Eight Ways to Start Your Facebook Conversation
December 6, 2012 1 Comment
We’ve all been there: you’ve just created the most share-worthy content of the year, and you excitedly launch it on Facebook. And then, nothing. Not a comment, not a share. A couple hours in your boss likes it out of pity. Not exactly the highlight of your career as a community manager. But don’t fear. Here are eight (mostly) guaranteed ways to jumpstart a conversation with fans on Facebook.
1. K.I.S.S. – Keep it Simple, Stupid
Was your amazing content a lengthy press release, which you painstakingly typed out in the little post box because your PR team said that every sentence was important? Well I hate to tell you, but they’re wrong. No one is going to read more than a paragraph on Facebook. In fact, the best rule of thumb is one sentence for most updates, two sentences for the important updates, and three sentences if this news is literally going to change your company forever. Keeping your content short and sweet will increase the likelihood of a customer actually reading it, or worse, asking Facebook to stop showing your posts forever.
2. Don’t Be Afraid of a One-Word Response
Facebook might be considered a “time-waster” for its users, but that doesn’t mean that people like wasting time on it. Asking for a lengthy opinion to your post is too much work for most Facebook users. Instead, looking for a one-word response, such as Yes or No, allows those who have liked your page to interact with it with a minimal amount of work on their part.
3. Pictures, Pictures, and More Pictures
If you’re not including pictures with at least half of your Facebook posts, then you’re not doing Facebook right. Time and time again reports have proven that the most liked and shared posts on Facebook are the ones with pictures. Do yourself a favor and include them next time you update your Timeline.
4. Post About Today’s News, Today
Always be up to date. Yes, on weekends, it might be considered easier to simply have scheduled posts running. But by Sunday, what you considered important on Friday when you created the post might not matter anymore. Users are looking for today’s news (if not news from the last five minutes,) so while scheduled posts are easy to create, they’re not going to start the viral campaign that your superiors are hoping for.
5. Ask Questions
This is some of the simplest and best advice. Users aren’t going to interact with your page unless you make it as obvious as possible that they should do so. Including a question in your post will give them the opportunity to join in, and already have an appropriate context for what they’re going to say.
6. Use Your Other Social Networks
If you have a dedicated social media strategy, Facebook almost certainly isn’t your only social media profile. You most likely have a Twitter and Google+ account as well. If you’re a restaurant, you should have Yelp. If you’re a small business, you’re most likely on FourSquare. Cross-Promote with these. Yes, it might seem weird to be linking to Facebook from Twitter, but if your content works better on one social network rather than the other, then it is completely acceptable to be promoting that content from elsewhere. After all, your users most likely have multiple social profiles as well.
7. Act Early
Statistics from our clients show that the biggest determination for whether or not a post will be successful is what occurs in the first 30 minutes after it is launched. A post with no likes, shares, or interactions in any way during that time will be assumed by Facebook to be, to put it simply, boring. And it will stop showing your post to its users. So do your best to make sure that first half-hour is full of action. This means clearing out your schedule for the thirty minutes after you post so you can be tweeting about the post, updating your website with the news, sending out an email newsletter including your post, and yes, even asking your co-workers to get and help the discussion out.
8. Don’t Be Afraid To Pay
Facebook’s new promoted posts might be seen as a form of blackmail from Facebook itself to force you to pay for their user’s views. And to be honest, it is. But they have to make a revenue stream somehow, and you have to play by their rules. If you’re really trying to make a splash with a specific post, you’ll have to pay to promote it. It’s the best way to guarantee that as many people as possible will see it.
Try out a couple of these, and let us know how they work for you in the comments!