Be honest. At times, we've all felt "bummed out" while on Facebook. There's an emerging field of "Facebook happiness" studies — and the prognosis isn't good.
A 2013 study found that after tracking users' behaviors and moods, Facebook made the users, alas, unhappy. That being said, we are not psychologists. We'd rather look at the "Facebook happiness" issue through the lens of your small business; namely, how Facebook can help you grow your company, reach new customers, and grow your brand? (And if it makes you happy in the process? Well that's a bonus.)
So today we'd like to look at six tips to help you write an awesome Facebook post that can lead to more shares, Likes, traffic, and yes - perhaps even a degree of (possibly fleeting) happiness. And they are:
- Ask a question. The simplest and most effective strategy out there. People just need to be prodded to share their opinions, so don't be shy: explicitly ask your followers a question. Let's say, for example, you posted a blog about this Consumer Reports study showing that the number one reason consumers buy fuel-efficient cars is "lower fuel costs." Post the url and then simply write something like, "79% of customers purchase fuel-efficient cars for lower fuel costs. Did you? What's the most important think you look for in a fuel-efficient car?"
- Call readers to action. Asking a question is one thing; explicitly telling them to do something is another. So gently prod them to "Share this!" or "Click here!" Just be polite. No one likes being bossed around in the real world, much less on Facebook.
- Remember: photos are your friend. You already know this, but post unique photos of staff, customers, and any other lovely smiling people that will warm the hearts of your followers. This isn't exactly a "quick-hit" tactic - although photos do get more engagement than plain text - as much as it is a technique to edify your brand. This approach echoes the classic 80/20 rule: eighty percent of the content you post should be entertaining or of value, while twenty percent should be promotional.
- Keep it short. When comes to your post, less is more. That also means shortening the url links you post via sites like tinyurl.com. (See how short this was?)
- Hyperlink (@ mentions) friends, Likes, and taste-makers. If you've yet to do it, check out this nifty trick. While writing your post, click the @ button. Then start typing the name of, say, a friendly business you've Liked. Their name will automatically appeared in hyper-linked form. Once you publish the post, two things happen. One, your visitors can click on the hyperlink to visit the business's Facebook page. And two, your post giving that business a shout-out will appear on their timeline, exposing your post to their Fans. Spread the love and expand your reach!
- Post stuff that people will care about. Obvious, sure, but it's still worth asking yourself, "Does this content provide value, guidance, or educational benefit to followers?" You know what your customers like - give it to them often and don't be shy about it.
All in all, it's important to write an awesome Facebook post with the bigger picture in mind. If your goal is consistently posting mega-popular posts, you may be disappointed, especially if you have comparatively few followers. Rather, the value of consistently awesome Facebook posts is incremental: it builds over time, attracts new followers, and helps grow your social media brand.
So if your recent photo of the baby koala bear in the kangaroo pouch only received 4 Likes, don't be, well, unhappy. See the forest from the trees. After all, it's only a Facebook post. The sun will come up tomorrow. Trust us.
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