Category Archives: Marketing Strategy

The Foundation of Social Media Success

Each social media site has its own unique personality, community and features. If you’re not familiar with it, the first thing to do is watch, listen and learn. But to use your time well, the key to success is knowing what you want to achieve by using social media. If you don’t know where you want to go, it’s hard to know if you’ve gotten there.

gears with yellowhighlighted gear in centerThinking through your goals will help you determine which social media sites, strategies, content, visuals and stories to use to achieve success. And what metrics to measure to gauge how you’re doing.

That is why the first foundation I help clients think through is their goals and most important audiences. For example, do you want to:

  • Increase customers, clients, donors, or members
  • Build community with current customers
  • Educate  a specific audience about something
  • Increase visibility for your organization

For more details check out my article on how to Create Your Social Media Plan for Success.

 

An Entrepreneur’s Social Media Plan for Success

This post was originally published in Entrepreneur on April 22, 2014, at http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233251.

Social media can give entrepreneurs the same opportunity to build community and engage customers as their better funded competitors. But when time and resources are limited, it’s crucial to laser focus social-media efforts to achieve goals: Do you want to drive sales, generate qualified leads, build relationships with current customers and bloggers in your industry? And of course figure out how you can measure it.

For entrepreneurs needing a little help developing their social media plan, here are a few tips.

Be crystal clear on who your target audience is. Determining your target demographic is imperative for success (without customers there are no sales). Make sure you have a clear image of who you exactly what to reach. Make sure you know them inside and out and are familiar with their interests, needs and biggest challenges. How does your product or service solve their problems? Also look at influencers in your industry, as they can play an important role in reaching your audience.

Which social media sites are they on? Determine where these people like to socialize and stalk them. If you’re tightly staffed and have limited funds to contract help, it can be difficult to actively engage in a variety of sites. In that case, pick two or three sites — preferably the ones that are used most often with your audience — to do well. You can always add more sites later.

Plan your messaging strategy. Make sure your branding strategy and story brings your company to life. That said, keep in mind, it’s not about you or your brand, it’s about what your customer likes and wants. Connect your customer’s interests and challenges to your content and how your products or services can help them.

Don’t use social media to just talk about your business or product.While it is okay to sprinkle in a few tidbit here and there, no one wants to continually hear about how awesome your company is. Instead, provide useful information and news related to your specific audience’s needs and interests. Also, share related content from other sources, not just from you.

Mix it up. Feature a mixture of different kinds of content — from news to practical tips and humorous stories. Emphasize by using visuals such as images, photos, videos, infographics and slide decks.

For example, Citrus Lane, which sells subscription packages to parents of young children, shares entertaining, fun visuals on sites like Facebook, as well as provides deals, contests and handy tips.

Keep your website as your home base. While social media is imperative, make sure your website remains your anchor. (Also, don’t neglect building your own opt-in email list.) Post original content on your site along with guest articles in places your customers and influencers visit. Then use social media to share the content and drive traffic to your website and sales or lead pages.

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Create Your Social Media Plan for Success

What is the best way to use social media to increase your organization’s revenue, and communicate with your current and prospective customers, donors, clients, members? Maybe you’ve been using Facebook or LinkedIn for quite a while but you’re not sure it’s doing anything for you. Is it worth the time? How do you know if you’re doing the right things?

You need a simple, straightforward plan for social media success. If you’re like me, you don’t want to spend months thinking through a complex plan that is too complicated to execute in the first place. You want to get moving and see action and results.

Here is my outline and tips for developing a clear social media plan that drives results.

mapping through a maze

Map these components out, involving anyone in your team who plays a role in your social media presence or you think would add value to your discussion.

 

Your Goals: What are the two or three most important goals you have for your social media presence? Do you want to increase revenue of a specific product(s), attract new members/donors, prospect for clients, build community with current customers?

Your Audience: Picture who you most want to reach and as much information as you can about them. Age range, preferences, needs, interests, etc. What kinds of words and expressions resonate with them? What are their biggest problems keeping them up at night that you can help solve or at least share some levity or understanding of? What do they care about? Which social media sites are they most likely to spend time on (as opposed to just having a profile and don’t visit regularly)?

What is the most important message, story and/or theme you want to articulate? Use a mixture of kinds of posts and messaging, that include serious, funny or tongue in cheek, behind the scenes, and very useful content that helps solve your customers/donors/members’ problems. Always keep your goals and brand in mind. Share content from other organizations so you have a wide mix not all egocentric about you. And minimize how much you post that is “salesy.” Only a small percentage should be sales oriented, the vast majority should use a useful content approach or sharing content from other reliable sources.

How does your messaging and social media goals fit in with your overall marketing, communications, and public relations plan for your organization? You want a consistent look and feel visually, as well as in message and tone. Your social media posts and communications should support and integrate with what you are doing through other channels.

Brainstorm images, videos, polls, and questions you can feature that reinforce your stories and messaging. Social media is very visual and interactive.

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Social Media SOS: Help! Do I Have to Be on ALL the Sites?! Am I Doing the Right Things?

I hear this question all the time: With so many social media sites and so much information swirling around about what you are “supposed” to do online,  does it mean I need a presence everywhere? How do I know what to say on all these sites and understand them all? Can I just post the same thing on all of them? Oh, and how am I supposed to get anything else done?! And is this really going to help increase my sales, revenue, donations, number of members, or fill in the blank?

It’s enough to give anyone a panic attack, especially given how busy we all are. Whether you’re a small business, nonprofit, practitioner, association, or entrepreneur, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done as it is. But what people share all the time is their nervousness and growing dartboard_successfulrecognition that social media can be a powerful tool and not having at least a modest presence and level of knowledge could leave them at a huge disadvantage. In fact, harnessing social media strategically can and has given many small organizations or practices a big jump on their competition, even those that are much bigger.

So what is the answer? Start with what you are trying to accomplish, who your audience is, and what your business goals are. Then prioritize which social media platforms and approaches will be most worth your time and effort. Step back and think about what is the right answer for you and your organization. Check out my article on developing a quick and straightforward social media plan, but in the meanwhile, here are some tips:

Prioritize Your Time. Be realistic about what you can accomplish with the resources you have. Do you have staff who can spend time on this or should you be seeking some outside help? It’s better to really engage well in one or two social media sites that hold the most promise for success then spread yourself too thin and not do a good job on any of them. Or to accidentally ignore comments your receive online because you didn’t have time to notice them.

You can have some modest presence on a site like Google Plus for the sake of enhancing your SEO (search engine optimization) so that your content is easier to find when people do keyword searches on Google. However, it’s hard to do Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter well if you’re only going to pay attention to it a couple of times every month or two. You can casually use them, but will you be accomplishing your goals?

Use the Right Language and Don’t Say the Same Exact Thing on Multiple Sites.  Think about who your most important audience is, what their needs, interests, and problems are. Use words and expressions that resonate with your audience. Customize what and how you say things to the culture and environment of the site you’re posting on. Tools like Hootsuite allow you to post to different social media sites in one convenient place and listen to  and engage in online conversations. But using Hootsuite to broadcast the same message in multiple places without sensitivity to the unique environment of each place can make your postings seem out of place or at the least not as effective.

Spend time “listening” and learning the culture of each site you want to engage in and the typical practices and style of each. For example Twitter has a very different feel than Facebook or LinkedIn. Small touches can really increase your success.

Think creatively about imagery you can use to engage people and express your story and message. If you spend time on social media you’ll see the increasing usage and impact of images in all formats, including photos, graphics, and videos.

Compare What Other Organizations are Doing.  You can get great ideas looking at how different organizations are using the same social media sites you are. Especially watch what similar kinds of organizations are doing, though you can also learn from organizations in different fields and apply it to your industry, especially if they seem to have similar goals.

Please Share Your Experiences. Which social media sites are you focusing on for which purposes? Has that helped you use your time and effort wisely? I would love to hear about what is working for you.

 

Facebook Conundrum: How Do I Ensure My Content Gets Found?

With constant changes in the Facebook algorithm and news feed functionality, even the most committed social media fan could get a headache trying to keep up and make sure your audience sees your content. It is disheartening to spend time thinking about what to post on Facebook only to see your numbers and engagement plummet. To say the least, it can leave you unsure whether there is any point to the time you put into it.

stand out from crowd globe imageFacebook changes in December and January that are decreasing many Facebook pages’ reach raised the latest round of worries and debate about its impact and what to do next. To learn more, check out this excellent Social Media Examiner podcast with experts Michael Stelzner, Mari Smith, and Jay Baer. Three great recent articles are Your Five-Step Strategy to Improved Facebook Engagement & Growth by Carrie Morgan, 18 Ways to Improve Your Facebook News Feed Performance by John Haydon, and Facebook to Marketers: Stop Using Text Updates to Game the News Feed by Jon Loomer.

Focus on Your Audience, Goals & What Works

So what should you do? What matters most is whether the people you are trying to reach are on Facebook, and that you use your time well to reach your organization’s goals.

Think carefully about the messages you want to convey. More importantly, what content and information does your audience need and want — when they are on Facebook? Is your content helping to solve their problems, entertain, and/or provide useful information they need?

red arrow climbing to top of white stairsAlmost no one visits your Facebook page after “liking” your organization. Your content appears or not in a person’s news feed based on the infamous Facebook algorithm which they regularly tweak.

One consistent component of the algorithm is that people see the most content in their news feed that they have already liked and engaged with. So after liking your Facebook page, they will see your content if they regularly look at your posts and more so if they like and/or comment on them.

What people like varies by them as individuals (obviously) but also by organization. What works great will be different for a nonprofit that helps people with diabetes or cancer, a professional membership association, accounting firm, tech start up, restaurant, or a contractor/supplier to other businesses. Each situation is unique which is important to remember when reading the latest news about plummeting Facebook numbers.

In reality, over 1.2 billion and counting people are on Facebook, some much more actively than others. So for most organizations, Facebook still has tremendous value as part of your communication plan. The question is how to best use your time on it to reach your goals and engage people.

A critical part of using your time well is to regularly monitor your stats through Facebook Insights, which provides data about how your Facebook page and posts are doing. Pay careful attention to:

  • How many people are viewing, liking, clicking and commenting on your content.
  • Which days of the week and times of day are most and least popular?
  • When are they on Facebook?
  • Which types of posts are working best – links (in which you enter a link in the What’s Happening? post prompt and Facebook populates a preview), photos with what kinds of copy, text only posts, etc.

When you see news that Facebook has tweaked the algorithm or other features recently, watch your organization’s data closely to see over time whether the above patterns are changing. Because it doesn’t really matter what’s happening in the broad world of Facebook or Organization XYZ – what matters is what is happening with YOUR organization’s facebook metrics.

Globe with a computer start button on itAlways keep in mind what you are trying to achieve through your Facebook presence. Building community, driving traffic to your web site/blog, selling product.   How do you measure it? What does success look like? But be realistic – Facebook pages don’t go from 10 to 10,000 fans in a week or a month. It takes time to attract fans and build a vibrant community.

Just remember that Facebook is not the place for blatant selling. Sharing useful content related to your brand and mission, entertaining and helping are key. Understanding and respecting the environment and culture of Facebook is important. Check out my articles 8 Tips to Build A Large Facebook Following and  8 Ways to Develop Facebook Content That Drives Engagement and Sharing for more ideas. You may also want to test advertising on Facebook which can be done very inexpensively. One of my favorite resources for Facebook advertising is expert Jon Loomer’s blog.

Keeping Up with Facebook Changes

The reality is Facebook will continue to change and evolve which they have to do to stay relevant and keep their audience. The most efficient way to stay up-to-date is to follow a few proven experts who are quick to blog about evolving changes and tips to maximize your efforts. Here are some of my favorite sources for Facebook news and tips:

question mark buttonJon Loomer – in addition to Facebook overall, he is the go to expert on advertising on Facebook, and shares regular videos and podcasts, often with guest experts, in addition to his traditional blog posts.

John Haydon specializes in nonprofit marketing and social media, but his tips are handy for anyone.

Mari Smith shares the latest Facebook news and tips on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/marismith.

Social Media Examiner covers the range of social media, shares concrete tips and advice usually with great examples and clear screen shots, and features a Who’s Who of expert guest authors.

Andrea Vahl offers advice and tips on Facebook and other social media sites.

InsideFacebook.com and AllFacebook.com are two sister web sites by Media Bistro with the latest Facebook news.

 

Landmark Books to Inspire Your Leadership, Marketing & Planning for the Future

While I am an avid reader of a number of leadership, marketing and social media blogs, many of which are listed in my blog roll on my www.lisadanielpour.com home page, I also squeeze in time to read the latest books that I think will be pivotal to informing my thinking about the future. These are three recent reads that inspired my business planning and marketing strategy that I wanted to share.

Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype by Jay Baer
youtility-bookThis short book is a must read for re-thinking how you market and communicate with your current and potential customers, members, or constituents. The reality is we live in a very crowded marketplace with thousands of brands and organizations swamping our favorite social media sites, email in boxes, and every other route possible to our eyes and ears. Whether you are a company marketing a product or service, a consultant or other professional seeking clients, or a nonprofit trying to engage potential donors and volunteers, how do you stand out from all that noise?

Youtility gives you that path through providing absolutely usefulness and value to whatever kind of consumer you want to attract, reflecting your understanding of their wants and needs and ability to deliver solutions to their problems. As Jay Baer puts it best, “Youtility is marketing that’s wanted by customers. Youtility is massively useful information, provided for free, that creates long-term trust and kinship between your company and your customers.”

I found Baer’s book invaluable in taking the concept of content marketing to the next level to thinking about how can I best help the audiences I am trying to reach so that the content and information I provide is compelling and really meets their needs. This is what sets you apart from the crowd. What will make the difference for your customers, so that you are truly helping them while reinforcing your brand and messages? Throughout the book, Baer provides creative, pragmatic examples of how different kinds of organizations from small to large are using Youtility to engage and help their audiences and what their process and results have been.

“If you sell something, you make a customer today; if you help someone, you make a customer for life.” -Jay Baer

He walks you through a six-step process he recommends for building Youtility into your business after examining three key traditional approaches to building awareness for organizations and how the marketplace is completely changing. I highly recommend this quick read for anyone concerned about marketing or branding your organization or products/services for the future. Jay Baer is a marketing and social media expert and author of the popular Convince & Convert blog which I also recommend reading regularly.

 

Impact EquationThe Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

If you are planning to launch a new business, product, or service, this book is a great guide to help you map out your vision and pragmatic path to success. Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, successful entrepreneurs and social business leaders, share their experiences and formula for success based on the acronym IMPACT = C x (R + E+ A + T + E). The CREATE acronym stands for the attributes needed to create your impact that the authors walks you through step by step: Contrast, Reach, Exposure, Articulation, Trust, and Echo.

The Impact Equation provides the wisdom and insights Brogan and Smith have gleaned from their successes and working with their many clients. The attributes are grouped into four sections that give you guiding principles – goals, ideas, platform, and human element. The authors weave in many examples of how different entrepreneurs and organizations use these techniques and aspects to literally “create” their success.

While you’re reading the book it might prove useful to set up a simple chart or spreadsheet listing the attributes and jot notes about how you currently are or might plan to handle each aspect for your business, product or service. I read it right before launching my startup Gooseling’s first children’s app Cavity Dragons and found it very useful for checking whether we’d thought sufficiently through our vision and plan for both our business and the app.

Both Chris Brogan and Julien Smith have blogs and email newsletters (you can sign up for their newsletters on their respective web sites) that are great reads as well.

Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Ekaterina Walter
ThinkLikeZuck-bookThis book justifiably received a great deal of business buzz for delving thoughtfully into what made facebook and in particular Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership style so successful. But this quick read also explores other renowned business success stories in the framework of the five principles author Ekaterina Walter identifies as key to that success – passion, purpose, people, product, and partnerships. I’ve followed and admired Ekaterina Walter for several years, she was a social media leader at Intel until co-founding the branding/marketing firm Branderati.

“Passion + Action = Results” – Ekaterina Walter

Walter offers an intriguing inside look at the launch and evolution of facebook as a business as well as its impact on our lives and how Mark Zuckerberg’s strengths and challenges played a role in each stage of development. While Walter discusses the ingenuity and success stories of a variety of entrepreneurs (e.g. TOMS, CollegeHumor, Threadless, and Dyson), she also explores the vital role intrapreneurs play in organizations and shares examples. David Armano, Executive Vice President of Edelman Digital, defined intrapreneurs as “someone who has an entrepreneurial streak in his or her DNA, but chooses to align his or her talents with a large organization in place of creating his or her own.”

As Walter says, “Organizations small and large need intrapreneurs. In an era of constant change, not one single company can afford complacency. True disruption happens when entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well within an organization. And that spirit is cultivated and spread by intrapreneurs–those on the forefront of change, those passionate enough to activate the principles discussed in this book within their own organization.”

Ekaterina Walter also has a must-read blog and writes regularly for Forbes, Fast Company, Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur.

Are You Ready for Launch? A Checklist for Success

I haven’t posted a new article for a while as I’ve been super busy launching my first video game app Cavity Dragons, designed to motivate kids to brush their teeth. I co-founded my business Gooseling, Inc. with my sister and fellow Mompreneur Vicky Keston to teach children social and life skills through Gooseling Logovideo games with the on-the-go convenience of iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch. So I thought what better topic to share here then tips based on my experiences launching new products and services.

When you’re getting ready to launch a major new product or service whether through a start up or established business, making sure you have thought carefully through the various aspects will prepare you for the busy whirlwind to come – and most importantly for success.

Here is a checklist of the key issues to make sure you have covered before you officially launch:

Your unique message and brand.  How will you differentiate your product from the competition? What is the branding and feeling you want to paint paletteevoke? What need does it fill? How does this messaging fit with your organization’s overall brand and messaging? Plan and articulate the messaging and make sure everyone has it to ensure cohesive, strong communications.

Your potential customer’s needs and wants. How you will reach them and why should they buy/use your product?

Review the resources, people, and skills needed to ensure a smooth launch.

Your publicity, marketing, and social media tactics which flow from your overall business and marketing strategy. What are the communication outlets (including the social media sites/communities) and tactics you have decided will have the best impact to meet your goals? How will you use content marketing – providing truly useful information – to help solve your customers’ problems and answer their potential questions that will help build your brand and business? For example, my sister and I started a parenting blog at gooseling.com/blog to provide useful information and advice on a wide variety of parenting issues in an effort to help parents, teachers, and practitioners while also building trust and our community.

Predict potential problems or issues that might arise and how you will handle them. We want to think everything will run smoothly, but in our question markimperfect world it is most likely that you’ll encounter some glitches. Watching for possible pain points and thinking about how and who might handle them will help you respond quickly if something does go wrong in the busy midst of launch. What are likely questions or issues might customers might have? Envision each step of the process from attracting their interest through serving their needs throughout the sales and service process.

Customer service, fulfillment and operations processes. Make sure all processes of who will do what are clearly articulated. You might think it should be obvious but in my experience surprises can arise when we assume everyone knows what their role is and it hasn’t been talked through. Visually mapping out the processes from when a customer inquires through completion of an order or delivery of a service labeled with the names of individuals or teams who will handle each step can help avoid last minute glitches.

How will you measure success? Sales and revenue are obvious , but are there other measures that will be important to show whether you are reaching your goals? For example, if you are a small start up with no name recognition building that reputation can take some time, so having some measures around chart baraudience engagement could be pivotal. If you are a larger, well established company you might have other related goals for your product launch such as how it helps sales in an ancillary product line or in addressing a concern customers have expressed in the past that you will want to measure response to.

Be flexible and prepared to change your marketing plan or other key strategies based on market response and the results you see.

Keep some work balance among key players to avoid burnout during the busy long days of launch. It’s an exciting but stressful time that usually involves crazy long hours, some time for rest and staying healthy is important.

Make sure you have a solid business plan, marketing plan, contracts, legal (including copyright/trademark issues), and other business aspects nailed down.

Plan how you’ll share the key documents like the marketing plan and task list and keep each other posted on progress and the sales and audience response.

What have you found most important in launching your new products or services?

Integrating Social Media into Your Overall Marketing and Organizational Goals

People often ask me questions about how to “do” social media right as if it is an amorphous separate new task we need to do well to succeed, disconnected from the other things an organization does.

network combs ball imageSocial media is a powerful platform and tool to build community, interactively communicate, and share useful content that supports what we do. However, social media doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To be most effective, it is critical to use social media strategically to meet the goals and mission of the whole organization.

How you use social media should be integrated into your organization’s marketing and PR plan, along with your other communication vehicles, which all serve your strategic goals. Social media and more traditional marketing efforts can reinforce and support each other, for example in spreading your key messages and promoting products and services. Your emails can share content from your web site/blog and encourage people to “like” your facebook page or highlight specials only available on facebook or twitter. Your posts on facebook and tweets should drive traffic to your web site and share content related to your goals.

gauge_markingMeasuring and regularly reviewing how the different approaches and tactics are doing allow you to make changes on the fly to get the best results. My related article featuring tips for getting the most out of social media with limited time and resources offers highlights on using the most common social media sites for which purposes.

Social media especially lends itself to marketing and public relations but there is more and more emphasis today of the value of becoming a social business from leaders such as Brian Solis. They discuss the  impact of social media and this new age of transparency and easy interactive customer/constituent communication on the organization as a whole. In this previous post I shared ideas about how social media can be used for various sectors of an organization such as HR, customer service, crisis planning, product development, and knowledge sharing.

How do you use social media to meet your organization’s goals and mission? 

 

8 Tips to Build a Large Facebook Following

With 1.06 billion active monthly users as of December 2012, facebook is an important marketing outpost for most organizations to build community and engage people in your mission, services, and activities. However, you want to have  a sufficient sized audience who “like” your facebook page to make your time spent using facebook worthwhile.

It is also critical to clearly articulate your goals for being on facebook so you and your team know what you are trying to achieve. Plan how you will provide compelling, fun content that will engage your customers, prospects, members, or clients which I discussed in this previous blog post.

Here are eight tips to attract people to “like” your facebook page so you build a good sized community:

  • Make sure your web site features a facebook social sharing icon link and that all your printed materials promote liking you on facebook.
  • Include a teaser promoting your facebook page in all staff members’ email signature blocks.
  • Share excerpts from your most recent facebook postings anywhere possible such as your email newsletter, with a teaser to like your facebook page so they can get more news like this.
  • Encourage people to share your postings with their facebook friends, periodically explicitly asking people to “pass the word on to your friends about the great news/photos we have so they can see it as soon as it’s posted, too!” (Or whatever other content you want to mention that you think is high value.) 
  • Mention liking your facebook page at meetings and events whenever appropriate. Consider having a laptop available for people to log onto facebook on the spot and “like” your page.
  • If you have a physical location put posters up at each door and by cash registers or other prominent areas promoting liking your facebook page. Hand out a postcard to each person along with their purchase that promotes your facebook presence, upcoming events, and other important things you want to highlight. 
  • For online purchases show a teaser at the last page of the checkout process thanking them for their purchase and encouraging them to stay in touch by liking your facebook page.
  • Seek out opportunities to share highlights of the kinds of content they’ll get if they like your page to make it seem enticing, for example videos, special offers, case studies, how to’s and tips, solutions to problems your customers have, etc.
What strategies have worked for you to increase your facebook following?

 

8 Ways to Develop Facebook Content that Drives Engagement and Sharing

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.

shadows of two hands reaching for each other over background of stonesEngagement 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?