Most companies need to be on Facebook now. Not only will people look for you — your company may also have a blank page set up automatically by Facebook, so you look completely lame when they find you.
In general, success with Facebook (and each company will have a different definition for that) will come for companies with a consistent, responsive, interesting presence there. That’s the long term strategy.
What happens when you decide to give your company Facebook page a kick in the pants? Here are three examples of the short-term effects of a Facebook initiative.
The first example just asked:
This is a successful ongoing Facebook campaign, with consistent efforts at engagement, including regular input from the site owner as well as our basic social media management plan. The steep rise from one day to the next on the right hand side? The site owner posted a request to all her Facebook friends to help her reach the next milestone number of Likes.
The second example conducted a special paid social media campaign:
Over a period of about a month (roughly the time covered here), the client had a special social media effort going on. The peaks and valleys correspond to the bursts of activity in the campaign. You can see that the purple dots showing posts and activity on the page are much less regular and even than the other two examples.
The third example looks as though it started much lower than the others, but that is not the case — it’s just that their tactic was to use promoted posts, and the numbers for the day they promoted their first one were so much higher than their usual numbers that it makes the graph hard to read:
Their promoted posts had total reach far beyond any of their regular posts. Promoting a post at Facebook simply means turning it into an ad — paying to have it pushed onto people’s walls.
Interestingly, apart from the promoted posts, the Facebook posts with the greatest reach weren’t always the things the site owners had invested in. Here were the categories of Facebook posts that had the highest reach during the time period (leaving out the Facebook promoted posts, which are essentially advertising):
- News While the three organizations here are quite different (a CPG company, a nonprofit, and a service), all of them had news in their top-reach posts. The site that asked for Likes got most of its highest reach from posts on industry news. The site with a social media campaign had the highest reach from news posts related to their cause. For the site that promoted posts, an ordinary wall post on the same newsworthy subject had the next highest reach.
- Events Along with news, a few events showed up in the highest-reach posts. These included both online events like contests and IRL events like tastings. Events of this kind don’t show up as often as news, and that is probably why they were a smaller proportion of the high-reach posts — in our experience, events usually get a good deal of reach.
Neither questions nor pictures had particularly high reach or showed up particularly often in the high-reach lists in these examples, and links were less likely to make the high-reach lists than direct posts. However, when we look at clicks, both pictures and links turned up more frequently than other types of posts — in fact, a news story with a photo beat one of the promoted posts for engagement.
We’ll revisit these examples later to see what kind of long-term results they achieved. At this point, the primary takeaway for us still seems to be that one size does not fit all — but that you can give your Facebook page a kick.