The Facebook Minimum Marketing Protocol

by Holland-Mark | April 12, 2011

Most fan pages on Facebook never really get off the ground. Those that do either subscribe to a labor intensive set of best practices (nicely summarized in this report by Jerimiah Owyang), or have an intensely dedicated brand zealot behind them. Both are luxuries few clients can justify.

Hence the need for a kind of “minimum protocol” for Facebook marketing, a clear and specific list of the absolute bare minimum you’re going to need to do within the Facebook ecosystem to have a Facebook fan page that does more than check the box in terms of accessibility to your target audience.

Let’s start with the basics… it’s important to get your Facebook profile right and promote your page once you’ve launched it. These issues are pretty well covered on the links above.

As for the protocol itself, here’s what we’ve come up with so far:

  1. Have a Content Strategy – What kind of content is at the intersection of what serves your interests AND what’s worthy of your target users attention? Be honest, or be doomed to obscurity no matter what.
    1. 80% curated  content, sourced from your Listening Station or Twitter.
    2. 20% created content, based on your blog. Queue a post to publish each weekday at 8am local time.
  2. Post 20x week – Post at least 3x/day on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, at 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm. Post at least 5x/day on Thursday and Friday at 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm.
    1. Less than 80 characters (27% more effective)
    2. Close most posts with questions (15% more effective)
    3. Supplement as you’re able to. The more you post, the better your result will be.
  3. Respond to all comments as promptly as possible, and as the brand.
  4. Partner – Identify and leverage a select set of other fan pages also likely to attract your target audience.
    1. Comment on these pages as the brand whenever appropriate
    2. Offer managers of these pages “quid pro quo” opportunities for mutual benefit
  5. Ask for referrals – Every other week, ask the fans you have to help spread the word to the fans you want. if they’re getting value from your feed, they will. If they won’t do it… see “1.” above.

I’d like to give props to Michelle McCormack and eMarketer, both of whom helped shaped our thinking on this.

We’re having pretty good luck with this approach so far…what’s your take? What would you add, and what would you take away?

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