By Celeste Miranda
Without a community, all you have is a space on the Internet. The days are no longer when you post to a blog and get 150 comments. Communities are no longer as visible or close, having given way too many social platforms in existence. Conversations that were in blogs have been driven away, primarily to social networks. Then Facebook Live came out, which changed the game even further. Cannabis entrepreneurs must learn to use the tools in different ways.
The interesting thing about Facebook is that it tells you exactly who your community is. You open Facebook Insights and you no longer must assume. FB Insights will tell you whatever you are looking for. But, here’s what I look for: the orange bar. What does that orange bar mean? Once you open your analytics, you will see the orange bar. I think it’s in the fourth column or so. It will show your reach compared to everything else that day. My team knows if the orange bar is short, don’t do it again. If the orange bar is long, let’s figure out how to do it over and over. It’s as simple as that.
Facebook doesn’t say there’s an algorithm (l love that). But what people don’t get is that when something happens it’s not the algorithm’s fault, it’s how your fans reacted to your post that caused it that amount of reach. If you put something popular out there, guess what, the algorithm likes it. Why does the algorithm like it? Because your fans like it. If you put something out there that’s a dog, people say the algorithm didn’t like it. No, it’s your fans that didn’t like it. The algorithm is numbers. There’s no emotion in the algorithm.
I’m obsessed with supporting things that I appreciate. Put your money where it will do good. This is the same concept. Every interaction on your page is a vote for that. Your fans are saying “we want more of that”. So, what do you do if there is a low orange bar? Read on…
Well, I play a game. Before I post something, I think “how far will it reach?”. Then you go back later and answer that question. Once you get good at this game 80-90% of the posts will not surprise you. They’ll fall in line with what your expectations are. Some days are better than others and you can’t throw your Facebook page out on one bad day of posts. So, if it’s something you think should have done better than the orange bar is showing, figure it out. Was it the image? Was it the content? Was it the time of day? Was it the topic? Here’s what I do… rewrite it, put a new image in and schedule it three days from now. Then go back and look at it again. It will all make sense then. If not, sometimes you should look deeper or sometimes, some posts are just dogs.
I still stand behind the fact that Facebook does not prefer third-party schedulers, which can make your life hell if you are an agency like we are. But I figured out that Facebook does not like third-party schedulers simply because they don’t like third-party schedulers; it’s because it takes you a step away from your analytics. If you are not looking at your FB analytics everyday but it is your job to run a Facebook page, what the heck are you doing?
Assuming you have spent time in your Facebook analytics, what do you do now to nurture the cannabis community you have? It’s one thing to schedule a post, but it needs to go beyond that. You can take what is popular and then expand on that. One of the things you can do is reader questions. People message the page a question. Post the question in its entirety and people will answer it. You can also take this to live video now. In live video, let the community weigh in. If you are not going to interact on FB Live, just do a YouTube video. Acknowledge every person by name. I recommend going live once a week for any cannabis CEO or top level executive. It will get more reach than anything else you post. Harness that. Leverage it for your community growth. I hate to say this, but when it comes to FB Live, the longer you go the better. People are constantly popping in and out. Some serious fans will stay the length. Those people always amaze me. Lol.
The other thing you can do is encourage people to post to your wall, then share things from your wall. You will find amazing content that way. You can share it or you can copy and paste it to a new post. Whatever you can do to show Facebook that people are engaging with you, you will want to reap the benefits of.
Facebook groups are like category extenders. Instead of having a highly niched blog or FB page, highly niche the group. So why would you choose to do it as a group instead of another page? There are pros and cons to an FB Group. You cannot advertise to a group but groups do get notifications and pages do not. That’s huge for engagement and for people popping on when you do a Facebook Live segment. It’s a bit more intense than running a page. It’s more of a close-knit community. It will impact your business, but figure out if the ROI is worth it. The community is your algorithm buster. If you can develop this, it will allow your business to regular get in front of this community. There is some power in the small. Rabid fans.
If your group can be a place where people go to vacation, whether work or not, that’s when you’ve won.