In my last post “10 Tips for Property Managers Using Facebook”, we discussed the most important things you need to know to get your community Fan Page started on Facebook. Now that you have a Fan Page, what do you do?
Here are 5 ideas for building your audience on Facebook.
- You get 1 chance, make it count.
Most people will only visit a Fan Page once. If the person “fans” the page, most interactions (Likes, Comments) will take place from their own News Feed rather than the Fan Page. Create a page that captures attention immediately, and gives people a reason to fan the page without reading through the entire Wall. Be sure the page is unique and represents the community. Avatars, or profile pictures, and bio’s matter. Use these in a human way that connects with fans. For example: using pictures of a property sign or a community logo is not as effective as using faces of the staff or renters.
- Fans are human, talk with them not to them.
Humans are programmed to listen, not engage, when statements or announcements are made. In order to get responses from fans, ask easy-to-answer questions that don’t require reading or a lot of thought. For example, “Do you think coffee is worth the expense?” or “What was your first job?” rather than “We have free coffee in our leasing office this week.” Facebook does not differentiate between fan Wall posts, Likes or Comments. These interactions are considered equal and contribute to the Facebook algorithm. The Facebook algorithm determines how many updates are included in a given News Feed. Experts believe that the average Fan Page update has a 2 in 1,000 chance of being included within the default fan News Feed.
- Success starts with status updates.
Post 1-2 status updates per day for maximum engagement. Over-posting updates will create a ‘noisy’ Wall. It’s like hanging too many pictures in the living room, instead of only hanging the important ones. If a thumbnail image appears below the status update when a hyperlink is entered, the status update will become a ‘link’, rather than a status update. Why is this important? Because links are less likely to appear within News Feeds than status updates. If reaching the audience is more important than showing a thumbnail image, then click the X beneath the status bar before submitting the update. This will prevent Facebook from categorizing the update as a link.
- Tagging is your best friend.
When a video or a photo is tagged, everyone connected to an individual can see the event within their own Facebook feed. For example, if Mary is tagged in a photo on Harmony Hill’s Facebook Fan Page, Mary’s cousin Jane can see this within her own Facebook feed. This is ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing perfection! Be sure that all photos and videos are tagged to increase the reach of your online community. By the way, when YouTube or Flickr is linked to automatically update a Facebook Fan Page, the ability to tag is disabled. This may only be a temporary challenge, but it would be wise to check it out before relying on the service.
- Don’t forget to set goals.
I know, I know! Goals schmoles! As a part of your 2010 property management marketing plan, setting goals will help in creating a schedule for using Facebook. Let’s face it, not all of us can be on Facebook 24/7! Start small, with 10 new fans in the first month and 5 fan Comments, Likes or Wall Posts. Then determine how much time is needed to accomplish this goal and set a schedule. A schedule will allow the Fan Page administrator to focus on other tasks throughout the day and remain productive.
Hopefully these tips will lead you in the direction of establishing meaningful online relationships with your audience. Good luck and please let us know how it goes!