I was browsing through Facebook last week and saw a few examples that can help you understand what makes a good or a bad Facebook post.
BAD: MCDONALD'SMcDonald's has long been in my social and marketing Hall of Shame. They seem to be completely incapable of engaging with customers on a relatable level. This post about McNuggets is no different.
WHY IT'S BAD: IT WON'T KEEP DISCUSSION ON TOPIC
This post is not structured to guide comments in any direction. As you can see, some of the comments near the top are positive and are about McNuggets. As you go down the list, however, the tone starts to change, Comments include:
- Where did the bbq ranch burger go?
- Sad to hear iced coffee isn't $1 anymore
- Mc Greedy. This is why I don't eat this overpriced garbage any longer.
- Good job I just went through your drive-through for an iced coffee it took you 20 minutes.
- I just read that chicken nuggets have 50 different ingredients
When a post is not structured correctly, it opens itself up to becoming a forum to complain about the brand, especially for a brand with as many complaints as McDonald's.
HOW COULD IT HAVE BEEN SOLVED?
This post could have been easily improved by changing the copy to read: Which McNuggets dipping sauce is your favorite? a) BBQ b) honey mustard c) ranch d) teriyaki. When your post is set up as a question, it steers the direction of comments. Adding a multiple choice option may limit the variety of answers, but can help make comments even more manageable, as you will see in my next example.
WHY IT'S GOOD
The post describes the pants shown and then asks a simple question: which do you prefer? As you can see in the comments, even the one that has a complaint still answers the question. They have less comments than McDonald's post, but the responses are all on-target and provide Express some actual insight into their audience preferences.
It's called social media, and Express understand what social means. They ask for your opinion, rather than blabbing continuously. Speaking of blabbing...
BAD: LANE BRYANT
WHY IT'S BAD
Lane Bryant commits the cardinal sin of social media - they use it almost exclusively as a broadcast vehicle, and not as an engagement vehicle. This post, like many others on their page, simply say "Here is a product, click here to buy it!"
Unfortunately, that kind of post does not engender any kind of good feelings with the audience, who use each post as a sounding board to complain about Lane Bryant's prices.
Lane Bryant's social team needs to learn what social is all about. They have an opportunity to engage audiences, to talk about things that are frustrating customers, and to use their customers as a sounding board on products and services. Instead, they show a shocking lack of regard for fans' opinions or interests. When all you say to your audience is "buy this," don't be surprised when the responses are less than pleasant.
HOW COULD IT HAVE BEEN SOLVED?
Lane Bryant obviously has some issues with the perception of the pricing of their new upscale collection. What if they showed a side-by-side image of a complete look from the higher-end collection and one from the standard-price collection with a post that says "A great look for any budget. Which one do you prefer?"
It doesn't help to ignore your problems, and social can help you make connections to your most ardent fans. Show them that great looks are still available for people on a budget. Let's see one more good one...
WHY IT'S GOOD
Coke is one of the undisputed kings of content. What's nice about this post is that they take the idea that McDonald's was trying to go for (sharing with friends), but takes it to the next level by asking you to take the action of tagging a friend who makes you as happy as this squirrel.
This works for a few reasons. For one thing, it fits with Coke's brand promiseof helping people share happiness. Secondly, by asking users to take an action, it helps steer the conversation in the comments section. Third, by asking fans to tag a friend, it guarantees Coke a spot in a lot of people's newsfeeds where they wouldn't normally end up.
As Joe Puzlizzi mentioned in a previous interview, "Facebook has essentially become a pay-to-play platform. if you are looking for organic distribution of content on Facebook, you are probably not going to get that directly. You are going to have to get that through other sources that share your content because the content is really good and/or you have a really good relationship with people who want to share your content."
Coke has found a way around the barrier by asking fans to tag their friends. Great work!