Facebook posts – what’s worked and what hasn’t

Part of my presentation to offices regarding the use of Facebook has meant using examples which have driven good engagement.

I mentioned in my last post that very few offices had actually taken control of their branded pages. One exception was the Great Yarmouth Mercury which not only wanted to manage its own page but also saw the benefits of doing so.

Led by Anne Edwards, the Mercury created a Facebook page on February 7, 2011, and got to work. It took a lot of hard work and long hours from Anne in the beginning but it paid off and the Mercury is still the leading light in the Archant Anglia Facebook world.

A snapshot of the Great Yarmouth Mercury Facebook page. Engagement is consistently high.

Examples I have shared with other offices include the story of a 12-year-old lad who went missing and was, thankfully, later discovered.

The Mercury Facebook community shared the story 60 times, proving exactly what an engaged audience can do. A lot of talk in today’s marketing sphere centres around advocates and influencers – working with fans and followers so they share your good work – and the missing lad story is a great example of how the Mercury’s community shares the brand’s content.

The Mercury’s Facebook community really want to help.

As of October 29, 2012, the Mercury Facebook page has reached 2,708 likes and, more importantly, Anne works hard to make sure her audience feels engaged and a part of her community.

We have seen some other ‘easy-wins’. Uploading an album of photos and asking fans to choose their favourite for the page’s cover photo is a great way of getting the audience involved and feeling part of the community.

We asked fans to choose their favourite photo of Norwich for the Evening News cover pic. The successful engagement – about 100 actions – helped the content get in front of more people.

The Lowestoft Journal recently played on the fact that it was nearing 1,000 likes and the community actively got involved to hit the four-figure total. It was an excellent little piece of engagement.

But it hasn’t all worked.

The pages for both our county dailies – the EDP and the East Anglian Daily Times – struggle to gain momentum; not something our weekly titles in smaller areas struggle with.

It makes me wonder if Facebook users feel an affinity to their local towns rather than their counties.

And we still see posts and certain types of content receive little or no engagement.

Not one action with a story you would expect to be popular – the tale of a footballer whose team-mates were asked by emergency services to take him to hospital.

We’re still learning but the most important point is that we are now connecting to our Facebook communities – and that can only be positive.

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