Not having a strong Facebook presence for your business is tantamount to not having a website — not only is it costing you business, it’s depriving you the opportunity to engage with existing and future customers in a very personal and authentic way.
The good news is that improving your existing Facebook presence, or creating one from scratch, is pretty straightforward. If you fall into the latter category, Facebook offers a great step-by-step guide for creating a business page.
But having a Facebook business page and maintaining a Facebook business page are two very different things. If you want your page to be successful (and you do, right?), you must have a sound Facebook content strategy to guide your efforts.
And by utilizing Facebook’s built-in scheduling tool, savvy small-business owners can leverage an hour or two of time to craft a week’s worth of compelling, audience-specific posts. Here are six tips for creating a winning Facebook post strategy for your business:
Keep it timely
What’s happening in your business? Perhaps you have a new line of products to show off, or maybe there’s an upcoming sale to promote. Does a change in seasons have particular meaning for your business, or for your customers?
Most people don’t use Facebook to find out what’s happening a couple months from now. They want to know what’s coming up today, or this weekend. Accordingly, most of your business page posts should share that near-term focus.
Tap into what’s trending
Facebook, Twitter and Google, among others, tap into their vast user groups to identify trending topics and stories. On your Facebook page, those trending topics are typically displayed on the right rail. And while what’s trending won’t always relate to your business or industry, when you can make that connection you’ll reap the reward of increased potential exposure. And it never hurts to send the message to your audience that you’re up with the times.
Be a curator
Who are the industry leaders in your line of business? And how about the relevant trade publications, bloggers and other outlets whose job it is to keep track on what’s happening in your industry? Be sure to follow, or like, their Facebook pages (and other social media accounts), where they’re undoubtedly posting great content that’s hyper-relevant to your target audience.
By keeping an eye on what those leaders are saying you’ll identify worthwhile content to post from your own business page. Sharing a good link or video can be as valuable — and sometimes more so — than trying to come up with something better yourself. Personalize their content with a message of your own that connects the dots between your business and what’s being discussed in the content you’re about to share. Boom! Now you’ve curated content.
Mix it up
Facebook, like other social media platforms, is increasingly a visual medium. Even the best-written post needs a good visual to maximize its exposure. This is why it’s so important to include photos or videos with your posts. Facebook’s algorithm (the fancy, behind-the-scenes formula that dictates what posts Facebook shows which users) rewards posts with good visuals and punishes those without them.
You don’t need to be a professional photographer or videographer to capture good imagery. Today’s smartphones come equipped with superb cameras capable of capturing high-resolution still photos and high-definition video. Check out these tips for creating high-quality video with your smartphone.
You don’t go weeks at a time without updating your business financials. Neither can you afford to ignore your business’ Facebook page for extended periods. As we mentioned above, take advantage of Facebook’s post scheduling tool to ensure your page is constantly updated. And even if you don’t have the time to check in every day, don’t let more than a few days go by without making sure you’ve responded to any customer reviews or post comments on your Facebook page. That personal, one-on-one interaction tells your current and future customers that you’re an attentive business owner who cares about their needs. Customer service is even more important in virtual spaces than it is in physical ones, because the reach of your interactions can be visible to the entire connected world.
Humanizing your business is one of the most effective ways of connecting with your customers. And social media is the ideal place to do it. Your content and posting strategy should occasionally include personalized posts that introduce yourself, your employees or other “human elements” of your business. Perhaps it’s a fun picture of your staff celebrating a successful initiative or testing out a new product. Maybe it’s a GIF of your dog romping around the office on National Dog Day. The only rule here is to have fun and be authentic. Your customers will like you even more for it.