Justyn Howard is the CEO of Sprout Social, a social media management platform that empowers leading companies to effectively manage their social channels. Follow him on Twitter @justyn and read his blog at SproutInsights.
If you have a brand or a business to market chances are you're using a social media management application to monitor online mentions, schedule updates, and generate reports. But if you really want to be an effective marketer, you need to develop a deeper understanding of which networks are most vital to your company, and what network features are key. In Facebook's case, we're talking about some powerful community management components that are unmatched by its competitors, and often overlooked by marketing pros. Here are the four that simply can't be ignored.
1. Activity Log
Facebook's activity log is like a Facebook Timeline for every interaction that fans have with your page. It also includes updates you've made, like comments or Facebook Questions. What makes this tool unique and powerful is that it offers an archive of your Facebook interactions that you can review at any time. This is useful for tracking how well you're following up and engaging with fans, and what kind of feedback you're getting from them during specific events.
2. Demographic Targeting
The manage tab in Facebook Page's Admin Panel allows you to publish updates to specific demographic groups. The feature isn't as robust as it should be, but it lets you reach out to people who, for example, speak a certain language. This is useful if your page serves audiences in different countries.
Netflix is a prime example. Due to the nature of its content licensing deals, the site offers different movie and TV-show libraries in the United States than it does in Canada. If the Netflix page administrator wants to announce a new movie that's only available in one country, he or she can hide that update from fans in the other. Other options include making a post completely invisible to people outside of a certain location, or to people under a certain age.
Cross-promoting between social networks is a critical component of any social media marketing strategy. Facebook recognizes this, which is why it offers the ability to link your Facebook page to Twitter for the purpose of publishing updates to both sites.
The one caveat is that the implementation here is slanted pretty heavily towards promoting Facebook. This means tweets that originate from your Facebook page always have a link back to Facebook. If that's not your thing, you can supplement with a third-party tool.
4. Smart Moderation
You probably already know how to moderate individual comments on Facebook, but you can also dive into your Facebook Page's settings and add specific terms you want to automatically block. While it's better to allow open conversation on your Facebook page customers don't like to be censored there will be specific situations that call for more control. This tool will give you that.