With the recent release of our brand new infographic documenting Facebook's failures, I thought I'd write about how you can make sure that you yourself don't have any Facebook face-plants. Here are 10 tips for creating awesome Facebook content that will keep visitors interested and engaged.
- Post Content that Interests Your Customers
The key to developing a winning fan page that builds fans and pushes your business forward is to post content that genuinely interests your customers or clients. Don't focus solely on you or your business. By providing valuable information to the reader you will build a stronger relationship with current and prospective customers.
Red Bull knows that their energy drink customers are likely to be interested in extreme activities, so they post videos they know customers will enjoy, even if it doesn’t relate to Red Bull directly.
- Post a Variety of Content
Let’s imagine you own a pet grooming business. On your fan page, you’ll want to share a variety of content like:
- Blog Posts – what’s new and happening at your business? Did Spot the puppy turn 1 this week?
- Photos – in addition to photos of your store, take snap shots of workers and customers. Upload pics from events you’ve attended or hosted, like your canine Best in Show event.
- Press Releases – let customers know about the updates and improvements you’ve made
- Videos – do I need to even tell you how many adorable kitten videos are on the web?
- End Every Post With a Question
I hate to sound like a scrooge, but the truth is that people are pretty self-absorbed. Fan page visitors are much more likely to pay attention and respond to your posts if you address them personally and encourage them to get involved.
Pairing your posts with questions is a great way to accomplish this. You’ll get more engagement and better response if you post a link with a question or call to action, rather than just posting a link solo. Invite conversation whenever possible, with each post you do.
Ben & Jerry know how to get their customers chatting.
To go along with our pet grooming example, you might post a link to an article with “Five Tips for Cutting Your Dog’s Nails at Home” (trust me, this is not easy). Include a question with the link, such as “Do you have any special tricks for keeping your dog relaxed?”
- Don’t Post Too Frequently
According to a research study by the University of Colorado Denver Business School, the No.1 reason people dump Facebook friends is that they get annoyed being continuously bombarded with useless posts (if you are looking to lower your friend count, just download a couple of Zynga games and you’ll be golden).
Plastering a fan’s news feed won’t make them like you any more. Make each post count!
- Allow Fans to Write on Your Wall
This might go without saying, but you really need to enable visitors to write on your wall. Disabling this feature means you might as well not have a fan page at all, since the whole point of being on Facebook is to get into dialogue with customers.
- Don’t Share Twitter Posts on Your Facebook Page
You’re talking to different audiences with different needs and expectations. It’s fine to have an announcement you want to share across Facebook and Twitter, but re-write it accordingly. And definitely remove the #&@s or people might think you’re saying some not-so-nice things.
- Use Contests, But Use Them in Moderation
Of course we can’t forget about contests, the bread and butter of fan pages. Contests are great, but they should be a fun and exciting event, not the norm.
Pumpkin coffee and apple cider are awesome reminders of fall because you can’t get them just any day of the year. Similarly, you shouldn’t be hosting contests so often that they lose their edge.
- Get Creative With the Contests
Try an essay, photo, or video contest to get a higher level of engagement with fans. It’s great to incorporate seasonal events, like a “Best Pumpkin Carving” or “Cutest Pet Costume” contest for Halloween. The Wildfire web application is a great tool for making interactive content like contests, quizzes, and surveys.
Boo the adorable dog would win any contest. Because he is just too adorable.
If you run a photo contest, tag your customers so that the post appears on their wall too. That way you’re furthering your sphere of influence by reaching out to friends of your fans.
- Try Selecting a Monthly Topic
One idea in attempts to keep fans engaged is to select a different topic for each month. Talk about and post links to sites that cover that topic.
Having a different topic you address each month demonstrates that you have a continuous online presence, making you appear much more interesting (even if deep down you are incredibly dull). Which brings us to our final tip…
- Be Interesting!
After I got a PS3, I decided to follow the @AskPlaystation feed, which provides fascinating insight into topics such as how to clean your PS3 and ways to keep it ventilated. OK, to be fair, it is a customer support feed. But boy-howdy is it boring.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to look at a boring Facebook page. There are some environments where an air of professionalism is necessary, but that attitude will only come off as dull on Facebook.
Hopefully these tips got you thinking about ways to generate interesting and engaging content with your Facebook fans! Spread the love.
What are your tips and tricks for creating great content on Facebook?