Social media. We love to hate it, but everyone is on it. And as a graphic designer and marketer, I mostly deal with Facebook pages for clients.
I joined Facebook in 2005, when I was still in college, and when you had to have a college e-mail address to join. It took me a few years to use it as regularly and insanely as I do now. Watching it evolve has been interesting, as we all know its been through a lot of changes.
Facebook pages have become a way for brands, both large and small, to connect with the people that invest in them. Running a page for an event such as a music festival is ultimately about selling tickets. For a resort its filling cabins and luring people with great food and accommodations photos. In the sea of imagery, you want to stand out.
Here are my rules so far for posting on your Facebook business page.
1. Looks are everything.
It’s proven that images take the cake as far as engagement with users. This article illustrates that photos lead the media types users share. But what are you sharing? My advice is to share something that looks professional and sophisticated, and most importantly, something relevant to what you do and what you’re selling.
Sure, finding images is hard. Designing something awesome can be time consuming. You may not have the right fonts or tools. This is the point that most people call me. But for you die-hard DIY business peeps, there’s a website for that. If you are struggling or even stealing images from Google and posting them—which, please don’t do that— there is help for you.
Royalty Free Images
Unless you have paid someone to take photos of your business, hotel or festival, you probably don’t have much of an image library to start from. Starting with good images are key. SOME (not all) smart phones take really good photos. If your phone is older, the lense area is probably scratched and won’t really serve you as far as nice crisp images. Dollar Photo Club is an stock image subscription site, where most downloads of professional photos are $1. Check it out, its worth the time and the subscription.
There are also sites out there that help you out by providing pre-designed templates, cool fonts, cheap royalty free images and allow you to save your creations. Canva is one of those, and while its kind of doing my job, I still approve of it. I want people to take pride in their businesses and put up images that are nice and help them to stand out. Combining text with images is one way to do that, and Canva has made a great site to help regular folk out.
Its really important to have a black and a white version of your logo handy. Something I learned from larger companies and festivals, is that their logo goes on most of their posts images. Get your logo on there, so when someone shares your image, you get the credit for it!
2. Rules for Engagement
Keep it simple, and less than 140 characters.
People are busy, or uninterested, or a combination of both. If you keep your business post short, engaging and accompanied by an image, people are more likely to engage with it.
Posts that people engage with create a compulsion to reply. Ask a question. Trigger a memory. Ask their opinion. Get them to tag friends. Get them to write a quick reply. These actions are important because when someone clicks comments the post engagement shows up in some of their friends feeds. Its a spider web effect, so its worth trying to create posts that people can’t resist interacting with. More interaction = more exposure.
Drive them to your site
When you are selling something online, you definitely want use Facebook to drive them to your website. You want people to buy something. Send them to your site. Tease them with your engaging sentence, and end the post with the link to the page on your site you want them to go. This could be a blog post, a product, or booking page. Just be sure to include a quick link to whatever you want them to do.
3. When you should post
Time of Day
There isn’t an exact science to this, but there are certainly times that are better than others.
In my experience on the music festival page, morning-time posts with a branded photo and question performed the best. Posting at 8 a.m. generally, with a stylized instagram type filtered image and prominent logo got me just above the standard 20% that Facebook tends to give you. (Internets hearsay, Facebook exposure caps off around 20% of your likers, and in most cases less.) Anytime we had a big announcement like artists line-up or schedule, those were high organic performers,with exposure at around 40% of our total likers.
The info is all over the place on the actual best time of day to do your posting. This blog does a pretty nice job breaking it down. But overall I feel posting in the morning gives you the most exposure.
If you are planning to post multiple times a day, make sure you schedule them 4-5 hours apart so they aren’t competing for attention.
The more consistently you post, the more you are visible regularly. You want to be in people’s newsfeeds. Not only do you want to be in their newsfeeds, you want to be a stable, dependable source of information. It helps your brand recognition and brand trust.
Moral of the story
Is this: The way your brand is represented online is important. Don’t rush to get something out there that isn’t promoting the goals and keeping up the perception you want people having. If you don’t have time to get photography, write out a weeks worth of posts and then schedule them, it may be time to hire a professional.
If you are determined to do it yourself, and have employed some of the tools I mention, just be sure to keep your posts natural to you. If you aren’t all salesy and have a laid back attitude in your store - let those natural voices shine through. Nothing worse than posts that sound fake. Be genuine, ask engaging questions that get you to your goals, and use relevant and high quality images that you own.