With over a billion active users, Facebook is a social network that is near and dear to most of our hearts. In fact, reports show that the average Facebook user in 2012 logged in an average of 6.1 times a day. So why is it that when firms go to create a Company Facebook page and make it both interesting and engaging, they tend to hit roadblocks? I have noticed that this is a common issue, especially for architecture and engineering firms. LinkedIn is no problem. Generally, A/E firms and their staff can easily see the business benefits of this social network and they take to it pretty quickly. But when it comes to making their favorite personal network work for business, they are absolutely stumped! Fear not, A/E friends! The following tips will help you build and maintain an engaging Facebook page that drives likes, comments, and even leads.
- Get the right followers. Before you even get into sharing engaging information on your Facebook page, you need to first make sure that you’ve got a great audience to share it with! Not only this, but you want to make sure the right people are tuning it to what your firm has to say on Facebook. In order to build your audience and page likes, invite friends of the firm, business contacts, vendors, and strategic partners to connect with your fan page. This can be done by uploading an email contact list (as demonstrated below) and inviting everyone on it to “like” your page. People who are already familiar with your firm and your team, will be much more likely to engage with your page and will appreciate the content you are sharing.
- Share items with local and personal interest. Once you’ve built up your audience with friends of the firm and your network of business contacts, it’s time to start sharing information that will get them engaged. One of the best ways to do this is by sharing posts that have local and/or personal interest. The whole appeal of Facebook is that it allows us to connect with our friends and learn about their interests. The same can be true for your architecture or engineering firm. Facebook is a great place to let people learn more about your staff and company culture. Share photos from company events, meetings, daily fun at the office (or job site!) and so on. You can even share fun facts about or quotes from your team members to let your fans learn more about the faces behind your company. Similarly, you may want to consider sharing interesting or unique local news items or updates from local non-profits you support, which will appeal to your local followers as well.
- Share photos and videos. By far, photos and videos gain more attention and engagement than any other type of post on Facebook. It makes sense. Think about it. When you log in to your own Facebook page, what is the first thing that catches your eye? Probably the endless stream of photos! Use some of the suggestions above for photo ideas. You may even want to share photos of your completed projects, or even before and after shots, or case studies. For video, consider sharing video bios for each principal within your firm, or you could even record a quick interview with your iphone. Ultimately, Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm loves pictures and videos, so sharing more of these will help your posts come up for frequently in your fans’ feeds.
- Create a matrix of topic ideas. One of the challenges of keeping your firm’s Facebook page engaging is constantly coming up with interesting content and ideas to share. If you have one person in charge of managing your page, this can feel like quite a burden! To resolve this problem and create a great pool of evergreen ideas, we recommend creating a matrix or spreadsheet (either in Excel or Word) that identifies go-to post topics and ideas for the next month with suggested dates for posting (at least a few times a week, but daily posts are ideal). This way you are never caught without content! The best part? You can poll your team and get a few ideas from each person, that way the responsibility can be shared and you can get a great variety of content and ideas.
- Measure and adjust. Finally, measurement is key! Be sure to keep track of how many likes, views, and comments each post gets. You may even want to track this information in the spreadsheet described in item 4. By keeping an eye on this information, you can begin to get a feel for which information is catching the attention of your fans and eliciting their responses. After you have measured the results of your efforts for a month or two, you can start to tailor your Facebook strategy accordingly and give your fans more of the content you love, ultimately creating a more engaging page and better experience for your fans.
Does your A/E firm have a Facebook page? I’d love to hear about what types of posts have been most effective for your firm. Or have you identified any major flops? Be sure to share your thoughts and tips in the comments section below.
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