People check Facebook to see pictures of their friends and family, laugh at the latest memes and learn about breaking news.
The last thing they want—or expect—to see in their news feed is a blatant sales pitch from your brand.
Posts that scream “buy me, buy me” are jarring . . . especially when you’ve just enjoyed watching a video of your niece’s hockey game or the latest Grumpy Cat complaint.
For brands, the way to get the most value from Facebook is to view it as a social setting (which it obviously is) and behave in manner that will make you popular.
Consider the last networking event you attended. Who was the most interesting person you met? In all likelihood, it was someone who showed an interest in you by asking you questions about yourself, then shared some relevant information about your niche.
The most annoying were the ones who dominated the conversation, talked only about themselves and pushed their services on you without taking the time to understand if you were a fit.
Don’t be the most annoying brand on Facebook. Take the time to understand your customers and then provide them with useful information related to your business.
Engagement is key on Facebook
When people encounter overly promotional content in their news feeds, they quickly scroll right past it. No likes, no comments, no shares – no engagement whatsoever.
This kind of post doesn’t even register, so how can you expect it to help sell your product or service?
Even worse, it will actually hurt your brand over time. That’s because the less people engage with your posts, the less likely Facebook is to show your content in its news feed.
Many marketers and business owners still don’t understand this very important aspect of Facebook.
The platform doesn’t show all your posts to everyone who’s liked your page. Rather, it uses an algorithm based on user engagement to decide who sees what. The more someone interacts with your page by liking a post, sharing it or leaving a comment, the greater the chance he or she will see content from your brand in the future.
And the larger the number of people who actively see your brand and engage with it, the more frequently Facebook will share your posts with others, leading to even wider brand exposure. That’s why engagement is so important on Facebook (and other social media platforms, too).
So instead of using Facebook as a one-way broadcast mechanism to push your sales message, don’t make the #1 Facebook post mistake many brands are making. Instead think about Facebook as a social environment and look for ways to start a quality conversation.
What should you post?
I admit it can be tough to engage on Facebook and your approach really depends on your brand and your prospective customers. Some brands fit more naturally with Facebook than others.
Consider an exotic tourist destination such as Australia. Its Facebook page attracts attention effortlessly through quality images of white sand beaches, cuddly koala bears and colourful larakeets. At present, the page has more than 6 million “likes,” and it’s not uncommon for hundreds of thousands of people to engage with individual posts.
But if you’re a digital marketing company selling to small businesses, your job on Facebook is a lot tougher.
Practical, business-oriented brands must work harder to make themselves appear inviting and generate engagement. You also need to strike a balance between being likeable and talking about your business.
As well, keep in mind that the content you share can’t just be your own. It’s important to include information from other sources, such as blogs and online news outlets. This content should relate to your brand and be of interest to your audience.
Look at your news feed as a customer would
If you plan to use a Facebook page to promote your brand, it’s essential to spend time on the platform familiarizing yourself with how people use it. Be sure to look at your news feed through your customers’ eyes. How interesting is it? When are you most likely to “like” something or leave a comment? What posts do you click on?
Then take that learning and start writing more interesting posts that aren’t all about you and your 2-for-1 sale.