Director – CAFEDCA – twitter_bird_logo_2012-svg

Facebook is a magical unicorn; it is everything you want in a platform. Video heavy, live functionality, great focus on sports and live-event conversations and most importantly, nearly 80% of the United States is on Facebook.

So you want to be on Facebook and who doesn’t. It is hands-down the best place for brands in the social space. With tons of content options, features like reviews and messages and a strong demographic showing across the board, a good Facebook presence is key for brands.

But posting on Facebook can be tough. They will divvy up content based on their infamous algorithm, which has one goal: to give each fan a unique experience each time they refresh their feed. It makes the feed a personalized magazine/TV channel/newspaper of sorts. But this means that organic reach and impressions might fall victim to a non-chronological post cleansing that Facebook does to insure quality content reigns supreme.

WHEN:

Find out when your users are even on Facebook. This can vary but unless you are a 24/7 brand and do mostly operate in a single time zone, your graph like the one below, will look like a whale. Now there are two schools of thought here. Post when they are online or post at fringe times.Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 4.45.57 PM

Posting when they are online is an industry standard. Every other friend and page they are a fan of will be doing the same thing, fighting for attention. But if you post at off times, your post is more likely to be seen, which may lead to a higher engagement/impression ratio which is reported back to Facebook as quality content to keep serving to your followers when they come online again. It’s a quality over quantity idea but there is no science here, just trial and error. Engagements seem to be a huge key. If you can get people to continuously interact with your content, they will continue to see it. Get enough people doing that and sharing your posts (that’s the big one because it will expose the post to people that engage with that user), then you might catch fire on FB.

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Post content that can have a long life. It can’t be time sensitive (Facebook serves it up at different times to different people) and MUST NE something that can live on and maintain its timeliness and impact. DO NOT LIVE POST ABOUT GAMES. No score updates unless they are finals. It will show up on fan’s feeds at all sorts of different times and often will be way out of order. Don’t do it.

Facebook seems to be aware of when sporting events are going on and for larger schools (especially those that Facebook will display scores for in the app) there also seems to be a boost to posts around a game or event. You will notice this around the NBA Finals as it will seem like all of your friends are talking about the games. Well they probably are but it also is Facebook trying to create a real-time feel around a trending topic.

I know that might seem like live posting is ok but it’s still not! The best use of this is pre- and postgame where fans have the most emotion. An awesome post as the final horn goes gives the fans something to share to immediately display their fandom while still getting a boost from the live event window.

HOW:

The most important thing in regard to posting on Facebook other than the content, is the post’s language. You must do everything you can to avoid words like “click”, “tonight”, “buy” and “donate.” Facebook doesn’t like words that are overly promotional and those are all that and then some.

Make better and more knowledgeable fans by posting great content. That knowledge and attachment will make them buy and donate. They don’t need to be hit over the head over and over again with that kind of messaging. They know you have a website.

Be really honest with yourself and think, would someone really hit share on this post? Getting a share from a fan is the ultimate achievement on social media. It means that they stand behind your brand and the post speaks for them. Enough so, that they will share it with their friends and possibly expand your reach.

If you need to post about tickets or donations, do so with some creative and short sentences and avoid the words that will ding your post. In my findings, the optimum length of a Facebook post is between 20-24 words.

Another step that is very important is tagging your videos in the upload window. Add the eight tags you are allotted to ensure your videos are included in related videos following other page’s videos. Think of them like hashtags or tags on YouTube

Two other simple additions to video posts will help your presence. First, make sure you have the best thumbnail you can have. Something attractive to the eye and preferably featuring a face. A study of YouTube videos showed that videos featuring clear and centered faces are more often clicked on. Don’t pass that step up even though videos autoplay. Remember that you have a videos tab and some users don’t have autoplay selected so you still have to earn that click.

Secondly, add a call to action to end of videos to give fans a place to go after watching. Think of it as a conversion feature when selling tickets or pushing donations. Many won’t get to the end of every video but those that do might just be stronger candidates for such links.

I hope these tips and techniques help you create a better Facebook presence for your team, main or conference page. Facebook is a lot of fun to play around with so continue to tweak and find what works for you, because when it does work, you will see the results.

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