One of the Facebook pages I manage is causing me concern. It’s not growing. Despite sharing regular, locally relevant content the page is showing few signs of life.
The page currently has just over 130 members. This number hasn’t changed for sometime.
What’s the problem?
The first place I look is the content. Are the posts relevant to the target demographic? Initially I thought the answer was yes. I was wrong.
I took a close look at the page Insights. I was surprised by what I saw. Sixty-six percent of the page members were female. Most of those were 25-34 years old. That was unexpected. As the page was related to real estate I thought the membership would be evenly spread between males and females. Clearly that’s not the case.
Why does the page have a heavy bias to female membership?
My theory is that, in the early stages of a Facebook page’s life, the gender of the audience reflects the gender of the page administrator.
Well, in an effort to grow member numbers, admins often suggest the page to their friends. If their friends list is weighted to people of the same sex as themselves then the page suggestions will inherit that bias. In this case the original page admins were female, which supports – at least anecdotally – my theory.
Supporting this conclusion is the number of users who had hidden the page from their newsfeed. Although not numerically high the number wasn’t insignificant. People often hide a page from their newsfeed after joining as a result of an irrelevant page suggestion. Rather than simply declining the page suggestion – and risk offending the person making the suggestion – they Like, then hide. It’s not a good scenario for a Facebook marketer! My experience is that the number of Hiddens on this page falls in the acceptable range.
The next thing that took me by surprise was the location of the page members. Most live in Perth, quite some distance from where the business is located. Almost a third live in faraway Sydney. I’m not sure how that occurred. Subtracting a further 8 percent who live overseas I estimate that a mere 30 members live within the area serviced by the business.
What does this mean?
That’s simple. The content I’ve been sharing is irrelevant. Sure the posts were relevant to the area. But it wasn’t relevant to the majority of the page audience. My message was of interest to just a small fraction of the members.
In the first instance I was not sharing information weighted specifically to the interests of females. First mistake.
Second I need to work out why (mainly) females from Perth would join this page, then speak to that need. To confess, I’m at a loss as to what that might be. Perhaps you can provide some suggestions in the comments below.
Then there’s the question of growth.
What is working is the level of monthly active users. (Active users are the number of individuals who have viewed a page, interacted with content or consumed media in the last month.) At around 40 percent this page is performing pretty well. That tells me there’s solid intest in the page. But that interest isn’t converting into Likes and comments, which would drive the page name into friends newsfeeds.
Where to from here?
What I think is critical is how well the business leadership can empower their team to get involved with the page. It’s going to be important for them to convey a compelling reason for the staff to become actively involved as a means to build their personal brands. If this doesn’t happen the page will lack a sense of local community. But if they can turn the page into a community bulletin board there’ll be no stopping it.