As we all know, social media has become a ubiquitous part of how businesses are presented to consumers, both current and potential. Even companies in industries that have long been resistant to social media, such as the medical field, have established an online presence in an effort to attract more customers.
With so many people and companies vying for precious seconds of a consumer’s attention, the question of what to post and how to post is critical.
The first part of our series on effective social media posting will focus on Facebook.
Before we dive into these tips, we preface the discussion by saying that with changes in Facebook’s algorithm, the most effective way for your post to reach its audience is to pay for it. Unless you are boosting your post, you are only exposing your message to a small audience. While that kinda stinks, that’s the reality of today’s Facebook. Utilize these tips along with a paid Facebook campaign for maximum effectiveness.
People don’t connect with brands as much as they connect with the humans behind the brand. The more human your brand’s voice on Facebook, the more likely followers will respond and communicate with you. Develop you brand’s voice. This needs to be a voice that resonates with followers. Then make sure that voice permeates all Facebook posts, regardless of the messages that you are conveying.
Use a Limited Amount of Text with a Compelling Picture
We are starting to hear more and more that brevity is valued highly among Facebook users. A study from Buddy Media, indicates that posts with 40 or few characters received the largest amount of engagement on Facebook. Social media expert Jeff Bullas also confirmed this through his own study of retail brands on Facebook. His research indicated that shorter posts (40 characters or fewer) received 86% more engagement than longer posts. Going one step further, adding a compelling picture, one that speaks in a way that 40 characters of text couldn’t, heightens it’s effective.
Celebrate your audience
Your Facebook page is really about your fans. If they don’t interact with you, your page will feel more like a bulletin board. If it fits your business model, be sure to share the accomplishments of your Facebook fans or pictures of them using your product. Photo contests are also a great way to showcase Facebook fans, which will motivate them to show your page to their friends. When it comes down to it, your fans’ favorite subject to read about is themselves, not your brand. Celebrate them and build connections through your page.
Along those same lines, building an audience around your brand is about consistency. Creating relevant content is the first step, the next step is building and meeting user expectations by posting on a regular basis. Consider developing a social media plan that outlines subjects for daily Facebook posts (i.e. Tuesday Tips or Freestyle Friday). Then schedule posts or utilize a scheduling app to organize your efforts.
Occasionally Change your Cover Photo
For a quick way to garner attention from followers, change your cover photo. There is a certain level of urgency built into the changing of cover photos so it works well for announcements. The cover photo is a great way to show the essence of your brand, promote an event or celebrate your followers.
Other Facebook Posting Tips
There are handful post-types that can also be effective for engaging followers depending on your audience. This includes:
It’s our natural inclination to fill-in open space. Whether funny or insightful, fill-in the blank posts work because the site of it automatically generates a response whether your audience takes the time to post it or not.
If short, these posts work as well but for a different reason. Open-ended questions require your audience to think of an answer whether they take the time to post it or not. These posts work because they spark conversation, which is what social media is all about.
Photo collages allow you to create a diversity of images that tell a more engaging story than one image. This post strategy works particularly well for posts that recap events or display products.
The Best Time to Post
According to a study by Track Maven, the best time to post on Facebook is during non-peak hours (5 p.m. – 1 a.m.) because of the lack of competition. Their study included 5,800 pages and over 1 million posts and noted that post interactions rose significantly during that time period.
Try these tips in combination with other tips. Compelling pictures with fill-in-the-blank posts. Picture collages that celebrate your audience. There are a number of ways to effectively garner the attention of your Facebook fans. Also, when considering these Facebook strategies, it’s critical to have a true understanding of your audience. Not all tips work for all audiences, but when you figure out what works and how it translates to your overall marketing objectives, the result can be an engaged group of brand advocates.