How to Use: FacebookBy Angelina Burkholder
This post is the first in a six-week series about social media best practices. Tune in as we break down how to use each of the key social platforms to maximize your impact.
If you’re looking for advice on how to grow your organization’s thought leadership relevance on Facebook, you’ve come to the wrong place.
Too many people misuse Facebook. We like to think of Facebook as the fun uncle who takes you out for ice cream but still has great advice on how to become your best self. But he stays away from critiquing your resume (*cough LinkedIn… *cough) or sharing an obscene amount of articles and content like Twitter.
For example, check out World Vision’s Facebook page and compare it to their Twitter page. Their Facebook page features stories about people in action and people impacted by World Vision—a stark contrast to their heavy content feed on Twitter.
The average Facebook user really doesn’t care that you wrote some brilliant white paper on the intersection of social media and sales. While you should still use this channel to share great articles or blogs, primarily Facebook is for fun updates and behind the scenes looks at your company—it’s a chance for you to embrace and share your culture and impact with an audience of spectators.
Whether you’re using Facebook to build your personal brand or your company’s brand, the goal to portray your humanity through your updates stays the same.
But the stakes just got higher. Facebook recently gave users revised control over what they allow to show up in their news feeds. Now users hand select people and pages to show up first in their news feed. Even if you update five times a day, your followers may never see your content.
So how can you truly captivate people?
- Start with great imagery. People intake endless amounts of content each day through multiple channels; the last thing you want your users to do when they get on Facebook is glaze over your content or, God forbid, unsubscribe.
- Stunning imagery starts with your profile picture (hopefully a well-developed logo) and includes your cover photo (a one stop shop to make a great impression on people) and ends with the images you post daily. Because images are easier for people to consume, invest in great photography that tell your story and show your impact. So go on, make life easy for people. Utilize great photography and don’t be scared to post something hilarious and comical every now and then.
- Speaking of hilarious and comical—be human with your followers. When you elicit an emotional response from people through your content, chances are they’ll remember you more vividly. Since we aren’t all pet rescue organizations, we can’t rely on heart wrenching music and the slow motion pan of a starving dog to drive people into action. So instead, focus on the emotions that you can achieve—like humor. Who doesn’t love to laugh? Be comical. Share funny office updates. Be human.
- But don’t just post randomly. Have a strategy. Spend some time in analytics, as much as you hate it, and figure out your prime posting time. Be sure to post consistently – daily, if possible. Following a strategy doesn’t just make your day-to-day work easier; it also ensures that you garner the best engagement from your audience.
- Lastly, take advantage of Facebook ads. Every business or organization, no matter the size, can benefit from ads. Even just a couple hundred dollars in ad spending can get your page or your content pushed out to new people for higher engagement and increased page views. Facebook ads are extremely customizable so when you invest, take the time to do it right. Build a targeted or hybrid audience based off your analytics to ensure the results you desire.
The key to succeeding on Facebook is to share unforgettable, humanized content that elicits a response in people, ultimately leading to brand loyalty. Soon all those moms posting pictures of their cutesy park picnic lunches will be advocating for your organization.