A Community Manager's Checklist for Daily Facebook Page Management

The most successful brands on Facebook realize that community management is job one, especially in the areas of customer service and customer engagement. Brands also realize that people talk about them on Facebook whether they realize it or not, and it's much better to be part of the conversation, than to feign ignorance.

You can acquire thousands of fans by launching a photo contest, a sweepstakes, and of course with ads, but the investment in acquiring thousands of fans will be for nothing if those fans aren't active and engaged.

Ultimately, you want people to buy your product and service, and you're using Facebook to nurture customer relationships, generate buzz, and drive website traffic. To accomplish these objectives, you need an engaged fanbase.

The bottom line is that an actively engaged fan shares your product or service with their Facebook friends. Keeping your customers happy is the first step. The next step is properly managing the community on Facebook.

Following are daily tasks you can do to help grow a thriving fan base on Facebook:

  1. Post at least one relevant status update (text, photo, or video) that's focused on your community's needs.

    Don't promote anything in this update. Seek to be useful in ways that pertain to your business. Consumers tend to trust brands that are useful and offer value, if there are no strings attached.

  2. Be a resource.

    Develop a habit of curating useful news, tips, and must reads to share with your Facebook fans. You can — and should — become a trusted adviser by consistently reading the top blogs and Facebook Pages in your niche.

  3. Reply to comments.

    Want engagement? Engage. Make a point of responding to Page notifications at least once a day. Make sure that your page settings have Replies turned on.

    Make a point of responding to every person that expects a reply. For example, if someone has a question about the upcoming event you posted, respond as quickly and thoughtfully as possible, remembering that how you reply is a reflection of your brand.

    Make sure all responses are positive — especially when someone has a complaint! Those are some of the best opportunities to turn a foe into one of your best fans.

  4. Comment on posts on similar Pages. Make sure you login as your Facebook Page, so that your comments link back to your Facebook Page and not your profile.

    Understand that when you comment on another page, you are on someone else's turf. This means no selling. Instead, seek to add value and respect the community that other page has worked to develop. Good karma comes around, they say.

  5. Review Facebook Insights.

    Look for correlations with other channels like your e-mail list. For example, are spikes in engagement on the same days when you send out an e-mail to your supporters? Which websites are referring the most traffic to your Page? Which updates have the highest engagement rate?

  6. Create a Facebook community policy.

    If you're like most marketers, the question of what to do with negative comments on your Facebook Page comes up at one point or another.

    You want to allow your fans to have free reign on your Facebook Page, but you also want to protect the innocent.

    Facebook Page community guidelines help set the tone for your community (how it will reflect your brand's voice and the voices of your various different audience segments).

    Community guidelines also set expectations for how negative comments will be handled and state grounds for banning users.

The way in which you deal with negative comments is key. When writing your guidelines, discuss the following scenarios with your coworkers and how they should handle each:

  • When the comment is hurtful: Protecting your community should be job one. The members need to feel that you will stand up against a commenter whose only intention is to hurt them.

    In some cases, particularly with passionate communities, you might let other fans deal with the commenter. However, if the commenter crosses a line, you should delete the comment and/or remove them as a fan.

    Also remember that hurtful comments about other Facebook communities should not be tolerated, even if you disagree with that community's politics or beliefs. Maintain a high level of respect and dignity for all people as a baseline — it will benefit your organization in the long run.

  • When the comment is spam: Uninvited comments that are promoting a product unrelated to your community are examples of spam. You can either delete them or flag them as inappropriate.

  • When the comment is not age appropriate: For Page communities that include 13- to 18-year-olds, it might be a good idea to enlist a few adults to help moderate the Page. Make sure these moderators have a clear set of guidelines regarding their roles and the rules of engagement.

    Also, consider starting a secret group for in-depth discussions that teens have attempted to conduct on the Page.

  • Don't delete criticism: It may be tempting to delete comments that are critical of your organization. But don't. Acknowledge criticism that is legitimate and respond respectfully. You'll learn that diversity of mind on your Page is an asset, not a hindrance.

    And keep in mind that commenters can take screen grabs of their comments as they make them. You wouldn't want to be seen as an org that deletes legit comments just because they're critical.

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