Working with the United Spinal Association, one of our main goals was to help aid in their pursuit of establishing a professional presence on Facebook. We decided to put together a guide for our client, and wanted to share some of our tips here!
First and foremost, we need to talk about audience. Social media is unique in the sense that it's generally just communication between the organization posting content, and the way the public receives/interacts with the content. And so, it is important to always take into consideration the audience you’re trying to reach by making sure the content that you are posting is relevant, engaging, and catered to that specific audience.
On Facebook, people are looking to connect and express their opinions, and by liking, commenting on, and sharing posts, your brands will gain attention and ideally draw in more viewers. The content you post is the most important thing on your Facebook page. This is what your audience is looking for and why they will keep returning to your page. You want to post content that is recent, relevant, and will spark a conversation with your audience. It’s also important to remember that you should be making your own content whether that be, sharing photos, creating blog posts, or making custom graphics, along with simply sharing articles.
Aside from content relevance and format, another thing to keep in mind is that it's not just about what you say, but also how you say it. Depending on your audience, the word choice you use and the way you compose your posts should be developed to appeal to the people you are speaking to. You may want to have a more professional voice for your audience if you are addressing potential clients for a formal business, or a more playful voice if you are trying to entice younger members to participate in a nonprofit. It doesn’t matter what voice you chose, as long as your voice remains personal and relevant. You want to make your posts feel like a conversation, so the audience feels like you’re talking with them, not at them.
Additionally, content will encourage visitors to be more responsive because of the formatting that is used. Make sure to make your posts short and sweet. Studies show that the ideal Facebook post is no more than 80 characters long; shorter posts receive more engagement overall. Photos are also extremely important - posts with photos consisted of 87% of the content shared on Facebook this past year. Just remember to post images that you have a right to publish!
The most time consuming part of social media management is searching for and creating content to post. An organization who is just starting out with their Facebook may want to recruit “Content Curators.” These one or two people can be very helpful in managing what is being posted on each social media platform, including Facebook. Their duties would include: finding relevant articles, writing posts to accompany articles, editing photos, writing articles, and more.
The Content Curator/s should create a schedule for posting as well, so your page has consistency and reliability. Your followers will come to expect a certain amount of content from you at certain times, and in order to remain relevant and credible, having a set posting schedule is a great way to make sure that your posts are consistent. Additionally, having a schedule can help you establish your voice by creating trends (think hashtags or weekly photo challenges).
Furthermore, studies show that Facebook’s best time to post is during the day on Thursday and Friday (18% higher engagement). The best times of the day are in between 9 o’clock A.M. and 7 o’clock P.M. For Facebook, it is recommended to post once a day, up to seven days a week for maximum engagement. However, posting more than twice a day may actually cause a decrease in engagement.
We hope this short guide was useful in providing an overview of social media, specifically Facebook, and that is does not seem quite as intimidating as it once did. Social media is complex, but it can do wonders to spread awareness and bring attention to an organization while also serving as a way to unite people and open communication and discussion.