With major changes in direction to Facebook its clear that the public sector needs to drastically re-think their approach to the world’s largest platform.
A shift to privacy and friends and families has been announced by Mark Zuckerburg. That means big changes for public sector communicators.
Facebook is used by more than 40 million UK people and the predictions are that it’ll grow. It’s not going away anytime soon.
But long gone absolutely are the days where a page is all you need.
Facebook’s algorithm and ‘Facebook zero‘ has strangled the routine reach of pages to limit the size of audience.
So what’s left?
You need… question, check, adjust.
Ahead of them, here’s a steer on the questions you need to ask yourself to be an effective communicator.
‘Is it actually Facebook that I need?’
Facebook it is not a magic cure-all that reaches the parts other platforms cannot reach. So, the lazy email that asks you to post their clip-art poster onto the corporate page for an event for teenagers may well be pointless. Maybe there are other ways to reach teenagers.
Check your insights to see who your audience is and be ruthless about sticking to it.
‘Is my content the best it can possibly be?’
If you’re sure you’re audience is on Facebook, then knock yourself out and create something. But make it as good as you possibly can. Research show recorded video tops the chart for engagement, followed by a picture followed by a link followed by just plain text.
Check to see if you can make content that’s sharable, is engaging and tells a story.
‘Is this better as a Facebook Live?’
Facebook are pushing Facebook Live like crazy. It’s not hard to see why. The engagement rates are high and the audience who come-by to watch after the event are far greater than the original. It’s a chance to let your audience ask questions and see a behind-the-secenes glimpse.
Check to see if this would work as a live video.
‘Is my audience in a Facebook group?’
You’re promoting a new exhibition at your museum. Is there a heritage Facebook group where people like talking and sharing pictures and stories of days gone by? Or maybe, there’s a serious fire that you need to get a warning out to a village.
Run a search to see if there’s a Facebook group. See if you can join the group as a page. Alternatively, see if you can message the admin from your own account if you are happy to to see if they’d share your content.
‘Is my audience better off in a Facebook group?’
Dorset Council created a community for people looking to live healthier lives. They did this by creating a Facebook group. They set some ground rules and let them share recipes, diet tips and other useful things.
Think if the niche audience you are after world be better served in a Facebook group that you can create and manage.
‘Is there some budget for a boosted post?’
If you’re looking to find the brass band enthusiasts in your patch to market the brass band festival and there isn’t a group maybe a Facebook ad is the way forward.
Facebook is the biggest pile of marketeer-friendly data ever assembled. If you know that your audience likes brass bands and is likely to be aged between 30 and 60 you can tailor an ad just for them.
Look to use that small pot of money to boost your message to the right audience at the right time.
I’m delivering the Vital Facebook Skills workshop in London, Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh. For more information and to book head here. I’d love to see you there. Any questions? Drop me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture credit: Documerica / Flickr.