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February 25, 2013

4 Ways to Start Optimizing Your Facebook Presence

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Companies will often have a Facebook presence but are still not quite sure what to do with it. And while the opportunities are seemingly endless, we’re gonna get back to the basics on this one and talk about how a few simple steps can help you lay the foundation for a more successful Facebook experience. Today we’ll go over:

  1. Understanding your Facebook Insights.
  2. Promoting your status updates.
  3. Optimizing your about section.
  4. Creating a schedule for posting.

1. Understand Your Facebook Insights

As a Facebook Page owner, you have access to Facebook’s analytics for your page, Facebook Insights. Get intimate with your Facebook Insights to understand what your audience is looking for. This is an area that should be monitored regularly to see how your community is engaging, and what sorts of things it responds to. The goal is to experiment, and give them what they want.

For a crash course, check out this document from Facebook circa 2011 on getting to know Insights.

The following snapshot shows the Insights landing page graph — what you first see when you go to the analytics from your page. There’s a lot of data to mine, but let’s just look at a couple graphs you can learn from quickly.

Explore the data on the main graph on the Insights home page as well as the data below it. This is where you can see how the page is performing over a specified period of time, and which posts have proven to have the most engagement.

Facebook Post Insights

Find the posts that have a higher engagement percentage or “virality” (as indicated by the shadow boxes), analyze those updates and use that as fuel for creating more posts like those to see if they consistently receive higher engagement.

There could be many factors contributing to the success of a status update on Facebook. It could be the topic or an element within the post (like including an image or a particular tip, etc.). Consider creating a spreadsheet that breaks down common elements of your status updates to see if the more popular updates have anything in common.

2. Promote Your Status Updates

If and when a post becomes popular as defined by your Facebook Insights, consider using the “promote” option to get even more eyeballs on it. This has worked well in our experience and is a relatively inexpensive solution for visibility. Take care to promote only those status updates that you feel are important to your goals.

Facebook Post Promote

We’ve seen several posts enjoy more reach and bring in more likes to our page from the promote feature. Check out the results of this one:

Facebook Post Promoted

There’s been some controversy about the promote functionality. Mainly, people are worried that you’re going to have to pay to play in the future; however, a Facebook rep tells us in this post that they apply a similar approach to both paid and organic stories in news feeds:

“Regardless of whether you’re paying to promote a story or just posting one to your Page, the news feed will always optimize for stories that generate high levels of user engagement and filter out ones that don’t.”

3. Optimize Your About Section

The “About” section is a perfect place for branding your organization. Use this section wisely to clearly communicate what your organization is about and use keywords that are important to your company.

The arrow on the following image indicates the area on the home page where the short description you have created in the About section will render. Use this space well to quickly convey what your organization is and consider putting your website so people can click through directly from the Facebook landing page.

Facebook About

The About section offers ample opportunity to go into more detail about your company:

  • Tell your story and highlight your unique value proposition (what makes you different).
  • If there’s a link you really want your community to check out, include it. But minimize any call to actions to only the most important, so as not to split the attention.
  • Use keywords throughout that are important to your offerings.
  • Cross-promote your presence in other places on the Web so people can find content that is useful to them coming from you. If you have other Facebook profiles or a YouTube or Twitter account, let your community know.

Here’s an example using the Bruce Clay, Inc. Facebook About section:

Facebook Post About Section

4. Create a Schedule for Posting

Knowing how often to post is never easy, and typically comes with some experimentation. Posting too much can annoy your community, and not posting enough can leave you forgotten.

Using data from third-party tools can be very helpful in giving you a starting point for a schedule. EdgeRank Checker looks at historical data of your Facebook account and comes up with some suggestions on how often to post, and when is an optimal time for your particular community:

Facebook Post Overall Recommendations

And another suggestion:

Facebook Post Best and Worst Metrics

Use that data as a starting point for experimentation on how often you post and which days you publish status updates. And here’s a post on social media scheduling that might help you in your efforts, too.

Well, I hope this has given you a starting point to audit your Facebook presence and start making more informed decisions right away. Comments welcomed below!

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4 responses to “4 Ways to Start Optimizing Your Facebook Presence”

  1. kevin writes:

    Thanks Jessica,

    Great advice here it sometimes hard for small businesses to get the kind of numbers you are talking about here.

  2. kevin writes:

    Also Facebook does not make it easy to understand whats happening with your page Vitality and reach????? Come on no small business would understand this tech speak.

  3. jeff writes:

    post scheduling is important to maintain an appreciable presence in the social media platform.
    status promotion has worked well for me in the past and has increased the like and comments.
    uniqueness applies not only on Facebook but to all marketing platforms as well.

  4. Stephen Pitts writes:

    You can use facebook as an opportunity. Share good content so that you’ll get natural likes from people who have read/browse your content. You can also advertise on FB. Get many friends and share your content with them, it’s social networking anyway.



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