How to Avoid the Facebook Time Suck (and How NOT to be Boring)
Creating a Facebook Page for your business can be a valuable complement to your company website, helping leading to a strong and balanced presence for your company on the Web.
Facebook allows you to easily reach people in real time--when it truly matters. You can't do that with a static website that is updated once or twice a year.
Because of this real time power of Facebook, you consistently stay in front of people who can spread the good word about your business.
Here are a few important things you can do with a Facebook Page that you cannot normally do with a traditional website:
- Interact with clients, prospective customers, peers, and other business associates.
- Handle customer service questions and requests
- Meet new business associates and expand your "sphere of influence". From architects and property managers to realtors and media contacts, many are accessible on Facebook.
- Provide seasonal, timely advice and tips
- Share up-to-the-minute company information such as current promotions, upcoming events, current projects, and recent publicity.
The time factor
Your company's Facebook Page does not have to be a time drain.
You can build an interesting and engaging Page in less than two hours each week.
The key is to develop an effective and compelling content plan for your Facebook Page.
Your content plan...
- gives you a structure to work within as an individual or as a team.
- will organize "what" you post to your Page and "when".
- provides consistency--it ensures for a steady stream of interesting and engaging content for your fans.
- will help you develop and keep track of ideas for what you will post in the future.
- ensures that you diversify your media and message (see below) which will create more interaction on your Facebook Page.
Let's talk about how to create a content plan for your Facebook Page.
Mixing up your media for more engagement
People consume information online in different ways. While you may prefer to read blogs and articles online, some prefer to watch video while others enjoy browsing images. Because of this, the type of content (the media) you post to your Page needs to appeal to everyone in order to engage the greatest number of people.
If your Page is too heavy on text then you are missing out on a large user segment who may prefer to look at pictures or watch video.
You need to deliberately mix up your media.
The four media types are text, images, video, and audio. Let's talk about the first three.
Text- Text includes sharing status updates (what you're doing), sharing tips and advice, asking questions, and sharing links to other interesting and valuable content online.
Images- In this industry we should never run out of interesting pictures to share on Facebook. We have endless possibilities.
Share images of:
- Your landscaping projects- before, during construction, and after.
- Your landscape plans and renderings
- Your place of business, especially if you are a retailer
- Your employees and customers
- Other people's images that inspires you
Video- People are beginning to expect online video from companies. It's fairly simple to produce and Facebook makes it extremely easy to share video on your Page.
Here are some ideas:
- Video of your completed projects
- Video of installation and construction
- "How to" videos
- Client testimonials on video
- Fun videos featuring customers and employees
- Embed relevant YouTube videos from other people
It's critical that you have a diverse mix of media on your Facebook Page to create greater interaction and engagement.
Getting more interaction on your Page
Just as you mix up your media, you also need to mix up your message.
Your focus should be on providing valuable information to your fans. You want to be seen as an authority figure. Marketing and promotion should be secondary.
Certain types of content, or messages, will create more interaction than others. Mix it up to make your Page more lively.
Here are some examples:
Status updates- These simple updates are an easy way to share information about what you're up to.
Ask questions- Posting questions on your Facebook Page is the easiest way to generate interaction. Make a habit of regularly asking your fans questions.
Tips and advice- Provide your fans with helpful and relevant information like seasonal tips and basic "how to" information.
Blog posts- If you're a blogger you can publish your recent posts to your Facebook Page to share with fans.
O.P.C- Don't be afraid to share other people's content-O.P.C. Share blog posts, articles, pictures, and videos that you think your fans would enjoy.
Contests- Host contests on your Page just for your fans. This is a great way to get more engagement--and more fans.
Promotions- Create special offers specifically for your Facebook fans. This will keep your fans engaged and coming back to your Page.
Keeping it organized
We recommend creating a written content plan for your Facebook Page (especially if you are working as a team). This can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet.
Create three headings on your spreadsheet labeled Daily, Weekly, and Monthly. Under each heading enter what type of media or message you plan to post to your Facebook Page.
For instance, "Daily", you may want to ask a question. "Weekly", you might upload an album of photos on Tuesdays and share a link to other interesting online content on Thursdays. "Monthly", you might share a video the first week of each month and hold a contest on the third week of the month.
This content plan will keep you organized and ensure for a good mix of media and message. This written plan is also a huge time saver because it can be used to keep track of post ideas. Just refer to the spreadsheet when it's time to post something to your Page. You'll never have a "Gee, what am I going to post today" moment.
A copy of our Facebook Page content plan spreadsheet is available in our FREE workbook, "Create a Compelling Content Plan & Editorial Calendar". Download it today!