How Do You Thank Your Facebook Fans?

Thanking Facebook Fans

How do you thank your organization’s Facebook Fans? Here’s how Tinley Park Public Library thanks theirs – with a photo of staff, giving a thumbs up and saying thanks!

Tinley’s staff wanted a way to say “thank you” to their growing Facebook fan base on their library’s Facebook Page. They had a couple of options that I knew about (they had asked for suggestions):

  • They could keep track of new fans, and when they hit 1000, they could thank that newest fan (requires some finagling of Facebook Insights to do this).
  • They could do something a little more general in nature, and thank everyone.

They chose to thank everyone in a really fun way – by posting a photo of themselves, saying “thanks” to their fans. How cool is that?

What’s good about this?

  • It’s easy and cheap
  • it’s fun and lighthearted, yet authentic
  • it’s visual – it communicates the message loud and clear
  • it puts a face to the organization, and to the real people behind the Facebook Page
  • It shows that face2face connection with customers that’s so important in organization-to-customer social media relationships

Great job, Tinley Park! You guys ROCK!

 

What do you Want from your Facebook Page?

looking closer at Facebook PagesThinking a bit more about my last post on using Facebook ads to actively seek out new fans … Why try to get more fans in the first place?

Another way to ask that – What exactly do you want from a Facebook Page?

Here’s a list of 5 things libraries might want out of a Facebook Page. These five things are a happy convergence of stuff Facebook is good at, and stuff that libraries (and other organizations) might find useful, too. See what you think, and add to my list!

Five things a Facebook Page is good for:

  1. Visibility – the more we interact, the more we are “seen” in Facebook. Which means that more people see our posts about library stuff.
  2. Listening – we share, but we also listen to our customers. They say stuff about us on Facebook! Some good stuff, some bad stuff. It’s a place to answer questions, to field complaints, and to actively ask for input. For free.
  3. Advocacy – this one’s huge, and should be a constant. Share good stuff about the library, and point out when we see customers saying good stuff about us.
  4. Purposeful Engagement – why gather a crowd if you don’t ask them to do anything? We should be including Calls to Action in our Facebook Posts, on specific things we want our customers to actually do. That might mean Liking the page, or it might mean attending a movie at the library. We need to start asking … and then measuring results.
  5. Conversions – Doing that Purposeful Engagement thing in #4 can lead to “conversions.” What’s a conversion? Simply stated, a conversion in social media is when your ask turns into their action. For example, if you ask Facebook Page visitors to register for an event at the library (and supply a link to the registration form), and 20 people actually click the link and fill out the form, that equals 20 conversions. Conversions can be measured and improved upon. But the important point here – you WANT conversions. You want to drive your Facebook Page visitors and fans to actually DO something – to interact with and engage your library. Conversions provides a way to measure that interaction.

Those are my five things … What are yours?

Photo by Flood

Taking a Stab at Facebook Page ROI

FacebookRecently, both the CEO and the Marketing Director at my library asked about the ROI of paying for Facebook Page ads. They asked because we recently ran two months worth of a Facebook ad, and wanted to know what the ad actually accomplished.

First of all, a bit of background on that ad. We created a simple ad that focused on getting more Likes on our library’s Facebook Page (Ben Bizzle at Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library helped us with that as part of his research on Facebook Page ads). The ad was shown to people with Facebook accounts who had friends that had already Liked us.

So now, back to the question – What was the ROI of our experiment? There are two ways to look at ROI in this case. There’s the simple “Did it work” ROI, and there’s the “What’s really going on here” way to look at it. Let’s look at both:

Facebook Ads ROI – the simple version:

Goal – Our goal with this ad was to gain more Facebook fans. did we achieve that at a good price?

Spent – $591 ($10 a day for approx 2 months)
Gained – 2642 fans – averaged about 40 fans a day.
ROI – $0.22 per fan. Pretty cheap!

Facebook ads ROI – the “what’s really going on” version:

Ok, so we spent spent about $600 and gained 2642 more fans. Big deal. What’s the real ROI for that? What can you do with 2642 more Facebook fans? Here’s my thinking on that:

More eyeballs – this is important because of how Facebook works. On average, about 16% of your Facebook fans see a single post. So more Facebook fans = more people seeing your post (even if the average stays the same).

If national statistics are an ok guide, about 54% of our community, age 13 and up, have a Facebook account. That means we have the potential to reach over half of our community through Facebook … for free or cheap. That’s huge, so paying $0.22 per fan to get there seems to be a small price to pay for the added benefit of being able to share the good stuff of the library with more people in our community.

Better listening tools – Also important. Consistent interaction gets us active fans willing to talk back. Having more fans gets us the potential to have more interaction and feedback, since we are engaging a larger audience.

Better advocacy channel – this one’s simple. People say good stuff about the library. In Facebook, those posts spread. Again, more people (hopefully) equals more people saying good stuff about us.

So that’s what I’m thinking anyway. Eyeballs, listening, and advocacy. More fans = more of each (or at least the potential to have more of each).

Help me out – what am I missing?

FB Hand image by birgerking

Facebook Page Best Practices

FacebookLast Saturday, I gave a Facebook Page session at Podcamp Topeka 2012. Part of that presentation included current best practices for posting content to a Facebook Page. Here are those best practices in bullet points:

  • Call to action – you need to tell people to do things like comment, like, and share. Include the call to action in the first 90 characters of your post.
  • Get to the point – 250 characters or less is best. Shorter posts get 60% more interaction than longer posts.
  • Ask for short responses, fill-in-the-blank responses, etc – i.e., “Who’s your favorite author?” This type of question post gets 90% more interaction than other types of text-based posts.
  • Pin important posts, so it stays at the top of your Page longer
  • Be casual (and appropriate). A conversational tone will attract more interaction.
  • Use images. More people comment, Like, and Share posts with images.
  • Post consistently. At least five times a week to stay on top-of-mind for fans.
  • Post the same types of content on the same day of the week. Example – book review Mondays. This helps fans know what to expect from you.
  • Give fans access to exclusive information or content. Yet another way to drive interest and engagement to a Facebook Page.
  • Find your optimal time to post. This will vary by organization.

Want to know more about current Facebook best practices? Check out Best Practices for your Page and Media Strategy by Facebook.

photo by Simon Q

Facebook Page Tips

pic by laughing squid

Someone recently emailed and asked for some tips in setting up a Facebook Page. Here’s what I emailed back – feel free to add your own tips!

Facebook Page Tips:

To set up:

  • use pictures of friendly faces – not a building. People don’t want to friend buildings
  • add contact info, like phone numbers, URL, email address, IM account, twitter account, etc
  • If you have a twitter account, hook it into your facebook account
  • Put more than one person in charge of your Facebook Page. That way, you have a backup in case someone’s sick or on vacation.

Facebook Pages has “Insights” – analytics. Check those every month or so, and adapt your content accordingly. For example, 35 year old women are our Facebook Page’s main visitor type. How can we focus our content on that group? Most likely, there’s a way!

Finally, a Facebook Page isn’t something you can set up and then ignore. With the level of interaction and engagement going on, you’ll need to be actively engaged. That shouldn’t take a ton of time, though. It means doing things like sending 1-2 status updates a day, maybe doing some planning and setting some goals for the page, and replying to people’s comments, questions, and suggestions.

Hope this helps!