Sunday, April 15, 2012

Get Bigger (Better) Impact from Your Facebook Status Updates

Facebook is easy. Too easy. It takes very little effort to craft a status that gets Likes from friends, family or folks who want you to think kindly of them. But for your Business Page, just any old status update isn't likely to get the response you're really looking for. Here are a few simple tactics you can use to increase the impact of your Facebook status updates.

Know What Action You Want People To Do - Then Tell Them To Do It

I was speaking to someone recently who expressed a concern that people were not "Like"ing or commenting on their status updates. There was nothing at all wrong with their posts, but nowhere did they indicate the desired action. It wasn't surprising then that people didn't know what they were supposed to do.

"Like" now to express interest in this new design

"Leave a comment" to let us know if you want this flavor

"Share" this article with your network

Each of these seems a bit demanding, but remember, on Facebook, people are being bombarded constantly by multiple media, and a steady stream of requests, news, opinions and miscellany. Make your desired action simple and state it plainly to help your readers know what you expect.

Draw Attention to the Media

Not everyone likes words as much as I do. Many people prefer visual or audio cues, Facebook makes it extremely simple to share many kinds of media. So how do you get yours noticed?

When you post an update with an attached picture, sound clip or video, you want people to look (or listen) to it. Small things, like gobbledygook URLS or generic commentary about the host site will make readers' eyes glaze over with confusion.

But don't worry, Facebook now lets you edit metadata for all media. Let's say I want to upload a simple picture to my personal FB page. I could grab it from my Flickr account.

Notice the URL and the title. They aren't terribly meaningful to anyone. And Facebook isn't picking up the image as a thumbnail.

To edit information like the image title, or the metadata, scroll your mouse over the words you want to edit:

The editable data will turn yellow to indicate that you can edit it. Click those words and a text box will appear:

Then edit the title. You can do the same with the description. Instead of generic metadata from Flickr, you can customize the content for that update.

However, we're still left with the issue of  the missing thumbnail and the gobbledygook URL.

Uploading links to photosharing sites on the fly is fine, but to ensure your post has a thumbnail, upload the picture directly to a Facebook Photo Album.

Write a meaningful status update, indicating what you'd like people to do, and what they are looking at.

With customized information and a clear status update, the end result is worth it. (Keep in mind that this is a personal page, with appreciably less viewers than a business page.)

Don't Confuse the Issue

Now that you have a chance to make greater impact, don't get too enthusiastic. If you ask your followers to do too much at once, your message will get muddled.

Above, I asked people to "look" at the picture and "Like" it. If I then added, "and can I get your opinion on the shade of purple? Do you think it's too dark? Or should I go with a lighter color?" some people will comment, some will "like" and others will get tired before they get to the end of the status.

Don't Forget the Basics

Of course, with this, you still need to engage and respond to comments when you receive them. Don't forget to reward them with  - at the very least - thanks and acknowledgement for their contributions to your page, their questions and comments. These power of Facebook is that you get to see names of your customers so there's less chance of them becoming faceless numbers. They are not "The Consumer," they are the people you interact with every day.

Be descriptive and clear, remember to engage and thank and you will be on the road to much higher impact on your FB status updates.

Project Wonderful