Lena Kotler-Wallace is a social media strategist for CasualFridays.com, and a repeat guest-blogger for ShootProof.
There. I said it. For many businesses (independent and otherwise) Facebook is the platform they all love to hate. But as a marketer, it’s actually my favorite of the current social platforms, and with their recently announced 1.79 BILLION active monthly users, skipping out on Facebook means skipping out on the single best way to reach potential clients.
The good news is, contrary to popular belief, Facebook is not actually out to get you. By understanding a handful of core concepts, Facebook can be easy and, dare I say, enjoyable?
Photo: Anne Simone
Remember Why People Use Facebook
For those who caught October’s post, 3 Simple Ways to Grow Your Instagram Audience, this tip is going to look familiar – and that’s by design. All too often businesses forget the “social” part of “social media” and treat platforms as yet another avenue to churn out traditional ads. Where Instagram is a platform for discovery and aspiration, Facebook is all about emotionally connected relationships. And like any good, solid relationship, it’s not built overnight. Embracing the social media long game versus immediate conversions (sales) is the single best thing you can do for yourself. Business pages that are successful use this in their favor by ditching “sales focused” content and instead focusing on content that encourages connection.
- More than any other platform, storytelling thrives on Facebook. Content should always tell a story of some sort and give users something to sink their teeth into.
- Keep your content conversational. Ask questions. Give your fans an opportunity to engage and interact with you and your content. (You’ll see why this is particularly important in just a moment.)
Photo: Blume Photography
The 70/20/10 Rule: Learn it. Love It.
If Facebook is your new long-term girlfriend, then being a good significant other boils down to one easy-to-remember rule: No one likes someone who only talks about themselves. Long term relationships thrive when we connect and share with one another. The 70/20/10 rule helps you keep your content balanced with the perfect mix of “conversation” and “sales pitch.”
- 70% of your content should focus on adding value and brand recognition. Content that falls into this category teaches your fans something they didn’t know before, makes them laugh, or inspires an emotional reaction of some sort. The brand recognition part is not an excuse to talk about why people should give you money. Rather, this is the place to define your brand’s voice, tell fans who you are and what inspires you, etc.
- 20% of your content should be shared from other sources. In any good relationship, the day comes when you bring that special someone home to meet your family and friends. Sharing content from other artists and colleagues who inspire you builds your social connections, helps further define your brand, etc. It also gives you the extra bonus of introducing your content to new audiences, since tagging these other pages will put it in front of their fans as well as yours.
- Only 10% of your content should be “sales” driven. No seriously. 10%. That is it. Keep talk of your seasonal shoots and album sales to 1 out of every 10 posts. By sticking to this you’re priming your fans to say yes before you’ve even asked the question.
By incorporating 70/20/10 into your regular content calendar, you’re setting yourself up to foster emotional connections that can pay off in a big way. Social marketing is not about selling out next weekend’s open studio times. It’s about creating fans who not only follow your content, but share your content and become brand ambassadors. And that interaction is vital for our third and final tip…
Photo: Betty Clicker Photography
Your Facebook Page Lives and Dies by its Engagement Rate.
If you’re tracking no other metric on your Facebook page, then stop everything and start exploring your engagement rate. This is the percentage of people who interacted with your posts by reacting, clicking a link, watching a video, commenting, or sharing, as compared to how many people viewed the post. Time and again, brands focus only on having a big number of views or hitting some “golden” number of fans. But the truth is that view counts and fans are like being popular in high school. It feels good, but has little tangible impact in the long run. What matters is what people DO with your content.
Facebook is a curated experience. When we interact with a post, we’re telling Facebook’s algorithm that we’re interested in what that page has to say, and so you’ll begin to see more content from that page in the future. When this happens, the algorithm treats your posts as “quality content,” and will then organically push it to a larger audience. This is true regardless of how much money you spend (or don’t spend) with Facebook. Yes, there are a host of ad styles and amplification options out there, but nothing will ever do more for your long-term success than understanding how to optimize your content for engagement.
- This can’t be said too much: ask questions! Invite your fans to have a conversation with you and with each other.
- Use Insights to help you plan your content. Look at what is garnering the best engagement rates, and plan future posts accordingly.
- Keep it simple. If you wouldn’t be interested in a piece of content if it popped into your newsfeed, then your fans won’t be either.
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