A lot of marketers are still clinging to the good old days – roughly two years ago – when they could post a funny photo or inspirational quote on Facebook and see lots of traffic being driven to their websites.
In 2016, of course, things are changing quickly. Not only are ads becoming a bigger part of Facebook’s model, but crowded feeds, more online videos, and new engagement formulas are all making it harder to attract an audience and hold onto their attention.
In that context, it’s time for a new set of rules – both for Facebook and social media marketing in general. Here are a handful of tips you can use to stay one step ahead of the competition:
Have a Point of View – a lot of Facebook accounts, even those being used by marketers, are essentially random collections of ideas. If you want to stand out in customers’ minds, you need to have a distinct audience and point of view. In other words, you should develop a certain voice and style that people associate with your company.
Create Your Own Images and Content – you can get by with occasionally posting material you have found elsewhere, but to really help your own branding efforts, you need to create your own images and content (or have an experienced marketing firm create them for you). That way, anything that gets lots of views is going to lead followers back to your profile or website.
Use Unique Pages and Groups to Manage Interests – you may have several different types of contacts within your group of followers. If that’s the case, consider creating separate pages where they can interact with you and each other. That will make it easy for them to only see content that coincides with their interests, and will help to de-clutter their feeds.
Follow the “3 by 5” Rule – this is a handy way of remembering that you should check in on your Facebook accounts three times by 5:00 PM. You don’t have to spend all day on any social networking site to make an impact, but you do have to post regularly and follow up on requests and personal communications. Doing so should only take you a few minutes per session.
Keep Engagement Up – with Facebook’s new social engagement formulas in place, if people aren’t responding to your posts then they aren’t going to be seen very often. So, don’t put anything online unless you think it’s going to draw a bit of feedback, and support your own content by responding to questions and comments that others leave.
Facebook is still a valuable forum for finding new prospects and staying in front of current buyers. But, if you want to make the most of it, you’re going to have to know the rules of the game now, and follow them to profitability. Are you doing all you can to make the world’s most popular social media site work for you?