Let’s say that you’re invited to present your business or simply your new idea to a group of investors. How much time, energy and effort would you give in the preparation of your presentation? Would it be a couple of weeks or maybe even a month? How many people would work on it? One, two, five? Regardless of the number you could say in response one thing is for sure: you wouldn’t just show up and blow the opportunity by saying whatever comes to your mind at that exact moment. You wouldn’t waste a chance to grab the attention and make your investors excited about the idea of doing business with you.
And yet, very often companies do exactly that when it comes to their own social media. They show up in front of their online audience without having an idea what kind of message or conversation they will ignite. And I don't mean conversation for the next week or cute «have a nice weekend» posts, but well thought ideas about things you want to talk about week after week, month after month or even a year ahead.
In my experience social media «battles» are lost only if we were never prepared for them, or to be more precise if we never had a simple plan of activities or things to do in order to achieve goals we have placed for ourselves. That plan is called content strategy and it ultimately makes the difference between us and the other person that sells the same stuff.
So, if all your efforts of making a contact with fans only leave you frustrated and clueless about why your Facebook Page isn’t growing, ask yourself these 5 questions. They will help you define useful and usable content that will lead to increased engagement and interaction with fans.
If business is suffering from low engagement it’s usually because you don’t have accurate customer profile, which means it’s much harder and expensive for you to reach them on social media. So, it’s important to ask yourself what kind of readers do you want reading your content? What are their needs, pain points, what are they questions and concerns? How many different types of people are interested in your product? If you need help to figure that out use this free template that will help you define your buyer personas. On Facebook, use the Graph Search to learn more about the interest of your fans by running queries such as «pages liked by fans of (name of your business page)» or «favorite interest of people who like (name your business page) and (name your competitor)».
1. Who are you talking to?
2. What are they talking about?Finding the right keyword is essential in the strategy, because it increases visibility of your content and helps you formulate topics that are relevant to interests and concerns of your fans. Always try to avoid business jargon and think like a «normal person». Take appssolut for example. We help you «create Facebook contests» so one might presume that's what users will write in search engines. But Google’s Keyword Planner Tool reveals phrases with higher search volume like “photo contest Facebook”, “Facebook sweepstakes” or “Facebook contest ideas”, so we use those suggestions to tailor our content and emphasize particular applications and offers. The simplest way to brainstorm your keyword is to use Google Autocomplete and see suggestions based on what people write in Google when they look for your type of product or service. Optionally, you can try with many available tools such as Wordtracker, Keyword Eye or Ubersuggest for more tips and ideas.
3.What are they looking for? Interesting things, that's for sure. But depending on the length of your Facebook presence or familiarity with your product, the audience will respond differently to different formats of information because they are in different stages of their Consumer Decision Journey. Look at the picture below for more info, and I will give you more tips on how to find inspiration and tools for creation of these formats in our next newsletter.
You can come up with great ideas and plans, but if they are not carried into effect, they are worthless. Best time-saver and most useful tool in your content planning is an editorial calendar. There are many options out there, but one of the easiest is definitely Google's social media calendar,which helps you layout content by network, date and topic so that you can easily track your format and topics you want to deliver during any day and week. You can also use some of the tools available for scheduling content like Hootsuite which has a feature called Autoschedule that chooses a time based on your previous social history and schedules your updates to give them the greatest chance of being seen. Find posting frequency that makes sense for your business, try to maintain it and always remember that quality must go before quantity.
4. When will you deliver content?
5. Is it working?Even if you have identified your audience and decided what you want to talk about, you need to make sure you track the effectiveness of your content. That’s the only way to know if your efforts are bringing you closer to your business goal. With Facebook that means tracking likes or shares of your content, measuring number and type of comments and relating promotions to achieved sales. The best way to discover required information is through Keyhole, Klout or Facebook Page Insights.
At the end, don’t forget to clearly define your goal. I suggest you set smaller and clearer goals, let's say 1000 new fans in next six months, which will make your planning more manageable while the achievement of such goal will motivate you to keep on going.
Feel free to share your thoughts or comments on content strategies or tactics you use to engage with fans and stay tuned for more tips and ideas in our next newsletter issue.