You might be one of those companies with inexhaustible marketing funds, but most of you aren’t. This probably do mean that you are looking for ways to get your word on the tip of tongues without having to spend a fortune on it. This post helps you with a few techniques on how to make this happen on Facebook.
Structure of your Facebook updates
In order not to get boring you need to mix these three different kind of updates. If you do it successfully, you will experience a real organic growth of your Facebook presence. There is a format that I will use for this exercise called the statement + narrowed question-format. It works very well in combination with links and images/videos.
#1. Sharing News on Facebook
You are probably feeling the heat of modern internet pace. You’re wondering how the hell you can keep up with all the news and how you are supposed to produce all the quality insights other people are sharing online. Well, this might not come as news to you, but you don’t have too.
Sharing news news
All you need to do is to share the latest news. Regardless if you wrote it or not. What you have to share though is your thoughts on it. To me it sounds like a cliche, but seriously, so few of you are sharing other things than what you are the producers off, that I feel like this needs some repetition. Unless you want to turn your marketing department into a media production department you need to find people who already are and start sharing their stuff.
The good thing with sharing news, is that you do not really have to care about the origin of them. You can simply state that this was released by the source and IF (important disclaimer) they are correct, it would have a certain impact on something which is of relevance for you.
So basically, when you construct your news update based on what someone else has written. All you need to focus on is 1. how is this relevant to you and 2. how do you convey this relevance to your followers. The actual production you can leave to someone else. The purpose of this exercise is to make you the source for news within your vertical and Facebook offers a great and interactive format for this to take place, namely the updates.
Sharing product news
Product news are something different in itself. There are about 40% of your followers who expect to get deals and offers/coupons from following you. Now that Facebook has removed the “pre-approval” process on campaigns, you are free to give your followers coupons and offers in the news feed.
The best way to do this is to do it within a news format. In order to make a product into news you have to set it in the frame of urgency. You can do this by making it a Facebook event or by simply uploading the coupon with a set end date to it. The end date should then be used as a reason to communicate the same offer several times.
7 days left
3 days left
24 hours to go
1 hour to go
If you are a bit less aggressive you should try to build it into a more social context such that you create a viral concept around your news story by adding a limiting question to the end of it. “Feature offer this week: [offer], available until Sunday 7th of August. What [product category] color should we choose for our next promotion?” By narrowing the question you add to the posted coupon or similar, you are attracting engagement from your fans based on the simplicity of the question. It is easy to say what your favorite color is, but it is difficult to know what products you have.
Always add a color, a taste or something to the questions you post with your news. This makes it very easy for a lot of people to respond. When they do so, they will share their interaction on the walls of their friends. “Name name has commented on xx” will be the update which with some consideration in used copy for your titles, will draw the attention of the person reading it.
#2. Sharing Resources on Facebook
Resources are a bit different than news in the sense that they do not need the sense of urgency that news do in order to be attractive. Resources are generally something you have created on your website or on an external hub such as YouTube, SlideShare or Flickr.
In order to attract clicks you need to make your resource of discussion or dialogue. There are a couple of tactics I usually use when I want to make a resource into a matter of debate. The best one is not finishing it and then crowd sourcing the solution. Thus giving the power users the option to become co-author of whatever resource I have just created. Then I contribute them by adding their name and a link to their online entity in the header or in the bottom of the resource page.
Another way of making your resources debatable, is by following the same pattern as for the above stated tactic for sharing product news.
A third way is to ask people to translate the resource into their local language. Naturally giving them credit with a link on the “local versions of”-page.
A fourth way is to offer more data and ask people to write their own version of the data on their blogs and post it to the threaded discussion. This might be the least attractive one as you are moving the sources for knowledge onto other places than your owned presence. If you do this, make sure you collect all the more important posts on an appendix page to your original resource so that you continue to own the discussion and be the hub of ALL the knowledge within your vertical.
#3. Sharing your Opinions on Facebook
When you share your opinions on Facebook you really should pay notice to the statement + narrowed question format that I offered above. Let’s say you need to comment on a sensitive issue. Please make the comment or statement, but do not, for all that it is worth, leave the debate open. Close the debate that follows with a very specific and narrowing question.
Let’s say you have been caught with polluting the environment with some sensitive chemical. Let’s say this has leaked to the press and you are being battered by bloggers and press. You make your standard post to your Facebook wall about your investigation into the topic. For most of you, this is probably the worst thing in the world as you will get battered there too. This is being shared between users, just as any other post you do that involves discussion. You seriously do not want to make this the first impression.
So, what you should do is to narrow the mindset of the readers. Eg. “We are investigating the matter leaked into press the other day. If you find any good sources of where we can find information, please post them here.”
By being seemingly transparent, you have also narrowed the frame in which people will most likely write their responses. This does not show weakness, but gives you some time frame in which you can maneuver into a better position to then strike them with “We have been overwhelmed by the response we’ve received and are working day and night to handle the influx of e-mails, posts and bla bla bla…”, thus giving you some more time.
So, that’s for controversy.
When you state your more positive opinions, you should use the limiting format to actually expand the discussion. Perhaps offer two sets of opinions by posting something such as “We are releasing a red and blue version of the product x. Which one do you think will be the big hit?”
This will hopefully induce some kind of animosity between users. This in turn, will make your post spread virally between users that engage. You can then move in as the big diplomat if the discussion gets out of hand and say something like “No need to get physical here. We’re releasing both colors. May the best wo-/man win”.