Facebook for Your Business: Part Three
No Content, No Point: The ‘What’ of Facebook for Business
You understand the need for a Facebook presence for your business or organization. You may even have a Page set-up already. This is, to paraphrase Churchill, not the beginning of the end but it may be the end of the beginning. The 100 million dollar question is “What do you do with it?”.
There are several reasons why this is incredibly important. First there is that Facebook algorithm I mentioned in my first letter, the one that ranks your Page by the value of its content. They judge that value not by reading it, but by how others respond to it with Likes, Comments, Sharing and Subscribing. No content, or even worse, dumb content, can put your Page into Facebook purgatory. The good news is that it can be rescued. But you really don’t want it there in the first place.
The second driving factor in having a strong Facebook content strategy and plan is to drive new and repeat business by keeping in touch with your customers. When you provide a measured stream of high value content, Facebook becomes the single best way to stay in your customers’ sights, that ‘mindshare’ marketers love to crow about. To a great degree, marketing communications is a numbers game. It takes a lot of contact to build awareness. But if that contact is not carefully managed it becomes spam- and spam is a lot more than junk email. Most advertising is spam. Nearly all unsolicited marketing is spam. Most promotions are spam. All because they are being pushed into our world without our permission and without a relevant context. Facebook provides both an opt-in and the context for your message. Very few other media do the same.
People who know me know I have an obsession with reputation when it comes to marketing. I actually think it is the only important measurement of marketing success, even more than quarterly profits! Why? Because a strong reputation creates loyalty that is less price sensitive, more likely to refer others to you and more open to new product introductions because they like and trust you. The content you put on Facebook can help make or break your reputation.
So what should you be putting on your Facebook Page? There is a simple answer that very few businesses understand: Stories. Good, useful, entertaining stories. Want to post pictures on your Page? Let’s look at an example from a client that is a physical therapy practice with a beautiful facility. You could post a picture of a yoga room with a rack of big inflatable yoga balls. Not bad. But what if you have a bunch of kids in there during an open house and on their own they start rolling those balls around and playing with them? That picture has a story: This physical therapy place is not stodgy, sterile or scary. Kids can have fun here, maybe you can too.
When we work on a social media project one of the first things we do is start gathering stories. And we use them in lots of places. That’s our content strategy model and it works. When we work with a client on their Facebook presence we start by defining a ‘playbook’ of interesting stories, images, links, etc. for their Page. Then we start sketching in a variety of possible stories that it that playbook. This planning ensures that we have a forward-looking plan for keeping their Page fresh and relevant.