The most important thing about how to post on a Facebook page is the easiest to forget. But your grandma gets it.
Sometimes when I teach social media classes for businesses, I hear a common theme: That’s great for the younger generation, but we’re really more interested in a mature demographic. (Read: Old people have money and we want to sell to people with money.)
I usually go into social demographic studies supplemented with anecdotes about how parents and grandparents flock to social media to keep track of their kids who went off to college, got jobs and started families.
But a social media secret that they don’t know is this: Your grandma probably knows more about a making great Facebook post than you do. The most important thing about how to post on a Facebook page is the easiest to forget, but your grandma gets it: It’s not about you. Even when it’s about you, it’s not about you. And if you start to think it might be about you, you’re doing it wrong.
Sure, there are things about Facebook grandma definitely doesn’t get: Edge rank, posting frequency, hashtags, and not using the status bar as a private message feature (‘Honey, please stop by. It’s been so long since granny has seen you’).
These and every other social media tip or trick you’ve learned over the years are important. But they all take a back seat to this one important concept that’s native to grandma: Social media is not about you.
That “two ears and one mouth” bit? Smart. The whole “think before you speak” thing? Vital. “Be kind to others” mantra? Critical.
The reason so many people appreciate their grandmother is that she took the time to listen. When you talked with her, you didn’t feel rushed or like she had to dominate the conversation. She certainly had hopes and dreams for you, but generally she just wanted you to be happy.
Grandma was a social media wizard before Mark Zuckerberg ever picked up a keyboard.
And you can be, too.
The vast majority of posts on social are about the person making the post. But when you turn the tables and do everything you can on your Facebook business page to be helpful to your followers, you’ll stand out from the crowd, attracting and retaining a larger, more engaged audience. And, helpfully, creating your pool of potential customers larger who are paying attention to what makes you unique.
So how do you develop a Facebook audience grandma’s way? Here are five methods:
Make it about the audience
Too many pages set out to get their message or product out to followers. They want people to read, click, buy, etc. Grandma? Grandma’s there for you. She’s happy to see you and generally wants to have the conversation on your terms. She wants to hear about school, work, friends, love interests, and just about anything else you want to tell her about.
While an ultimate goal for many of us is to convert sales, you can’t convert without people who are paying attention. They won’t pay attention unless they trust you. And they won’t trust you unless they believe you have their best interest at heart. So, do you best to be helpful, entertaining, informative and emphatic when you’re thinking about how to post on a Facebook page about your newest products or service .
Respond to comments
Grandma doesn’t talk just to hear herself talk. She’s there to have a conversation with you. She’s going to listen and thoughtfully respond. This method is a path to social media success. Not only does it signal your followers that you’re helpful and engaged, it also boosts your engagement numbers, increasing your likelihood of showing up in more users’ newsfeeds.
Develop a consistent voice
Grandma’s voice was unmistakable and welcome. Yours should be, too. Voice and personality can add a lot to a Facebook post. This isn’t a book report, so ditch the formality and relax your tone. Decide on your tone (personality, wit, charm and just all-in-all goodness go a long way) and stick with it.
Just remember: Your tone is there to connect with the audience. Avoid phrases that you wouldn’t normally use like ‘click here’ or ‘more info’. Talk like a person, and you’ll hear back from real people.
Have a robust toolbox
No one tool is meant for every job. That’s true on Facebook as much as it is in the garden, garage or kitchen. Vary your content mix. Have a good mix of links, text, photos and videos. Consider using different posting methods. Some work better than others, depending on the nature of the post. Here are a few methods to try:
Ask a question (What’s your favorite _____? Where do you go for _____?)
- Take a poll
- Invite readers to fill in the blank
- Share links from other experts
- Share inspirational quotes
- Share amazing photos and video (but don’t steal them to do so)
‘Would I click on this?’
It’s a simple question, but Grandmas are great about keeping things simple. Answering it honestly will help you figure out if you’re ready to hit the publish button. A few more questions you can ask to help you know if your post is ready to go:
- If you weren’t the author of this post, would you notice it?
- Would you find it compelling enough to stop scrolling and read it?
- Would you react to the photo, click on the link or answer the question?
If the answer is no, take another run at it. If the answer is yes, post away.