How to Win Facebook

Photo used under Creative Commons from FindYourSearch.

I’m what is commonly referred to as a “social media guru.” What that means is that I update the KK BOLD Facebook page on a sorta-daily basis and that I gave myself a semi-fancy title, which I’m still trying to get them to print on my business cards, if they ever give me any. But despite my self-anointed title and theoretical business cards, I do happen to know what I’m talking about. And what I’m talking about today is how to succeed with your Facebook page.

Rule number one of successful social media being that there are no rules whatsoever. Well, that was an easy blog entry. Time to go home.

I’m told that I have to meet a certain character limit before I can go home, so I’ll continue. A lot of other “social media gurus” pretend that there are certain keys to success with social media that, if followed, will definitely make you more popular on the Internet. But the unfortunate truth is that you might follow their instructions word-for-word down to the finest detail and see no results from them whatsoever. There’s a reason for this. Results may vary.

In the world of marketing, social media is still in its infancy stage. The next big social media site may be launching this afternoon, or what used to be one of the biggest social media sites may have gone out of business sometime this morning. Everything is new and in flux, and that means that the rules are being written and rewritten every single day. And that makes it impossible to say with any certainty that what works today in social marketing will continue to work through tomorrow.

So, that being said, here’s what works in social media.

Yes, I’m aware. Contradictions aplenty. But just because the rules aren’t set in stone for social media success doesn’t mean that anything and everything will work. Rather, because of the shiny newness of social marketing, the options are virtually limitless and the potential for creativity is infinite. The absence of hard and fast rules is exactly what makes social marketing the gamechanger that it’s already proven to be. At KK BOLD, we’ve been investing time into social media like Facebook and Twitter for years, and we’ve seen a great deal of success from it for ourselves and for our clients, so while we can’t tell you exactly how to make your Facebook page the biggest ever, we can sure as shooting give you an idea. And ideas are cool.

Engage Your Audience

When viewing social media, the thing to always remember about it is that it is essentially a glorified conversation. You are speaking to your Fans and they are speaking back to you, which is what is commonly known as conversing. So the same rules that hold for conversation hold for social media, and nobody likes talking to a bore. You may be fascinated by the daily minutia of your average business day, but chances are very few other people are as well. So impress your audience in the same way that you would try to impress someone you were talking to face-to-face. Be humorous. Be informative. Be entertaining. If people think your Page is fun, they will seek you out and they will recommend you to their friends. Becoming popular on the Internet is just like real life.

Be Yourself

Despite the fact that anonymity thrives on the Internet, it’s still surprisingly easy to spot a phony. If you’re not being honest with your audience, most people will smell you out. Don’t try to pull things over on your Fans. Just relate to them honestly in your own voice and they will return the favor.

Respond, Quickly

Nobody likes being ignored. If someone leaves you a comment, they want to know that you read it. The way to do that is to respond back, even if their comment doesn’t necessarily ask for a response. It lets the commentor know that they’ve been heard and helps to build a dialogue. A company that is responsive to its customers is a company that grows customers.  But remember…

Be Nice

You really shouldn’t have to be told this one. Your presence on Facebook may be the only image of your company that many users will have. If you’re flippant and disrespectful in your posts or responses, you give off the image of being a bully. And who wants to be a Fan of a bully? Not a whole lot of people. Some of the people posting on your Facebook will not extend the same courtesy to you, but that’s what the Delete button is for. Scrapping with trolls in their home element just gets you both muddy, and then leaves a permanent record of it on the Internet.

Suggest to Friends

Word of mouth is still the most powerful form of advertising, and this applies very much to Facebook. If you want to add to your Fan count, the little link over to the left on your Page that says Suggest to Friends is your best friend in the world. Click on that and encourage the people you know to do the same. Just don’t overdo it. Being pushy isn’t a great way to add to your Fan count, but it’s a pretty effective way of being unFriended.

Free Stuff

Who doesn’t like free stuff? The answer is nobody. If you want your Fan count to grow, try giving incentives to do so by saying when you hit a certain number, you’ll pick one of your Fans to win a t-shirt or some other form of free swag. For the people who Like you, it’s a no-lose situation. They haven’t lost anything by becoming a Fan, and they might just get something for nothing. And you made them a Fan of your business, so it’s not a bad deal for you either.

Oh, side note though. Facebook doesn’t want you doing promotions without using one of their third party applications when doing so. So you probably want to look into that before proceeding. Fair warning.

Post Often, But Not Too Often

This one’s difficult to pull off, but if you want people to pay attention to you, you need to put yourself out there as much as you can. Your posts go on to your Fans’ News Feeds, but so does a lot of other stuff and not everybody spends all day on Facebook (besides us “social media gurus”). The more you post, the better the chances that more of your Fans will be paying attention.

On the other hand, if you are posting constantly with posts lacking any, you know, point, you very quickly cross over from being informative and entertaining into being that one annoying company. If you start clogging up people’s Feeds with multiple posts daily, blocking people off from seeing posts from other Friends, it’s very easy to be unLiked on Facebook and you probably will be. The key is finding just the right balance between posting too much and not posting enough. So what’s the answer? Go with your gut. If you’re doing too much or too little, you’ll probably be the first one to notice. But your Fans will be right behind you.

So there’s everything you ever need to know on how to be successful on Facebook. Try them out for yourself and see if they work, and if they don’t, well, you’re probably just doing them wrong. If you need some help, I just may happen to know a certain “social media guru” who can assist you in your endeavors. Stop by the office and I’ll give you my card. Or a piece of paper with my name on it, at least.

Erik Hagen is a copywriter for KK BOLD and a social media guru. He also considers himself a guru at all of the following things: sleeping, writing, parking, blogging, Nintendo, hiding, scowling, small talk, professional wrestling, skydiving, charades, disco dancing and pancakes.

Posted on April 27, 2011 in KK BOLD

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