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4 Secrets for Success: Building Your Community on Facebook

As we look back on 2011, many would classify it as the year that social media finally reached critical mass. Facebook alone amassed more than 800 million users worldwide, and with so many of your residents’ conversations now taking place on Facebook, it’s important that your community has a thriving presence there. Hectic schedules and occasional bouts of writers block impact us all, but remember the words of wisdom below, and you’ll be able to create a vibrant community as you manage your Facebook page with consistency.

Success

Secret #1: Setting Goals is the Foundation for Success
Ok, so this probably isn’t the best-kept secret, but setting goals is critical for Facebook success. And you’d be surprised at how few businesses do this well. It’s all too easy to simply make the occasional post to Facebook and call it a day. Setting goals help you avoid the Facebook graveyard – a page with no activity, few interactions and limited engagement with fans. At a minimum, set these two goals: (1) Get 100 percent of your residents who are on Facebook to “like” your page. Sure, it’s aggressive. But having involved residents is ultimately the reason why you’re even on Facebook.  Engaged fans are great for business. (2) Set goals for communicating with your residents at least once per day about topics that aren’t sales- or marketing-related. It can be as simple as letting residents know that the trees are being trimmed on Saturday, and parking will be limited. Having informative conversations creates a deeper connection with your residents.

 

Quick Tip:  Make your Facebook goals visible to employees so everyone understands what’s important and is on the same page.

 

Secret #2: Commitment Leads to Success
The next secret to success on Facebook is making the commitment. The most successful property managers have at least one employee – part time or full time –making posts each day and responding to questions/comments. Before you start to worry about the resources required, keep in mind that this person doesn’t need to dedicate 100 percent of his or her time to Facebook, its simply important that he/she has a schedule and sticks to it – whether its minutes or hours each day.

 

Secret #3: Engage and Win Over Fans
Fan engagement on Facebook is a great barometer for success. When fans respond to your posts, ask questions and like your articles, you build a deeper sense of community with your residents and attract new fans. But taking the first step is always the hardest part. Remember that the key to building your fan base is to be engaging. Now don’t worry, you don’t need to be an Oscar winning director to engage fans on Facebook. People are naturally drawn to interesting dialogue and digital media, no matter what the production value is – remember The Blair Witch Project? Some great low hanging fruit to get you started is to leverage existing marketing materials that you’ve already created.  Repurpose any collateral, videos and photos from your offline campaigns to populate your Facebook page. This will get you over the initial content creation challenge and build early momentum.

 

Quick Tip: Creating a content calendar will allow you to overcome any bouts of writer’s block, as well as help you vary your posts so you can better understand what resonates with your fans. 

 

Secret #4: Analyze and Optimize
You’ve made goals, committed resources and began building your fan base – all of which is putting you on the fast track to Facebook success. However, don’t forget to stop along the way to analyze your performance and seek improvements. Facebook provides a tool called Facebook Insights that’s extremely helpful for optimizing your page’s performance. It’s a free service, and you gain access to it once 30 fans “like” your page. How does it help? Facebook Insights measures fan exposure, actions and behavior relating to your Facebook page. For example, you could look at the number of new likes you’ve received over the last week and understand which specific content drove the most interactions. Was it your video of the newly landscaped grounds or your pictures from the community barbeque outing? Once you see what’s working with your fans, you can adjust content and messaging to achieve even greater success.

 

Quick Tip:  To access Facebook Insights, make sure you have at least 30 fans who “like” your page and that you are an administrator of your page; otherwise, you won’t be able to view the information.

 

Follow these four secrets to success, and you will be well on your way to building a vibrant and thriving Facebook community in 2012!

 

Ignition Points:
1.    Take 15 minutes to develop three goals for your Facebook page to get you started.
2.    Map out your first week of posts in your content calendar.

Quick Tips:  If you want more information regarding traits to look for in a successful Facebook community manager, please see the recent blog post.  See the recent content calendar blog post for more information on creating content calendars.

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LOVE this post! Especially the part about setting goals. As you say, it's pretty fundamental, but it makes all the difference in ensuring that your Facebook has some direction and is maintaining momentum. And it helps other people within the organization understand how our social media presence performing - building relationships and making personal connections.

  Tashina Wortham

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