Oct 19, 2009

Using Posterous To Drive Facebook Fan Engagement

posterous-mediumIn June of this year I decided to set up an offshoot of the MailChimp blog on Posterous. The site bills itself as "a dead simple way to post everything online using email."

With a full-blown WordPress blog, in addition to our Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account, you might be wondering why in the world I’d want another site to maintain. The simple answer: the more I use Posterous, the more I love it! — Especially for the particular niche it serves. (more on that after the jump)

I like to think of Posterous as a miniblog– something that gives you greater freedom of expression than Twitter’s 140 characters (known as microblogging), but often is shorter and more sketchy than a fully fleshed out WordPress post. One of my favorite Posterous features is autoposting, which allows you to link any content you send to Posterous with sites like your Facebook page or Twitter stream. The autopost feature currently supports Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa, YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress and Xanga, with more integrations on the way.

For MailChimp, I’ve made the decision to only link Posterous to our Facebook Fan Page. So when I’m finding and adding content, our Facebook Fans are the audience that I generally have in mind.

posterous-fb

So you might be wondering: but MailChimp, now that you have over 3,500 Facebook fans, how do you make sure your content is relevant to everyone?

The candid answer is that I don’t. I have to assume that if someone becomes a MailChimp fan, they’re interested in what we have to say. Much like email marketing, becoming a fan is a way of opting-in. In the case of Facebook, this means that someone is electing to receive updates from MailChimp in their home feed. (Side Note: Facebook does give you the option of hiding updates from a particular person or page if you find the number of updates annoying or excessive.)

As far as the content is concerned, often times I’ll post information and photos about what’s going on in our office (chimps are people too, you know!), links to interesting articles about design, small business and entrepreneurship, and even the occasional funny monkey photo.

Two things that have worked well for driving engagement on Facebook (measured in terms of "likes" and comments) by way of Posterous have been 1) making sure to maintain variety in the type of links and content posted, and 2) not treating the Posterous to Facebook autopost feature as "set it and forget it." How can you expect people to engage with your business or brand– on Facebook, Twitter or your blog– if you don’t maintain an active presence there? I’ve made a habit of consistently responding to what our fans and followers have to say and have noticed a measurable correlation in their level of engagement thanks to Facebook Page Insights. So after posting something to Posterous and properly tagging it (I like to keep things categorized and organized), I head over to Facebook to see what, if anything, our fans are saying about it.

A fan page is it’s own little ecosystem, and it needs to be nurtured and treated that way. This becomes even more important if you’re feeding content into it from auxiliary sources.