Facebook 101: What should your company be posting?

Facebook seems simple for most. But for businesses, what kind of statuses do you really want to post? Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mkhmarketing

WASHINGTON, October 7, 2013 — Once upon a time, Facebook was a website used by people to keep in touch with other people. Clearly, today that story has changed.

The current version of Facebook welcomes businesses to start pages where they can connect with fans of their products and services. This new form of communication means that marketing managers have had to adapt their strategies to reach an online audience. This may prove to be a difficult task, especially considering the number of different ways to post on the social networking site.

Here, we’ll break down the main ways to engage with your online fan base.

1. Text-Based Update

The simplest of all statuses, the text-based update, should ignite conversation among your Facebook followers. The best way to do it: ask a question that requires a short, simple answer.

To further engage participants, incentivize an answer with a contest, giveaway, or even with insider access to special information. Creative and unique content always gets people talking, so post fresh information as frequently as possible.

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Example from Maxwell Systems’ Facebook.

To the right is an example from Maxwell Systems. As you can see, they offer construction software.

This example is helpful because the type of things this industry can post on Facebook is limited.

Below you’ll see how they took a news story and related it to their target audience (Dads and grandfathers.)

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This next example is another way that Maxwell Systems is taking industry-specific news and relating it to their clients.

Connecting your viewers with resources and information that they are interested in will keep them coming back to your Facebook page as an industry-specific news source. 

Example from Maxwell Systems’ Facebook.

2. Photo Update

Facebook news feeds are often inundated with text-based updates. One way to break through that noise is with an eye-catching photo that inspires readers to take a closer look at what you’re posting.

Since you’ll have their attention, be sure to take advantage of it by posting a caption and link to your website beneath the photo. That way, when people look at the photo (and share it with friends), they’ll be even more inclined to learn more about your business.

Our final illustration below is a Facebook example from the same company. In this example, they used a clever cat joke to attract their audience to this post.

Example from Maxwell Systems’ Facebook.

3. Link Update

Links meet in the middle of a photo and text update, as they often provide both  teaser text describing the website, as well as an image related to the page or article you’ve posted. Link updates are a great way to drive Facebook fans to your business’s real website, or to other articles that laud your business.

An easy way to aggregate all of this information is with a Facebook newsroom. The system pulls links from your company’s Twitter page, blog, or press-release database automatically. And while this clearly requires little effort from you, it keeps fans in touch with your business’s latest happenings. The newsroom feature can also import videos, links, and images for a presence that spans several forms of multimedia.

4. Video Update

Amongst all of Facebook’s update styles, the video is perhaps the most valuable—and the least used. Page owners who create original content and post it directly onto their page often see a boost in views. This applies to new content only, though, so use caution: an uploaded video that isn’t your original creation breaks site rules, and most likely will be taken down. It’s also important to note that viewers prefer to watch videos directly on Facebook, and are far less likely to follow through to watch a linked YouTube video. The good news is that a great video can inspire viewers to press the “share” button and bring even more fans to your page.

The most important tip of all is to mix it up! Successful Facebook fan pages post a variety of content— and keep viewers guessing as to what they’ll see next. So try a little bit of everything to see what works for your business.  

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Courtney Gordner

Courtney Gordner is a passionate freelance writer that has expertise in social media and communications. She's a new writer for The Washington Times. Feel free to contact her anytime!

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