By Cara Friedman Quite a few centuries ago, Moses was given the Ten Commandments. We were taught not to lie, or steal, but nowhere in there does it outline how we are supposed to manage our Facebook pages. Maybe if Moses received the Ten Commandments in the 21st century, we would have been given some guidance in the social media department. In the spirit of Passover, I began to wonder- what would the commandments of social media look like? I figured it was about time someone established some rules! Here are the Ten Commandments for managing a successful Facebook page:
1. Thou shall not delete
As a page owner, sometimes you may be tempted to delete a comment. Whether the comment is negative, positive, or nonsensical, you should never delete a post from your page! Deleting a post is like telling your fan that you not only don't care about what they have to say, but they are also not important. The backlash from a deleted post can be far worst than the original comment. Acknowledge ever post and don't delete anything.
2. Thou shall respond to every post
Every fan that writes on your page has taken time out of their day to engage with you. As a page owner, you owe them the same courtesy. Answer all questions, address all issues, and thank all compliments. Do not be afraid to engage in a back and forth conversation with your fans.
3. Thou shall say "Thank You" & "I'm Sorry"
The four most important words in social media are "Thank You" and "I'm Sorry." All negative comments must be addressed and can normally be fixed with a simple "I'm Sorry." Some page owners may think that the "I'm Sorrys" are more important, however that is not the case. Fans that have positive things to say deserve the same amount of attention and are owed a "Thank You."
4. Thou shall not promote
Your Facebook page is not a place to sell or promote yourself. This may sound shocking because many of you probably made a Facebook page for that exact reason. HOWEVER, people will not like or engage on your page if that is your ultimate goal. Your goal should be to create a community of people with similar interests to your product or service. A Facebook page that provides interesting content will be more successful than a Facebook page created just to promote your product or business.
5. Thou shall provide valuable content
Users will like your page, and continue to visit it if you provide them with valuable content. Valuable content comes in many forms, but the best way to engage with your fans is through links, videos, pictures, questions, and call-to-actions. These five things elicit the most responses from fans. Post interesting links and articles, create fun and creative videos, post relevant pictures, ask engaging questions and lastly, don't be afraid to ask for things. Asking fans to "like this post if..." is a simple way your fans can engage on your page.
6. Thou shall include their fans
Your fan page should not just be all about you. It is a fan page after all... Come up with creative ways to include your fans into your page. Have a fan of the day, or a fan of the week! Include the fan of the week in your profile picture to make them feel special. Ask your fans to engage on your wall. All of these things will guarantee a successful page.
7. Thou shall update once a day
This rule is quite simple... Don't update once a week. Don't update 5 times a day. Update your page once per day. Pages that do not update regularly will never have engagement. Posting once per day will open up the forum to your fans. If you post too many times a day, you will be sure to lose fans. You don't want to crowd the news feed of all your fans and cause them to "hide" or "unlike" you. There are exceptions to every rule and there are of course instances in which it is appropriate to post more than once a day. However, the general rule is this and you should stick to it as closely as you can.
8. Thou shall integrate
It is likely that Facebook isn't the only social network your business is using. Your company may be using others such as Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc. In order to effectively market yourself on social spaces, it is important that you integrate all these sites. On your Facebook page, you should have links or apps that lead to your other social networks. This is a way of inviting your fans to engage with your business further.
9. Thou shall utilize apps
There are many great third-party applications you can add to your Facebook page. Just because you are not a web developer and don't know HTML, doesn't mean you can't use these. There are a bunch of simple apps such as Polls, and Quizzes that can add flare to your Facebook page. For those of you who are graphic designers, you can use iFrame to make gorgeous landing tabs, and welcome tabs that will take your page to the next level.
10. Thou shall optimize the news feed
Many are confused by the news feed. You wonder "How will my post go to the top?" or "Why isn't my post showing up?" The algorithm, although complex, is manageable. The three things you must take into consideration are (1) how long ago was it posted, (2) does this user interact with you often, and (3) how interactive are the engagements with the post. All of these things play into whether or not your post will go to the top of the news feed. Keep these factors in mind when formulating status updates. The more often your information is displayed on the news feed, the more likely you will have interactive fans.
Although I have not seen a burning bush lately, I do believe these are pretty good guidelines for managing your Facebook page. The next time you formulate a post or respond to a fan, remember the Ten Commandments of managing your Facebook page.
Do you follow these commandments when managing your Facebook page? Share your experiences in the comments!