Article

The Anatomy of an Effective Facebook Post

April 2012, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Seth Lieberman - Also by this author


An effective Facebook strategy for your business—one that achieves your goals of education, engagement, lead generation or feedback—requires thoughtful planning. Cover and profile photos, tabs, favorite apps, milestones, and more must all be considered in order to maximize all that Facebook’s new Timeline layout offers.

Below are seven things to think about when crafting that perfect post. Figment, an online community for writers to share and connect with other writers, has a great Facebook page that I have used to illustrate a few key points.

1. Audience
I’ll state the obvious here: your company Facebook page is not your personal page! Depending on your personal Facebook usage, this can mean a lot of things: post with more restraint, post more frequently, keep in mind a more general audience, etc. Who is your business’ Facebook audience? More importantly, who do you want that audience to be? Remember to speak to them when you are posting for your company Facebook page.

2. Voice and Tone
Related to the above, the “voice” of your Facebook page should reflect the image you are trying to project. Unlike your personal network, your Facebook fans may not know your business very well. Therefore, as they “meet” you via Facebook and get to know you, how do you want them to characterize you/your business? Humorous? Quirky? Serious? All of the above? Keep in mind that the Facebook culture leans toward the more casual, so make sure you are not coming across as too stiff.

Figment’s “About” section accomplishes two goals. First, it states who the page is for (audience), and second, it captures Figment’s voice and tone: a bit humorous, a bit fun, a bit self-deprecating.

3. Content
Your posts shouldn’t solely be promotional material about your company and products. Everything you put out should offer engaging value to your fans. News, humor, entertainment and insider insights grab your audience’s attention and motivate them to return for more. Simply pouring out post after post of advertising copy will mean losing fans and readership; people want to be engaged with the material, not spammed.

Content that leads people to interact on your page is particularly powerful. You can use your posts to drive fans to quizzes like personality testssurveys and Facebook sweepstakes that are in your Favorite Apps/Tabs slots. This type of content is also an important way to get “Likes,” “Shares,” and more.

Also, be positive; don’t trash-talk your competitors. No one likes a Negative Nellie.

Figment is using its Favorite Apps/Tabs/ slots to add in content: contests, quizzes, photos and more. Its “Could you Catch a Killer?” quiz is one of dozens of quizzes that Figment creates and publishes to its page on a regular basis in order to drive interaction and give visitors a reason to explore the site and come back regularly. It is also a clever way to promote products such as the book, “I Hunt Killers.”

4. Context
Post as part of a series, or to announce an offline event, or in response to customer feedback. That greater context gives people a reason to keep coming back to your page looking for the next piece of information and means you can catch them up on what you have been doing in the interim.

After posting the quiz as a tab, Figment adds it to the News Feed. Visitors who take the “Could you Catch a Killer?” quiz can continue to engage with the quiz/book and others via comments and posts on the site.

5. Timing
The best time to post to Facebook is a matter of much debate; in general, however, think about who you are trying to reach and when they are most likely to be spending time catching up on their Facebook activity. The best posts go “live” when your fans have time to read and digest them and. hopefully, react. Chances are, this is not when they are hard at work, but rather during lunch time, evenings or weekends. Experiment and see what makes the most sense for your page.

Figment makes sure to post frequently on its page, oftentimes several times a day—this is a great way to stay top-of-mind with the Figment audience.

6. Interaction
Drive interaction with your Facebook posts by asking for advice, opinions or related stories. Each time a customer responds to your post, he signs up to get a “bump” from you every time somebody else responds. That kind of conversation gets real results in social media. Personality tests and surveys, where people can share their opinions and results are effective ways to get interaction and information that you can really use! To get things started, don’t be afraid to “prime the pump” by having a friend, employee or loyal customer be the first to comment.

In this example, Figment comes right out and asks for participation:  “Share your six word story now!”

7. Responsiveness
Once people have responded to your initial post, make your own comment to keep the conversation going. Now that individuals can privately message your company, there is a huge opportunity to really engage in a dialogue. Make sure that you are not letting your Facebook page go unattended. For better or for worse, most of us have come to expect immediate results online.


Online Exclusive

To learn more about the author, Seth Lieberman, and SnapApp, visit www.SnapApp.com

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