First, an incredible fact: Facebook users throughout the world spend a total of 500 billion minutes on the social media site each month, up from 150 billion total minutes last year. That means that each of Facebook’s 750 million users spends, on average, more than 11 hours on Facebook each month. Yes, you read that correctly: 11 hours.
Yesterday, Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih presented with Salesforce.com’s Director of Social Media, Marcus Nelson, at Dreamforce. I had the pleasure to attend, but I had to stand, as there wasn’t an empty seat in the room as the two spoke about Facebook 101: Maximizing Your Time and Money.
Marcus began the session by pointing out what you should know when your company is getting started on social media. My key takeaways:
- People share things on social media because they expect that you’re listening and engaging with them. If your customers follow you, they expect you to take an interest in them, too.
- A content strategy is crucial. Your content needs to provide value to your customers; content that strictly sells or funnels your customers into your sales pipeline doesn’t encourage your customers to engage with you.
- EdgeRank (Facebook’s algorithm) affects the reach of your posts. It ranks on relevancy, which is based on your affinity to the author (the frequency at which you visit a profile), weight (the number of comments and likes a post has,) and decay (the amount of time since a post was made). Facebook only ends up showing the top 3-5 most interesting posts at any given time.
- Most fans never even see posts on your Business Page – they only see them in their feed after the initial post. In fact, 96% of your fans never return to your Facebook Business Page.
Clara then took the stage and, armed with her research from writing The Facebook Era, highlighted a few tips for companies trying to promote their Business Page:
- You must think and act like a consumer. Social media sites are for sharing and interacting. What do you like to see or read about? Why would your customers be any different? Listen to what they’re saying and make sure your posts are relevant to them.
- Facebook Business Pages are the new company website for SMBs.
- If you run a small business, you probably don’t have the time or resources to set up and maintain a full blown website. Instead, use Facebook to spread the word about promotions and interact with your customers.
- Medium to large brands should use Facebook Connect to offer a more personalized experience on their websites. This allows your customers to see which of their friends “like” your Page or are interacting with you, building trust by association.
- Schedule and target your posts. When do you notice that your fans are commenting on or “liking” your posts? Maximize your reach by scheduling your posts during these optimal times.
- Encourage fans to return to your Page. Do you offer a daily news item? A customer photo of the day? No more than 1 in 5 posts should ever be about your company or product.