On a daily basis, our communications department tracks the data on our social media platforms. It is always interesting to listen to the discussions in our office regarding what we should post on Facebook and Twitter. Often, we take bets on what post is going to get the most “likes,” “shares” or “retweets” after it has been posted. We also do the same with website stories in our e-newsletters. It’s possible we could be a little nerdy with the data.
After spending time analyzing the information, we have a pretty good feel for what our audience likes and expects from our social media platforms. We can generally tell what will be popular and what won’t before it is posted. We work together strategically to plan our schedule of information to share.
It is very important to track and analyze your social media data to ensure you are providing the best experience for your fans and are continually building your audience. Facebook in particular has its own built-in data tracking system. The only surefire way to make sure your audience is able to see your post is to purchase an ad or pay to promote your post. If you are not paying, the next best way is to increase fan interaction. More users liking or sharing your post with others equals more people reached per post.
While our community and audience of more than 3,600 Facebook users is different than yours, we hope some of these tips can help you increase your reach and post interaction.
Below is a list of dos and don’ts we use for posts on Facebook:
Do include photos with your posts.
The best post interaction occurs when we include both a photo uploaded to Facebook and a link to the story on our website. On our page, a photo almost always equals at least 40 likes.
Do share stories from other Facebook users or organizations.
One of our alumni is a military veteran who was injured in Afghanistan and became the face of injured warriors during President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address. He was invited to drop the first puck before a St. Louis Blues hockey game and we shared photos from the team page. The fan reaction went through the roof.
Do feature interesting stories or anecdotes.
Our most popular posts feature success stories about our students, staff and alumni.
Do encourage your staff to submit photos to be used on social media.
You don’t have to be the sole source of photos; encourage your students and staff to submit photos for you to use on social media.
Do be consistent in posting multiple times a week.
To maintain your presence, be sure to post at least a few stories or photos each week.
Don’t publish too many stories in the same time frame.
Be careful, strategic and timely with your posts. Unless it is an emergency (or an amazing story), our rule of thumb is not to post more than three stories in a 24-hour period.
Don’t publish multiple stories about the same subject in the same time frame.
We learned an important lesson after sharing three versions of the story about our alumnus dropping the puck before a Blues game. The fan interaction went down each time.
Don’t overload your page with upcoming events or boring stories.
While it is important to promote upcoming events, your audience tires quickly when they see the same post about the PTO or booster club meeting multiple times. And, while new curriculum adoption may be exciting to some, it doesn’t always get the audience interaction you might be looking for on social media.