14 Tips To Engage Your Audience

1.  Accept a “like” is just the beginning. Don’t see this as negative.  It’s positive.  A Facebook like is the start of a new relationship.  Treat it as such.

2.  Develop a plan. Just like with any other business, marketing or social media activity, develop a plan.  Social media is not a band-aid for a broken business, nor is Facebook.  Despite what the new intern you hired may have told you, Facebook will not magically help you become popular overnight. The best way to produce a positive return on your investment is to set realistic goals and objectives with a plan to get there! As Granny says, “plan yer work and work yer plan!”  Avoid random acts of  marketing (RAMs) and social media at all costs!

3. Develop an editorial calendar. This may sound difficult, but it’s not.  No need to over complicate it.  If you’re a beginner to social media, keep it short and simple. What are you going to talk about and to who? Avoid random acts of Facebook if possible.  At minimum create a calendar each week with key topic ideas.  This will help you stay organized.  Leverage a variety of different types of content to engage your audience. The editorial calendar and content should obviously support your plan inclusive of goals and objectives.

4. Know your audience. This is pretty straight forward and in reality common sense, marketing 101! Know who you are targeting and why. The more you know and understand your community the better.  Leverage Google analytics if you already have a blog to see what content is most popular. Check out the Facebook Insights on your Facebook page weekly at minimum.  Don’t just read the reports.  Understand the data and how you can use it to better connect and engage your audience.

5. Focus on value. What can you offer your community that is unique, relevant and will help them professionally or personally.  Focus on being different but in a good way.  What can you offer them that nobody else can offer them? How can you connect with them personally and professionally?

6. Respect your “likers”. Just because someone clicks the like button, it doesn’t give you authority to spam them. It doesn’t mean they are in love with your brand or anything you have to say for that matter. The biggest turn off for me when I click like a new Facebook page is if the page is filled with self gloating and spam.  If this is what I see on first visit, I usually immediately “unlike” and never return.

7.  You have one chance to make a first impression. Do not launch your Facebook page and announce to large numbers of people until it’s ready. It’s best to wait until you have at least a plan and a foundation for which to build a community.  If you invite everyone you know and you have no plan ready to execute for engagement and community building then it’s a wasted opportunity.

8. Engage early and often. You need to engage your audience right away!  Have readily available educational content, email opt-ins, videos, links to relevant content and sites etc.  Don’t be shy in asking for engagement via appropriate invitations via polls, contests, video, graphics, RSS feeds etc.  Respond to people who comment daily if possible.

9. Brand yourself and your page. Would you create a website that looked and smelled like all of your competitors? I hope not! Your Facebook page should not be any different!  It should do more than speak the same boring language and host the same boring standard graphics as every other Facebook page out there. Be bold. Be different. Integrate your brand into the badge photo on the left hand side, into the tabs and anywhere you can. If you don’t have graphic and design skills in-house then hire an agency to create a custom Facebook page for you.  They are not expensive and you will see positive return in short order if executed by a team with experience.

10. Create a custom Facebook welcome tab. With Facebook official pages you can select a tab as a default landing tab for people who have never been to your page and clicked “like” before.  Maximize this tab. Include a video, information on who you are and what you can do for your audience.  Include an email opt-in.

11. Create an experience. You want the visitor to think “wow, this page is really cool, I should bookmark this and make sure I come back”!

12. One size does not fit all. A “like” is going to mean different things to different folks.  You probably have some “likers” who truly like or love you. You’ll have some who are on the border line of decision and some who aren’t quite sure yet.  They will be visiting at all different times of day, in different moods and seeking different content and connection.  Include a variety of different content and information.  Do more than post links. Some people may need inspired with a quote. Others may be attracted to video, contests or polls.  Most all visitors will want to be educated so don’t forget to include real business nuggets that educate and help people grow professionally and personally.  By varying the types of content you post, you will increase your chances of engagement and action by your audience.

13.  Make it fun! Bottom line, people want to be inspired. They want to be entertained. They want to be educated. Give them something they will remember. Don’t consistently post boring business links with no commentary or boring business speak commentary.  Throw a dash of personality in and content that is out of the box.

14.  Be professional. Remember, although you may be tightly connected with a good majority of your audience don’t forget you are still conducting business. I have seen some Facebook pages lately filled with immature content.  In extreme cases I’ve seen some posts I wouldn’t want my mama’ to see. Use the mama’ test.  If you wouldn’t want your mama’ to see a video or other content, then by all means do not post it on your Facebook business page wall!


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