Facebook is dangerous, not only for individuals but for businesses. Knowing how to post isn’t enough. The ‘publish’ button isn’t magic; it doesn’t automatically make your content great (or not suck). Then again, not all content has to be ‘great,’ but most content shouldn’t suck.
And that’s where the danger lies. If you’re posting regularly to your Facebook page and the content sucks, that sucks even more. A lot of folks can have a blind spot to this sort of thing, simply because they’re on social media personally. But a personal profile is much different from a business one, and being willy nilly with it can get you into deep doo doo.
1. Picture a Perfect Post…
Keyword: Picture. You must include a picture in nearly every post. Not doing so will just get you ignored in the feed of everyone who likes your page. We are visual creatures, and so not including a picture really is a failure of understanding your audience on a fundamental level. If you do not include a picture, your post will not only be ignored, it will be as if it was never posted in the first place.
You still have to pick a good picture of course. One that’s relevant and catches the eye. Something that doesn’t clash with your image or throw off your audience. Don’t overthink it here. You don’t need stock images (unless you’re that out of touch with your customer) for most of your posts. If you’re not already taking pictures in your business every day, that would be a good place to start.
2. Less is More
For the most part, you should keep the text portion of your post short and to the point. Too much text leads to TLDR, with a few exceptions. Your basic, every day, run of the mill post should communicate what it needs to in 1-3 sentences. And the shorter the sentences the better.
Remember that you’re communicating ideas, not words. More words just muddy the water that much more. Whatever idea you’re trying to convey, you need to pack it in tightly into those few words. Often times, one word alone can suffice. If you need to write a paragraph and whittle away at it one word at a time, that’s a way to start. Until you get into the habit of saying what you want to say in as few words as possible, this might require some more deliberate thinking on your part, but soon it becomes second nature.
3. Beware the Meme
Memes are potent communication tools that allow people to instantly grok a concept or idea. They lubricate communication by boiling things down to a simple idea. As that idea gets shared more and more, it becomes a part of our collective conscience. So, there’s great advantage in communicating through memes, mostly because it is so efficient and at the same time so infective. But hold on; it’s not all perfect.
You do not own a meme. In fact, no one person owns a meme or idea. A good idea constantly evolves and changes as it gets passed around. Sometimes a good idea stops seeming like a good idea after a while. If you establish a meme about your business you could find it works well for a while, but it can easily be hijacked and turned into mockery. What’s more, if your business tries to join the collective conscience of humanity and communicate using someone else’s memes (those funny pictures with words and things) you might find that you alienate some people while embracing others. Just be careful is all I’m saying. Don’t shun memes, but use them wisely.
4. All You Do is Sell
You have annoying friends. We all do. Who’s the worst, though? Your buddy who always bails on plans? Your friend who’s a slob? Nope. It’s probably your friend (or if you’re unlucky, your relative) who is involved in a pyramid scheme cult. By that I mean a multi-level marketing business. Whatever it is they sell, you know it, because they tell you. Constantly. Every day.
Much the same, if all you do is post about your special of the week, or your sale, or anything salesy, you’re going to turn people off. I’ve mentioned already that you need to communicate ideas when it comes to Facebook posts, and I’ll double down on that in this case. An idea sells more than a sales pitch. Getting your potential customer to think it was their own idea in the first place is more powerful than you convincing them, and it creates more long term customers. You should answer the question of why they want/need your product first, and let them come to you. If the majority of your customers come to you asking for pricing information, etc., it’s because they already have an interest in your product. That’s when you know you did your job well on the front half of the equation,a nd that’s the same on Facebook as it is anywhere else.
5. Link It Up
Facebook has made the hyperlink look like the tool of cave men. Sharing a link in your post — whether to an article or your own website — will make the post more robust. It gives the reader something to do with your message, sort of a subtle call to action, and creates organic traffic. Plus, this usually populates the post with an image from the linked page, solving our earlier problem.
Sharing links lends you credibility, and they don’t really have to be from your site all the time. Heck, not even most of the time. If a reader knows that your Facebook page is a source for the information they want or need, they’ll come by more often, and that means that when one of your own articles from your blog or links to your website show up, they’re that much more likely to click on it.
So there you have it. Facebook is still a very big, dangerous, hairy, unruly monster. But hopefully these few thoughts will help you tame that beast.
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