When you work in the digital world, there are insightful, smart and good people you “meet” online that you really look forward to meeting in real life. Ekaterina Walter is one of those people who I finally met at a BlogWorld conference 4 years ago.
Since then “E” has really made her mark as a social innovator at Intel. When I presented at Intel’s first global social media conference a few years ago, Ekaterina had everyone leaning forward and focused on her approach to enterprise social media. She’s a force to be reckoned with for sure. “E” has continued her advancement and sharing by becoming an author: “Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Today’s guest post outlines Ekaterina’s practical advice on how to publish content on Facebook that results in better engagement with fans. Fan counts mean little if there is no engagement so read these though and put them into action today. Then pre-order Think Like Zuck to get even more strategic lessons about doing business on the social web.
Besides being a part of the community and hoping to get discounts on your products, information is one of the most important reasons why your customers become your fans on Facebook, follow you on Twitter or engage with you on other networks. So add stickiness to your communities through great content and engaging status updates. Use 80/20 rule: 80% of status updates should provide value to the fan and 20% can be around your products or services.
There is a number of great ways to keep them interested as well as encourage interactions:
- Share pictures. Pictures, images and photo albums are rather popular with the fans. For example, one of the top five Intel Facebook posts of 2011 wasn’t even technically a post; it was the photo album featuring images of new Intel museum in Santa Clara. In the community of over 4 million people then (now it is over 14 million), the post was liked over 17,000 times with over 1,000 comments.
- Posting simple to follow how-to videos and useful tips can prove much more effective than posting a link to a specific product or service.
- Fill in the blank posts are great, because they invite your fans to share their own perspective with you. Example would be “I love technology because _____”
- Questions. Asking fans to share their story or point of view always is one of the most effective ways to increase engagement on your page. Though simple, this type of post is often overlooked by community managers. “Real or fake?” “What do you think?” “What is your story?” Or just plain “PC or Tablet?” would do.
- Videos. This one is a no-brainer. Videos, especially the atypical or funny ones, are always welcomed by fans and shared a lot more than links.
- Holiday wishes. Show the human side of your company by wishing your fans happy holidays throughout the year. Intel’s simple “Happy New Year! Cheers to an amazing 2012!” post garnered over 14,000 likes, over 900 comments and over 140 shares.
- Celebrate milestones and say thank you. Did you reach an important milestone? Celebrate with the fans! When Intel reached 500,000 fans, 1 million fans, etc. we celebrated on our Intel page by changing the profile picture and thanking our fans for being a part of our amazing community. The response was overwhelming.
- Encourage mentions, shares, likes. If you want your content shared or your posts to be liked or commented on, ask! Simple “Click Like if you agree” or “What do you think?” would do the trick. Likeable Media study showed that when you ask questions or asked fans to like the update, the engagement rates were up to 6 times greater than regular updates.
- Offer interesting challenges. Quizzes or trivia questions might be interesting to your fans. Every now and then we post a comment within Intel communities written in binary code (hey, we are geeks and we are proud of it). Our fans/followed love it!
- Bring experts for weekly chats. Offer an hour every Friday with an expert on a particular topic. Encourage your communities to post questions for your expert to answer in real time and help foster the discussion.
- Run polls and ask open-ended questions. Your Facebook page is the best focus group out there. It’s free and real time! If you want to know something jusk your fans! And if you run out of ideas or if your content calendar suffers from the “boring bug” just ask your fans what they would like to see on the page and deliver on their expectations.
- Draw attention to the most engaged members of your communities and share their creations.
The above was an excerpt from an e-book by Ekaterina Walter.