Another frequently asked question that I hear from business owners is “What kind of stuff should I post on my Fan page?”  It’s about time I get this on a post so that I can just quickly send them a link.

First, get in the mind set that this is a conversation with friends.

The long post:

This is not your diary.  You are not leaving your final message to the world.  If you can’t figure out a way to express the thought in 1-2 sentences, then reconsider even posting it.  Occasionally the longer 3-4 sentence post is OK, but not on a regualr basis.  People in the mindset of reading Facebook are not looking for a short story, they just want to scan the headlines and decide where to interact.  Facebook has a limit of 420 characters… please leave some for the next guy.

Good news:

Please post good news.   Let’s celebrate together.  We just need a reason to be happy or celebrate… give it to us.  We all have bad days and that’s understandable.  Your friends will rally around and cheer you up when you need it, but please don’t pull us all down into a deep depression with a list of horrible tragedies.   Be real, but be positive.

News and Events:

Keep your fans informed.  New products, big sale, new employee, special event or maybe even just a new shirt (maybe it’s a nice shirt!).  If there is something I might like to attend at your business, let me know.    That is why I am following you, you have or do something that interests me.

Specials:

Everyone loves a deal.  If you want to put out a coupon or promotion to the Facebook crowd it is always appreciated.  Not only is it a nice thank you, but it also helps gather new fans.  Many even do ‘Facebook only’ deals, like Carlos and Harley’s.  This not only makes me feel like a VIP , but it helps a business track response.

Teach:

As a business take the opportunity to teach people more about what you do…  but not just another sales pitch.  This is often best done with a small post that links to your blog.  If you educate people they appreciate it, and will probably come to you for help.

Questions:

This is social media and you are here to engage with your audience.  Ask questions!  Ask about your products, your service, and what they like/dislike.  You need to be brave and take the feedback with thanks and not be offended.  Only ask if you really want to hear it, don’t ask just because I tell you to.

Recognition:

Who do you do business with?  Who do you really appreciate or follow?  Mention them, with no expectation of reciprocation .  (Wow.. say that sentence 5 times fast!) Maybe where you bought new tires, got an oil change, or even your plumber.  This is exactly what you are hoping people will do with you, right?

Food:

Remember that part in The Emperor’s New Groove where he notices that food in Yzma’s teeth?  Yeah.. hate that visual.  Unless you are a restaurant, or giving a recommendation of a good place to eat then just leave your meals on the plate and not on Facebook.  Again, if you are a food service then tell us about it, but if you are just wanting to tell me you had a burger for lunch… just skip it this time.

Random:

Jokes, passing thoughts, funny observations or just quick comments are wonderful.  The odd and random posts so often trigger the most community participation.  Be yourself, anything else is just a lie.  The person in charge of your social media presence should be a like-able personality, let’s just go ahead and make that a requirement for the job.

In closing I want to share a few examples (most of them are here in Utah):

  • Simply Mac Lots of specials, some questions and lots of positive engagement.
  • You want to see a fiercly loyal following?  Check out Pioneer Woman.
  • Powder Mountain has great user generated multimedia content.
  • You will be hard pressed to find more personality on a Facebook wall than Ruby Snap. I have met her in person and she is great.

One last thing…go read this article by Bryson White about ‘giving a damn‘.  It is well worth a read.

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