Creating a Facebook Soapbox and using it wisely
It is great to have a lively and engaged Facebook community, but there is tough competition for a fan’s attention and loyalty. Once your fans stop engaging with your page Reach inevitably declines.
Facebook advertising initiatives such as Facebook Sponsored stories that target existing fans and Reach Generator are all about getting lost engagement back,but you don’t have to lose engagement in the first place if you have a strategy and are prepared to put in the effort.
With a well-connected fan base you are primed to use your Facebook page for the marketing and branding goals you intended.
Step 1: Building a Soapbox
Strategic posts create real engagement and save you money in the long run by not having to reinvest to get back lost fans.
Every page needs strategically created posts to get the maximum number of fans engaged. These posts are designed to engage as many people as possible. This will build up reach and create a soapbox for the messages which generate ROI for your brand.
If you have been running your page for a while and varying the content of your posts you should have noticed that some posts get a far better result than others.
We have all seen and probably used a few of the standard Facebook ‘tricks’ out there such as ‘CAPTION THIS’ and “FILL IN THE BLANKS_____” Besides the fact they tend to get better results than your standard post about your brand have you actually considered why these posts work and how you can get the jump on your competitors?
Firstly, in most cases the reason why these type of posts work is that they are fun and not heavily branded – they probably don’t relate to your brand at all. They may relate to your product category but not the brand. These posts are fun and often ask a question: “CAPTION THIS”, “FILL IN THE BLANKS” or “Click Like if you…”
These posts work because they are entertainment. Remember that your fans are Facebook users first and ‘Fans’ of your product or service second. NEVER forget this basic fact!
If you are using these types of posts you will also notice that inexplicably one post will perform infinitely better than another seemingly very similar post. Why? The answer to that is the same as why one TV advertisement is more successful than another…. the power of the image, the compelling nature of the text, the call to action, the relevance to the audience and the scheduling will all have massive effects on the success of your post.
It is the whole content package of the post that will determine the number of Likes, Comments and Shares your ‘Soapbox’ post gets. It’s a bit like producing a TV ad – anyone can do it but some ads work and some don’t.
Posts that build engagement and Reach are what I call ‘building the Soapbox’, We have built a platform, lots of our fans enjoy our posts, now it’s time to use the platform to promote our brand, sell our services or product and reinforce brand image.
Step 2: Using the Soapbox
It is a good rule of thumb to use our Soapbox for every third post.
So as a guide:
Building the soapbox for two posts followed by using the Soapbox for every one post.
These branded posts should not be wasted – have a clear strategy of why you have a Facebook page and run your branded posts with purpose. Whether that is trying to improve web traffic, improving brand awareness or ‘selling’, make each and every one of these posts work for you. Remember that the optimum number of posts per day is one so that means you have two – three posts each week to use the Soapbox with commercial intent.
To maximize your chances of success do you know the optimum time to post these messages? Did you know the optimum time of day would most probably be different for every day of the week depending on your target audience.
There are many software programmes available that can help determine optimum timings. These combined with common sense should set you for the best chance of success.
Building the soapbox represents two thirds of the time you should be putting into Facebook.
Remember that when you are ‘Building the Soapbox’ you are actually in the entertainment business!
The average Facebook user has 130 friends and ‘Likes’ 80 pages. All posts are time consuming to get right and require some talent to cut through the other 79 pages of posted entertainment content.
TIP: Outsourcing this content can save you time and achieve far greater success. If you are looking for third party content providers make them accountable. Negotiate performance metrics up front.