It’s a common complaint I hear from business owners: the deer-in-headlights effect when trying to post to their Facebook fan page.
Sure, it all sounds so easy! Find someone else’s interesting post and click “Share.” Done! Right? …
But what if my fans aren’t interested? Should I pick a different one? What about that picture over there? I like that one! Oh, what a great quote. I bet my fans would like that! Maybe I should save that until tomorrow. Oh, dear…
I’ve worked up a ‘sample week of posts’ for you to take the confusion out of the equation! Don’t get overwhelmed by having too many options to choose from. Remember:
- You can Conquer Social Media with Discipline and Order.
- I’ve got 50+ Topics to Keep Your Facebook Timeline Bursting with News.
- You can Control the Facebook Runaway Train by mapping out a set schedule of times and topics to post.
- But don’t forget to Put Your Best (Business) Face on Facebook with an updated Timeline look to present a professional image.
- Crucial to your success is to Save Massive Time with the Secret Tools at Your Fingertips in Facebook and other social media.
Infographic Clarifications and Explanations
If you’re still a bit confused, allow me to add a bit of narrative explanation. You see, I’m quite visually oriented. This post was a long time in coming because, well, Facebook is pretty busy with all kinds of chaotic activity. I wanted to boil it down to something easily digestable. Of course, I’m not insisting upon you posting updates to your business page three times (or more) per day without fail! (But it isn’t a bad idea either.) Read on for explanations to the above recommendations.
The United States spans a minimum of four time zones. And if you include states and territories beyond the Continental U.S., you have several more time zones which may or may not be applicable to your business. If you are trying to reach fans and customers across the U.S., you will need to post your updates in multiple time zones.
The simple reality is that our posts disappear from view in a matter of seconds depending upon how many friends and likes your fans have. If you only post once a day or once per week, your message is seen by almost no one due to the amount of traffic on any one screen.
Reward Facebook Fans with Special Offers
As content providers we may be h*ll bent to tell our fans all about our wonderful products and services. But, guess what? Our fans don’t care!
What do they want? They want deals! They want special offers and rewards for Liking your fan page. If you don’t give it to them, they’ll assume you don’t understand why they’re interested in you in the first place. (I could recite a lot of statistics here, but I’m a wee bit behind on getting this out. Trust me. Your fans WANT A DEAL!)
Make them feel special. Offer deals unique to Facebook fans not available through other marketing venues (or social media sites.)
Engagement with Fan Building: Kill Two Birds with One Stone!
You noticed I recommended a Fan Photo Contest as a Tuesday post (or pick another great day for fan engagement). I recently heard about a fantastic contest promotion idea I thought I’d share. The company asked its fans to take pictures of themselves using their product.
To be eligible for the grand prize, they had to submit the photo on the fan page along with their story about why they loved the product (or thought their unique use of it was better than any other idea). To further fan engagement, the brand then asked the fans to vote on all the entries to choose the winner. Therein ensued a boatload of fan engagement, Likes, comments, suggestions and more.
Use Discussion Groups for Inspiration
There are two types of discussion groups you should search out on Facebook for your business:
- Find groups that are within your industry. Consider these groups safe places to discuss strategies for marketing and engagement of fans. Learn industry news. Help others on the other side of the country learn new skills and find new resources. You’ll become their hero.
- Find groups to join that your fans love. These are harder to locate as they are counter-intuitive to your needs. Perhaps your fans have an affinity for history or artwork. Maybe they are huge music fans. You’ll be surprised at the conversations that arise within the groups about topics in which you can ride in on your white horse to offer expert advice. And, guess what? Offer expert advice and you’ll get a whole slew of new Likes for your page!
TIP: By default when you join a group, Facebook would like to send you not only daily updates by email, but it may also try to send you updates immediately. Is this annoying as all get out? To make this more tolerable, look for the Notifications button in the upper right of of the group’s menu bar. Change your notification settings for email to only weekly or none at all. (You can see how many updates have occurred since you last viewed them in the number shown to the right of the group’s name in your left sidebar instead.)
Resonating with Your Fans
If you haven’t noticed, Facebook fans go gaga over photos, videos, inspiring messages and/or photos and famous quotes. If you saw these references in my infographic and scratched your head wondering, “What the heck does this have to do with my business?” this is the reason. Your fans WILL Like those posts. They will Comment and Share those posts. Why? They are reminders we are human beings.
It isn’t easy getting from cradle to grave. There’s a lot of work between those two points. Use of inspiration and famous words can help! (NOTE: This is not to suggest using religious or political messages. These are a big no-no in business.)
I nearly forgot the important causes. You may have already chosen charitable causes to tie in with your business or programs you aid. From the local humane society to literacy and autism associations, your fans feel strongly in support of these causes. Including some Shares, Comments, Likes and re-posts of materials from not only your favorite causes — but also from your fans’ favorite causes — further aid your own credibility.
Free Apps Can Be Fun and Engaging!
Fan of the Week is a free app (one of thousands) available on Facebook. Not only does this type of app provide an easy way to identify fans and influencers so you can reward them, but many of your fans will also likely enjoy the game-like diversions these apps provide on Facebook. Installing apps does require a bit more technical expertise than you may feel comfortable with. However, the payoff can be huge when you use the right ones.
What are the ‘right ones’? Well, that may be unique to your business. But let me give you some ideas to consider.
Do you use a third party online service to book appointments for your business? They likely have a Facebook app so that customers can book those appointments from within Facebook. That can translate directly into sales from social media — the holy grail!
If you use a third party online service to sell your products through a shopping cart, it is also highly likely they have an app you can add to your Facebook fan page. And there are thousands more from games, to links to other applications online, maps and more….
Review and Refine Your Strategy
Remember the infographic is but one approach for an imaginary, local, busy small business. A successful Facebook marketing strategy for your business may include many more videos or many more product photos. You’ll only know what works by tracking your results.
Facebook provides some extraordinarily detailed fan information on your Admin Panel, down to age bracket, gender, and geographic data. Insights is this tool and is located in the center bottom panel in your business page’s Admin Panel. Once you click on it, tons of reporting is available to you as to what updates were clicked and commented on –– analytics! Export them to Excel for further analysis.
Further, the heading of the column that reflects your effectiveness (as a %) is titled “Virality” –hence the name in the infographic. Here’s what it means:
This is the number to watch. As your Virality goes up, post more of those types of updates. Happy posting!
Do you have another type of Facebook update post you’d add to the list above? Tell me about it in the comments area. If you enjoyed this article, please Share it on your Facebook page or give it a Tweet, either of which you can do from the social share buttons on this page!