Facebook pages are difficult. VERY difficult. If you are trying to grow your page organically without paid ad support, it's like trying to pull a watermelon through a keyhole with a crochet hook.
When I come across a brand page doing a particularly great job, it's worth taking notice... especially when their great work goes largely unrecognized. One page I admire consistently is Three Dog Bakery. Their content is fun, it clearly understands their dog lover target market, they are light-handed with promotion and sales, and they consistently post ORIGINAL content - something many of us struggle with.
As a result, they have over 23,500 page likes and some pretty impressive engagement (23% of their fans, if I do a "people talking about" calculation as a percentage of their total likes as of when I wrote this post).
I caught up with their team to dig up (hehe) some answers...
Q. Your page is packed full of humor and right on target with your audience. Any specific tactics you use?
A. We're are our customers-we're pet parents (AKA crazy dog people). We strive to share content that connects with our fans on an emotional level.
We don't over promote our products-we speak to the relationship a customer has with their dogs and because we're the ones who are doing the talking, we get to be part of that special bond.
Q. Most of your content is original, not shared. Any tips or tools to share on how you make that happen?
A. We're lucky that we've been in business and developing content since 1989. Also, we have many places to pull or develop content. We have several cookbooks as well as a book about our story - Amazing Gracie.
We use our Three Dog Bakery stores as a place to develop content, too. Customers' bring in their dogs and let us take pictures and share them, plus use consumer-generated content that our customers' love to share with us.
We have found if you truly develop a relationship (two way communication) with your customers, they will supply you with some pretty paw-tastic content.
Q. Has most of your page growth been organic, or do you also build likes with advertising?
A. Most of our page growth has been through mostly organic means. We also promote our Facebook page on other social sites, our emails and packaging. We usually run Facebook ad campaigns when we do a contest, sweepstakes or special promotion.
Q. Is your page managed in house or with the help of an agency?
A. It is managed in-house with shared responsibility between two people.
Q. If you could share three of your most important tips for other businesses, what would they be?
1) Be authentic - be true to your brand and products.
2) Remember it is a two-way conversation. Act as if your fans are standing right in front of you. If you ignore them, they will go away.
3) Have lots of fun, but be a little serious. Facebook is entertainment but it can also be informative.
Q. Are you finding the Facebook page converts into sales, and do you track it?
A. We do track and we get very little sales directly from Facebook (a couple a month). Direct Sales have never been a goal for our social media strategy. We use social media to gain mind share, increase brand awareness and strengthen loyalty.
Do you have tips for improving conversion to share with Three Dog Bakery? It's definitely something WE ALL struggle with. If you do, by all means, post a comment and share your brilliance!
Q. Any other advice or warnings to share?
A. Stay away from sex, politics and religion - unless that is your business.
Questions for Three Dog Bakery? Tips for conversion? Post 'em in the comments! Otherwise, I now declare it "Give Your Pooch a Smooch" Day in gratitude for some great info. Thanks for the interview, Angela of Three Dog Bakery wisdom!