I love to talk with other small business owners about what they’re doing with social media. One complaint seems to surface more than others though- “I keep posting stuff on my Facebook business page and get no reaction.” I think we ALL understand that Facebook is a tremendous marketing resource for business, at little to no cost (woohoo, something biz owners LOVE to hear).
But……..in the same vein, if you’re investing your time in the platform, and even the crickets are avoiding you, then you get pretty frustrated pretty quickly.
Yep- I’ve had the same struggles myself. And it was made even more apparent recently with the introduction of Facebook Promoted Posts. Soon, I began to notice a little sentence that showed up after each post saying, “X number of people saw this post.” Sound familiar?
And the numbers were HORRIBLE. I remember one saying 13. Another that said 25. And we have over 300 “likers”, if you will. I was intrigued as to why our posts didn’t show up in all our fans news feeds. Then I read about the famous Facebook algorithm, which I guess has always been in place, it’s just now more visible/available to page administrators (anyone want to comment on this?) Still, I was fuming. “How unfair!”, I thought. Whine, whine, moan, complain…….
And I came to the conclusion that the reason I wasn’t getting any love was because most of my posts just plain sucked. Most were static and boring and did nothing, if you’ll pardon my expression, “to blow someone’s skirt up.”
So I decided I better put up or shut up.
You see, I’m all about educating myself and reading up on lots of topics, but there comes a point that unless you actually do something with what you’re reading, the reading doesn’t do you much good. Make sense? Or another way to put it- “Theory’s great. Putting the theory into action is better.”
So, since the introduction of the Promoted Posts feature, I’ve been doing an experiment with my agency’s (Alan Galvez Insurance) Facebook page. There’s two reasons why I didn’t jump onto the Promoted Posts bandwagon:
- I wanted to see what I could do on my own (a challenge for myself I guess) and;
- For some small businesses, their budget simply won’t permit it. So I figured I might as well explore alternative ways to get eyeballs, in the hope it will help those businesses who simply can’t afford paying to reach more people.
*An important note- if your posts suck, then paying to promote those posts really does you no good, does it? Most of the time, it truly is the message that is the problem. So get together an arsenal of engaging posts before you go spending money…..
Here’s what I’ve done to create more engaging posts (and what you can do too):
- Eliminated as many declarative posts as possible. Example- Instead of saying “Our county fair is the second week of July”, I asked “What is your favorite fair food?” Holy crap- the responses rolled in like I was giving away $1000. Now I make it a point to regularly ask questions that require a response. If you just state something, it doesn’t really give your audience a chance to respond. Yet, if you ask them something, they are usually willing to talk to you.
- Included a picture with every post. What really gets people’s attention is using a picture that they don’t expect. Example- For our upcoming “Hot Dog Day of Summer” event, I posted a dachsund in a hot dog bun costume. It was related to the post, but way more fun and interesting than just showing a hot dog.
- And speaking of fun- I can’t emphasize this enough- you need to inject a little fun and/or humor into your posts. Especially if your industry is notoriously dry. Believe me, if every post I put on our page was ripped directly out of my underwriting manuals, I’d jump off a bridge. And I bet there would be 100 people standing in line waiting to push me.
- Talk about things OTHER THAN insurance. I make it a point to post other information, such as community events, other businesses’ news/promotions, related industries news (for me that would be such things as car seat safety tips, home buying and inspection info, traffic crash statistics, health & wellness info- the list is endless really). When I do talk about our insurance products, it’s informative, never a hard sales pitch. I HATE a hard sell, so why in the world would I do that to my own customers?
- Included “finish the sentence” or “caption this”, posts, with a corresponding photo. Again, people are on Facebook for fun, so you need to play along with them. The world is serious enough- let’s lighten up.
And for you visual people:
Examples of “Before” Posts
Examples of “After” Posts
Do you see the difference between the “Before” and “After?” I’m still experimenting, but I can tell you with certainty that engagement has improved drastically. I’ve easily doubled and tripled the number of people who now see each post. That’s gold.
I’ve now decided that our page’s purpose is to serve as a resource- if people are going to take the time to read what we post, it better be worth reading the first place. So, I lean toward content that is a combination of educational, humorous and community-building. And as few “salesy” posts as possible.
It goes back to the thought that people appreciate valuable content that informs and helps. And most likely, when they do require your sevices, they’ll remember you.