Griffiths web design based in Royston, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

 

How to grow your business on Facebook by writing the perfect post

Author:   Michael Griffiths

Date created:   15 July 2017

[postpic=sky2grassbg.png class=center-block img-responsive title=How to grow your business on Facebook by writing the perfect post alt=How to grow your business on Facebook by writing the perfect post by Michael Griffiths of Griffiths Web Design style=STYLE][/postpic] [l]This guide will teach you how to structure and use your posts on your Facebook to increase engagement and grow your small business. Facebook is becoming a monster. Over 2 billion active users. Wow that’s a lot. Because it is such a busy marketplace it has never been more important to stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately it has also never been so difficult to stand out… But it doesn’t have to be. So far you have been posting to your business page all your services and/or products but it has been less than successful. You are probably thinking about ditching Facebook all together for your business, and who could blame you? You’ve only got a few likes on the page, which came from your mum and dad, you’re getting little to no engagement on any of your posts, and you are definitely not getting any work through it. You’ve got 200+ friends on your personal profile yet you never post about business on there. I get it you want to keep your personal page personal and you don’t want to annoy your friends and family with advertising etc. I’ve been there, it sucks. Here’s a question for you, if you only have 20 likes on your business page and (on average) less than 10% of those people are even going to see it (so at the most 2 people) what is the point in posting it in the first place? Why waste time and energy on such a low number of potential clients? You have untapped contacts on your personal page. These are people that you know are going to listen to what you have to say, people that already have a certain level of trust in you and people that will be willing to engage with your posts. You have the network already in place, so USE IT!!! Now I’m not saying abandon your business page at all. Keep it going. You can apply what you learn in this article to your business page as well but I will be writing a piece specifically geared towards your business page at a later date, so look out for that. This piece is geared towards using your personal profile as a networking tool to organically grow your audience. The first step is identifying your target audience. A lot of my coaching clients, and web design clients for that matter, tend to look like a rabbit caught in the headlights as soon as you ask them if they have a business plan written out. If by some miracle they have they will then proudly get it out and show me. Never once in my time in business have I seen a business plan that really identified the target audience. There is usually a load of generics, such as gender, location, etc. But never any specifics. These generic properties are only stepping stones to more specific information and have absolutely no place in a well written and thought out business plan as they really don’t tell you anything. [/l] [hdmd]What you need to know about your target audience[/hdmd] [l]Who are they? What do they do? What do they believe in? What are their core values? What makes them happy? What makes them sad? Where are they from? Where are they going in life? What do they like? What do they dislike? Where do they hang out online? Where do they hang out offline? What social networks do they use? What sort of things do they like to buy? This is just a small sample of the questions that need answers. Answers that themselves will probably lead to more questions that will need answering. With my social media coaching clients I usually get them to make a collage of all the things that make their target audience who and what they are. I know it sounds all a bit flaky but it really is an excellent visual tool to keep around to keep you in check. So go and do it. Right now, you’ll thank me for it later. [/l] [hdmd]There are 2 types of people on Facebook[/hdmd] [l]So now you’ve done the research on your target audience you can start to think about how you are going to get out in front of these people. This is the really fun, but very intimidating, part of the process. This starts by figuring out what kind of person you are. There are 2 main types of people on social media: [/l] [unord] [item][l]Speakers[/l][/item] [item][l]Listeners[/l][/item] [/unord] [hdsm]Being a speaker[/hdsm] [l]Being a speaker means that you generally have lots to say. Some people are naturally this way, others force themselves into it. There are a fair few issues with this approach, such as:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Everyone is doing it[/l][/item] [item][l]What you have to say is not nearly as interesting as you think it is[/l][/item] [item][l]It’s very easy to run out of things to say[/l][/item] [item][l]You can appear to be arrogant, or even worse the opposite end of the scale you can sound like you have no confidence in what you have to say[/l][/item] [/unord] [l]It’s not all negative. Being a speakers has a great deal of positives, a couple of which being:[/l] [unord] [item][l]You can position yourself as the expert in your chosen field[/l][/item] [item][l]Your audience will recognise the value that your brand brings to the table[/l][/item] [item][l]Your name has the potential to become synonymous with the product or service that you offer[/l][/item] [/unord] [hdsm]Being a listener[/hdsm] [l]Being a listener means that you are going too your audience and engaging them on their level and in their environment. This approach, like anything else in life, has its negatives too:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Your voice will be more passive, and therefore have to work harder to be heard[/item][/l] [item][l]Brand recognition will come slower[/item][/l] [item][l]You can often be overshadowed by the speakers[/item][/l] [/unord] [l]Despite its negatives the listener approach has many positives, some of which are:[/l] [unord] [item][l]There is hardly anyone out there doing it[/item][/l] [item][l]You will find it fairly easy to build relationships with potential clients and therefore find it easier to build up trust[/item][/l] [item][l]You add value wherever you go[/item][/l] [item][l]You don’t have to worry so much about people finding you as you will be going to them[/item][/l] [item][l]Clients will be more at ease with you and recognise your humanity[/item][/l] [/unord] [hdmd]Should I be a speaker or a listener?[/hdmd] [l]As you can see neither approach is perfect, as the saying goes six of one and half a dozen of the other. Those that find the most success on Facebook are those who mix the two approaches. This enables them to be the voice of authority and still be viewed as being a real person who is approachable and willing to engage.[/l] [hdmd]So what do I do?[/hdmd] [l]Because you are a small business you don’t have access to the same levels of exposure and brand recognition that larger companies do. So one of the biggest and most important parts of your role as a small business owner or sole trader is to network. This is the most effective way of building brand awareness and trust. The awareness and trust will then, hopefully, turn into referrals etc. Remember the research you did on your target audience? Now is the time to put it to good use. Let’s use an example: Imagine the scenario, you are a sole trader who sells handmade baby clothes. Your primary target audience are new parents. Your secondary target audience will be grandparents, aunties and uncles, etc. Your audience will be predominantly female. Obviously your research will be far more in-depth and ultimately more revealing. When people make the decision to make a purchase, or any decision for that matter, they do so with their hearts first. Our emotions make the decision then our brains try to justify and hopefully apply some logic to the decision.[/l] [hdmd]So how do you engage people on an emotional level?[/hdmd] [l]The same way you would if you were face to face. You talk to them on their level and treat them like they mean something to you. Just like you would a friend or relative. People come to Facebook for human connection, that what they want so that’s what you need to provide. Then when you have made the connection you can work on whatever problem of theirs it is that you think your product or service could solve. So in the context of our example the target audience needs to FEEL that their little bundle of perfection will be the cutest baby they’ve ever seen whilst wearing the item they purchased from you. They also need to feel that your item will be of good quality at a worthy price, they want to be sure that their baby will be comfortable and happy in the item. They need to feel like the safety of their baby is as important to you as it is them, and that you have their best interest at heart in general. [/l] [hdmd]Now you have identified what you need to do you are probably wondering how to do it[/hdmd] [l]The how is a lot more simple than you may think. First of all you are not a global corporation. You are a sole trader, or small business. More to the point you are a real human being with real emotions and that is what will draw people towards your brand rather than another, probably larger, company. So use your emotion and your life experience to your advantage rather than hiding it behind your business. So going back to the example you would need to show the world exactly what your values are and what matters to you as an individual by posting regularly to your Facebook personal profile about your own life and experiences, both good and bad. Had a nice day out with your children? Tell your network about it. Had a really crappy day that makes you want to cry? Tell us about it. Been told something funny? Pass it on! As mentioned previously people go onto Facebook to make real human connections. So reach out and connect. Embrace your weaknesses and celebrate your strengths. Make your audience feel like they are part of your life. You should definitely not plaster your product and services all over your profile. You need to add value. Nobody likes to be bombarded with advertising and it puts people off from wanting to connect. Which brings us to one important question:[/l] [hdmd]How do I tell my network about my products and services?[/hdmd] [l]As questions go it’s a big one. As I keep saying your posts need to add value to those people who view them. So going back to the example, you could try posting something along the lines of: [b]“Look at my beautiful baby girl in her new onesie!! She makes my heart melt… I made this a little while ago but it only just fits now. Isn’t she beautiful? Comment yes if you want to treat your gorgeous little princess”[/b] [Obviously you’d need to include a picture] This kind of post shows what matters to you, which is not the product but the child. What it shows above all else is that you are a real human being with values and feelings in line with their own. [/l] [hdmd]The basic structure of an ideal post on Facebook[/hdmd] [l]The anatomy of your post is important. We humans love structure. We cannot deal with chaos, it makes us zone out. Chaos is hard work, people don’t come onto Facebook for hard work. So don’t punish your audience with inconsistency and word vomit. The ideal post has a very simple structure: Headline – This pulls people in Sub-headline – This is optional, although generally advised. It will lead on from the main headline to add context. Body copy – This is the main body of text for your status. Keep it short. Call to action – Now your audience has read the post they need to know what to do next. An image – Keep images to one per post if you can. Also they have to be relevant to the post, if they are not then it is better to go text only. Keep the entire post fairly short. You have less than a second to grab their attention and if they see it’s a really long post they will just move on as they don’t want to run the risk of taking 5 minutes to read something that could turn out to be boring or way too intense for social media. Social media is exactly as it sounds, social. So relax and use a conversational tone. Your personality is what will win the day so show it off, if you don’t even your mum won’t read your posts and that would be a sad day indeed. A couple of things to remember:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Keep it brief[/l][/item] [item][l]Don’t be boring[/l][/item] [item][l]Include a call to action[/l][/item] [item][l]No hard sell or direct advertising[/l][/item] [item][l]Don’t be a pretender, just be you[/l][/item] [/unord] [hdmd]A note on originality[/hdmd] [l]Facebooks algorithm loves original content. It lives and breathes for it. The easiest way to maintain originality is to be honest. No BS posts about how your life is super wonderful. No one ever believes the BS connoisseurs so don’t be one of them. Besides you are a legitimate business owner, you don’t need to spend your day posting inspirational quotes and posts about being the next Richard Branson because you’re obviously the worlds most experienced entrepreneur. Anyway I am digressing do let’s get back to the point: Be honest at all times, talk about the good in life and the bad. Stick with what you know, which is you and your life. This will show your audience that you share the same values and have had similar experiences.[/l] [hdmd]How often should I post to Facebook? [/hdmd] [l]If my experiences have taught me anything it’s that nobody in the history of humanity wants to be spammed. It is undoubtedly the number 1 reason people get deleted from friends’ lists. Nobody wants their entire news feed jammed up by one person. And it’s so easy to un-friend someone on Facebook that it’s not worth taking the risk. There is no magic number but I have found it is best to leave it a couple of hours between posts. 3 – 5 has been the optimum amount of time for many of my clients but you’ll need to find what works for you. You want to ensure that people have ample time to engage with your individual posts but still provide a steady stream of awesomeness. Another consideration with regard to your posting schedule is you will want to post your most important update at a time when your target audience is most active. Again there is no magic number so experiment with post timings and see what works best for you. [/l] [hdmd]Other types of post[/hdmd] [l]Posts like the one we have used in the example are not the only type of post on Facebook. Facebook posts come in many different varieties [/l] [hdsm]Sharing[/hdsm] [l]You will probably find that you and your network share a lot of common interests. So it stands to reason that if the post you just read, or video you just watched and so on, that your network will want to see it as well. So hit that share button, and give them a courtesy like along the way. Don’t forget to engage with the original poster as well. Comment on the post, tag them in it. This will make you visible to them as well as your own network. Sharing other people’s content is not thought of by Facebooks algorithm in the same way as copying. In fact it is encouraged and expected of you. You should aim to share 1 or 2 posts each day that you think would add value to your network.[/l] [hdsm]Facebook live[/hdsm] [l]Another brilliant feature of Facebook is the ability to live stream directly to your network. Since the features initial release they have become enormously successful. If you haven’t tried it yet I definitely recommend trying it out. Share a moment of your life with your network, interview a business leader, tell a funny story, and so on. The possibilities are essentially endless. A couple of things to remember about Facebook live: [/l] [unord] [item][l]Don’t waffle[/item][/l] [item][l]Keep a script handy[/item][/l] [item][l]Keep it short[/item][/l] [/unord] [hdsm]Video (not live) [/hdsm] [l]Video uploads are the bread and butter of Facebook. Videos are very popular on Facebook with over 3 billion video views every day. You don’t need to be a professional videographer to get started, just grab your smartphone and start filming. Also there are plenty of apps around that will help you to edit your video to give it a more professional look. Some ideas for making video include:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Interview an industry leader[/l][/item] [item][l]Interview a member of staff[/l][/item] [item][l]Share some wisdom of your own[/l][/item] [item][l]A day behind the scenes at your company[/l][/item] [item][l]Tell a funny story[/l][/item] [item][l]Show the world your beautiful family[/l][/item] [/unord] [l]As with Facebook live there are countless possibilities, so have fun and experiment.[/l] [hdsm]Image posts[/hdsm] [l]Image posts are the most shared type of post on Facebook. They take a moment to absorb and even less time to share. As previously mentioned the Facebook algorithm LOVES original content, it also loves selfies and the like, let’s be honest there isn’t anything in the world like your face. Your audience will also love a funny meme or two. Who doesn’t like to laugh and be entertained? There are several smartphone applications around that you can use to create memes. Remember to include a couple of lines of text (which includes a call to action) with each image. [/l] [hdsm]Link posts[/hdsm] [l]Posts with links can work really well on Facebook, as long as the link leads to good quality content, but not always. When using the post to share a link you still needs to use the same structure as we went through with our example. Your link IS the call to action. Don’t forget to include a relevant, eye catching, image. [/l] [hdmd]So we’ve heard about the different types of post, when should I post them?[/hdmd] [l]You really don’t want to be too rigid in your posting schedule but as a rule of thumb I would suggest posting the text based posts, like the one in the example, at the beginning and the end of your target audiences most active period in the day, as long as there is a good few hours between them. Post this type of status 1 or 2 times a day. Shares go for 3 or 4 per day, spread out over the course of the day, and link posts keep that to 1 per day in the middle of your target audiences most active time on Facebook. Video and/or Facebook live go for 1 per day at the very most, not including any videos from other people that you have shared. [/l] [hdmd]Final thoughts[/hdmd] [l]The most important thing you need to remember about using Facebook is that you are dealing with real human being in a purely social setting. So no BS, no shameless self-promotion; just quality, original content. Talk about what you know and your core values. Show the world that you too are just a person like everyone else. Relax and have fun with it. Facebook is supposed to be a pleasurable experience for all. Before you post anything ask yourself:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Does this add value?[/item][/l] [item][l]Does it show my personality?[/item][/l] [item][l]Is there a point to what you are posting?[/item][/l] [item][l]Is that point relevant to your audience?[/item][/l] [/unord] [l]These questions all need a yes answer or the post goes in the bin. A few more questions to ask yourself:[/l] [unord] [item][l]Is it boring?[/l][item] [item][l]Is it too long?[/l][item] [item][l]Does it look and/or sound like a corporate advert in a newspaper?[/l][item] [item][l]Is any of it BS?[/l][item] [/unord] [l]If the answer to any of these questions is yes then again you need to throw it in the bin and start again.[/l] [hdsm]I hope you found this guide helpful. If you did please share it via social media to show your support[/hdsm]

About the author

My name is Michael Griffiths, I am a website designer and developer and the owner of Griffiths Web Design. I am based in Royston, Hertfordshire. Most of my work is local, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Essex etc. but that’s not to say I won’t work elsewhere. One of the wonders of modern technology is remote working. So no matter where the client is located it is always possible to connect.

I specialise in creating ASP.NET webforms applications using C#. I use Microsoft SQL Server for database development and on the front end I use Html, CSS and JavaScript. I am also proficient in the use of jQuery and several CSS frameworks.

One of my greatest passions in life is learning. Which is why I chose to pursue a career in web design and development, technology is in a state of constant and rapid evolution which means there is always something new to learn. I also enjoy writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

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