We just covered the importance of being social on social media. We think it comes down to these three major rules.
- Be visual: post pictures, infographics, or videos.
- Be enticing: host a fun contest from time-to-time.
- Be informative: generate and share quality content that will help your company become an industry authority.
But what does it look like to actually apply these principles? We agree that concrete, try-them-today tips are always helpful. We’ve decided to share a few such tips for each major social network in a new series. First up is Facebook.
Your Audience: Facebook users are actually spread fairly evenly between gender, age groups and income levels. Recent studies reveal that while younger users are trending down, the older, and college-educated demographic is growing. Bottom line: Facebook boasts over a billion users. This means that your audience is likely on Facebook, which means you should be, too.
Your Mission: With such a wide user base, a company’s biggest Facebook challenge is cutting through their customers’ crowded News Feed. How can you get people to stop scrolling and start engaging with your content? Here are a few ideas to stop your target audience in their tracks — and keep them coming back.
Being visual is the very best way to make a splash on Facebook. You can use this key strategy to help you both create contests (Be enticing) and share intriguing content (Be Informative).
With the popularity of picture posts, we thought you should know a few guidelines to increase your engagement.
- Make sure the size is right: Don’t use a Facebook-generated thumbnail. We suggest uploading your own image for the best impact. According to this Facebook image cheat sheet from Search Engine Watch, a timeline image should be 403 x 403 pixels for optimal news feed viewing.
- Put it to Work: When posting an image, consider adding a call to action or link to your site or quality content. Think of it this way: the image hooks your audience, while your content reels them onto your page or your site to stay a while.
Now, on with the show! Here are a few posts you should try on your wall this week. Use Facebook analytical tools to figure out which methods resonate most strongly with your fans and repeat. Yes, it really is that easy.
Take a Poll: Although this tip will work without an image, we encourage you to take the time to add a little visual ‘oomph’. The most basic picture poll asks people to pick their favorite option between two things. If you own a fashion boutique, you could post a picture featuring two boots and get people to vote on their favorite. If you do get a lot of feedback, make sure to follow through with a picture post featuring the winner with a caption like, “Best Dressed Alert: Voted Customer Favorite.” Poll says, this is a fun way to get people talking.
Fill in the Blank: Another good rule of thumb: try to relate your content to peoples’ daily lives. Asking your fans to fill in the blank is an easy way to call for opinions without demanding a ton of time. Let’s go back to the boutique example. You could share an image of a new handbag and say something like, “I would wear this bag with ______” or “Quick: I always keep ____ in my bag.” To keep the engagement up with this type of post, be sure to Like fan’s answers, fill in the blank yourself or comment something like, “Great idea, @customername!”
Crowdsource Captions: Both Social Media Examiner and Mashable included this clever tactic on their Facebook-engagement-boosting lists. And we agree that this is fun way to get your followers’ creative juices flowing. Back to the boutique. Share a picture of a girl wearing a spring look (bonus points for featuring one of your in-store customers). You could ask people to name the look or the trend to get them excited about what’s coming up in fashion. This would be a fun one to make enticing. And thanks to Facebook’s new promotion rules, you can run a contest right from your page. Get people to vote on the best caption by liking their favorite. Make sure to congratulate the top commenter by name. You can even sweeten the deal by giving away the earrings in the image.
Pose a Question: Sometimes increasing your engagement is as easy as asking for it. This tip works especially well when sharing an industry-relevant link. If you’ve found a great article for finding the best lip gloss for your skin tone, don’t just post it with the headline. Get people to weigh in. Try asking something like, “Have you found your perfect lip gloss match?” Or “How do you pick your lip color?” And remember to make the post stand out even more with an image from the original article.
Share a Quote: Here’s another easy one you can try: find an inspiring (and industry-relevant, if possible) quote to share. If it resonates with your audience, you can count on plenty of likes. And we run the risk of sounding like a broken record here, but it’s always a good idea to find an image that also expresses the sentiment of the quote. Another angle to take: get a great quote from your company’s owner or CEO. This will literally give your business a voice while building your authority.
Which tip are you going to try today?