Whether you’re a private school, a nonprofit, or a small business, you need advocates. These are people who are so loyal to your brand or mission that they can’t help but share positive messages and recommendations with everyone around them.
Facebook is a powerful tool for creating and empowering advocates, but the goal has to be bigger than getting people to “like” your page.
Here are five ways you can use Facebook to create advocates for your organization:
1. Post regularly
There’s a lot of discussion about the appropriate number of times to post. Buffer offers some good advice on posting frequency, but no matter how often you decide to share content, there are a few things you want to keep in mind:
- Content needs to be frequent and consistent
- Content needs to delight and inform your followers
- Content needs to be shareable
If you’re interested in creating advocates, your content needs to be skewed toward engagement. You’re not just trying to get people to click through to some other site. You want to ramp up interaction and community. The more positive engagement you build, the more positively people will look upon your brand.
2. Engage with people
People feel in step with a business or organization when they feel heard and appreciated. Facebook makes this easier than ever.
To start using Facebook this way, you’ll need to do a lot of comment monitoring. You’ll need to engage with people in post threads. But as your community grows and people get more involved, the less involved you’ll have to be. In fact, you can eventually deputize someone in the community to monitor engagement for you.
3. Be clear about your organization’s voice
While it’s important to create shareable and informative content, it’s just as important to zero in on your brand’s voice and tone. This keeps your messaging consistent and clear. If your messages are serious one day and sarcastic the next, people will struggle to connect with you.
You need to understand that the voice you choose dictates how your organization comes across. Is it friendly and playful? Is it authoritative and clinical? What kind of language do you use? Simple? Serious? Jargony? Once you’ve defined how you communicate, make sure you train everyone who handles your social media.
4. Respond to private messages
You will inevitably have people who’ll reach out with problems and personal questions via private messages. These should be handled with the kind of care that you’d give to someone who bothered to call you on the phone. Facebook users don’t necessarily expect a response to every comment they leave, but they do when they message you.
You might be wondering how you’ll ever have time for that. Whoever’s in charge of your Facebook page can keep a document full of responses to typical questions and links where their questions can be answered. You want the response to be personal, but you can get a head start by putting together cut-and-paste elements that would otherwise suck up too much time.
5. Reward people who interact with you
There are a number of ways that you can reward people who interact with you. The first is to respond to their comments whenever appropriate. But here are some other possible ways you can reward engaged members:
- Host Facebook contests
- Specifically ask for feedback about ideas or policies
- Offer coupons or discounts
- Choose trustworthy community members to be page administrators
However you choose to do it, it’s important that you find creative ways to make people feel like they benefit from being actively involved with your Facebook page.
Creating Advocates Isn’t Difficult
Half of the battle in using your social media channels to build advocacy is simply making the decision to do so. A lot of organizations and businesses know that it’s important to be on Facebook, but they’re not entirely sure what they’re attempting to get out of it.
Choosing to use Facebook as a way to create brand champions instead of as a tool just to send people to links will help define how you use it. By putting these tips into practice, you’ll have advocates in no time. And the great thing about creating advocates is that as you get that flywheel to turn over, it creates momentum and your advocates will begin to reproduce!