Welcome to Edgar Learn, where we share the strategies that helped us find success! This is Part Three of our series on Facebook Marketing, where we’ll give away some of the Facebook marketing tips we follow ourselves. Click here to read Part Two!
No matter what the overall strategy of your Facebook presence is, a big part of its success will depend on the strength of your individual posts.
So how do you write that elusive clickworthy status update? What’s the secret? The simple truth is that the easiest way to promote a business on Facebook is to stop writing as a business, and start writing as a person talking about a business.
Because that’s what you are! (Unless you actually are a sentient business, in which case… well, carry on!) Letting your audience know that there’s a real, live human behind the screen gives them someone to connect with. Remember: people don’t connect with brands. People connect with people.
Think of your social posting as relationship-building on a large scale – a free way of interacting with hundreds or thousands of people at once. At the same time, when a follower responds to an update that was seen by thousands of people, you can quickly, easily, and seamlessly respond directly to that one person.
We’ve talked about the value of Know, Like, Trust before – and it definitely comes into play here. When you post, no matter what you post, you are giving your audience a chance to know you better and a chance to like you more – and that adds up to a level of trust that makes their purchasing decisions easier.
Keep that in mind, particularly if you’re hesitant to post about things that don’t relate directly to your business. It’s sort of like going to a business convention. You know everyone has something to promote, but do you only talk business while you’re there? Probably not! Social media is no different – look to engage in conversations and actually connect with people on a personal level. Be a person, not just a brand!
Statistically, audiences tend to gravitate toward the inspirational and the funny. While you may feel like sharing a goofy video, a funny article, or an inspirational quote is irrelevant to your business, it can get a ton of shares — the trick is just to not overdo it. Because if you only ever share the funny stuff, for example, the people in your audience who care about your business may stop paying attention — and the people who do pay attention may not care about your business. While you can make it part of the mix, don’t get carried away.
If you’re going to post something funny and irreverent, your next post should always be a link back to your blog. This ensures that you get back on message after you get yourself in front of that bigger audience. It also helps weed out the followers who aren’t going to benefit your business — you’ll drive relevant traffic to your site, and any followers you lose probably wouldn’t have benefited you that much anyhow.
Too many companies are either all business or no business when it comes to their social media — do you know which one you might be, or which one you risk becoming? Some businesses are overwhelmingly self-promotional — if a company only ever posted about itself, you’d have to be a pretty devoted fan to want to follow it on social. On the other hand, if you’re so afraid of sounding salesy that you rarely or never self-promote, your audience isn’t getting the info about your company that it needs — or the links that lead them back to your website!
The trick is to find the balance that works best with your audience, and drives them to share your content with their own friends. And why do you want to post things that get shared? Well, remember that rad Death Star-looking diagram in our guide to blogging? The one that showed how social traffic funnels through your blog into your website? This one right here:
Well, here’s what it looks like when your posts start getting shared:
Look at all that sweet, sweet traffic! Just remember: posting about your business and nothing but your business is a recipe for bored followers, but it’s obviously important to do it once in a while! Linking to new blogs shouldn’t be your only reason for updating on social. Depending on your business, status updates could also mean linking to new product pages, or announcements. Maybe you’re telling your audience about a sale, or a new team member, or a new location for your business. This is where you can share anything you want with the people who will care the most, and create more variety in the ways you talk about your business!
When you draft a social media update, do you hesitate to click on that “publish” button? Don’t be afraid! Just remember, the worst update is no update. This is the number one reason that people struggle to make social media work for their businesses! They don’t update enough, or even not at all, and that’s one of the worst sins you can commit with your social profiles. The average Facebook post reaches 11% of your audience, so you really don’t have to worry about overly saturating your followers!
Plus, not every single status update that you send has to reveal some profound new truth about the universe. It’s okay to make small talk. In fact, that’s often what works the best — sometimes a simple question like “What city do you live in” can get a big response. And, depending on your brand and your audience, it could be a wise move to skew a little light, instead of asking things like “What are your feelings about religion?” Overall, don’t fret about making it too light or too deep — just make it you.
And keep experimenting. Write and use different status updates for a single blog post, and see which one gets the best reaction. Embed images and video in your posts — all it takes is a little copy/paste! And check those statistics on the reg, so you know how people are responding. Does your audience love video embeds, or ignore them? Do you get more shares when you include an image? It’s virtually impossible to predict, so don’t stress out now about what may or may not work, or what might be best for the ever-changing algorithms used by sites like Facebook — just try different things and record your results, because you and your audience are one of a kind.