Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator chooses the pieces she’d most want to see in person.
Designs on Marketing: Facebook Fundamentals
Jacqueline Stone gives eight tips for creating a Facebook presence that builds a loyal, engaged following.
Back in the day (early 2004), Facebook was all the rage. It was a new technology that had a mere 1 million early adapters worldwide. Instagram didn’t even exist!
Fast forward to present day. While Facebook might not be “sexy” or “cool” to the younger generation anymore, it’s still the world leader as far as community volume—as of March 2019, Facebook reported having more than 2.41 billion active users.
If you are ignoring this social media channel, you are doing yourself a disservice as this might be the place where your target audience lives. Instagram has a younger demographic, while Facebook seems to span several generations.
From a 13-year-old boy to an 80-year-old grandmother, it’s still the place where we share images, memories and funny memes.
Here are my best practices to help you create a Facebook presence that builds a loyal following with steady engagement.
1. Keep It Short and Sweet
I’m dating myself, but do you remember when Facebook used to have prompts? You were encouraged to write a sentence with you as the protagonist. Times have changed, but if you adhere to the original formula you can’t go wrong.
Use one sentence, maybe two, to update your feed. Better yet? Finish with an open-ended question. Remember, social media was invented so we could get social; the softer the sell, the better.
Karla Refoxo of Tulku Jewels doesn’t primarily focus on the products she sells but on the story.
“People love the story behind my brand, all aspects of it. Where it is from, how is it created and our philosophies,” she states.
2. Don’t Use Hashtags
Unlike Instagram and Twitter, where the hashtag game is strong, Facebook is all about keywords. I’m not likely to type in #dreamring, but I may type in “engagement ring,” meaning: If you are an engagement ring designer, please use this phrase in your feed as well as your services in your profile.
If you are using a social media scheduler and like to repurpose content across mediums, be sure to delete your hashtags and shorten your text for Facebook.
3. Share Your Expertise
While it might seem counterintuitive, Facebook is much more about sharing knowledge and interesting tidbits while Instagram is a bit of an art piece.
Facebook allows us to use live links.
People want to see that you’re on the pulse and if you’re sharing content that interests them, they are likely to come back for more.
4. Videos Are King
According to Sprout, a social media scheduling platform, videos have 135 percent more reach with each post. With the wide variety of video editing tools, both free and paid, you would be wise to include these as much as possible.
Not in the mood to become a video editing maven? Perhaps Facebook Live is the tool for you. When you go live all your followers will receive a notification, which means if they are online, they are likely to stop by to see what you have to say.
However, please be mindful in your dialogue. The biggest mistake is for business owners to go on about themselves and their product offerings. I suggest you speak to your audience like you were talking to your best friend. Address them as “you,” and be sure to keep in mind the value add.
When you discover something cool and want to share it with your pals via text, how do you go about breaking the news? Don’t get on a soapbox and speak esoterically. Relate it to your own experience and why you think this would be useful for them as well.
5. Consistency Is Key
Just like Instagram, best practices include posting at least once a day, twice if possible. You want to post in the morning and afternoon.
I hate to say it, but we often fill time by playing on our phones. In the morning, people are either commuting or just getting into work. Like any good procrastinator, they may jump on their phone for a few minutes while drinking their morning coffee. It is a great time to catch their attention. This also happens during the mid-afternoon slump.
Be sure to post at roughly the same time each day so your audience can count on you. Even if you aren’t showing up in their feed, if they really like what you have to say they are going to make the effort to drop by and read your post.
6. Interaction Is Essential
Nothing turns off a potential customer more than radio silence. Just like Instagram, community engagement is the key to success. If you are posting twice a day (whether live or with a scheduler), it’s essential that you are logging in twice a day to see how your audience is responding to your post. You want to reply to comments and thank your community when posts are shared.
Many of us struggle to come up with content. If you are throwing something up on your wall just for content’s sake, it falls flat; your audience can feel that struggle just as much as you do.
Why not try setting a monthly intention for your digital marketing efforts across all channels? Pick an intention or topic for the month and build your calendar around this purpose. Start with your blogs and/or emails and then match your social posts to follow.
For example, in the month of October I set my intention to simplification.
In the first week I wrote a blog about the importance of delegation in order to simplify daily tasks and put more energy toward growth. Each of my social media blogs shared tips on delegation, shared statistics on the practice and offered ways it could work for you. Not surprisingly, engagement with my audience was excellent.
Try out intention-setting and see how it works for you. The posts carry more authenticity as you are simply sharing bite-sized pieces on a larger topic that has meaning to you and your brand.
8. Use a Social Media Scheduler
You can find a review of social media schedulers on my website. I strongly suggest you go with the one where you like the interface the most. Remember this is the tool that will help you organize and implement content. You want it to feel fun and easy!
Jewelry designer Delphine Leymarie says: “I’m often duplicating content across Instagram and Facebook, but I seem to have a different audience on each platform, with little overlap. It may not seem like much of a time saver, but every little bit helps when you run a busy business with a small team.”
Hopefully these eight Facebook insights inspire you to play with the often-overlooked Facebook.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a straight path to success on this medium and it often takes quite a bit of experimentation. The key to creating an engaged following, much like Instagram, is consistency.
More often than not, I see clients give up on this channel as they aren’t seeing results, but don’t. It takes consistent effort over time to see results.
A recovering jewelry designer, Jacqueline Stone has a diverse background in finance, marketing, advertising, product development, fine jewelry manufacturing, design and sourcing. She now serves as the CEO of her own marketing consulting and coaching business, Bubblegum and Duct Tape. Stone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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