Targeting Your Facebook Messaging For the Greatest Impact
By Kaila Strong, social media architect, Vertical Measures LLC
Has the ever-growing, ever-knowing, social
networking site Facebook reached its peak? Well, at
over half a billion users to date and growing, the
peak of Facebook's popularity remains to be seen.
Brands and companies are flocking to the site,
following in the steps of the consumer, further
cementing Facebook's long-term presence.
So, what does this mean to you, website owner,
search engine optimizer, and fellow/future social
media strategist? It means we all should take a
second glance at Facebook, and figure out how to
make it work for us.
The first step is to get a Facebook business profile
page. Set it up, make use of FBML boxes
customization, add applications (try Involvers
Twitter and YouTube apps), and start messaging.
How well do you know your Facebook fans? Here are
several ideas to get you started on learning about
• Q&A: Simply ask fans questions. What did you do
this weekend? Would you rather watch: 10 hours of
Lifetime Movie Network or be forced to watch grass
grow for two days straight? What was the last check
you wrote for? Do you often check your credit
history? Each of these questions can help you figure
out what fans do in their leisure time, their
preferred method of punishment, their spending
habits, and their attention to spending. Noticing
patterns in responses from fans, and figuring out
what gets them to engage, can all help in targeting
your messaging for the greatest impact.
Any of the above messages can be sent to a select
number of your fans. Customize the privacy of your
message, and target to users who speak a certain
language or are in a particular location.
• Content: Sharing content with your fans is an
effective way to gain success on Facebook. If you're
seen as an expert in your industry, continually
"sharing and caring," and sparking discussion, then
one would assume that the next time one of your fans
is in the market to purchase what you sell, they'll
come to you.
• Facts: Everyone loves a bit of trivia. If you know
trivia about something specific in your industry,
share it. Examples like those on DidYouKnow.org are
interesting and can get you noticed. Did you know
that the muscle that lets your eye blink is the
fastest muscle in your body? Did you know, if a soup
is too salty, to add raw cut potatoes and discard
them after cooking to get rid of the saltiness? Did
you know you can take pictures of a mirage? These
factoids are perfect for an eye doctor, cooking
fanatic, and photographer looking to engage with
• Statistics: Simply Googling a keyword in your
industry paired with the word "statistics" will show
a plethora of stats that you can share with your
fans. A simple way to engage and share.
• Deals: Coupons, sweepstakes, giveaways,
contests—we all love winning something, especially
if it's free. What better way to understand your
customers than through a promotion? Gather data,
analyze it, and notice trends.
• Humor: Some might not feel comfortable integrating
humor into their messaging, but we all love a good
laugh. There are thousands of humor/joke sites
available on the Web. Search them out, and find a
few jokes for your industry to share with fans. Or
heck, if you're funny enough, make up a few of your
• Simplicity: Sometimes, simplicity is the best way
to go about your Facebook messaging. Your fans might
not want to engage daily (or even monthly), or you
might work in an industry that doesn't support a lot
of discussion (think hemorrhoid cream product).
That's when simple messaging, short and to the
point, will have the greatest impact.
Measuring Your Impact
Now that you've gotten your profile set up, have
started messaging, and are slowly gaining fans, you
have the perfect set-up for a great Friday night
project: Data sampling.
Have you looked at your “Insights” lately? If you're
an admin for a business page, have more than just a
couple fans, and have fans that interact on
occasion, you should view your Insights on a regular
Don't know how? First, log-in to the Facebook
account that manages your business profile page,
then go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/.
Click on "View Insights" next to your business
profile page. Facebook has changed up the way this
page looks, but by clicking "View Old Page Insights"
you're able to see the old dashboard, and export
data to a .csv.
Insights help you keep track of average fan
interaction, page views, video plays, and more.
Measuring the consistency with which your fans
interact, and how you're encouraging the
interaction, will help establish your messaging
In a few easy steps you can also add your Facebook
page to Google Analytics. I've yet to test the
effectiveness of this method, but it seems to
capture enough useful data. Not only helping to
measure traffic flow, but time on page, measuring
goals, and further help you establish your messaging
What you should look for:
• Look for spikes or dips. What happened that day
that may have caused the dip? Was it a particular
type of message, tone, or piece of content? Monitor
and measure the effects of changing your messaging
Applying the Data
• How many un-fanned? Always know how many
subscribers/fans you have (this goes for blogging as
well). Monitor and measure when fans are added or
unsubscribe. Find the possible message or piece of
content shared that could be attributed to the
action, and measure the effects of changing your
messaging to address it.
• Average interactions, quality per post, and number
of likes show the engagement of your fans. Why did
something receive a large number of likes and
comments? Are there consistent days that your fans
are active? Figure out the reason for upswings in
engagement and patterns, and continue to perform
this type of messaging.
Once you've taken the time to thoroughly analyze the
data from Facebook Insights and Google Analytics,
you can use the information to make changes to your
If you notice your fans are more active on a
particular day, at a particular time of day, and
respond to a particular type of message, then get
organized: Make a social media editorial calendar.
Lay out in a particular month when, what, and how
you're going to communicate and interact with your
a few ideas for a social media calendar,
including using this
social media calendar based in
Have you had a chance to review your Facebook
Insights? What did you find, and how has that
prompted a change in your messaging strategy?
---Source: Vertical Measures Aug.
2010 newsletter (www.verticalmeasures.com). Kaila
Strong is a Social Media Architect with Vertical
Measures where she manages client social media &
Internet marketing campaigns.