Developing a killer Facebook community — think Starbucks or Coca Cola — is often something that takes time, plenty of resources and months, if not years of tinkering before it’s ‘just right’.
Here are 5 important factors that every business must first take into account and understand before they can build an effective Facebook community that actively markets their brand.
1. It Will Take Time
And so the tired, cliched adage goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” No, it doesn’t take longer than a few minutes to set up a brand page on Facebook, but building a community? That won’t happen in a day.
So for any business or individual that is trying to develop a dedicated and active community, know that these things take time. Lots of time. Think months, to begin with. Yes, you will start seeing results within a few weeks – a comment here, a like there.
But for inactive pages or ones that have been unsuccessful in building a dedicated following, developing a sort of community that will respond, like and even share your every post is something that can generally take a lot of time. A lot of blood, sweat and tears, too.
Don’t see immediate success? Keep at it.
2. Know Your Audience
When it comes to developing a Facebook community, think of yourself as a speaker at a conference. Though you may be addressing a massive crowd with a wide range of interests, chances are there are several particular interests — maybe they like technology — that brought them together to watch you speak.
Knowing your audience — what age are they, on average? What are they interested in? — is important in helping you craft messages that will ultimately resonate with that community. Without that information, you might end up banging your head against a wall trying to speak to people in a way that they don’t care about.
Find out what they do care about.
3. Be Consistent
Generally, followings are built around two things: A great idea with a consistent message. One of those without the other will almost always fail.
Building a Facebook community is no different. It starts with a great idea — a page that targets a particular audience — and a consistent message — several posts a week that are smart and engaging.
Planning out a strategy for how you hope to update your Facebook page — with an editorial calendar, ideally — several weeks, if not months, in advance will help you maintain that consistency and avoid weeks of limited or stagnant messages.
4. Stand Out
Facebook, like a lot of things, can often get boring after a while. That same friend keeps posting that they’re “going to the beach”, and that other random person you met one time at a party keeps posting pictures about their cat.
In building a dedicated Facebook community, it’s almost equally as important to stand out — whether it be through humor, commentary, or controversy — so that your page doesn’t become ‘lost in the shuffle’, so to speak.
In order to maintain an interesting presence, page managers must consistently come up with new and attractive ways to reach out to their target audience. Thinking of unique ways to present original content that you think would resonate with your audience is crucial in building that community.
5. Manage Your Expectations
And perhaps the biggest thing to take into account when it comes to developing a dedicated Facebook community is that regardless of how consistent you are, how unique your page is, and how well you know your audience, it probably won’t instantly result in millions of dollars of additional sales in products or services.
Success will be incremental, not instantaneous. Know that. Repeat it to yourself frequently.
How have you effectively built a killer Facebook community?