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9 Ways to Become a Better Facebook Community Manager - 7/23/2013 -

If you would like to have a thriving Facebook community, consider these nine tips.

By Andrea Vahl

1. Know your voice. Branding is important on social media. Your organization should have a voice that matches your brand and philosophy. For example, is your association more serious, or do you add a little bit of snark in your posts? Do you stick mostly to business, or can you be off the wall? Do you like to stir things up, or do you remain neutral?

Because you probably have multiple employees and possibly multiple people posting to your organization’s Facebook Page, you want to have the "voice of the organization” communicated clearly to the staff who will be managing your Facebook page. The voice of the organization is important in how comments and community feedback are handled, as well as the day-to-day posting. Consistency in your voice will help your members and your community know what to expect.

2. Have access to visuals. Visual marketing is becoming a vital part of Facebook and all social platforms. The more you can incorporate photos, screenshots, and graphics, the richer your Facebook page will be.

Even if your organization isn’t visual, make a plan for how you will add images to your posts. You can use things like:

  • A screenshot of something you’re demonstrating
  • An interesting photo with a quote about your niche
  • An infographic with statistics about your niche
  • Behind-the-scenes photos from your company events

Try using tools like Snagit, iPiccy, or PicMonkey to create or modify images to make them interesting. You can even use PowerPoint to create a slide that you can then export as an image.

3. Know the rules. As a community manager, make sure you know Facebook’s policies. Pages can be shut down without warning for violating these policies. It can be very difficult to get your page restored, and you don’t want all that hard work to go down the drain. Make sure you keep up with the updates to the terms as they do change frequently (see #7).

4. Know the industry. Whoever manages the page for your association needs to know the industry so they can speak the lingo. It won’t reflect well on the organization if you aren’t using the terminology or common acronyms correctly in your posts and follow-up comments.

5. Recognize members. A community manager needs to recognize contributors and members and get to know them. If you have a physical location or if you host meetings or events, you can take pictures of your community members and recognize them on your Facebook page. Or, you can find other ways to recognize your community by featuring them in a post.

6. Answer questions quickly. Promptly respond to posts or questions on your page to create strong bonds with your community. Even if you don’t know the answer, let them know that you will get back to them. Pointing them to a useful resource is another good option. The good news is you have more options to get notifications when something happens on your page. If your page is large, these can get overwhelming, so set a schedule to check in. To access your notifications, go to Edit Page > Manage Notifications. Adjust the notifications so you can keep on top of your posts.

7. Stay on top of changes. Facebook changes a lot! There can be changes to its official policies and in how things are working at any given moment. Make sure to keep track of Facebook’s official changes by following the Newsroom  and the Facebook Marketing Page. Also, here are some unofficial ways to ask questions and stay on top of changes in Facebook:

8. Respond calmly to negative posts. If you get an angry post on your page, respond quickly (even if it’s to say we’ll get back to you), but don’t respond in the heat of the moment when you might act inappropriately. If you have some upset Facebook fans, there could be a good reason. By dealing calmly with the situation, you can hopefully salvage the relationship.

9. Have fun. Find some ways to have fun with your community. Have a Facebook "live Q&A chat” time, do a Livestream or even (gasp) go over to a Google+ Hangout. When you are having fun and sharing with your community, you are all getting to know each other better and everyone wins.

Always be thinking about how you can be a good resource for your community and create a great experience for fans. Your Facebook page will grow and so will your organization.

Andrea Vahl is the community manager for Social Media Examiner and co-author of "Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies.” She is also a social media coach, speaker, and strategist.


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