This biweekly series is dedicated to sharing real life examples of social media marketing. It’s an in-depth review of a business’s social platform with optimization suggestions. This series is not meant to criticize, but to offer insight into the complex world of social media marketing. But as the series name suggests, I will speak frankly. To have your business reviewed, click here and send me a message.
Alan VanToai, founder of Crewlab, is a location-independent entrepreneur who’s got his hands in a whole bunch of projects. A previous Yelp employee and personality powerhouse, Alan is taking the startup scene by storm with his podcast interviews and focus on showcasing other entrepreneurs blossoming onto the scene.
But as always, there’s a disconnect between sharing valuable content and growing an online community with social media. No biggie – let’s go over where he’s #winning and how he can maximize the problematic areas.
1. Profile photo
Good use of space mixing the logo with the biz name. A simple logo allows for fantastic combinations between the two. Also Looks great in thumbnail mode.
2. Cover photo
This space should be utilized to promote Crewlab. When users land on the Page it’s important for them to be introduced instantly to the brand, and the cover offers a large space to do so.
Additionally, the live music picture is conflicting with the bio. Everything visual should work in a congruent manner to tell the story of Crewlab.
Suggestions: Use this space to tell Crewlab’s story, introduce the founder, advertise new updates, incite new fans to follow the podcast or join an email list.
The bio section located on the Timeline should give a more specific description of what Crewlab is all about. Make it easy for Facebook users to land on the page and know what to expect. And the extra website link can be removed now that Facebook offers a specific place for website links.
The About page should be filled out extensively since this is free space that could make or break the difference between someone being interested in a brand or bonding with it.
Suggestions: Go all out and fill in the About page to the max. Add links to podcast, outline them individually with mini summaries, or advertise other Crewlab products/services.
4. Post to Pages
This is the sidebar area where fans leave comments or where updates appear if a Facebook user has tagged RLC in their status update. It gives fans a place to say hi, show love or share displeasure with a page.
Crewlab does a good job at replying to fans, but still missed an opportunity to jump into the conversation on a post with high engagement and Like another. Engage, engage – no matter what. If there’s nothing to say, simply thank fans for tagging the Page in the update.
Suggestions: Share some of the tagged updates on the Timeline to spotlight what others are saying about Crewlab, and get involved in EVERY conversation.
5. Timeline Content
Crewlab has incredible content to share, but how the content is packaged will be pertinent to getting the audience engaged. Podcasts are a mainstay of Crewlab, but they don’t translate well without photos or caption images.
There’s a decent amount of fan activity – quite a few shares and some comments and likes. But fans are obviously drawn to the content directly related to Crewlab, and not the additional.
This is probably attributed to the content sharing confusion. As stated before, the bio is far too general to give fans a real idea of what they can expect to receive from the CL page. And the content further confuses that dilemma. With articles ranging from weed to Tesla to ads – it’s like, “wait, what am I here for?”
It’s not that these shares are low-quality content, it’s that they don’t stay under the umbrella of who Crewlab is, and who CL is remains elusive.
In addition, the way in which a lot of the content is shared is just plain boring. Facebook is a visual social network that allows for videos, photos, inforgraphics and images – utilize those options.
And once again, we find places where fans have not been replied to.
I doubt this ever occurs on Pages because owners don’t care or want to be rude. But that’s what it signifies to the fans who make the comments. In all reality, the lack of continual care is probably the cause for unanswered comments. Which leads me to the problem that needs the most attention on the page.
The biggest issue is the lack of consistency. Posts show up at random times, sometimes with weeks passing in-between posts or in multitudes on one day.
If the fans know Crewlab doesn’t show up regularly, they won’t either. And a lack of consistency also affects the amount of comments. Why would they comment if it doesn’t seem like anyone is home?
It’s very important for Facebook page managers (small business, personal brands and marketers) to understand it’s key to treat online relationships like you would a face-to-face relationship.
You wouldn’t ignore someone if they said something to you. You wouldn’t expect to build a relationship with someone when you are inconsistent in spending time with them. The same principles apply. Being consistent shows fans you care, want their engagement and are actively trying to build relationships.
1. Make a content schedule and stick to it. I’d suggest posting 3-4x/day. Check out the Page insights and find out when the peak post times are and take it into account when scheduling out content.
2. Write out a focus for the Page and make sure ALL the content directly correlates back to it. There’s no need to be crazy strict about it, but it will be easier for CL to find and organize content to share (rather than just uploading things that are interesting), and keep fans focused on the theme of the page.
3. Post with purpose. Ensure updates are shared for a reason and not just to take up space.
4. Reply to ALLLLLLLL fans. Every. single. time. We are only ever successful in social communities because of those crazy enough to support us – treat them with respect and honor that relationship.
5. Use more creative intros to blog shares. I know Alan, the brilliant guy behind Crewlab, and if he’s anything, it’s a sweet talker. He’s got the energy to get anyone excited about anything. Utilize that energy and channel it into writing stimulating intros to get people stoked about reading what is being shared.
>6. Use MORE pictures!!! And use faces whenever possible. A lot of the content shared doesn’t have pictures or has pictures of objects, not people.
But Crewlab is really ALL about people and the awesome things they’re creating, so exploit that by sharing as many personal pics as possible. Tell the story, show the person – entice people into wanting to know who this human face is and what they do.
Example, this Uber story wasn’t really about Uber, but about the guy behind the new Uber upstart in Vietnam. It’s WAY more interesting to know WHO is behind a big company launch than the actual company.
7. Mix up the content. As stated before, Facebook allows for videos, pictures, graphics and blog posts. The Timeline should be a steady stream of a mix of all of those. Share pictures and articles about the people CL interviews leading up to a podcast to generate interest and excitement, upload videos directly to Facebook of CL’s founder taping a podcast, share some of CL’s Instagram feed, ask the audience questions about who they’d like CL to interview or what new startups are getting them amped or share articles from a variety of sources.
8. Humanize Crewlab. The CL founder is one energetic and dynamic personality and should be much more visible to fans. In speaking with Alan, he showed concern of being too visible and becoming the main focal point of Crewlab. Alan’s concern is one I hear constantly. But Crewlab is specifically about supporting OTHER folks, therefore he has little to be concerned about.
A visible presence from Alan would not only build credibility for Crewlab’s fans, but garner interest and excitement around the brand. It will boost engagement solely because the audience will begin to see who they are interacting with.
And I think it’s especially important for businesses with graphic logos to share more about who’s behind them. They have to work harder to humanize the brand, but it’s doable.
Key Takeaways from the Crewlab review:
Crewlab is an exciting brand that showcases the talent of entrepreneurs and hackers worldwide, but it also needs to figure out how to showcase itself. CL must work on consistency, humanizing the brand, content variety, and engagement. But I have every faith that CL will rise to the occasion.