As the year comes to a close, I like to look back and reflect on the different projects that we did at Webcom and assess what worked and what didn’t, and try to learn what I can from the outcomes. One of the projects we worked on this year was maintaining a tourism destination Facebook page called Visit the Gyp Hills. Although we did pay to boost a few posts to promote the area’s annual Peace Treaty Festival, most of our posts were organic. (Anything that you post on Facebook without paying is an organic post.) It was interesting to see not only which posts resonated the most with the page’s audience, but also which posts Facebook tended to favor and show to more people for free. Over the next few weeks, I want to share some tips that we learned posting organic Facebook content for this project.
Super Tips for Creating Facebook Posts That Work
• Avoid sharing someone else’s content. The one guideline that I set for my team on this project was that we were not allowed to simply share someone else’s posts. Facebook, just like Google, prefers original content that enhances the value of Facebook. We could repurpose other people’s content, but we had to do so in original ways.
If you absolutely must share someone else’s post, be sure to add your own original thoughts about why you’re sharing that particular post with your audience. Avoid just hitting the “share” button without adding any of your own post copy. Think about what value the post will provide to your audience and state that in a way that your followers can relate to.
• Instead of sharing, repurpose. When a local business or organization was hosting an event, we took their flyer or info and created a new post from it. Of course, we contacted them to ask permission and they were happy to have the help! Sometimes it took quite a bit of research to pull together all the information that we needed. And so instead of spending 30 seconds sharing a post with a bit of commentary, we would spend 30 minutes creating something new.
One caveat...we did not create an additional event if there was already an event post on Facebook. It is important to let the original event gather the social proof of "going" or "interested."
• Use great photos. I can’t stress enough how important it is to use great photos in your posts. We spent a lot of time finding, editing, and preparing the images for the posts. We even asked the client to purchase some local professional photos that we found of the location, which got GREAT engagement when we used them. Ask your local photographers to do this. Usually, the cost is between $15-$50 a photo, unless they are truly professional photographers. Remember, you can repurpose a great photo in many ways, not just on social media.
• Avoid posting flyers. Can I repeat that? DON'T post flyers. Flyers are very difficult to read on mobile devices, where most people use Facebook. Facebook is keenly aware that flyers provide a poor user experience, and therefore, won’t even show posts of flyers to many people. Instead, put the details of your event in the post copy. Break the text up a bit with spaces and emojis so that it’s easy to read.
• Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. During this project, there were several instances when we called business owners and organizations to ask permission to promote their events or businesses on our Facebook page. We also asked for permission to use their photos or if they had any additional photos or other information that we could use in our posts. Every business and organization that we reached out to were supportive and grateful for us to help them promote their events on our page. And we were grateful for the great content!
• Check out one of our most engaging, organic posts from this year.
This organic post is a great example of how our efforts to post only engaging content paid off. This is from a page that had less than 300 likes when we started posting on it this summer.
Yes, Facebook is still a thing.
Just when you think you have a pretty good grasp on Facebook’s algorithm, and you’re posting regularly and getting your stuff out there...all of a sudden, your posts aren’t getting the reach or engagement that they used to. It’s frustrating, I know. A few of the posts we put out there this year flopped. It takes time and a considerable amount of effort to get to know what your audience wants and to figure out how to give it to them. But you must keep trying! Facebook is and will remain a powerful and essential marketing tool for small businesses.
You can...do it!
If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.