Today’s Biz Ladies comes from Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for an international company that specializes in targeted cancer therapies and e-commerce stores and an advisor for the political science department at Tel Aviv University. Lior also spends her time writing blog posts and sharing knowledge, especially in the field of online marketing. Today she is doing just that with a post on how to effectively manage your Facebook community within your business. She offers some insightful tips on posting strategies and how to leverage Facebook as a useful marketing tool. Thanks, Lior, for your helpful advice! — Stephanie
Read more of the post after the jump . . .
When you first start out with your Facebook page, you’ll probably be flying solo. Then again, you probably don’t have that many members or even fans, so this isn’t a whole pile of work straight away. But as your Facebook presence grows, you’ll find yourself devoting a lot of time to managing your new Facebook community, so you’re going to need a whole new set of management skills for both yourself and your community moderators to handle all this.
Here are some tips to make managing your Facebook community a bit easier for everyone — especially you.
If you’re a non-profit community, this may not be as relevant, but you can still add value in your own way. For a business with a Facebook community, never just use it as a marketing portal. Remember that people do not like a sales pitch without being offered something of value first. How you add this value is entirely up to you, but make it part of what you do each and every day.
Beware of trolls beneath bridges and also the trolls who lurk on every type of social networking platform. There will always be somebody on Facebook desperately trying to draw you into an argument, so avoid these at all costs. Even if a troll is knocking your community, entering into arguments with these people only provides them with more ammunition. Moderation is what comes into play here, as does maintaining the moral high ground.
When people make (non-troll) comments, reply to them and thank them for their input. These people are adding content to your community, so saying “Thanks” is the very least you can do. Very few community owners actually do this, and one of your main goals should be to encourage conversation and discussion about your products, service, business, charity or whatever your community is about. “Conversation is good” should be your new mantra. Write it down. Print it out. Remember it.
Use Force Sparingly
You have almost absolute power when it comes to moderating the activity on your Facebook community, but don’t get carried away with it. You are going to see spam wall posts from time to time, and when this happens, politely inform the poster that this type of activity isn’t welcome. If they continue, then you have the option of reporting them as spam, but only do so after issuing a firm but friendly warning.
Your community offers you a great way to market your business, but do so in moderation. If you have a great offer to share with users, then by all means share it. Just don’t do it every single day because people will get tired of you spamming your own community and will move their focus, their interest and their interaction elsewhere.
As mentioned earlier, your community is probably going to grow far more quickly than you imagined. When it does, realize that you cannot be all things to all members and start delegating responsibilities to other trusted members of your community. With great power comes great responsibility, and make sure that your new moderators understand this.
Having a Facebook community can be a huge amount of fun and a great learning experience for everyone involved. Just remember that anything you say is out there for the entire group to see and that although people can be forgiving, they can only forgive you once or maybe twice. After that, your community can turn sour quickly, and all your hard work will have been in vain. Use our community tips to prevent that from happening.