How Elected Officials can maximize their Facebook Fan Page

For all the talk about Twitter, Facebook remains king, with over 1.28 billion users worldwide.  A Facebook Fan Page can be a critical way of promoting the “official” actions of an elected official – by official, I mean things that you do as part of your role as an elected official, not in a campaign or personal capacity.  To that end, here are a few tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your Facebook Fan Page:

1) Consistent – if not constant – updates: Frequent updates – 1-3 times a day – are good.  They help keep your page relevant and valuable in the minds of those who have liked it.  However, what is more important is that you are consistent.  Don’t update the page five times one day and then not touch it for a week.  Make sure you keep a regular schedule of updates so the people who like your page can know how often to expect new content.

2) Fill out every About Me section:  Leave nothing blank.  Your fan page isn’t necessarily the most appropriate page for you to regularly share information about your family and friends, so the About Me section gives people a chance to learn more about your personal side.  It can also contain other valuable background information about yourself, as well as how people can better connect with you and your office.

3) Link to the page on your website and in your Email signatures:  These are two of the easiest ways to alert people to your fan page.  Make sure a link (with the Facebook logo) is prominently displayed on your webpage, and insert a hyperlink in your Email signature.

4) Invite all your personal friends:  Facebook changed a few years ago, making it harder for non-page Admins to invite someone to like a page.  This, however, is good news to some extent, as it means that invites are now less spammy and more meaningful.  Accordingly, make sure to invite all of your personal friends to like your page.  It’s an easy source of likes, particularly when you are just getting started.  Also, it’s a good idea to sporadically share your fan page on your personal profile.

5) Authorize someone on your staff, or in your communications office, to make posts on your behalf:  Being an elected official is simply too demanding for you, as the elected official, to be the sole person in charge of updating your Facebook page.  Authorize someone else to do so on your behalf, and make sure they know the types of content and tone that sounds like you.

6) Multimedia posts:  My experience is that posts that include links to pictures, video or websites perform the best.  The more of those, the better.

7) Post useful information – not just self-promotional:  Remember, Facebook is not simply another place to post your press releases.  Use it to post information about your district, including festivals, events, non-profits and more.

8) Post current events and happenings: Related to the post above – my experience has been that current events and happenings in the district are the most useful types of content to post.  Those usually get the most likes, comments and shares.

9) Have a specific Call to Action with each post: Don’t just post info.  Encourage people to take some action – RSVP, attend today, please share, make a donation, etc.  Remember, a social media post without a real-world call to action is ineffective!

10) Don’t be afraid to sponsor posts – but check with your legal staff first:  Every now and then, I will run a sponsored ad for my official page.  My legal staff gave me the okay to do it, and I pay for it out of my campaign account (using campaign resources for legislative purposes is legal, but using legislative resources for campaign purposes is not).  Sponsored ads absolutely boost engagement and likes – do it if you can!

What do you think – anything to add?  Let me know in the comments!

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