How to be a Social Media Ninja - Facebook
I'm continuing my blog series on getting the most out of your social media accounts and pages, with a look at Facebook - the mother of them all! Before you read on, go check out my last post with some helpful ideas that you can use on all your different platforms!
EVERYBODY is on Facebook. Whether it be all friends from school, those people you don't like but still nosey at their pictures or your second cousin's dog. My Nanny is nearly 85 and has her own account! So you can see why it's so important to get it right when it comes to your business or organisation's Facebook page... you have the opportunity to reach the masses in incredible ways!
THE SCROLLING THUMB OF DOOM
Because Facebook is so big we tend to connect with hundreds of pages and friends, which means our News Feed can be overloaded with 'stuff'. Think about how you scroll through this on your phone - usually at speed and stopping off at the photos or videos which catch your eye in the few milliseconds that it gets a chance to. So we need to be clever with the content we post.
Where you can always post a photo with your content. If you are posting a blog post, use a photo which relates to it or that is already included in it some way. If you are posting an important update, add a photo which will stop a scrolling thumb of doom in it's tracks! Remember, we are competing with so much noise on a News Feed that we have to be creative in how we break through that. Make sure your content is treated with a lot more respect than your friend's post about getting plastered at Thompson's that night.
Unlike other platforms, you can reach a new audience as more and more people engage with your posts. That's the genius behind the 'Stefan, Jose and 8 other friends like...' posts that you might have already seen. If you can give people something to comment on, like or share then you are on to a winner! These are more likely to be seen by people who don't already like your page - an audience which you don't already get to reach to.
If you are posting a photo with a link to another website, take the time to shorten it using website's like TinyURL or Google Shortener. These shorten your long URL into a lot less characters and make your post a lot cleaner and easy on the eye.
Because of it's audience Facebook is treated as a hub for all other social media platform. When we post to Instagram or when we Tweet we can share that through Facebook (and not the other way around). This means that even if your audience don't follow you on Instagram, they can still see your stuff on Facebook. The reach you get here is substantial to point people to products, blog posts and other platforms.
Probably the most important thing to think about when using Facebook is when you post. There are countless blog posts which suggest when is the best time to post on Facebook, and throughout the year I've experimented with this and found that in most cases... they are right. If you are using a separate Facebook Page to post, you can look at your 'Insights' and then 'Posts' to find out when most of your audience are online and ready to interact with you.
You'll probably find that Mon to Wed, between 6pm and 8pm is the best time to post (I call them the Golden Hours). Just think about how you yourself use Facebook. As much as we might try to, it's hard to have a good invested News-Feed-scroll during work or school hours. And when it comes to the weekend we probably have things to do and people to see which restrict the amount of time we interact on our platforms. Post during the Golden Hours and you'll be sure to get the most reach and engagement out of your content.
As a word of warning... A post on a news feed usually has a lifespan of 3-4 hours, before it gets lost in all the other posts coming after it. So posting outside of when your audience is online can be a dangerous move! Check out your insights and tailor your posting time carefully.
There you have it... some of the lessons I've learned through running a business using Facebook. I'd love to hear from you - What success stories have you got from Facebook? Or what helpful tips can you share?
Instagram and Pinterest up next!