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Facebook: The Ultimate Short Guide for Business
Posted on October 31st 2012
When you get right down to it, a lot of the chatter surrounding using Facebook for business makes it seem more complicated than it really is. It is really somewhat simple: drive engagement, stay ‘Liked’ and get to the top of the stream. Follow these seven simple best practices and you can’t miss.
Rule 1: Ask questions. The most straightforward approach to spur engagement is to ask for it. Literally. There are a lot of different ways to approach asking questions, so mix it up a bit.
For instance, you could do a real simple question and encourage fans to ‘Like’ if they agree. Also, questions that begin “what’s your favorite…” or “where are you going to be…” or “who else wants…” can be great comment generators. Once you see what gets people posting and ‘Liking,’ you’ll have the information you need to create templates for best question formats.
Rule 2: More video. You probably already know you should be doing more of this, right? Get into a habit of regularly making very short videos. Maybe it is a how-to on your products. Or a brief interview (30 seconds to 2 minutes) with someone at your business. You can also do brief clips about topics related to your industry but that have nothing to do with selling your products.
Plain and simple, people love to click on video. You should be posting them regularly.
Rule 3: Ride a pop culture wave. There are certain TV shows, movies, and current events that grow beyond normal interest and become a genuine phenomenon. When this happens, use it as an opportunity. Post a link to a poll about it. Make a funny comment and ask for responses. If you can tie it to your company in some way, do it. But that is not necessary and can be counterproductive if you stretch it too far. Sometimes the point is just to generate positive engagement and nothing else.
Rule 4: Keep the conversation going. If a post is generating comments, are you making a point of posting back? This can be as simple as posting a thank you for a compliment or as thoughtful as asking a question about their comment. Show you care about the conversation. And don’t forget that a larger thread often appears higher in Facebook feeds.
Rule 5: More photos. This is an off-shoot of Rule 2. You already know that visual does better, but do you have a consistent plan for generating relevant photos to post on a regular basis? Here are a few ideas to get you started. Snap and post photos of employees in their work “habitat” with a fun caption (don’t over-do this one). How about personifying your product in some way? For example, how about clicking a photo of the product as if it were attending an event? Have a brainstorming session with your staff to come up with the zaniest photo opportunities including your product.
Rule 6: Be a content curator. Are you concerned that people will hide your posts, or even worse, “Unlike” you? This is a real concern. One way to maintain your value to your fans is to seek out content your audience is likely to find valuable, entertaining, or both. Think of your social media as not just a channel to push content, but also as a listening station. Use social media to follow others with your radar up for what you can pass on to your fans.
Rule 7: Give them something! This is a very important rule. Facebook users obviously are likely to be much more interested in the personal posts of friends and family than they ever will be in any particular brand. You need to give them regular incentives to continue being fans. Regularly announce giveaways, promotions, and discounts. If you are a retail operation, what can you do to drive them from online to your store. If you are a service-based business, what link can you provide to offer a special package of services to your Facebook fans? Be consistent about offering these incentives to keep people on board.
Facebook success is really not that complicated. Post regularly using these 7 guidelines and you can count on being well ‘Liked’.
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