There are a variety of groups, pages and profiles that can be set up through Facebook. For businesses or not-for-profit entities in Australia, business pages in Facebook generally have the best functionality for marketing and promotions. Here, we get into the detail of Facebook and provide you with some tips and tricks.
It is against Facebook’s Terms and Conditions to use a personal profile for commercial purposes, so you need to make sure that you set up a Business Page. To set up a Facebook business page:
1. Go to Facebook Pages and click ‘Create a page’. All business pages are created and managed by personal profiles. This does not connect the business page in any way other than giving you administration rights. More than one person can be an administrator of a page.
2. Select the appropriate category for your Page. Radio stations are listed under ‘Entertainment’, not ‘Company’.
3. Follow the step by step process to add a cover photo and profile information which can be edited at any time.
What if someone else has created a page?
Some stations may find that a fan made page (made by someone outside the station) already exists for their station or even for an individual program. Depending on how it is operating, it may be okay to simply work with the existing page administrator but if it isn’t a suitable option you can set up a different page and distinguish it as the official page. If there is still problem with having more than one page, contact Facebook to have the other page removed. This would involve proving you are the legal representative of the station and it won’t be an instant fix (you’ll need to send in documents and it may take time). Before taking action to remove another page from Facebook, consider any real harm it is causing and what consequences there may be.
For more information about managing your page and getting the most out of it visit the Facebook Help Centre – Facebook Pages.
Groups are like ‘clubs’ on Facebook and can be made private. They are best used for individual shows, not entire radio stations. They have less viral reach and functionality than a Business Page.
Groups allow more direct communication to all members than pages do, which isn’t always suitable for divergent groups (for example, all of a station’s listeners) or for large groups. This option may be more suitable to communicate between station volunteers, or for fans of one individual show rather than the station itself. In these examples, a station volunteer group could be left entirely private and a program page on Facebook could allow anyone to join.
Under the ‘Members’ tab you can add or remove administrators. Administrators are able to approve new members, edit the group, send messages to everyone and remove other administrators (that are newer than themselves).
People using mobile devices are able to ‘check in’ to places (locations) through Facebook. Many ‘place’ details are populated with information from Wikipedia, and your station may already have one. You can merge this location page with your fan page, and have people check in when they are at your radio station office or studio to give your Facebook page more visibility. Help on how to manage your ‘place’ page can be found in Facebook’s Help Centre – Claiming Places.
You can use events within Facebook to remind fans of your radio station events, for example, your subscription drives, open days, outside or special broadcasts and live shows. You can make an event invite list public or private, allow invitees to invite their friends and see who is and isn’t attending. Events are highly visible to other Facebook users (if they aren’t set to private) as ‘acceptances’ to events show in user’s news streams, which means that more people on Facebook are exposed to your event.
Facebook case study
The Tinderbox is a community radio show broadcasting from Voice FM (99.9FM) in Ballarat, Victoria. Every Thursday evening from 6-8pm Amy, Lauren and friends bring listeners an eclectic mix of funk, soul and folk, arts news and creative guests sharing their work. The Tinderbox have utilised social media, particularly Facebook, to build and engage with their community. Visit Tinderbox’s Facebook group to see a community radio program in action on social media. Voice FM also utilise social media as a radio station and are a good case study for how a radio station can use various social media platforms.
- Content in Facebook is only available in Facebook (i.e. it will not show up in search engines) and not everyone has a Facebook account. Consider posting your more important content on your blog or website and posting a link to it on your Facebook profile. While Facebook is a popular and established promotional tool, relying on it solely isn’t the best practice.
- Facebook is constantly evolving so be sure to keep up to date with the latest tools and features available, so that you can have the greatest impact possible.
- Make the most of your Facebook real estate and upload a cover photo to your Facebook page – you can include your logo, but not a call to action, discounts or instructions.
- You can change the name on your business page until you reach 100 fans.
- Facebook uses software called ‘EdgeRank’ to prioritise your posts on your fans’ walls. This is based on affinity, weight and relevancy. The things that show up on most people’s walls (depending on their settings) are: the people and pages they have interacted with most; the people and pages that others have interacted with most; posts that have a link or a photo; pages that respond to comments and engage with fans; posts that are done manually (not through 3rd party software).
- Posts can now be scheduled in Facebook for business pages – if you are going to schedule posts this is the way to do it.
- Being tagged and tagging others is a clever way to increase your following. Do this consciously and don’t spam or self promote on other’s pages.
- Each Facebook post has around 3 hours of shelf-life in your fans’ newsfeeds so you can and should mix up when you post, being careful not to reduce interaction by posting too often. Tests times of the day and frequency, and find the ‘sweet spot’ for your target audience.
- New Facebook Features: Schedule, Restrict and Pay to Be Seen: Social Mediology
- The Beginner’s Guide to Facebook: Mashable
- Facebook 101 for Business: Your Complete Guide: Social Media Examiner
- The Community Media Training Organisation (CMTO) have produced a series of one page ‘cheat sheets’ which outline some of the basics in social media - visit the CMTO website to download these cheat sheets