7 lessons from a Facebook company page newbie

Posted on July 16, 2012

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I stumbled into setting up a Facebook page for Collective Content, my commercial content business, three weeks ago. I literally didn’t mean to do it, back on that Sunday morning, but filled out one field on my personal Facebook page and boom, I was on my way – just minutes from being up and running.

So I went with it. And it’s an experience worth sharing, even at an early stage:

  1. My facebook.com/CollectiveContent page let me know early on that I needed 30 Likes to get to see any analytics. Since I was embarking on the whole thing mainly to see how this stuff works (shame on me for never getting my hands dirty on the old silicon.com and ZDNet UK pages back in the day!) rather than, you know, direct business benefit, I set about informing friends. Lesson 1: Unlike with, say, LinkedIn invites, I found it hard to keep track of those I’d invited but who were giving it a miss. Sorry if you’ve been spammed by me on this. Now you know.
  2. I grabbed the free £25 credits (which becomes a US dollar number on sign-up) from the ‘Facebook Adverts team’ pretty quickly – faster than I had for, say, Google AdWords or LinkedIn – and have been surprised at how quickly this has boosted Likes. Lesson 2: It isn’t hard to grow Like numbers.
  3. But who are these Likers? I had specified quite a slim section of UK users be targeted. It was a universe of about 85,000 out of the usual ‘half the population’ pool, those supposedly interested in media, marketing and digital. I have Likes from people who have part-time jobs in pubs, who are in sixth-forms and who clearly Like anything that pops up in the top right-hand side of their FB page. Lesson 3: Focus – I thought I had it, turns out I didn’t.
  4. Locking down your Facebook page – you’ve heard of it, right? None of the random Likers seemingly have. The one thing I looked at on a dozen occasions was what else they Like. But I usually get blinded by how much they Like. Some Like not just hundreds but thousands of things – brands, athletes, places, evangelists. Lesson 4: There’s a Liking pandemic going on. I never knew.
  5. I decided last week to post a link on Friday – a day I let the Collective hair down a bit each week (hey, it’s Facebook) – that was a little more, er, mainstream. I still stand by 100 Guitar Riffs (A Brief History of Rock n Roll) because it is IMHO incredibly entertaining AND truly good use of content marketing by a music store in Chicago. Not off message, you might say. But it proved a lot less popular than standard, workaday links. Lesson 5: Don’t to play to the gallery and expect a mass of Likers to engage with you.
  6. Through all this, the Facebook interface for showing who’s doing what and what all the metrics mean has been pretty good. It’s not perfect, of course, but in many ways better laid out for a non-power user like me than something like Google Analytics or AdWords. Lesson 6: This is a part of Facebook usability you don’t often hear about but which is important.
  7. My Klout score, previously aligned only with @ColContent on Twitter, has seemingly plummeted since the time I linked this Facebook page to that Klout account. Lesson 7: Don’t give a shit about Klout scores.

I now have 175 Facebook Likes for the Collective Content page, against 165 when I started this piece.

For all my criticism of the lack of audience focus that having an open, non-vetted page leads to, I know there are those who judge purely on numbers. They would deem the page more of a success than a channel which is much more quality-driven but slower-growing eg the collectivecontent.co.uk website. Such is life.

If the above hasn’t put you off too much, try your own page or please join me at facebook.com/CollectiveContent . It’s actually a pretty good way to follow what I’m up to. Gotta Like that.

Also follow Tony on Twitter – @tphallett

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Posted in: Social media, Work