Lessons of Engagement on Facebook Pages

A Facebook Page for your brand is almost always an obvious must-have in your social media platforms. Despite the contrary belief, or what some so-called online marketers would try to sell you, having a facebook page is not about the number of fans you have… it’s about attracting your true target audience and engaging them in effort to achieve your business goals.

Your target audience is easily your customers, potential customers, or any entities you’d like to get a message to. Reaching your target audience and getting them to “like” your page & be active on it are also a result of engaging the fans. Think of it as a cycle: You get fans, you engage them, the message reach other potential fans that, then, become fans to participate in the engagement. 

For the purposes of clarification, engagement in terms of Facebook is wall posts, comments and likes in the literary sense. In a much more comprehensive sense, engagement is the collection of fan feedback that carries a value, be it negative, positive or neutral. In my personal and professional opinion, I’d classify the types of engagement per value (according to their attributes in the right table), from lowest to highest, as: 

Now that we’ve got introductions out of the way, we can get straight to the points:

Personalize Engagement.

It might be common sense to be social in your engagement with the fans since you are on a social network, but personalizing it is a whole different level. Teach the fans to communicate with the brand through a person, not an admin! Talking to an admin is formal & eerie, no matter how social that admin is, because at the end of the day, the fans are talking to someone who they have absolutely no idea of. Therefore, it makes it harder to build a closer relationship with them & get their trust. Yes it is that dramatic. By giving your admin a name and personality, you paint a picture of him/her in the minds of the fans that allow them to cross intimacy barriers. The character communicating with the fans needs not be a match of the person who is really managing it. You can be a female college student who is managing a brand page that requires you to speak as a businessman because that’s whom your target audience will relate to. That’s why, if you work in an agency that handles social media for different clients & brands, you need to be trained to understand each brand fully & mimic different personalities and speak a language that is inviting to the fans of each page. 

Creating a personality for the admin of a page might not be an easy task if the target audience varies in gender, age and demographics; but even in the worst cases, there will be a set of common characteristics between them and that is what makes them all fans of your page. Find those common characteristics & inject them in the page’s personality. If it helps, you can even create more than a persona to manage the page, and be sure to make that clear to the fans by including the name of each persona with its related post. For example, let’s say you are running a brand magazine page with posts about men fashion and women fashion. You might want to create male and female personas and announce it to the fans that, for example, John is the expert on men fashion & is the one behind the related posts, and Jane is the female fashion expert handling those postings. Signing the name of the different people behind each post is common recommended practice for pages that are handled by a team of admins for real. 

In some cases, the strategy of having a personalized page or different personas per page might not be recommended, so if you’re unsure whether it fits your brand or not, drop me a line below & I’ll help you with that! 

Don’t Get TOO Personal.

 I don’t mean to confuse you or contradict with the first lesson, but there are limits that you need to keep so you can maintain successful engagement. While you want to humanize the brand and personalize communication, you do not want to dissociate the admin from the brand. While you want to get close to your fans & create a bond with them, you do not want to creep them out by getting too personal because at the end of the day, you are representing a brand & a company that is legally accountable if it infringes on the privacy of its fans or acts inappropriately. So for example, it would be okay for you to pass a general comment asking the fans about the well-being of their families, but you do not want to dig deep into their network & friends’ updates to ask a fan about how her niece’s surgery went. Sure you might be asking that from the kindness of your heart, but to the fan, you would just seem like a stalker hiding anonymously behind a brand name, or even a company that is invading her social/personal turf.  

Another lesson in not getting too personal is to avoid letting your own personal issues slide into the admin’s character/brand spokesperson. There might be fans who are offensive, stupid, intolerable, and annoying, but keep in mind that you are representing a brand at all times, and to a brand, respect is due to everyone with no discrimination. So do not comment when you are feeling emotional: agitated, pissed off, depressed, or even too excited where you might say things in a rush that would hold the brand accountable. No matter how cool or personal you want to portray the admin’s persona, always keep a respectful tone because no brand is in the business of insulting people or alienating them! Learn to handle negative comments diplomatically as a role model would; you will have to be a perfect communicator all the time, if you feel any less than perfect then step away from the page & come back when you do.

This concludes my first two lessons and surely there are more to come. If there is anything specific that you’d like to ask about or you would like a review of your own Facebook page, leave a comment below.