When consumers visit your Facebook business page, they expect to see fresh content. They are much less likely to visit your page a second time if it has grown stale from a lack of posting.
That is not an uncommon problem for many small businesses. It typically occurs for one of four reasons:
- Not sure of what to post;
- Lack the time to post;
- Unsure of the value that posts provide;
- Do not know how to post.
Let’s address each of these.
What to Post
Often, smaller businesses approach Facebook without a clear understanding of how to use it for marketing purposes. Some see it as just another way to promote products, services, or the company itself.
It doesn’t take long for that to get old. Without a consistent flow of fresh ideas, the well soon runs dry, and posts become less frequent. While promotional posts are valid, limiting your activity to that tactic alone falls short of achieving Facebook’s full benefit.
First and foremost, Facebook is a social network. People go there to share moments in their lives, see what their friends and family are posting, or to merely pass the time.
Overtly promotional posts — particularly if they are repeated over and over — are viewed as interruptions to the flow of interpersonal activity between Facebook users and their friends.
Instead, try the 70/20/10 rule.
- 70 percent of posts should consist of content that appeals to your target audience. That could include things like how-to tips, questions, polls, contests, fun facts, and trivia. Posts with a positive spin tend to get liked, commented on, and shared more than those that appear negative. Facebook is a fun place to be, so put the emphasis there whenever possible.
In addition, incorporate photos and videos, as those tend to receive more interaction than text-only posts.
Targeting posts that appeal to a segment of your customer base is a good way to increase relevance. Not everyone needs to see every post. Facebook offers a wide array of targeting options.
Facebook Insights, the analytics tool tied to your page, will reveal information that can help you in creating more highly-targeted content. The better you know your customers, the better you will be able to speak to their interests and needs.
- 20 percent should consist of other people’s content. Every post does not have to originate from you. From time to time, share content from other relevant non-competing business pages, post videos you find on YouTube, or post inspirational quotes from sites such as BrainyQuote.
Also, consider a customer-of-the-week program, or post photos of happy, satisfied customers using your products. Such tactics can encourage likes, comments, and shares.
- 10 percent can be promotional in nature. If 90 percent of your posts are not promotional, people will forgive the 10 percent that are, especially if they include exclusive discounts, mentions of new products, store sales, and special events.
Also, allow people to get a behind-the-scenes look at your business. It’s the personal nature of Facebook that most appeals to users, so find ways to humanize your brand.
Not everything you post has to resemble a sales brochure. Sometimes, a humorous video showing office antics, for example, is the best way to get your reader’s attention. The better people know you, the more likely they are to interact with your brand – and that includes sales.
Finding Time to Post
Of all the reasons I hear for not frequently posting, lack of time is the most common.
There are two ways to overcome this problem.
- Create a content calendar. Take a few minutes each week to brainstorm ideas and jot them down using an application like PostPlanner. It is designed to assist you in creating content that your customers are more likely to share.
You can also assign a particular type of post to each day of the week. For instance, Thursday is famously known as #TBT (Throwback Thursday), when you post something from your past, such as your first office, an old logo, a picture of your first warehouse, or photos of employees now and then.
- Use a social media management tool like Sprout Social, HootSuite or Buffer. Each of these tools enables you to schedule posts over a period of days or even weeks. If you prefer not to use a third-party tool, the posting interface on your page includes scheduling capability.
Page Post Value
The value of page posts is a serious matter. After all, why would you make the time to post when little, if any, benefit comes from it in terms of website visits and sales.
Two thoughts to keep in mind when determining value are: what matters most to your customers, and what matters to Facebook.
By using the 70/20/10 rule, your emphasis turns to what your customers and prospects consider valuable. From Facebook’s standpoint, posts that contain images, videos, and infographics are better than those that don’t. Facebook also favors posts that reference trending topics, and those that contain links.
An interesting recent tweak to the Facebook algorithm is the use of the word “congratulations.” When that term appears in comments, the post gets a boost in News Feed. One way to get customers to congratulate you is by posting Milestones, which are significant events in the life of the company.
How to Post
The Facebook page-posting interface is simple to use, with key features.
- Status. Insert text and links here. That can include links to your website, or to third-party sites.
- Photo/Video. Upload photos and videos, or create a photo album.
- Offer, Event+. Create special offers, list events, or add a significant milestone.
- Audience Targeting. Target the post to reach particular audiences based on gender, age, location, interests and more.
- Location. Choose a location, such as a country.
- Photos. Upload an individual photo to the post.
- Emoticon. Share an emoticon to let people know what you are doing or how you feel. That is a good way to add some humor to your post.
- Boost Post. Buy an ad to increase the post reach.
- Post Visibility. Select who can see your post based on location or language, or make it public so that everyone sees it (default).
- Schedule Post. Schedule a post for future publishing, back-date it, or save it as a draft to work on later.
If you plan to include Facebook in your 2015 social media marketing, the single most important factor is to keep your page refreshed with routinely updated content. Follow these tips to restart your posting activity.