Let's just get right to it, shall we?
In my last post, we discussed the importance of posting consistently and frequently. I encouraged you to embrace posting MORE as well as MORE REGULARLY. We covered Facebook Insights, and what to look for in terms of finding optimal posting times both daily and weekly. And then I told you to have patience: we are in this for the long haul. Part of making a strategy is implementing it over the course of 30-90 days, allowing room to study results and adjust to your audience.
It's a wild ride, people.
Content Is King
Every page is unique and different with unique and different audiences. So what works for one page may not work for another. Website/Blog fan pages may function differently than the business page for a realtor or clothing store. Algorithms change all the time.
Adjusting Strategy and ExpectationsSo as we talk about strategy, we have to hold this "wisdom" loosely. This is not a "health and wealth gospel" where if you do A and B it will automatically equal C. It will involve a lot of studying of your audience and Insights, experimenting with timing and content, as well as possibly having to adjust your goals and expectations of the page (more on this later).
So now that we've talked about how much to post, it's time to talk what to post. As the old adage goes: Content is King. And it's true. You could post lots of content in lots of places, but if it's not worth reading? It's pointless.The Facebook algorithm, however fleeting it is, always seems to favor interesting and organic posting and content (even though it is second to sponsored/paid posts). So as we have our own things we want to promote on our platforms (deals, blog posts, etc), what should we be posting?
Social Media as a Dinner Party
Let's pretend that you are at a dinner party. There are lots of people to interact with. In your experience, who is the most interesting and engaging person to talk to? First, let's agree on who is not fun to talk to. It's not…
…the person who can't talk about anything but him/herself.
…the person who doesn't seem to be listening to what you are saying.
…the person who talks to you once at the beginning of the party for 2 minutes then avoids you for the rest of the night.
Those are the people I loathe talking to at events. Rather, the people we are most drawn to interacting with are dynamic. These are the people who work to engage with you. They are personable, they listen and respond. They talk about a wide variety of things and know when to change the subject if the conversation gets dry (or try new ways to connect to keep the conversation going).
Your goal for your Facebook Page is to be the most interesting guest at the dinner party.
Content CategoriesContent for Facebook falls into four different categories:
Text content is just that: text. No visuals, no links. It could be a simple question or statement: "Where are you going to dinner tonight?"
This is visual content, with or without text. Example of this would be to share a picture of a coffee mug with text captioning, "Have you had your cuppa today?"
This is the same as a text post, with a URL link somewhere in the text. You can also add a picture if you'd prefer not to use the thumbnail preview.
When you scrolling your newsfeed and find something you like, whether it be an article, a quiz, a picture or even another page, you have the option to "Share" it. As a Page Manager, you can share it to a page you manage. While it may seem like this is the same as Picture or Link content, it is my understanding that it is weighted differently in the algorithm. Facebook like it when you are not solely self-promotional, but willing to share organically things you come across as well.
If you are posting several times per day, aim to have a mix of each content category each day. Four posts per day means that you can do one of each!
Creating a Conversation
So the next step is to take the Ideal Dinner Party Guest Qualities (being personable, dynamic, responsive, flexible) and put them into practice within the different content categories. You want to create a conversation.
A good dinner party guest would ask questions about the person she is talking to. This is a great way to utilize the Text Content category. I strongly encourage asking questions or making statements both inside AND outside of your "niche." If you are a food blogger, there is a plethora of great discussion topics: what is your favorite cooking show on Food Network? Where is your favorite place to dine out? What is are your 3 must-have kitchen utensils.
But you want to build your audience. And maybe not everyone is a foodie. So how do you reach them? By creating universal discussions. Most people may not be interested in how to make flan, but almost everyone drinks coffee. So by putting out the question (in the morning as people are enjoying their java): "How do you take your coffee?", you are creating a dialogue that a lot of people can participate in.
If already-established fans answer, it will pop up in their newsfeed that the responded to a comment on your page. Their friends, foodies or not, will see it. And if the content (ahem) is compelling enough, they may stop by to join the conversation. The great thing about human nature is that we love to talk about ourselves. So discussion questions that are personal or ask for opinions/ideas/feedback are compelling to fans.
Have a "call to action" in your posts from time to time. "If you twirl your spaghetti instead of cutting it LIKE this post!" or "Do you prefer to wake up EARLY or LATE?" Give them a reason to respond.
Consider this as you create your daily content. Put yourself in your audience's shoes: What would compel you to comment on, like or share a post?
Conversations Are Not One-Sided
Despite the fact that I know you are awesome sauce, I have a hard truth to share with you: it's not only about you. Sure, as a business or blogger, part of the reason you have a Facebook page is to promote your business or blog. I get that. But remember, you have several precious opportunities each day to connect with your audience.
Remember the party guest who only liked talking about himself? If the only content you share are your newest blog posts or your upcoming events, people will begin to tune you out. I'm not saying you should never share that stuff. That's totally great content! But if it's your only content, it will work against you.
I like the rule of 80/20. No, I'm not talking about ground beef. I mean, 80% of your content should be other-focused (i.e.; non-self promotional), leaving 20% to be self-focused (i.e.: self-promotional).
For those looking to market and promote, this may feel constrictive. But hear me out: If you are building an audience who enjoys interacting with your non-promotional content because it is personal, engaging and interesting, they'll be more likely to see and interact with your self-promotional content as well.
Be Responsive. Be Personal.
As you begin to get interaction from your content, make sure you RESPOND. Don't be the guy at the dinner party who is talking to you, but looking everywhere else and randomly nodding and Mm-hmming at all the wrong times in the conversation.
If you get a comment, comment back! Thank your fans, celebrate hitting 500 likes, etc. If you get negative feedback, process that instead of ignoring it. But let your fans know you are listening. If you see something they enjoy, tweak your content to include that more. If you notice you have early morning or late night audiences, work in content at those times to reach them.
This post is getting way too long, so I'm going to wrap it up! A little time and thoughtfulness can go a long way in the content you are putting up on your timeline. I hope you are encouraged to try new things, vary the kind of content you share, and more intently reaching your audience where they are.
In the next post, we'll take content to the next level as we discuss how to make your Facebook Page a community. This one might be uncomfortable, because it will require you to get personal!
I'd love to hear how your strategy is coming along!
What kind of Dinner Party Guest is YOUR Facebook Page?
What kind of content do you need to work on incorporating more?
Leave a comment and join the conversation! And never hesitate to message me/email me if you want to go more in-depth or have more questions!
Read the next post in the series --->