All this Facebook talk got me thinking: how can you create an effective Facebook post that’ll get you a ton of likes, shares, and comments? After all, that’s what every social network is after: the shares, likes, comments, retweets, regrams, etc.
I decided to run a little experiment on my personal Facebook account to show how anybody could make a mistake. I shared a link that led to another one of my social media accounts.
The post said, in big bold letters: “Add me on Snapchat!” followed by my username. I decided to personalize the link by adding a wink emoji 😉 and made my audience “everyone.”
It was the size of a photo, bigger than your average one sentence long post. Big post? check; shared link? check; used emojis? 😉 ; call for action? done; audience? everyone. I mean, the post covered every angle, technically.
Do you want to know how my post did?
Not so good. I got one new friend on Snapchat, and two likes on that post on Facebook. One of those two likes is from my brother and the new Snapchat friend isn’t one of the two people I engaged on Facebook. I’m still not sure who it is that added me.
So what went wrong?
Well, for starters, just an emoji won’t engage anyone, and having “everyone” as an audience is just too broad to actually have an effect. Keep reading because I’m not just going to tell you the best practices for posting on Facebook, but also how you can make these posts effective and successful.
Best Practices for Posting on Your Facebook Page
By now, you should know that Facebook is the number one social network in the world. We use our personal Facebook accounts to have fun, get our news, and stay in touch with our friends. But it’s not the same when we get down to business.
No playing around here. We’ve got to sell, sell, sell.
Let’s take a step back and look at the basics.
Keep it Short
People don’t read everything on their Facebook News Feed; I am guilty of doing this. We like to scan and stop at whatever catches our eye. Keep your writing to a minimum to get better responses from your audience.
Use Big, Eye-Catching Images
Posts with beautiful, colorful photos and videos definitely stand out in any News Feed, making it more likely for people to stop and watch and then like, comment, and share.
Try to show off your products or services in the best way you can.
Share Exclusive Content and Info
Offer special deals to your Facebook followers to keep them interested and drive your sales. Think about this for a sec: if your audience is brand loyal, let them know about special events or deals to reward them for their loyalty. Don’t be afraid to sell, just make sure every post isn’t just about pushing a sale. Think of each post as a way to build relationship with your audience,. and offer them ways that you can make life easier through your services.
Respond to Your Customers and Save the Dates
People like it when you listen to them. When you quickly reply to posts and comments on your page you’ll notice the same from your customers: they become more responsive too.
Keep a calendar and save the dates. When holidays and special events are on everyone’s mind, make sure to mention them in your posts. Plan and schedule posts around important dates, like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, et cetera. This will keep people talking about your business.
Post for the Right Audience
“Everyone” might seem like the right audience but often it’s not. Posts are the most effective when the people who care are the ones that see them. If your business caters to customers who speak different languages or live in different areas, you should create posts just for them.
For example, living here in El Paso, TX, a border town, with such close proximity to a different country, the two cultures, languages, and traditions, definitely have an influence in the market.
Create a post and choose to target the locations and languages you want. When you publish it, it’ll show only in the locations and languages you picked.
The right audience will connect with your message and service. Is your audience Eskimos – why try to sell them ice when you can sell them high-grade coats and thermal clothing?
Link Them to Your Website
Just like the post I mentioned in the beginning of this article, when you add a link to your post, it will automatically create an image from the landing page and a large clickable area that makes it easy for your viewers to go to your website.
You can customize the headline and description to engage your customers and give them even more reasons to click.
Think Quality, Not Quantity
When you learn what your audience responds to, you’ll be able to post more of what they love. Posting on your Facebook page is not about quantity, it’s all about the quality. By getting to know what your customers want, you can post more of what they like, and avoid posting what they don’t.
There you have it—the basics of creating a high quality post on Facebook. But you know what? Sometimes the basics just aren’t enough, so let me tell you some advanced tactics for using Facebook that’ll get you more leads and more customers.
5 Extremely Effective Facebook Tactics
1. Write Your Posts Like You’re Talking to a Friend
Don’t think of your Facebook followers as that, followers. Think of them as friends. Look at HP’s post as an example, casual, friendly, funny, in other words, perfect.
A friend knows you and can see through you. Your followers are able to see when you’re pitching them a sale. I get it, sales are important, the global economy revolves around them. You and your family get fed by them. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to get sneaky about sales on your Facebook page. I’m suggesting you take it slow and enjoy the process.
The sale will come only after you’ve established a record of trust-building touch points. Facebook is NOT the place to press for immediate sales, at least not constantly. It’s the place to build relationships and rapport. Fall in love with the selling process. This will pave the way for your audience to love buying from you.
2. Hashtags and Emojis are Cool, If Used Properly
Hashtags on Facebook don’t work exactly like the hashtags on Twitter and this is because of the way Facebook users are using them. Hashtags act as a search tool to help users discover content and share their interests. It’s a whole new way to think about categorization, and a great way to give more exposure to your posts. On Facebook, hashtags are often used to express an emotion. Just this morning I stumbled upon a Facebook post with the following hashtag:
That’s a hashtag that expresses a feeling with a not-so-clever attempt at being funny. Even if a lot of people share the feeling, chances are nobody is looking for a hashtag that specific. When you decide to use hashtags on Facebook, think about what you are using them for and how to use them for their intended use. A better way to use hashtags and express the same feeling my Facebook friend had could be:
I #Love/Hate #Netflix for trapping me with its original series
It’s easier to read, the idea stays the same but the hashtags are now relevant and searchable. Keep in mind that too many hashtags actually lowers engagement and won’t help you get more likes. According to a study conducted by the guys at SocialBakers, a post with one or two hashtags has significantly more interactions than those with more than three.
The same goes for emojis. When used properly, they can be an awesome way to express the tone of your post and humanize your business.
Did you know that you can now send the pizza slice emoji to your local Domino’s to order a pizza? Ok, it takes a bit more than just an emoji, you have to first register at Domino’s website and create a “default” pizza with your favorite toppings, after that you can send the emoji and the order will be processed, pretty neat huh? Just make sure you don’t send the pizza emoji twice, and get two pizzas “accidentally”, like I did.
3. Build a Community and Theme
The most successful brands are able to create a theme and tie their product to it. Take for example Coca Cola and their famous ad “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” from 1971. It’s a perfect example of how a brand can use a theme—in Coca-Cola’s case, peace and harmony—and tie it to a product, Coke.
Any entrepreneur will tell you that customer relationships are the foundation of a successful business, especially in today’s Internet age. Creating and participating in an online community is a foolproof way to strengthen your business relationships and build brand loyalty.
Fostering a community around your brand can help you not only to strengthen your brand, but also give you a direct channel of communication between you and your current and potential customers.
Coca-Cola has always been one of my favorite drinks, brands and I admit I am a fan of their ads, theytruly know how to market their brand. Take a look at this example from 2011 and check how many likes and comments it got.
You want to create a community with a “feel-good” theme, one that people want to be a part of. Remember that selling is a journey that starts with first impressions, continues to grow through building relationships, and ends with the transaction.
4. Don’t be Afraid to Shake Things Up
Everybody loves a little controversy; it gives the public something to talk about. Certainly with the elections this year there are a lot of hot issues up for debate on politics, the never-ending celebrity scandals, among other endless topics.
Facebook is constantly trying to help you stay relevant, have you noticed something different about your News Feed? Not that long ago, Facebook implemented the trending stories to show you the topics that are currently popular on Facebook. The topics you see are based on a number of factors including engagement, timeliness, and your location.
On a computer, these topics appear on the right side of your News Feed in one of 5 category lists: Top Trends, Politics, Science and Technology, Sports, and Entertainment. On mobile devices, trending topics appear as a combined list when you tap the search box.
Take advantage of this, find the trending topics relevant for your business and leverage them.
5. End with a Question
According to Kissmetrics, “question” posts get 100% more comments than the “non-question” posts. This one is pretty clear. When it comes to engagement, especially comments from your audience, asking a question is very effective.
You don’t have to write your posts as questions every single time, take a clue from Walmart and don’t be afraid to directly ask your audience to engage with your post. This post from Walmart is simply brilliant, hosting a pie “showdown” and asking people to “Like” the post for pumpkin pie or “Share” it for apple. I’m a pie person so I probably would’ve liked and shared the post.
Beside from stating the obvious and tell you to ask questions in your posts to engage your audience, I want to tell you where to ask them.
Based on research conducted by Buddy Media, where you place the question in a post is just as important as the question itself. Placing the question at the end of your post increases the interaction rate by 15%, and will double the comment rate compared to those posts with a question asked in the middle. When you finish with a question you’re encouraging your Facebook friends, fans, and followers to respond immediately.
Now that you know what makes a Facebook post effective, let’s put it into action.
Does using a photo in your post guarantee an increase in your engagement? What type of images will your community relate to? Which emoji should you use, if any, and will it improve your engagement? How are hashtags used and how can you take advantage of them to make a post more effective? As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Every business is different, and what works for one industry might not work for another. The important thing to remember is to experiment with small changes that might increase engagement, analyze the results, and figure out what works best for you.
The comment section is open. You’re welcome to share your ideas, opinions, and suggestions in the comments below. Have you found a technique that work best for you? Will you be willing to try the ideas I suggested? Let’s talk about it.
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