We live in a pretty awesome place. There is the ocean a stone's throw away, a beach at every corner, the mildest weather in Canada, mountains all around us, the best hiking trails in the world, some of the best food on the West Coast, and many, many other perks. But one thing that only locals know is Victoria's highly engaged social media crowd.
Our dinner choices are fueled from blogs and UrbanSpoon reviews; our events are plastered all over Facebook and Twitter and are always full; our people use Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and direct messages on Twitter to meet each other for coffee or dinner. Hey, we've been named the Canadian Capital of Selfies for a reason!
In any case, once in a while, people in Victoria start community pages that take off right away. Two of these recent pages, Shit Parkers of Victoria and Spotted in Victoria, have seen fast rising memberships and participation; the Spotted in Victoria people have also opened a website to monetize the popularity of their page by selling ads.
Through looking at what these two pages do, we can learn a lot about what makes a page successful on Facebook. Here are our findings.
1. Capitalize on strong emotions
Behind the success of Shit Parkers of Victoria is the fact that a bad parking job is going to affect your own ability to park. Of course, there's usually more space to park in, but bad parking shows a basic disrespect for the rules of the road. Basic disrespect makes people angry. If you capitalize on this emotion and post more bad parking jobs to be angry about, it's likely that followers will share, and their friends are going to follow suit.
Shit Parkers of Victoria posts about only one thing: bad parking jobs in Victoria. The formula is simple and yet suprisingly effective. It's the same as why pages of cute animals work so well: cuteness is also very shareable.
So, lesson 1 from these community pages is to focus on a single emotion or characteristic--anger, cuteness, etc.--around which to plan your content.
2. Use crowdsourced content
Spotted in Victoria uses another way to engage its community: by making the community essential to its success. The basic idea behind Spotted in Victoria is to anonymously share spottings of attractive people, thank employees for their hard work or otherwise send a message out to specific people while remaining anonymous.
This page quickly took off because the Victoria population is actually quite small (around 300 000 people) and it's likely that you know someone who knows someone who knows whoever is spotted. It's all based on the good feeling we get when we share to help other people; however, this page is only possible because people participate.
3. Post content people care about
In both Shirt Parkers and Spotted, you get content that people care about. Whether it's outing terrible parkers and shaming them publicly or expressing attraction or thankfulness through anonymous messages, this is stuff that affects our daily lives.
If you can find an aspect of your product or service that affects your clients on a daily basis, it's a potential angle to use for your Facebook posts.
4. Stay connected to the community
Another thing that the two pages have in common is that they are rooted in their communities. They use, and speak for, the Victoria community.
Of course, not all communities are geographical. Others are based on interest or profession. But the best Facebook pages all have a sense of community going on.
To build a sense of community, develop your content around what brought your followers to your page. If it's a love of chocolate ice cream, use that. If it's living in a specific town or neighbourhood, it's easy. If it's a certain profession or hobby, use that too. Focus on what brings your followers together rather than what you think they want to hear about.
Know the limits of Facebook
Of course, the success of your page will depend on how many factors. Some business types, like B2B, don't do that well on Facebook since Facebook users go on there for personal reasons, not professional ones. Of course, it matters to have a Facebook page if only to claim the space and use it for SEO, but you shouldn't put effort where it's not going to provide any ROI.
However, if your business is consumer-focused, Facebook will most likely be an effective tool to promote your products or services, as long as:
- You capitalize on strong emotions
- Use crowdsourced content
- Post content people care about and
- Stay connected to the community
If you need help figuring out if Facebook is the right tool for you, don't hesitate to contact us. You can also read this helpful post about the basic strategies behind every social media channel.