As the largest social media site, facebook can be an ideal platform for building community, engaging people, and promoting what is unique and different about your organization, products, and services. Sharing compelling stories and entertaining posts on facebook reinforce your organization’s messaging and brand.
To make the best use of your time and resources, it is important to think through your goals for your organization’s facebook presence, such as increasing sales; driving attendance at events, attracting new members/donors, and providing customer service. What kind of people do you plan to reach and what are their needs and interests?
The temptation is to focus on the number of “likes” you get on your facebook page, and it’s true that having a good sized community to communicate with matters. But once people “like” your facebook page, they usually will not come back to it. The value of each “like” is that your postings will show up in your fans’ individual news feeds, so that when they go to facebook they see your messages along with what their friends and family are doing and postings from other facebook pages they have liked. But that value is meaningless if people don’t pay attention or respond to what you post.
Engagement and sharing is your mission. Ideally what you are posting so interests your facebook fans that they “like” or comment on your individual messages, but the real nirvana is when they share them with their facebook friends. This way you are reaching new audiences while getting an implied endorsement from the fan that shares your message.
So what are the best ways to develop content that drives engagement and sharing? Here are 8 tips:
- Use photos and short video clips, especially of customers, members, donors in a range of ages and demographics you are trying to attract.
- Tap emotions such as funny, sad, touching, fun, vivacious, or hopeful.
- Use active verbs and friendly, warm, more personal tone…avoid posts that just promote a product or simple solely sales-oriented statement like this is a great event to go to, instead highlight something interesting from or about it, give useful tips or other content addressing a problem or need your audience has.
- Celebrate success stories, testimonials, achievements, social service projects, especially that reinforce your organization’s brand and messaging.
- Share a fun meme (a funny or touching statement or quip with or without a photo or graphic) related to your organization’s mission, industry, or products whether you create one or use a public one.
- Ask questions or use fill in the blank statements (such as my favorite memory/book/movie about xyz topic related to your organization is ___________) that engage and encourage conversation.
- Share links to interesting articles or other content with a short, intriguing intro.
- Gauge and test different approaches, days of the week, and time of day for your posts when they get the best attention and engagement.
- Regularly review the traffic your postings are getting and focus on the strategies and timing that seem to be working best.
Which approaches have you found to be most effective for engaging and building your facebook community while meeting your organization’s goals?