We all know how effective content marketing can be when it comes to moving your products and sharing your services on the web. Part of carefully planning and executing your content strategy is knowing exactly what works on your different content outlets—your blog, website, social media, and so on.
Not all content is the same when it comes to publishing across different mediums. Just because you can publish all your blog posts to Facebook with one click, for example, doesn’t mean that forwarding blog posts to Facebook should be your entire Facebook strategy.
When it comes to Facebook, you can push your blog content onto it, but you need a special position to really make that work. You also need more than your own branded content, or it just won’t sit well with your audience.
Here’s a quick look at these and other tips on how to position your content on Facebook to maximize those Likes, and encourage Facebook fans to click back to your website—instead of “unfriending” your business.
It’s Okay to Push Blog Content to Facebook…Most of the Time
Publishing blog content to Facebook is a great way to invite new and regular readers to your blog content. Just pressing the “send” button and letting automatic formatting do the rest isn’t enough, though—you have to pay close attention to how your blog post will show up on your Facebook page and ask yourself why your Facebook fans should click it.
You need to make sure that both the title for your Facebook post and the “slug,” the text box below the title, are engaging and invite your fans to click and read more. Automatic, one-click publishing tools that send your blog posts directly to Facebook won’t be careful with the title or slug lines at all, since all they can do is blindly aggregate content straight from your blog post. When you post a link, if the title or the slug line is too long, shorten it for easier consumption.
It’s True: Size Really Does Matter When It Comes to Those Posts
Even if you’re posting directly to Facebook, you need to keep a close eye on just how much you’re saying, and whether all of it is useful or not. The slug line in a Facebook post will let you copy and paste any size content into the box if you click it to edit the text, but that text box will be cut off at 170 characters. Just like a Twitter post, character count is essential. Virtue, a major corporate social media company, considers 240 characters per post the highest limit for “meaningful post size.”
That number comes from their study of over 11,000 Facebook posts from major brands around the world. Text posts allow many more characters as well as links, but Virtue’s findings show that the fewer characters, the better. Engagement rates start from their highest point at 0 characters and scale down sharply as more characters are added. These findings suggest that you’re more likely to attract likes, comments, and fans to your Facebook posts if you keep it incredibly short and easy to visually digest in a split-second.
Reaching Beyond Your Own Business: Sharing Strategies
Content marketing isn’t a closed loop. Feedback comes from all sorts of different sources, and so can your Facebook content. If you find something online that is relevant to your business or your audience’s interests, even if you didn’t produce that content yourself, you ought to share it with your fans. The text and title space for your post can be used to relate the post back to your business, or appeal directly to your fans’ interests.
Don’t mistakenly think that posting somebody else’s stuff to your business page online is stealing, or driving business away from you. Interacting with your fans through their interests, rather than your business’s, is an excellent way to build loyalty and trust and appreciation with your fans.
One of my favorite examples of this has to be news sites. Some of my favorite online news providers will “celebrate” each Friday by posting something cute, funny, or interesting to their Facebook fan page that has absolutely nothing to do with their business. An animated .GIF image of cute kittens isn’t going to help me sell my services, but it opens the floor for candid, personal interaction with your Facebook fans. If they like it, they’ll share it to their page, and you’ll potentially earn new Facebook fans through those share opportunities.
Most Importantly: Be Personal
Sometimes business owners and marketers are blinded by Facebook’s massive numbers and forget what the service really is about. Facebook has 900 million active users, which translates immediately to dollar signs to social media marketers. Those 900 million active users are using the site to post personal information and interact with their friends and acquaintances, though; those users definitely aren’t looking for hard sells or endlessly repetitive pitches and offers.
One of the fundamental first steps to using a social media service is learning how the average user uses it, and Facebook is no different. If you don’t always keep in mind that Facebook users are there to have fun and share their personal lives, then you’re going to inevitably be too sales-y, chase fans away and develop a bad reputation.
The solution? Treat Facebook users as your friends, and don’t hesitate to relax around them and share content casually. You can post content from your business, but instead of a hard sales pitch, share it as a suggestion. “Hey, check this cool thing out,” instead of “Act now! Buy, buy, buy!” Your fans will appreciate your Facebook posts for it, and your likes and engagement rates will reflect that appreciation.
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I was expecting this post to be about Facebook’s advertising platform (pay-per-click). Would you really consider the content you’re sharing on Facebook to be advertising? I feel like you’re setting yourself up for failure if you have that frame of reference.
Absolutely! Why wouldn’t your content be advertising? It shouldn’t be salesy if that is what you are trying to get at…but, certainly any piece of content you put out there should be an advertisement of your company. The act of marketing (and advertising) is to bring something to the attention of your audience/potential customers.
You wouldn’t waste your time sharing content on your Facebook page that has no relevant value to your audience right? Just because it isn’t about you and your products doesn’t mean it isn’t advertising.
Do you think GM took down their Facebook PPC because they wanted to stop advertising on Facebook? No, it’s because they recognized the value of marketing and advertising through the pages themselves.
In reference to the comments, I agree all content on the page can and should be considered advertising. The content on a Facebook or any social media page can be a great form of advertising at an affordable rate. Great Post!