Writing a great Facebook status update for a brand is so much more than a simple formula. If it were that easy, we’d have a whole bunch of amazing pages and a lot of happy brand managers. You can’t just pick up a marketing plan and implement it, word-for-word, into a Facebook page.
I think there are three layers to creating a brand’s Facebook update.
Your tone, subject matter, even the kinds of words you use should be dictated by the users of the page, who are attracted to your existing brand. If your brand is marketed correctly outside of Facebook, those who ‘like’ will reflect that.
Who are these people? Use Facebook Insights to learn basic demographics – age, sex, location. Check their profiles to see what else they ‘like’ on Facebook. Do they like polls? Photos? Links? What do they want from your branded page? Read what’s been posted to the brand’s wall already – there’s often a wealth of feedback in what’s there – or not there. Which leads onto point two:
What is the current state of your brand’s page? Neglected? No engagement? Is every status update a link, and no one’s clicking on them? Conversely, is your page vibrant with feedback and users chatting to one another? You can expect to adjust your next status according to the current state of the page. This may mean scrapping a status you hoped to pop up, and going with something completely different. Content calendars must be fluid, even for this reason alone.
What does the brand actually want out of their Facebook page – and if it doesn’t serve your ‘fans’ then why are you doing it? Does it serve the marketing gods? The website hit gods? Or is it there to enrich peoples lives – however you interpret that.
If your brand is not thinking “people first” then you probably need to re-assess why you’re on Facebook. You may as well take out a TVC. (No disrespect to TVCs, you know I love them, but they’re broadcast. Facebook is not.)
So once the brand knows where it stands on those fronts – and has any issues addressed, it’s time to get writing! Here’s a few nuggets of gold from around the weberverse:
- Spelling and grammar must be audience appropriate. No matter how great your point if you can’t spell ‘their’ right you’ll crash and burn. – Stephanie Robertson
- Know your audience – and don’t drink and post! – Wendy Thompson
- Ask for photos. – Claire Huxley
And here are mine:
- Keep posts short. People read less online. They probably won’t click “read more” on your update.
- Keep it friendly – users are looking at brand’s status updates amongst their friends, so it’s easy to appear advertorial.
- Give people multiple reasons to interact (make it ‘like’able, ask a question, seek feedback).
- Don’t always do the same type of status. Mix it up with photos, polls, and links. Pay attention to which types get your audience going!
- Act on feedback. For example, if someone’s asked for a “caption this” photo, give it to them! And say something like “you asked for it, so here it is!” – acknowledgement is really important.
- Above all else, THINK LIKE A FAN. Do they want to see this status update? Really?
So it’s not a simple formula, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. But by firstly coming at it from a user’s perspective, you’ll end the majority of Facebook status woes.