One thing I hear quite often from customers, friends, and fans is, “I saw your post on Facebook,” or “I love what you do on Facebook.” Now, we do not have what some would consider a massive following on Facebook. At the time of this post, we are 3 1/2 years old as a company and currently have 797 likes. This is considered a vanity metric by some people in the business world. While it is true that 797 likes does not equate to 797 sales, I believe it is good to stay in front of your current and potential customers. As daunting as it may seem, it doesn’t have to be a 40 hour a week chore. Many people have told me things like, “I don’t get Facebook,” or “I don’t know what to do on Facebook.” If you feel this way, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone! I am not a social media jedi, guru, or ninja. In fact, I don’t even consider myself an expert. I do, however, consider myself an experimenter and an examiner. Here are my “secrets” for you to try for yourself. Keep in mind that I am not terribly methodical. I am haphazard at best, which is exactly the opposite of what the experts tell you to be!
1. Post! My goal has always been to post at least once a day. I think this has only happened 1 week out of 182. But I always post at least once a week, even when I get crazy busy, which is always. Think about it from your viewpoint as a consumer. If you visited a Facebook business page that had no posts for over a month, would you find anything engaging about that?
2. Post images. Even if you want to link to a blog, news article, or your website, post a photo and add the link in the description. Imagine yourself in a boring business meeting or networking lunch. (I’m sure it never actually happens so that’s why I said to “imagine” it.) You are scrolling through your Facebook feed on your phone just so you can stay awake, while half heartedly listening to the speaker ramble on. If a video comes up, can you watch it? No. If a blog link comes up, do you have time to read it? No. If a cute picture of a puppy and a kitty curled up together comes up, can you like it? You bet. Even if it links to an article about the effectiveness of puppies and kitties on curing malaria, your like on the photo does not necessarily indicate your approval of the article. If you do go on to read the article, you can always share your approval or disapproval by commenting or re-posting.
3. Post images of yourself, your coworkers, your product, your mascot, your customers, your inspiration for the day, or something about upcoming holidays. People love to see other people, much like babies love to look at other babies. We are fascinated with each other and like to get a sneak peek into someone else’s world. Maybe it helps us to connect with companies and brands if we feel like we have something in common with its employees. We all have a need to feel like we belong, and liking content is a way of saying, “Yes. I agree. Me too! I belong.”
4. Tag people and other businesses in your images. You have to be careful here. You can’t go around tagging a random bunch of strangers that have nothing to do with your post. You will get banned for sure. You can, however, tag the people that might be mentioned in your blog post as a way to let them know you wrote about them. You can tag people in a holiday post as a way to wish them a happy holiday. If you have a particular business success you can tag people that helped you get there. Just don’t always tag the same people or they might get annoyed. Also, be respectful of those that do not wish to be tagged. I know some people who think this is cheating but it isn’t. It’s called increasing engagement. ;)
5. Check your insights. Don’t get depressed when you only get 2 likes on your latest and greatest post. First, remember that Facebook recently changed the game on us little guys. If you don’t know about the recent slash in organic reach you can read more here and here later. Second, go check your “Insights” dashboard on your Facebook page. This will tell you so much more about your post than just who clicked like on your page. I could do a whole other post just about insights, or you could go to Mashable or Social Media Examiner, or whatever and find a post about it.
The true secret to marketing is that there is no real secret. Every business, every brand, every person is different and as such there is no one, magic formula for anything. The real secret is finding out what works for you and your brand, and then repeating it over and over again.
What successes or frustrations have you had with Facebook for your business?