social media how toWould you like to have a thriving Facebook community?

Are you looking for tips to improve your community?

In this article I’ll share 9 tips to improve your Facebook community.

#1: Know Your Voice

Branding is important on social media. Your company should have a “voice” that matches your brand and your company philosophy.

Are you more serious or do you add a little bit of snark in your posts? Do you stick mostly to business or can you be off the wall? Do you like to stir things up or do you remain neutral?

If you are a one-person operation, these decisions may be easy. But if you have multiple employees and possibly multiple people posting to the Facebook Page, you want to have the “voice of the company” communicated clearly to the people who will be managing your Facebook Page.

The voice of the company is important in how comments and community feedback are handled, as well as the day-to-day posting. Consistency in your voice will help your community know what to expect.

know your voice

ModCloth has an offbeat, humorous voice that engages their audience.

#2: Have Access to Visuals

Visual marketing is becoming a vital part of Facebook and all social platforms. The more you can incorporate photos, screenshots and graphics, the richer your Facebook Page will be.

Even if your business isn’t visual, make a plan for how you will add images to your posts. You can use things like:

  • A screenshot of something you’re demonstrating
  • An interesting photo with a quote about your niche
  • An infographic with statistics about your niche
  • Behind-the-scenes photos from your company events

I like using tools like Snagit, iPiccy or PicMonkey to create or modify images to make them interesting. You can even use PowerPoint to create a slide that you can then export as an image.

use images

Orange County Animal Services uses creative images.

#3: Know the Rules

As a community manager, make sure you know Facebook’s policies. Pages can be shut down without warning for violating these policies. Usually it’s very difficult to get your Page restored and you don’t want all that hard work to go down the drain for violating Facebook’s contest terms, for example. Make sure you keep up with the updates to the terms as they do change frequently (see #7).

facebook contest violation

This Page is violating Facebook’s Promotion Guidelines and could be shut down.

#4: Know the Industry

If you are managing a Page for someone else, you need to know the industry so you can speak the lingo. It won’t reflect well on the company if you aren’t using the terminology or common acronyms correctly in your posts and follow-up comments.

know the industry

Some industries have terms that you will need to know if you are managing a community for someone.

#5: Recognize Members

A community manager needs to recognize contributors and members and get to know them. If you have a physical location, you can take pictures of your community members and recognize them on your Facebook Page.

community members

Recognize your community members who come to your physical location.

Or you can find other ways to recognize your community by featuring them in a post or promoting their business somehow.

community members feature on page

Promote your community members by featuring them on your Page.

#6: Answer Questions Quickly

Promptly respond to posts or questions on your Page to create strong bonds with your community. Even if you don’t know the answer, let them know that you will get back to them. Or point them to a useful resource is another good option.

answer questions quickly

Answer questions quickly if possible.

The good news is you have more options to get notifications when something happens on your Page. If your Page is large, these can get overwhelming, so you may need to set a schedule to check in. To access your notifications, go to Edit Page > Manage Notifications.


Adjust your notifications so you can keep on top of your posts.

#7: Stay on Top of Changes

Facebook changes a lot! There are changes to their official policies and in how things are working at any given moment. Make sure you keep track of Facebook’s official changes by following the Newsroom and the Facebook Marketing Page.

facebook news room

Follow the Newsroom on Facebook to see announcements.

For “unofficial” quirks and issues, you can always come to our Facebook Page and ask questions. Another great place to see if others are experiencing the same thing is to come to our Facebook Networking Club.

facebook club

Find out what others are seeing and get your questions answered in our Facebook Networking Club.

Some other great Facebook Pages to help you stay on top of the news are Mari Smith, Social Identities and Jon Loomer Digital.

#8: Respond Calmly to Negative Posts

If you get some angry posts for whatever reason on your Page, think before you fire off an angry response. Respond quickly (even if it’s to say we’ll get back to you), but don’t respond in the heat of the moment when you might feel like “telling them off.”

If you have some upset Facebook fans, there could be a good reason. By dealing calmly with the situation, you can hopefully salvage the relationship.

respond calmly

Campbell’s Condensed Soup acknowledges the customer’s concerns on their Page.

#9: Have Fun

Find some ways to have fun with your community. Have a Facebook “live Q&A chat” time, do a Livestream or even (gasp) go over to a Google+ Hangout.

have fun

Have fun with your community.

When you are having fun and sharing with your community, you are all getting to know each other better and everyone wins.

have fun encourage sharing

Encourage sharing to have fun and get to know each other.

Always be thinking about how you can be a good resource for your community and create a great experience for your fans. Your Facebook Page will grow and so will your business.

How about you? Are you employing these tactics as a Facebook community manager? What is working for you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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  • Nicely done post with a lot of useful tips.

    Specialy I think that post photo on your wall really increase the number of people who will see it.

    I also like the Answer Questions Quickly part if you want to engage with your readers.



  • Loving it, really nice

  • Awesome post as usual Andrea! Yes, my team and I are using many of techniques mentioned 🙂 I often check out SME status updates on Facebook and I noticed that you often post questions. Question, what type of questions are better… the survey type questions in which you give them the options or questions which they will take a minute or so to answer. It was great catching up in SD last week!

    Have a fun Tuesday everyone!

    John Lee Dumas

  • Always on the mark, Andrea. I appreciate your articles.

    I haven’t tried this yet “Have a Facebook “live Q&A chat” time” but I’ve been thinking about doing it. Do you promote just like you would a Twitter event with a day, time and topic?

    Let’s do a G+ hangout soon just to chat — it was great to meet you in person and it would be great to hash out out some social live. 🙂

  • Moin.

    Sounds Great! Thanks for sharing.

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  • Thanks Peg! So great meeting you too! I’ve had people do it different ways. We’ve used the Linqto app or Livestream which is fun. Or just a Q&A on the Timeline which can also be fun. So much easier now with the threaded replies! Let’s definitely hang out on G+ sometime soon 🙂

  • Thanks John! I like a variety of questions. Sometimes I keep it on topic within the niche and other times it’s a question that anyone can answer like “what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?” I think it pays to mix things up and see what works best with your audience. So great to see you last week too!

  • Glad you enjoyed it Leo!

  • Great Article Andrea, loved the last tip Have Fun! think it’s great when brands can showcase their personality and fun side to their audience. Will have to definitely try out a Google Hangout looks like you had lots of fun 🙂

  • Dara Khajavi

    Great post. I am always looking for new ways to engage the Facebook community. What would you recommend to do with negative members of the community.

  • Enjoying helping my clients in different industry develop successful communities. One of the most successful has been true / false posts. A day or two later, I give the answer with an image. Love how folks are quick to respond and add their two cents. Keep up the great posts!

  • Lisa

    I have found over the past month or so that posts with photos and post with links (or shared posts) have significantly lower reaches. I don’t use them quite as much now.

  • They definitely do have a lower reach but you have to look at the engagement. I’ve found that on my Pages the photos still get the best overall engagement (but it also can depend on the types of post) I do like making sure you have a mix of different types of posts to take advantage of all the features.

  • Thanks Theresa! Glad to hear your experiences too!

  • It can be hard to turn around a negative person. If they are attacking other members or posting offensive things, you can ban them. Have a policy in place to help you deal with the points where you may have to ban members. But just keep responding positively. It’s also ok not to engage these people repeatedly – sometimes they are looking to pick a fight.

  • Thanks Ravi! You’ll have to come to Grandma’s next Hangout too 🙂

  • Thanks Moin!

  • Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Andrea, I couldn’t agree more. We’ve run a couple items with photos and then run the same item without, and though our page doesn’t have a huge number of fans we’ve found that engagement goes through the roof with photos.

  • I like the idea of showcasing a Google+ Hangout on your Facebook page. I am looking to conduct/participate in some. Anyone want to Hangout?!

  • Sam Millendo

    My FB Page is not visible. When I typed it in the search box, I couldn’t find it. I even tried typing in the URL page in the URL box but nothing works. What should I do?

  • Always good to have choices! I’ll check out Linqto and Livestream. 🙂

  • It sounds like it may have been removed for some reason. If you can’t access it at all and can’t find it, I would contact Facebook.

  • You can also find some good Google+ Communities and connect there and cross-populate your audience. Although many people you find on Google+ first prefer that platform over Facebook. But there are some cross-overs 🙂

  • Hi Andrea,

    (I hope this isn’t posted twice, as I just signed in with Disqus)

    Excellent article! The points that stand out which are a great take-away would be your mention of images (being in the press release industry we can really relate to this), staying on top of changes, and #8, responding calmly. Images are so valuable, they really break up the monotony. Any multimedia for that matter. You have done a great job with your screen shots & images!

    We are well aware of having to sometimes take a few breathers before responding to someone that may have written something in the heat of the moment.

    The rest of the article was no doubt fantastic, but those points really hit home.

    Thank you for the mention of the tools for screen shots as well, they will come in handy.

    We have posted to our Facebook page and performed a tweet of your article. It was a pleasure to read, so thank you!


  • Neotericuk

    Thanks Andrea for such nice tips. Sometimes we know the way but do not know how to proceed and where to proceed while engaging others. Thanks for attracting us with your amazing ideas.

  • Great article. Love you. Thanks a lot.

  • I just read an article that saying that small businesses weren’t enjoying any returns on their social media investments. I think if I had read this before that, I would have posted a link to this blog becoz this post drives home the point: when it comes to social media, you really have to know your industry and how to truly connect beyond posting generic information irrelevant to the daily lives of targeted audiences. I myself have indulged in this and have seen first hand that this approach doesn’t work. Thanks SME

  • MelissaWardy

    Hi Andrea –
    Thanks so much for including the facebook page for my company Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies! The Bragging Rights post is something our group has been doing for over a year now, every Thursday night. It is a way for us to reflect on how Full of Awesome our kids are and enjoy experiencing them grow up. We are a pretty amazing group and I’m really proud of the work we do discussing gender stereotypes and sexualization in childhood.
    Thanks much! Melissa Atkins Wardy

  • I disagree with #4.. you should know the lingo of you industry, but more importantly you should use the language that your customers are using.

  • ALL great tips. I love #2, regarding visuals. As someone who posts a lot of content to a community, I find those with accompanying visuals always receive the highest engagment.

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  • Logan Merrick

    Great post!

    I’m working on ‘humanising’ my FB page at the moment. People connect with people, not companies.

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  • These advises are very important when you are building in projects by the way thank you

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  • jameybrown

    Good read, Andrea! As a Community Strategist these points help as I have to train and then manage Community Managers. This is great information to funnel their way 🙂


  • Thanks so much Michael! I appreciate your comments!

  • So glad you enjoyed the article Shelly-Ann – I agree, you have to be really connecting to make social media work for you!

  • So great to feature pages that are doing things right Melissa! Congrats on your thriving community!

  • Yes, that is true too. Nothing worse that posting too many acronyms that your audience doesn’t use.

  • Agree with all these especially knowing the tone of voice you want to use to market the company.

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  • geetha

    Very nice post. thanks for sharing

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  • Ishan

    Great tips. Thanks for putting these basics together, which are frequently overlooked.

  • Maud Coussa-Jandl

    Hi Andrea, Good job on your nicely written post!
    You answered several questions but I’m still wondering about the negative comments in #8. What do you do when you manage Facebook ads and some people are constantly posting negative comments or internet memes, to discredit and your message?

    Good job!