Online communities – Facebook

Discover how online Facebook communities work.

Facebook marketing has become a popular digital marketing strategy among small businesses, but there are some pitfalls. Here are three common mistakes when it comes to managing Facebook communities and how to avoid them.

1. Broadcasting to your online communities in Facebook

The number one mistake to make on Facebook is ‘broadcasting’ your messages, rather than providing fans with relevant and engaging content. Facebook is all about authenticity, so if your company message does not feel genuine, the community will see through it straight away.

Make sure you interact and encourage your fans to connect with you instead of merely having making money as your focus. People go on Facebook to make connections and join a community and it’s very important to remember that. AirAsia manage this well; they respond to customers’ queries quickly and in a friendly way. They post a wide range of content – including business news, competitions and information about travel destinations.

2. Not investing adequate time in your online communities

A successful Facebook strategy takes time to cultivate; you can’t just ‘set it and forget it’. You have to remain interactive and keep your page current and interesting to engage customers; otherwise they will have no reason to stay.

Make sure you respond to posts and messages in a timely manner and give your fans plenty of new content to respond to. Set aside time each day to monitor what’s landed on your page and respond to it appropriately.

3. Failing to learn about Facebook mechanics 

Make sure you take time to learn the ins and outs of Facebook’s many tools. By using all the functionality available, you can create a truly optimal brand experience.

Mechanics 1 - Customer welcome pages and functions

Why not create a custom welcome page, or use the many tools at your disposal to introduce your company to the Facebook audience? For example, Tough Mudder use the event function to spread awareness about their obstacle races.

Mechanics 2 - Logos not properly sized for Facebook

A basic mistake is to try to upload a company logo as your profile image. The resulting thumbnail that shows up in your news feed will only capture a few letters in the centre of the logo and this meaningless, partial image is then how you’re branded throughout Facebook.

Mechanics 3 - Facebook Insights

Another useful tool is Facebook Insights, a built-in analytics system. You can use this for post-campaign analysis to see what sort of content receives the best feedback and customer engagement.

Moving forward with online Facebook communities

Learn about the Facebook platform and educate yourself on how to build and maintain an audience, engaging with people in the same way that you do in real life. Small businesses are far better able to make personal connections with their customers; don’t forget this when you join Facebook, as it could be your biggest asset.

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