If you have a Facebook page—congratulations, you’re ahead of several of your competitors in the residential energy market. However, there is a big difference between simply having a Facebook page and leveraging it to its full potential. Many heating oil, propane and HVAC-related businesses alike struggle to manage their social presences in a way that both impresses audiences and drives interaction. With Facebook now boasting over 2.2 billion monthly active users, this platform is proving to be a crucial place to reach your customers and best prospects.
Success can be found by understanding how to attract more followers, and more importantly, engage with them. Social interactions for retail energy companies should include creative posts and targeted strategies. By tapping into the power of Facebook and its advertising opportunities, you can increase your effectiveness and have more people liking the pages you manage.
While navigating this social media giant may seem overwhelming, there are a few simple things to note that can directly impact the effectiveness of your page. Here are some of the most wondered about and frequently asked questions to help you maximize your business’ Facebook presence.
“I have a page, now what do I post?”
While posting industry information may seem like a given, people on Facebook are human—and nobody likes to read the same information all the time. Turn up the engagement and make your followers feel connected by asking them questions, creating competitions and delivering original, fun content. It’s all about delivering the correct ratio of business and non-business posts. Consider some of these posts to drive engagement rates and traffic to your page.
• Advice/Useful Information: host a Q&A session on your Facebook page to establish your expertise in the field. Offering advice, such as how to prevent pipes from freezing in the winter or what to do if you lose your heat, is a great way to position yourself as a point of reference for followers. You can even post safety tips, whether precautions for using a portable heater in the winter or grill safety tips in the summer.
• Company Culture: people prefer to do business with companies they like—make yours one of them! Provide a behind-the-scenes look into your company by posting live videos or pictures from around your
office. Whether it is introducing new employees, sharing milestones or celebrating a birthday or holiday, posts about these happenings provide a sense of
community among your followers.
• Community Ties: as a local heating oil, propane or HVAC-related business, your most important audience members are homeowners in your service area. Appeal to your community by posting local stories, charity opportunities and events happening in your neighborhood. Dig those community roots deeper!
• Trending Topics: just because you’re a business page doesn’t mean your page can’t take advantage of trending topics on Facebook—in fact, you should! Facebook ranks pages featuring trending topics higher in the newsfeed. Stay on top of what’s going on around your community and don’t be afraid to share viral videos, heartwarming stories and spotlights on local heroes. Whatever people are talking about, join the conversation! Just avoid participating in any posts deemed political, religious or controversial.
No matter what you’re doing, consistency is key. The same goes for your Facebook page. Posting content on a regular, consistent basis builds up your following and keeps your company relevant in newsfeeds. It is recommended to post five times per week to maximize reach and create a more robust presence.
“What, if anything, should I be tracking?”
It’s no secret that Facebook is a goldmine of data and information. While having access to information on the performance of your posts and page activity can provide powerful insight, it only matters if you understand which metrics are important to your business.
• Reach: if you’ve noticed a decrease in Facebook performance or want more people to see your posts, Reach is a great place to start. Also known as “unique impressions,” Reach is the number of people who see your content in their newsfeeds. Reach can be determined at both the overall page and individual post levels and further broken down by city, country and other demographic variables.
• Engagement: while Reach tells you how many people have seen your content, engagement takes this a step further—showing you how many people have interacted with your content. Engagement is the most important currency on Facebook, and the social media giant defines it as “the number of people who clicked anywhere in your post,” whether it is clicking a link, sharing your post, making a reaction or leaving a comment. The higher your engagement rate, the more likely Facebook’s algorithm is to surface your post, maximizing exposure to your audience.
• Impressions: Impressions provide insight into the visibility of your post, tracking how many times it has been displayed. Unlike Reach, impressions account for posts seen multiple times by a single user. If someone saw your post in their newsfeed and then again when a friend shared it, this counts as two
impressions. With so much content in the newsfeed, having people see your content multiple times is vital in getting them to take action.
• Likes & Followers: While the number of page likes and number of followers do not directly represent the success of your marketing efforts and posts, they’re important in tracking the size of your audience. Your number of followers should grow over time. If it stays stagnant, you’re either losing followers at the same pace as you’re gaining them or you are failing to attract new followers altogether.
Metrics are vital in measuring the growth of your page and the effectiveness of your posts. Monthly progress reports and insights help companies measure progress against objectives.
Boosted Posts vs. Facebook Ads
If your Facebook activity is lacking, a simple fix may be to promote your content. When it comes to amplifying your brand, there are two key options: boosted posts or Facebook ads—which one should you use?
• Boosted Posts: if driving engagement is an
important part of your Facebook strategy, boosted posts can be a great fit. A simpler, quicker alternative to traditional Facebook ads, boosted posts ensure your current audience sees your post in their newsfeeds by enabling you to select your desired audience, maximum budget and tenure of the ad. With the option to display your content on both desktop and mobile newsfeeds, boosted posts are optimized to
generate engagement, like comments and shares.
• Facebook Ads: while boosted posts are optimized to drive engagement, Facebook ads take this a step further, allowing you to run a more detailed, targeted campaign to meet a wide array of different goals. The Facebook Ads Manager offers advanced capabilities and options to define your ad placement, specific objectives and design. Its sophisticated platform enables you to target your audience by several variables including location, age, gender, interests and behaviors. This option allows you to reach those not already in your audience, further amplifying your brand and messaging.There is no single “best” method to reach your audience. You need to develop a unique strategy specific to your company’s brand and personality. The decision to use boosted posts or Facebook ads ultimately depends on your company’s goals, budget and overall strategy. If you’re new to promoting Facebook content, boosted posts are a simple way to drive engagement. However, for more advanced targeting and customization, Facebook ads offer a more robust structure and diverse capabilities.
With social media becoming an inescapable factor in our lives, businesses who fail to tap its power are missing out on a significant opportunity to build their brand, engage with customers and generate leads. ICM