It breaks my heart every time I see a question posted to a business or organization’s Facebook Page that goes unanswered, with that lonely question mark dangling, doomed to be ignored. Around 95% of Facebook posts on brand pages suffer a similar fate. Some businesses and organizations may be unsure of what to post, some may not know how to post, and the vast majority certainly don’t have the time to reply to every comment that comes their way.
A Facebook Page that's been abandoned by its creator isn’t a pretty thing, and it certainly won’t attract any new fans. In fact, it can give people the impression that the entire organization is lagging behind the times. So, what do you do? What’s the key to consistently posting good, engaging content?
The truth is that any small business or organization can be successful at Facebook marketing. You just have to ask yourself one question: “What are my fans and I both passionate about?”
Sharing What's Going On
The Facebook Page of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce has more than 500 fans. President Christy Gillenwater says the organization’s number of Facebook fans rose by 300% in 2011 and the number of active fans quadrupled.
Each Facebook post is about Bloomington, local businesses, and the people who live there. The page is full of information about chamber events, contests, and job openings. It puts the spotlight on local businesses, and it offers plenty of photos — from snowy downtown Bloomington to recent conferences.
Remember: Your fans may be passionate about what your business or organization provides, but Facebook is first and foremost a social gathering place. The key to your fans’ hearts is sharing things that they're interested in. Focus on staring a conversation, not advertising your services.
Very few posts from the Greater Chamber of Bloomington are about marketing or policy debates. Instead, the organization focuses on sharing things about the current events happening in the city, whether they relate to the chamber’s business or not.
Giving the Business a Personality
Gourmet Coffee Service’s Facebook Page has been around for less than six months, but it already has an active community of fans that numbers just under 400. Bob Tullio, the director of business development, explains that one thing that jumpstarted fan growth was encouraging drivers to mention the Page when they delivered equipment and coffee supplies to clients.
The drivers who were mentioned by fans of the Page most often were recently rewarded with $100 gift certificates. The clients, by "Liking" the Page, also had a chance to win a number of nifty prizes each month. This fun recommendation system not only got everyone excited about the Page, but displayed just how great a relationship many clients had with their drivers.
As the Page’s fan base has grown, Gourmet Coffee Service has also started to share a lot about the one thing all fans are sure to be passionate about: coffee. People can expect to see articles about the health benefits of coffee, the economic impact of it, and even news stories about everyone’s favorite morning brew.
Think about how fans will see your page. Often, they will see your posts in their Newsfeeds. Gourmet Coffee Service’s Facebook Page has become a go-to resource for coffee news and deals, and the fun, playful tone of the Page gives the business — and the people who work there — a personality, bringing customers and staff closer together.
What Makes You Special?
To come up with creative Facebook posts, small businesses and organizations should think long and hard about what makes them special. Restaurants can share recipes and photos of new dishes, retail stores can show off new products or take pictures of fun ways to use them, and nonprofits can use photos and videos to document fundraisers. The bottom line is to bring the same offline experience to your Facebook Page.
Fans of the Brooklyn Waldorf School’s Facebook Page, for example, can look at videos of the annual scooter race around Prospect Park (called the “Scootathon”) or the Winter Fair, which is a big hit among parents looking to catch a glimpse of their kids performing.
Ben Williams, the school’s publications and marketing associate, says that when the school was renovating its new building, his team posted a series of videos showing off the construction, and was surprised by how popular it proved to be. These kinds of videos give the school a unique identity and help form an online community of fans that are all passionate about the same thing: education and children.
Through video, the Brooklyn Waldorf School has been able to show off the experience of the students there, which interests both parents of students and those who are considering it for their children.
While Facebook has made it easier to share the experiences that make a business or organization special, but it’s still up to you to think of what that experience is. Your enthusiasm for your business or organization should be fully displayed on your Facebook Page. The same drive that got you involved in the first place can provide you with plenty of passionate posts. And just by showing your own passion, you’re sure to get some in return.
How do you show your passion for your business or organization on Facebook? Let us know here or on our Facebook Page.