New Facebook Broadcast Channels

New Facebook Broadcast Channels

Meta has been teasing this for a very long time, and it is finally here: Facebook Broadcast Channels are now being rolled out to Facebook pages with more than 10,000 followers. Woo hoo! Party down. Time for some fun.

Wait. You’re not as excited as I am? Are you sure? Go back and read the news again. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you to come back.

You’re still not with me? Gah, don’t worry. It’ll be fine. We’ll work through this together, like we always do.

What are Facebook Broadcast Channels?

Facebook Broadcast Channels are a form of one-to-one communication between a page and its fans, but it differs in many ways from traditional one-to-one messaging as well as just posting to your page.

Messages show up in Facebook Messenger just like other messages, but your fans have to subscribe to receive it. It’s not good enough for them to just be a fan of your page. They have to take that extra step.

It also doesn’t as  allow your fans to reply directly to the message like it would if you were sending a message to Messenger. This is because it would be chaos if your subscribers could reply to all. Just think of those reply all emails you get from work. It was the right call to not allow that kind of chaos with this product.

This is not anything new, so you can find out lots about how they work pretty easily. Until now, however, they were only available to Creators on both Instagram and Facebook. Does that mean we might get Instagram Broadcast Channels soon? Only time will tell, but it does seem likely. And it’s also likely that this product will be available to more Facebook pages eventually as well.

Why would you use a Broadcast Channel?

The algorithm is getting more and more unpredictable, and you have very little control over whether your fans actually see your content. I’m not saying that you should abandon your pages. You should keep your first date material there that will entice your fans to want to know more.

These broadcast channels have another purpose. Whereas people are being more private now, they are spending more and more time in the private channels of social networks, which of course includes Facebook Messenger. The messages from these channels get delivered right to Messenger and therefore, fans are more likely to see them. It’s a win for the brand and it’s a win for fans who really want to make sure they are on top of what is going on with your organization.

How do use a Broadcast Channel?

Define your purpose

Too many people jump into a new social network without having a real purpose for being there. Although this isn’t actually a new social network since it is just a feature of an existing network, treat it as if it is a standalone network with its own audience and its own content.

So what is your reason for being here? Knowing this will guide everything that comes after your decision to engage. Everyone’s why will be completely different, but it is the most important step.

Some advice I would give you is that you are looking at an audience who wants to get more engaged. So leave your first date material on the page. This is second date stuff when they get to know you better. Having that deeper connection with a smaller group of fans is a smart goal. And it’s even something you can quantify with numbers of your choosing so don’t be worried that this is a bit of a woo woo goal. It’s not. Not even a little.

Create your plan

Well now that you know your why, it’s time to create a plan so you are not flying by the seat of your pants. Once again, that is bad and you will burnout from doing this. I will not stop shouting this. You. Need. A. Plan.

It should start with your purpose, who your audience is, what their needs and wants from this channel could be and what you need to get from this channel.

One way I’m excited to use Facebook Broadcast Channels is to arm very engaged fans and create well-educated ambassadors. They are already in the social network, so sharing on their own networks is a bit more seamless than if this kind of information was sent over email. So I really want to experiment with using Broadcast Channels for this specific purpose and see what happens.

Create content

Too many people rush to getting an audience before having the content. Once again, this will lead to burnout. Give yourself some room. Have at least a month of content planned and create at least a week of that content. That way you can put more of your focus on getting your audience there and less on doing everything at the very same time.

If you think you can do everything at once, ask yourself why you want to. In most cases, fans do not know this new way of connecting with you is coming, so there really is no reason to rush it and put so much pressure on yourself. Slow down and take it one step at a time.

Get your audience

Don’t be shy about announcing that you are doing a Facebook Broadcast Channel. Get those sign ups! Post about it on Facebook. Go through some of your more favorable Facebook messages and let them know about this. Email your list. Just talk about it where it feels appropriate.

And once you have people subscribed to the channel, ask them to get their friends to sign up as well. You can do this from time to time, but make sure it’s a rarity and maybe hook people on your content before you ask them to do this the first time. Nobody signed up for this channel to constantly be asked to have their friends also sign up for it.

A quick note on goals for this: You might think that a majority of your fans will sign up for your Facebook Broadcast Channel. Or probably a higher up in your organization thinks this. That will not be the case. The double opt-in will confuse some fans and they will not understand why you are asking them to go to yet another place to follow you. That’s okay. You are attracting a slightly more tech savvy audience who is more engaged with your organization. That is a small percentage of your fans, so be careful with making initial grand goals for this. Be very conservative and then hopefully your fans will surprise you.

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