Social media is an integral part of any marketing campaign these days. You’ve probably been cajoled into setting up a company Facebook page by your marketing director, but now you have no idea how to use it to communicate with your prospects and clients. What kind of material should you post? How do you engage your fans with content? When should you post new information? Take a deep breath. Managing your corporate Facebook page with quality content that your fans will like can actually be fun.
Here are 10 types of posts that, when mixed-and-matched, will keep your social audience interested, entertained, educated, amused, and engaged.
1. Personal Posts
Facebook is a social platform, and your fans expect you to be social. Use Facebook to promote personal events and milestones accordingly. Showcase your team members’ personalities. Announce birthdays, births, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, and other personal events. Be sure to include a fun photo with each personal post (photos increase engagement) and tag as many people shown in the candid photo as you can (your employees must be Facebook friends with the admin of your page in order to be tagged) in order to maximize the reach of your post. You might be surprised at how many “likes” you’ll get from a creative personal post that tags a member of your team.
2. Firm Function Posts
Do you attend conferences, association meetings, or other business events? Be sure to take photos throughout those kinds of events. They make great posts. Suppose you’re at an American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys conference… you will network with other attorneys, attend conference seminars, and nosh with colleagues after hours. Take pictures! Create a photo album and post photos (tagging everyone in the photo) throughout the conference by adding the photos into that photo album, each with a description, a thoughtful take-away from a seminar, or a brief summary of what’s new in the industry.
3. Vacation, Weekend and Hobby Posts
What could be more social than hobbies and weekend activities? Don’t be shy about posting what your partners did on their last vacation, what they will be doing this weekend, or what they like to do in their down time. As with the personal posts mentioned above, these are often the most engaging kinds of posts, especially if your team members and partners participate in exciting or unusual activities. Create a series of posts called “Behind the Scenes with John”, and add photos and descriptions of John’s culinary exploits, zip-lining adventures, safari holidays and trips to visit his biggest (anonymous) client in the Bahamas. Organize your series by using one photo album so that new fans can go back to that album and review and “like” his exploits over time.
4. Question & Fill-in-the-Blank Posts
If you want to give your fans a very simple way to engage with your post, ask them to finish your sentence. Ask them how they feel about the new estate planning laws. Ask them to fill in the blank by posting an estate planning strategy. Fill-in-the-blank posts generate about 90% more engagement than the average post. Use the Facebook Questions App to challenge them to an estate planning quiz. Interactive posts are also highly engaging, particularly when combined with an eye-catching photo. Polls, fill-in-the-blank and open question posts may also be used (occasionally) to take the pulse of your social audience: ask them what they want to hear about from you, what keeps them up at night, which value-added services they might be interested in, etc. You can use this type of post to open the door for new business if you’re careful.
5. Shared and Linked Posts
You follow (“like”) industry-related company pages, such as associations, organizations, colleagues, and other sources as your corporate Facebook persona. Use those connections to feed your timeline posts. Check your newsfeed daily for interesting posts from those that you follow and “share” them to your page. Not only will you give the other page some extra visibility, they will likely respond in kind by sharing some of your posts from time to time, increasing your exposure and reach. Similarly, you may post links to articles on the web from reputable sources, writing a brief intro as to why your fans might want to read the attached article.
6. Blog Posts
Similar to the shared and linked posts mentioned above, be sure to share your firm’s own blog posts on your Facebook page. If your blog platform enables auto-posting to Facebook, you won’t even have to think twice about this kind of post. If it doesn’t, subscribe to your own blog’s RSS feed to be alerted whenever a blog is posted so that you can go in and pull the link into Facebook manually.
7. Quotation Posts
Mix things up a bit by including quotations from famous sources, or – better yet – your clients, either in an image or with an image. Use testimonials from clients (with permission, of course) to subtly establish trust with prospects who are fans of your page, and tag your clients in the photo that accompanies the testimonial (or create an image of the testimonial and tag the client). Celebrity quotes are highly popular on social networks, particularly if they are especially thoughtful, timely, pertinent or unusual (possibly even controversial). Consider combining a quotation from a celebrity or other well-known public figure with a question or poll – ask your audience if they agree or disagree with a recent statement or sound bite. As always, include an image with your quotation post whenever possible.
8. Video Posts
Whether you shoot your own video (this is a great way to incorporate that one-in-ten business development post), or share someone else’s video, videos are extraordinarily popular and garner attention on Facebook. They are also an easy way to enhance your brand. Use the video post to introduce a new partner or team member, highlight a new service or product, remind your fans about deadlines or important issues, explain how to do something, or just to showcase your firm’s human side. Holiday greetings that are turned into holiday videos can be exceptionally engaging as well.
9. Holiday Posts
Speaking of holidays, mentioning them may significantly increase engagement with your post. Last year, Facebook claimed that posts mentioning Independence Day on the 4th of July had 90% more interaction (engagement) than any other posts posted that day. It doesn’t matter which holiday it is, either. Groundhog’s Day posts garnered just as much attention as Mother’s Day posts, which were equally popular when compared with St. Patrick’s Day posts.
10. Business Development Posts
Finally, sprinkle in a few business development posts here and there. What might a business development post look like? It could be a webinar promotion, a special offer just for your Facebook fans (a complimentary review of their current estate plan, for example), a whitepaper promotion, or simply a post that promotes your expertise in a specialty practice area. Typically, straight-out, blatant sales plugs are less appealing than those that might be somewhat shrouded in marketing-ease… be creative with your sales pitches so that they have appeal while still getting your perspective across and opening the door for new business.
The above post types should help you create an engaging company Facebook page. When and how often should you publish a post to your page? A good rule of thumb to follow is to post 1-5 posts per day in order to maintain a steady, consistent flow of information. Use the Facebook Schedule App to schedule posts in advance, and supplement those posts with ad hoc posts for timely announcements that pop up unexpectedly. Keep sales-related posts to a minimum (typically, only one post out of ten should be a direct solicitation).
The key is to keep your company Facebook page light, friendly and engaging, focusing on your people rather than your services and products, in order to increase engagement with your audience. Publishing great content will help your audience grow, and your occasional post for business development purposes will have greater impact and reach. Happy posting!
Becca Fieler is an Online Marketing Specialist for BizActions | PDI Global Marketing Solutions, a division of Thomson Reuters, serving as a strategic partner in the planning and implementation of electronic communication and marketing initiatives. She develops and oversees comprehensive programs that present marketing strategies and solutions to diverse audiences, including attorneys, accountants, banks and credit unions, human resource companies and other professional service providers.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555