In an environment with a billion users, millions of business pages, and just about every company in every industry trying to play along, it’s hard to post content to Facebook as a local business that can truly resonate within the venue. Local businesses have it harder than most as their goal should be to stay local but the attitude is one that demands mass acceptance.
How can a business be relevant on Facebook within their local demographic when they are fighting for a fraction of attention in a world that is loaded with noise? There are advertising techniques and promotional tools that can help, but first and foremost it begins with having the right content. The bad news is that most pages are not posting the right content. The good news is that businesses who know what they’re doing are able to stand out because most businesses are not posting the right content.
This needs to be stated up front. The old strategy of posting funny pictures of cats ripped off 9gag are behind us. Many businesses are trying so hard to fit into the Facebook subculture when they should be trying their best to stand out. If you’re trying to promote your brand by posting irrelevant content, stop immediately and post things like…
If you’re a realtor, your Facebook page should have images of exceptional homes. It’s that simple. It’s a shame that so many try to post exactly what they don’t do in hopes that people will like their “personality”. On the contrary, businesses should focus on their expertise. They should focus on the things that they have access to that other people do not.
Using the realtor example, they get to see kitchens, landscapes, back yards, bathrooms, and other interesting things that most people rarely get to see outside of magazines (yes, there are still people who read magazines). Homes can be amazing and many people enjoy getting a taste of other lifestyles through images of their residences.
Keep it as interesting as possible. Every image should be of something that stands out. Every description should highlight those things that stand out. If the marble on a counter top is exceptional in some way, highlight that fact in the description. Ask for opinions – “Is this something you could see yourself cooking on in your home?”
Staying relevant but putting a spotlight on the most interesting components of your day-to-day professional life gives people a reason to be following you. They aren’t following a local business Facebook page because they want to see how off-topic interesting they can be. They’re following them because of the expertise and experiences they bring to the table.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the heart of Los Angeles or the outskirts of rural Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. If you spent a day with a camera and a car and started shooting images of the local area in the morning, by mid-afternoon you’d have enough content to post on Facebook to last a month or two.
Local businesses must focus on their local area on Facebook. They shouldn’t be looking for global appeal. They should be shining a bright spotlight on the things that make the local area fantastic. The true targets of Facebook marketing, the local people, are much more interested in things with which they have familiarity rather than far off places. They have the whole internet to find new things. On Facebook, they want the familiar.
Most review sites have Facebook apps that businesses can use to show what their customers think of them. All of these apps with absolutely no exceptions are worthless. They do not spread the word about your reputation. The only people who see it are those visiting your page, which is likely a very low number.
Since most people never visit a Facebook page again after liking it the first time, the only way to expose your reviews is through the news feed. Since the news feed is driven images, visual reviews are best. We went into detail about this content type here.
Customer testimonial videos
There are many businesses that overuse these, but it’s better to use too many than not at all. They aren’t as effective as other types of content for two reasons: videos get less EdgeRank love and people often do not “like” or care about people they don’t know.
Still, they are an excellent way shake the content stream up a bit and get the community involved. Depending on the Facebook popularity of an individual and the size of the community, they can be more effective for some than others. Again, use them sparingly but work them in at least a little.
Sales promos and marketing material
People don’t want to be spammed by a ton of content that they don’t want to see. They don’t come to Facebook to see ads, but just as they’re willing to tolerate them on television, they’ll tolerate them on Facebook as long as it’s not overdone. Think of your Facebook page like a television show. The best shows with engaging content are able to keep people sitting through the ads. The shows without the same interest-driving content often lose people during commercials.
You don’t want to lose people when posting promotional material, but you also don’t want your Facebook page to be ineffective because you’re too worried about not posting anything beneficial to the company. If you’re posting high-quality content the majority of the time, you “earn” the right to post the occasional marketing message.
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Facebook content isn’t difficult. Finding the right mix of content to post at the right times is the real challenge. Play around with it. See what works and what doesn’t work. Most importantly, remember that Facebook is more of a communication tool than a broadcasting tool. What you hear on Facebook is often more important than what you say.