The only rule of Facebook content: it must be worth sharing
If you’re a business and you’re on Facebook, you’ve got to think differently about what you’ll post. This may seem obvious but, Facebook is not LinkedIn and it is not Twitter. It should NOT be used in the same way as either of these social platforms.
In fact, if you’ve linked your Twitter account to your Facebook Page, do me a favour and unlink them right now.
If they’re linked because you don’t have time to dedicate to both platforms, pick one of them.
Social Media accounts should not be used as dumping grounds for all the content you come across. They are individual places to build and cultivate a loyal audience. Of course, the more relevant content you have the better.
If you’re not using these networks individually and differently, this post is for you. Listen up.
Your next tip is this: unlearn the ‘American Marketing Style’.
If you’ve ever been to the States, you may have noticed that advertising is often a lot more overt. Turn on the television, wait for the ‘commercial break’ and just listen. Chances are you’re going to hear a lot of ‘buy now’, company name repetition, ‘sale’, ‘last chance’ and so on.
This is not my preferred form of advertising (it’s darn irritating and not very creative) but it must work if they keep on plugging at it (surely?). However, this is exactly the type of marketing you should not be doing on your Facebook Business Page. It’s irritating, it’s spammy and worst of all, it’s boring. Facebook is the place people go to do their ‘curtain twitching’. It’s the community gossip centre and the place to tell the world what you’re doing, who you are and what you want. It’s where you define yourself and where you find out how others are defining themselves.
When I say ‘Facebook’ to you, what do you think of? Friends, siblings, old acquaintances, personal updates, photos from holidays, cute pictures of animals…
Probably all of the above and then some. But I’m willing to bet my laptop that you do not think of: sales messages, business buddies or networking opportunities.
And why is that?
Because Facebook is the domain of the ‘private life’.
I said it earlier but I’ll say it again. It’s the place people go to tell the world who they are, what they are doing and what they believe in. And this ‘self-branding’ almost always includes ‘liking’ companies/brands they believe in.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t use Facebook as a business, brand or company – quite the opposite actually. What it does mean is that you have got to appeal to individuals because of your company’s unique personality.
‘What?’ I hear you say. ‘My product IS my personality. The services I offer DEFINE who I am.’
This may well be the case, but tell me – how often do you or your children log onto Facebook to be sold to?
Even if people do sign up to find out about latest product updates or to get special offers, I bet that most of the time, they don’t share those product images/updates with friends and therefore they do not help to grow the online presence, ergo the ‘real life’ presence of your brand.
So, what is the solution?
It’s simple. You’ve got to post things that people WANT to share. You’ve got to become a company with a personality, a tone of voice, and a flair for the creative. You have to have a wall of posts that are so appealing people will want to follow you so as not to miss out on something.
Let me tell you what does get ‘liked’ and shared (based on a few of the companies I follow on my personal Facebook account):
- Innocent Smoothie posts
- Style Magazine posts
- Inspired by Iceland posts
- Etsy posts
- Mashable posts
- National Geographic Magazine posts
- Original Source posts
- Gapingvoid Gallery posts
Style Magazine posts something every day and when I have a look at how many people have shared or liked that particular post, it’s often in the thousands!
Can you imagine how much publicity that means for them? Just think: If your friend ‘likes’ the Cadburys UK Facebook Page, that’s going to show up in YOUR newsfeed. If that same friend shares one of the individual photo posts within that page to their own page, guess what’s going to come up in your feed? Yup, that picture – just as though they have updated their status.
And then Innocent Smoothies (who I swear by for creative marketing) – scroll down their page and scan through their posts. You will notice that product pictures get shared a good deal less than ‘stories’ and funny images that reference but don’t show an Innocent product. If you’re like me, you’ll just be dying to share something.
Here are some of my favourites from the Innocent Facebook Page:
If you’ve just done as I suggested, you’ll notice that the fun content (and the non-salesy content) get about a gazillion more ‘shares’. So…if you can learn to master SHAREABLE content, you will have learned the secret to growing a big audience online.
Take a look at any of the above pages I mentioned to see what they are doing. And do please let me know if you’ve found anything interesting. As always, if you got something out of this post, don’t forget to share it.