You know your brand should have a Facebook strategy. Or even if creating a strategy seems beyond your reach, you know you should share something on Facebook every day. After all, with more than 1 billion users, it’s the world’s most popular social network.
You can’t afford to miss out.
But where should you start? What should you post?
It’s easy to go wrong.
Equally, it’s easy to go right. In this post, we share 11 different types of Facebook post you can start using right now. If you just do one post a day, Monday-Friday, you’ll have enough content for over 2 weeks before you need to start over. And each post type comes with thousands of possibilities.
Before we begin, a word of warning.
The biggest mistake – and this is something we see all the time – is making your Facebook updates all about you and your brand. Sure it’s sometimes okay to share what you’re up to. But the vast majority of the time, you should focus on your audience and aim to enrich their lives.
It’s a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, everything you post should reflect your brand values, and subtly build a relationship between your brand and your audience. On the other hand, your main aim is to keep your audience engaged, which is pretty much impossible if all you do is post what’s been happening at the office today.
Pull your fans into a conversation. Give them a pick-me-up to inspire their day. Talk about things they’re interested in. Post photos they’ll want to share.
Now you’re in the sharing, audience-focused frame of mind, it’s time we got this show on the road.
Infographic courtesy of LinchpinSEO.
1. The Question
We put questions first because they’re so important. Even though other types of posts will get more likes and shares, questions are how you really engage with your audience and get to know them.
Questions spark conversation. Questions help you discover what matters to your Facebook fans, and the more you know what they care about, the better questions you can ask.
Research shows posts containing questions receive twice as many comments as posts without questions.
Questions work best when they’re simple and easy to answer. Where possible, provide choices for potential answers. If your questions can be answered in just a handful of words, you’ll get much higher engagement. Examples of simple questions include:
- What’s your favorite … ?
- Agree or disagree? [Controversial statement here]
- What do you think about … ?
- Would you rather … or … ?
- What do you love about … ?
- What are you reading right now?
- What do you think about our product/service?
2. The Fill The Blank
Just like questions, fill the blank posts are perfect for starting conversations with your fans. Fill the blank posts promote engagement because your fans only need to write one word. The lower commitment level means you can generate big responses.
Fill in the blank posts typically receive nine times as many comments compared to other post, yet less than 1% of brands use them.
Examples of fill the blank posts include:
- Fill the blank: The one place I plan to visit in my lifetime is …
- Fill the blank: My favorite fruit to use in a smoothie is …
- Fill the blank: Before I do anything else in the morning, I …
As with all posts, keep the Fill the Blanks you ask relevant to your industry and brand values.
3. The Icebreaker
Had a recent influx of new Likes on your page? Write a post welcoming your new fans to the team. Show them the ropes – tell them about your most popular product, or the most-read blog post on your website.
Ask them to introduce themselves and say how they discovered your brand, and what they like about you. Not only will you gather up valuable insights into what’s working in your marketing, you’ll also show you’re open to conversation, and you’ll get your fans into the habit of engaging.
This also matters in terms of how Facebook calculates the Edgerank of your posts. When someone first likes your page, your posts are more likely to show up in their news feed. If you get people to engage early, your posts will continue appearing in their news feed. Miss out on early engagement, and you’ll drop off the radar.
4. The Milestone
Milestones are a relatively recent addition to the Facebook timeline, and their value lies in helping you tell your brand’s story.
You can add milestones for the present or the past. Some milestones you might like to add to your page are:
- The founding of your business.
- When you got your first customer.
- Times you changed your brand name or logo.
- Moving to a new location.
- Opening a new store.
- Launching a new blog or website.
For inspiration on how you could tell your brand’s story through milestones, take a look at Coca Cola’s Timeline, and scroll down as far as you dare. It goes all the way back to 1886. We especially like the 1916 post about bottle design.
5. The Image
They say social networks are becoming more and more image based (actually, we say that too). And it’s true, research by HubSpot found photos generate 53% more likes than average.
That’s not to say you should flood your followers with images. Use them sparingly, because they’re powerful. Also, photos aren’t king. Status only updates receive 94% higher than average engagement. So where possible, keep things simple.
6. The Wise Quote
We love sharing inspiration on Social Caffeine. If you take a nosy at our Facebook page you’ll see we share two or three quotes every week, usually embedded in an image.
As well as attracting likes and shares, quotes are ideal for promoting your content, such as your blog or ebook. For example, you can quote:
- Snippets from your most popular blog post
- Sections from your latest ebook
- Highlights from a report or whitepaper
As long as it’s relevant and engaging to your customer base, go ahead and get it out there!
7. The Announcement
Remember what we said in the opening? Make your posts about your audience, not about you.
We’ve come across some pretty dire Facebook updates in our time. Brands who post press releases in full expecting them to be read. Brands who share their latest meeting with a supplier. Brands who believe that appointing a new accountant needs to be shared with the world.
Maybe this stuff is relevant to shareholders. Maybe. But your Facebook followers aren’t there for a shareholder briefing.
To your followers on Facebook, all this stuff is meaningless. Facebook is not the place for corporate jargon or for kissing the posterior of people you want to impress.
That said, sometimes you’ll have exciting news that is relevant to your fans. Maybe you’re launching a new product, or setting up shop in a new location, or you’ve rejigged your menu.
This kind of stuff – things your fans will want to know – is totally okay to share. Go ahead and announce it to the world!
8. The Curated Link
Links aren’t great for engagement. In fact, they’re the worst thing you can do if you want to attract likes, comments or shares. Why’s that? Because when someone clicks a link, they’re taken away from Facebook. It takes a lot of effort to go back to Facebook and like a link to an article you enjoyed.
That said, we share a ton of curated content on the Social Caffeine Facebook page. Why do we do this?
- Curating content shows you know what you’re talking about. The magic of quality content rubs off on you when you share it.
- Curated content shows your audience you can meet their needs. If they enjoy (or need) the links you share, then it’s fair for them to assume they’ll enjoy (or need) your product or service, too.
- Curating content is fun and educational. By searching for content to share, you learn a lot and have a blast in the process.
- Curating content is relatively easy. It’s certainly quicker than writing it all yourself, and if it’s already out there, why not use it?
9. The Promotion
Research shows one of the main reasons people Like brands on Facebook is to receive discounts and promotions.
When you’re offering a discount, make the math as simple as possible. Rather than offering 10% off, offer a $5 discount. Typically “$ off” promotions receive 17% more engagement compared to “% off” promotions.
10.The “Like if You Agree”
There’s a love/hate thing going on here. Some Facebook users think it’s patronizing to be asked to like stuff (“Duh! We know how it works…”). Marketers, on the other hand, know a call to action can make a massive difference.
Getting likes from fans boosts your edgerank, and many Facebook users are lurkers who’ll only like something if they’re asked to do so.
Used sparingly, the “Like if you agree” post adds a little dynamite to your Facebook engagement, giving your posts the boost they need to reach a wider audience.
11. The Video
Videos, like links, have a surprisingly low level of engagement. Even so, YouTube has let slip that 500 years worth of video are watched on Facebook every day. And that doesn’t include the videos hosted directly on Facebook.
While typical engagement is low, videos give you the best chance of going viral.
When posting videos to Facebook, it’s better to upload straight to Facebook, rather than using YouTube. Understandably, Facebook gives more clout to videos shared on its own platform by nudging them up with an Edgerank boost.
Making original videos takes time, commitment and creativity, but it can pay big dividends if you hit the viral jackpot.
Bonus: The Hashtag
Hashtags are the new kid on the block at Facebook. While not specifically a type of post, if they take-off on Facebook like they have on Twitter, then including hashtags in your updates will become a surefire way to boost engagement.
Start using hashtags today. You’ve got nothing to lose by slotting them into your status updates, and being an early adopter can help you stand out from the crowd.
Infographic courtesy of mycleveragency.