Is your organisation’s Facebook page failing to gain traction? Paul Taylor shares ten essential tips to boost your profile.
Social media giant Facebook has proven itself to be one of the major players of social networking, recently reporting over 1.79 billion monthly active users around the globe. That represents a 16% year-on-year increase.
Why is Facebook so popular with organisations? It’s simple: the platform comes with many benefits, including access to a range of interest and demographic data that can be used to target and segment your message to the relevant audience, consequently increasing your brand exposure.
If you make your activity on Facebook strictly business, you will be missing the point of the platform’s purpose, which is to be social
The arts and Facebook
Arts organisations have been embracing the various opportunities Facebook offers. Take the National Gallery, which has been taking full advantage of the Facebook Live feature to take viewers on virtual tours of the gallery and showcase the works it houses (as covered in a recent article in AP).
It’s also been a popular choice for artists and organisations to promote events, be it a show or exhibition. Some even take advantage of Facebook’s advertising feature to extend their reach.
If used effectively, Facebook can reinforce a brand, enhance connection with audiences and become a significant source of traffic. Here are ten essential tips to optimise your use of the platform.
1. Branding your business page
Facebook gives companies a free platform to showcase your portfolio, promote and sell your events or exhibitions, showcase your products and services, and much more. However, if you want the things you share to leave a good and lasting impression on your audience and followers, your business page needs to look credible.
This can best be achieved by ensuring your page is branded to reflect your organisation. That means incorporating official logos and filling out the ‘About’ section with all the relevant information required, such as a web address, opening hours, email and telephone number. Remember that more and more people are beginning to rely on Facebook for that type of information.
The result of effective branding is that visitors to the page are able to instantly recognise the organisation, even without reading a name. Let this be your aim.
2. Know your audience
If you mindlessly post content, whether it’s photos, videos or blogs, without knowing the people on the receiving end and what they care about, the result will inevitably be a decline in engagement rates, i.e. number of likes, shares and comments.
To avoid this, you need to familiarise yourself with your audience (the followers of your page). Take stock of who follows you, research their interests, the topics they post about, and then tailor your content accordingly, in a way that is still relevant to your organisation.
3. Engage with followers and follow other pages
If you make your activity on Facebook strictly business, you will be missing the point of the platform’s purpose, which is to be social. Make a conscious effort to interact and engage with your followers by liking, sharing and commenting on interesting posts they share.
You should also follow other relevant pages and engage with them. For example, if you’re a theatre company, follow people who review theatre. The point is to make sure you build relevant connections as this will serve to enhance your online presence.
4. Post regularly
Many organisations are guilty of leaving weeks and even months to go by between posts. Your page shouldn’t be left dormant – only posting when you are promoting the next event. Form the habit of posting regularly, make a plan of when and what you will post – and stick to it.
Keep track of relevant key dates and events and integrate these into your posts. If your organisation screens films, join in the conversation about the BAFTAs and Oscars. Targeting trending topics such as these will heighten the visibility of your posts and, consequently, your page. However, don’t post just for the sake of it – let relevance be your watchword.
5. Produce balanced content
Treat your activity on Facebook like a conversation. Aren’t you put off when you find yourself talking to people who just go on and on about themselves and never let anyone else get a word in?
This is how your followers will feel if you only post content about your organisation all the time. Let your posts be a balanced mix of information that is relevant to your sector of the arts and messages about your own organisation.
6. Keep up with changes
We are sure you have noticed that Facebook is different to how it was when it was first launched in 2004. Changes are constantly being made to the platform, whether it’s new algorithms, alterations to the layout or recently launched features like Facebook Live.
Keep up to date with these improvements and use them to your advantage. Facebook Live could work well to show behind-the-scenes footage and interact with guests in real-time. You could even try a live interview with the stars of your show. Live video allows organisations to show followers a more genuine side of themselves – more than a video that has been carefully scripted and pieced together.
7. Incorporate other channels and networks
Are you active on Instagram too? And what about Twitter and Pinterest? Maybe you have a blog or even a podcast. If so, you can use your Facebook account to drive your followers to the other channels you are active on, post links to articles on your blog or videos on your YouTube channel.
Integrating all these channels together will boost your social presence by allowing your followers to see different sides of your organisation.
8. Stay active on weekends
The great thing about social media is that it doesn’t operate on a strict Monday to Friday schedule. In fact, engagement rates are sometimes higher on the weekend. If you don’t have time to post, there are useful tools, such as Hootsuite, that you can use to schedule posts for future dates and times.
9. Track your performance
Thanks to the improvements Facebook is constantly making, organisations now benefit from Facebook Insights. It allows you to keep track of how well your posts are performing, who’s responding to them, the times of the day that will bring the most traffic to your content and much more.
Use this tool to find out what is and isn’t working for you, learn from it and adjust your strategy accordingly.
10. Facebook ads and boosted posts
Facebook’s paid advertising feature can give your organisation even more visibility and reach new audiences. The ability to specify who you target (in terms of gender, age, interests, location, etc) drastically increases the chances of success. As an added bonus, you get to control how much or how little you want to spend. So the next time you need to sell tickets for a show, try a boosted event, but make sure your copy and targeting are precise.
Room for creativity and growth
Social media will continue to evolve, with some predictions highlighting the rise of virtual and augmented reality. In the near future we will see a lot more live video as the mass market begins to adopt it. There is so much room for creativity and growth in this area, particularly in the arts industry that thrives off visual content. I can’t wait to see how it all develops.