Facebook isn’t just for teens and catching up with old high school friends, it’s a tool that provides a wonderful opportunity to create a community and engage with your fellow aquarium fans. Best of all, it’s free unless you choose to advertise. Let’s start with the free part and how you can leverage it for your club. By starting a page you can provide a place for your club to exchange ideas, post fish room pictures and attract new members to the club. You also can create events and invite your Facebook audience to attend.
If advertising interests you, Facebook can be a reasonable way to reach a very targeted audience maximizing your marketing dollar. If you want to advertise your event to aquarium keepers located in specific zip codes, of a certain age and gender, you are in luck. You can be very precise with the audience you target and variations for best performance. This is good news because you aren’t wasting valuable resources on the wrong demographic like traditional forms of advertising. It also can supplement and drive traffic to a club website.
Sounds good so far, but what the best practices? Here’s a list to get you off and running.
Keep posts brief. In today’s digital world, readers have less and less time to dedicate to reading paragraphs. It is key to challenge yourself to share your message with the fewest words possible.
Use a conversational tone. Facebook is a recreational website, so let loose and have a little fun with your posts rather than stiff marketing copy.
Include a photo with your posts. Posts with images are read more and receive significantly more shares than without.
Include a link to your website with your post. This is important part to remember. You can catch the attention of a new reader and direct them to more information on your club website. Before you know it, this new reader turns into a new member because they see all the great things your club is doing.
Shorten your URL links. Use a site like Bitly.com to shorten all of the links you post back to your website. Not only does this help keep your post concise, it also provides tracking which I will talk about later.
To prove exactly what advertising dollars get in return, there are some things you can do to gauge your success. By using a site like Bitly.com to shorten your weblinks, you also can see how many people clicked on the link from Facebook to your website. Consider posting a coupon that can be redeemed at an event like a swap meet or promotional code offering a discount on your site. Another measurement is the engagement you receive with your posts. The more likes, comments and shares you receive the more valuable the post will be to your page. As your posts get shared, it encourages new readers to like your page and ultimately you will bring new members or event attendees.
Last word of advice, the best way to learn about Facebook is to jump in and keep using it. New features are being added regularly. You also can subscribe to free newsletters such as Social Media Examiner and read Facebook’s user forum for more ideas.