The video is a quick introduction to the how and why of using Facebook. You’ll find more information, plus links to further information, in this text accompaniment to it.
Here's facebook's own guide for journalists: https://www.facebook.com/journalists?sk=app_221984801148814
The key thing to realise is that Facebook needs to be handled differently from Twitter
Twitter is essentially a breaking news and links service. Facebook can be content rich.
As with Twitter, it wasn’t invented for journalists.
It was created for friends to chat, organise their social lives, and post photos, video and other things they come across that they want to share with their social circle.
But as it has developed, something else has been happening on Facebook.
Organisations have begun to use it to reach their customers and potential customers.
Corporations such as Coca Cola and Starbucks have found it is a very useful platform for interacting in an informal, friendly way with those customers.
Journalists and publishers have begun to realise that it can be used to reach audiences – current and potential – for our magazines and newspapers, TV and radio shows.
Facebook is beginning to move down the Web 3.0 route that underpins our interest, as journalists, in social media, and which is covered in depth in Masterclass 2 of this series.
In that masterclass we talked about how readers were creating personalised news stands of the material they were interested in.
That is what users are able to do with Facebook
On Facebook, users can become fans of us, of our content, and welcome our Facebook publishing stream onto their wall.
There, our content is delivered alongside material from that person’s social circle.
The result is a hybrid of personal communications from friends and material from organisations that an individual likes, enjoys, values, and wants to follow.
So Facebook is a very special place, and a very significant one for journalists to work in.
But we need to learn how to use it most effectively, just as we need to learn the best use of Twitter.
Why should journalists use Facebook as a publishing platform?
Of social networks, Facebook provides the most loyal visitors, according to stats from Mashable
- 20% of visitors who come to your site from Facebook will then revisit you four or more times a week.
- Digg traffic produced loyal users 16% of the time
- Twitter traffic was only good for 11% loyalty.
Facebook users are very social. They interact, comment, share. In short, they are the sort of people who are most likely to create a vibrant community around your content
How to present your publication on Facebook
First some basics
For most individuals; those who use the site for casual social networking, a friend page is all they need. But for more formal networking, the kind that publishers and journalists presenting their professional side are working on, you need to create an official page.
See how to create an official page here
You can create three things that could be useful to journalists and publishers
- A personal page
- A group
- A fan page
A personal page is ideal for an individual journalist
A group is good for one-off campaigns
A fan page is good for organisations, including media brands, which want to build a following.
You'll find Facebook's guide to how to create professional pages here
What about the content you put on Facebook?
A successful Facebook page needs to be engaging, updated and rewarding.
It must be appropriate to the fans or followers.
You have your wall, plus a number of other tabbed content areas you can use: events, discussions, polls, photos, video among others.
So, unlike with Twitter, you can create multimedia content and post it directly onto your Facebook page – with Twitter, apart from the shortest self-contained posts – you can only link to material that is posted elsewhere.
But remember – always link back to your branded website. The goal is to attract new audiences, to build their interest in your title, and to do that you need to take every opportunity to get them back to the main site to show them all the other great content that you have
Who is using Facebook well?
Plenty of big corporations have learned how to use Facebook as a marketing tool. A few publishers and journalists have done the same.
We need to learn from those who are using Facebook well – and learn fast. It already has 400m users, and is quickly becoming the one place people would like to be online.
So, if we have understood from Masterclass 2 that we must fish where the fish are, then that’s an awful lot of fish.
Here are some good examples of how to use Facebook well
One thing all effective Facebook pages have in common is that they get the tone of voice right. You can begin to do that in the way that you describe yourself or your publication.
FourFourTwo says this: “Humorous but wholehearted, polished but readable, substantial but accessible, FourFourTwo is football's most insightful brand – with added F.U.N.”
Farmer’s Weekly Interactive (FWI) says this: “We're Farmers Weekly magazine and Farmers Weekly Interactive - the coolest source of information about UK farming and, more importantly (according to some), the home of Farmer Frank
It also has a mission: “Working for your farming future...and having some fun while doing it.”
Take a look around FourFourTwo and FWI and look at the sort of content that they have published:
FourFourTwo is really just starting out with Facebook. There is plenty of news, all delivered in the distinctive FourFourTwo tone of voice, plus discussion areas on World Cup songs, Your best-ever XI, and Who is your favourite player and why?
FWI has are lots of pictures from fans of the page, and what news they post here is at the light, quirky end of their coverage: Sheep abseils down telephone cable, for example. They don’t post the more serious, farming industry news that you’ll find on their website and in the magazine.
They use the Facebook page to interact with readers. If they need help with an article, they may post a request here.
Penn Olson came up with 10 successful business pages
They have in common an appropriate tone of voice. They are essentially there to make marketing announcements but they successfully engage with the audience.
Here’s what can we learn from some of these sites
Idea: create a community
They get tens of thousands of fans voting on polls about ice cream. They are building on the fact that the brand is well liked. We need our brands to be well liked, and if we engage in the right way with fans on Facebook and elsewhere, we can build that relationship
Idea: Rewards for fans
Just by becoming a fan, you get 20 free songs New to iTunes? Not to worry. They have a series of tutorial videos right on its page. A smart move towards acquire more users through Facebook.
Idea: Introduce your team
There are videos that tell you a lot about the Facebook team – who runs it, how they run it and their story behind each application. Often readers of magazines, viewers of TV shows feel the writers and presenters are very distant. You can begin to break down the barriers by introducing yourself.
Idea: Create a competition
People love to win something, and to demonstrate their skills.
Red Bull Stash is a treasure hunt with rewards for engaged fans. They’ve hidden cans all around America, put in your zip code to find clues to those hidden near you. And they keep hiding more, to get you to come back regularly.
A number of brands create competitions that, as well as offering prizes, get fans to demonstrate their skills – particularly in something appropriate to the web such as making videos.
Coke Happiness is an enormous social media marketing campaign.
Fans can create videos on the theme of happiness and submit them to the Coke page. There is a player you can embed in your own Facebook page, or elsewhere, to view videos from fans and also official ones from coke.
Coke will select three winners from those who submit videos and send them to more than 200 countries in a year to uncover what makes people happy,
We could do that. If you are on a sports mag or website say, run a competition on Facebook with a commercial partner, and get prize-winning fans to video blog the F1 season, or the World cup finals.
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team also has a video player, which you can embed where you like. If you like F1, and McLaren, they want you to engage with the sport through them, and giving fans an app that takes them straight to the action whenever they want it is a great idea.
What to post and how often
Post too often and your page updates will start being hidden, or you’ll lose fans. Too seldom and you’ll be forgotten. Two or three times a day is good
You should aim for a regular dialogue with your fans.
Mix up different update types – alternate between a status update and content filed under one of your other tabs: a Link, a Note, a Photo or Video update.
I haven’t mentioned titles that are getting Facebook wrong, but there are plenty of them and they often have this shortlist of error sin common:
- They don’t link back
- They don’t engage
- They don’t update regularly
- They update all the time but just with an automated feed of redirected tweets.
Facebook Connect might be useful to you if you have registration on your site. It enables your users to log in to you using their Facebook account. You’ve probably noticed being invited to do that on a wide range of sites. Ken Burbary describes this “a single sign-on authentication solution that websites can use instead of relying on building it for themselves”, and in this post
gives five reasons companies should be integrating social media with Facebook Connect
Increased Registration - Data from Facebook states that sites that use Facebook Conect as an alternative to account registration have seen a 30-300% increase in registration on their sites.
Increased Site Traffic After implementation, Facebook.com immediately begins sending web site traffic your way. Data from Facebook says that for each story published in Facebook, companies see roughly three clicks back to the site.
Increased Engagement Facebook users are used to being social. They are an active group, participating, sharing, and generating more content. Sites with Facebook Connect see a 15-100% increase in reviews. Connected users create 15-60% more content than users who have not connected with Facebook Connect.
Improved User Experience Facebook Connect offers users qualitative benefits too. No new site registration is required, simply login using your Facebook credentials. It also makes it easy to share with an existing network of friends or family by publishing activities to the Facebook Newsfeed, with only a couple clicks of the mouse. No typing or emailing required. Given the sheer size of Facebook’s active user base, this type of integration with an individual’s personal network could ultimately become the new “email a friend” feature found on websites worldwide.
Access to 400 million online consumers Opening up a direct pathway from your site to Facebook gives you access, albeit indirectly through your user’s activities, to an entirely new set of people. And for practically no out of pocket cost.
This has just been an introduction to Facebook
There is much more that can be done to your Facebook presence, and we’ll return to the subject in future masterclasses and elsewhere on this website.