After remaining silent for so long, I felt it necessary to address a matter I feel if of great importance when it comes to businesses creating content on Facebook. First off, if you want to create any type of significant brand awareness for your company, you should start with a branded website. Once that is established, you can begin to put your energy into some kind of social media strategy, and there is honestly no better place to start one than with Facebook.
Facebook gives an individual business owner the same ability as any other business to tap what is by far the largest online community of users in the world, not to mention the plethora of built-in business building tools over any other social network. So when it comes to marketing your business on Facebook, where should you begin?
In this article, we’ll take a look at all the different features Facebook has to offer for marketing your broadcasts. We’ll discuss each asset’s strengths and weaknesses – starting off with your Facebook Page.
Your Facebook Page
Facebook has always attempted to offer its end users a self-contained experience, which includes anything from their daily news to their shopping adventures, to communications between family, friends and businesses – sort of like a mini-mall of everything you need online in one handy portal.
With that in mind, the best way to think of your Facebook Page is to think of it as your personal or branded website on Facebook. It is the place where you provide information about your brand and where your fans should turn to first to hear what you have to say.
Your Facebook page is your brand’s voice on Facebook. As such, it is primarily intended for broadcasting your brand’s message rather than creating discussions around it (that’s what Facebook Groups are for). You can use your Page to post updates about your brand, share images, video and other content and receive messages from Facebook Users. Very importantly, you can use your Facebook Page to advertise on Facebook’s Advertising Platform, as well as host Facebook Events and link your page to any connected groups you’ve created.
Your Facebook Page should be considered the core of your Facebook marketing strategy and should rank in importance when it comes to your digital identity second only to your website, only because your website allows you greater control and ownership over your visitors. Therefore, wherever you provide social links for your brand, such as in your email signature or website header/footer, you should be pointing to your Facebook PAGE.
If you decide to embark on a social media presence, start with a cleverly constructed Facebook Page. An eye-catching banner image and “About” section is only the beginning; be responsive, post worthwhile content and don’t cut corners. Your investment of time and input will pay off in the end.
Facebook Events are often confusing to event organizers, whose primary brand/product may already be an event of sorts.
That is understandable. For example, when you run a clothes store, and want to promote the launch of your new collection, the distinction between store (promoted through a Facebook Page) and the launch event is clear. When you organize a broadcast, however, knowing how to use your Page and Events and what content to post on each is a bit more of an undertaking.
Let’s say you organize “The ABC Show” with a couple of variants – maybe several different hosts – all taking place on the same day. What should go under the page and what should go under an event?
Hierarchically, you should think of your broadcast format (“The ABC Show”) as an ‘umbrella’ over your various broadcast content containers (live video, marketing, motivation, systems, coaching, etc). Your “ABC Show” should be your Facebook PAGE and your individual broadcasts should each be a Facebook EVENT under that Facebook PAGE.
In your PAGE you should post content relevant to “The ABC Show” brand, e.g. sponsorship deals, community initiatives around your event, news from hosts/mentors, etc. More broadcast-specific content, e.g. details on who said what during the broadcast, questions asked during the show, conversations with your guests, etc., should be posted in the respective Facebook EVENT, under the “About” and “Discussions” tabs. Significant broadcast-specific content, such as the time, location and any foreseen registration or “preshow” requirements, should appear on both your Facebook Page AND within the Facebook Event (“About” tab) by way of announcing the broadcast.
You need to remember, Facebook events have an event venue and an event date, and after that event date expires the Facebook event expires as well. So you don’t want to invest too much effort in building up your Facebook Event. Thankfully, Facebook gives you limited options in doing that.
One of Facebook Event’s biggest downfalls is the fact that any live broadcast sent to an event do NOT show up within the Page or Group Newsfeed, but rather within the “Discussion” tab of the Event itself. This is because Events are their own beast separate from either Pages or Groups, but can be created within either. This leaves many a potential viewer wondering where they are supposed to go when a live video event starts. Facebook should have used a little more forethought in this regard. Let’s hope this changes in the nearest future.
As a work-around, many a broadcaster still create an event, then rather than broadcast to the event (an option available in FB Live), they broadcast to the Newsfeed of the Page or Group when the time slot arrives. Better yet, one should schedule a “Live Video” post within the Newsfeed of the Page (alongside of the Event) that existing followers can use to select a button that gives them a reminder notification of the broadcast 3 minutes before it begins!
You should always add Facebook Events for your broadcasts under the respective Facebook PAGE you manage. What you want to do is grow an audience under your Facebook PAGE which you can engage with at any time. When set-up properly, posting on Facebook Events is open to the public, in this way they provide excellent Q&A forums for prospective participants and help create a gentle “peer-to-peer joining nudge” among other Facebook users, which encourages a greater response to your call to action (ie. joining a specific Facebook Group).
In the basic sense, Facebook Groups are online communities of Facebook Users interested in a common topic. Groups are set up and managed by administrators who control posting permissions and other group settings.
Groups can be public (anyone can join), closed (users can request to join) or secret (private like a closed group with the added feature than these private groups do not appear on searches). Groups can also be linked to a Facebook Page in a way that allows the page to post in the group alongside regular Facebook users. This is the natural route of progression you want to achieve. Facebook User -> Facebook Page ->CTA ->Product/Service->CTA-> Facebook Group
Facebook Groups used to be a Facebook Page’s poor cousin, but this is changing with the dramatic shift by Facebook recently towards linked Facebook Groups and community-building. As a result, Facebook is undergoing a groups revolution that has made groups linked to pages a very attractive proposition for many broadcasts.
There are many things you can do with a Facebook group and some important things you can’t (notable among the latter being paid advertising). You can use groups to stimulate engagement with your participants and volunteers, as discussed above. Facebook pages and personal posts rely completely on the Newsfeed algorithm for organic exposure. However, Facebook Groups send users a notification whenever someone posts to the Group, thus driving traffic to each post.
But, be wary how often you post in your groups. You don’t want to spam your members with notifications all day long or they just might turn them off completely.
You still can’t advertise a group or share/boost any posts within a closed/secret group. Also, many of the things that make the revamped groups more attractive – like the ability to post in the group as your page – still make having a Facebook Page necessary.
So, thumbs up on Facebook Groups overall, but only if you have time to invest in the communities (NOTE: with an “S”) that you plan to build with them, and only after you’ve set up a Facebook Page, which should always serve as your main branding platform on Facebook – and inside any groups you create. Facebook Pages are also best suited for archived video content (e.g. replay playlists), maintaining viewer analytics, and have the greatest leverage when used in conjunction with the boost/ad campaign features found within the Facebook Advertising platform.
This this leaves us with….
Your Personal Page
Don’t be surprised to hear that your personal page also has a role to play in your overall Facebook strategy.
Starting with the obvious, you need a personal profile to be able to do anything on Facebook, like creating and administrating the things we just talked about; Pages, Groups and Events! You will also need a personal profile to post in other groups which might be useful for promoting your broadcasts. So you will need to be mindful of what you post, as any personal activity will inevitably reflect back to your broadcasts, and ultimately your brand’s image on Facebook.
Your Personal Profile (it’s not a page, it’s a profile), is more than a just a potential liability– quite the contrary. There are many great things you could do to enhance your brand’s broadcasts, and they are only possible through your personal page. Things like:
Sharing content from your page with your friends.
One word of advice: keep it selective. Share general audience broadcasts, major landmarks, announcements and press activity, but do not be tempted to share every single page post. There are laws of “diminishing returns” for doing so.
Reaching out to individual participants.
There are many reasons why you might want to connect personally with participants in your broadcast. As a page, it used to be that you didn’t have that ability (though now there is, but it’s still very limited), so still the best way to do it is through your Personal Profile. Use your Personal Profile to approach disgruntled participants, prospective brand ambassadors, or to thank broadcast evangelists (those viewers/participants who feel strongly positive about your content) or catch them singing your brand’s praises!
So, there you have it. While there is a place for your profile to be used professionally, intend on using it correctly and wisely. And never – ever ever – set up your business broadcasts on a personal profile, this is why Facebook gave us Pages, Groups and Events in the first place, your Personal Profile was meant to be just that… personal.
With this info in hand, may all of your broadcasts be packed with viewers and filled with fun and excitement!
Much more can be said about Best Marketing Practices using Facebook LIVE so be sure to contact us, subscribe to my every-so-often newsletter, or request a FREE 15 minute consultation by clicking the box to the right!
Until next time! Keep Calm and Stream On!