The best way to think about what you should post on your brand page is to think about what you enjoy reading or seeing on Facebook. For the most part, people love posts where they get coupons or discounts, but you can’t always be offering a giveaway. The rest of the time, what are the posts that get the most traction? They are the posts when the reader leaves the post feeling as though if they’ve just learned something truly useful and relevant. The secret? Offering value.
Why give away all of this useful information?
The posts on Facebook that offer the most value to their fans are the ones that have the most engaged audience. It is common sense that if your audience in general is really happy with the content you are sending out, they are more likely to like, comment and share. When that happens, it’s also more likely that you’ll draw in new fans. Providing value also keeps your audience interested so that they don’t look for the dreaded unlike button. On top of that, research shows that if you, as a brand, are giving your audience valuable industry information, they are more likely to trust you, meaning that at the end of the day they will be more likely to buy from you, as a brand they trust.
What does it really mean to provide value to your audience?
So what does it really mean to be providing your audience with value? Essentially it is giving them information or access to something that they feel like they would pay for, but you’re giving it to them for free. Usually it’s information, which we all know is extremely valuable in today’s society, and by providing them with information that makes their lives easier, or teaches them something new, you are winning over the customer. In general when brands provide value they share real industry knowledge, or things they already share with current customers. The idea is to make your fans feel special, as though if they’ve been let into a secret, which is why it works best to share something with them that they will walk (or scroll) away from feeling as though if they’ve learned something really important and useful.
How do you do it properly?
Now you might be thinking that providing value sounds amazing (which it is), but how does it really get done? The truth is that it will be different for every industry, for every brand, however there are some general best practices that will give you an idea of what to start out with.
- Tips and Tricks: Letting your fans in on great little known tricks is a great way to grow your fan base. One great example is travel agents who share their top travel tips. This is easy to do year round because usually you can adapt your advice for each season. For a travel agent especially it can be traveling in the summer, and over the holidays. Another great example is a local farmer that shares great recipes (using their ingredients) with their fans. They can do fall recipes, winter recipes, etc.
- Using Images to Explain Ideas: For example the fashion boutique who share images for how to wear multiple pieces, demonstrate how to take only 8 basic pieces and turn them into 25 different outfits, or how to dress for the particular season. Giving your audience a visual of the information you are trying to convey will always catch their attention a little bit more and make your post a little more memorable.
- Blog Posts: If the information you want to give them is just too long for a Facebook post or Tweet, make it an entire blog post! Once you have the blog post up it’s great content to share across your social media sites.
- Bonus tip: Repurpose blog posts into short Tweets and Facebook posts, for example if you gave 8 tips for making the best apple pie at home, Tweet one of the eight tips every now and again, and link back to the original blog post.
If you’re not sure yet what kind of content will be most valuable to your fans, communicate with your current or prospective client base. Find out what kind of information they would love to hear from you so that you can do your best to send it their way!
A Couple More Examples
Just to make sure you really understand, here are a few more examples for how to make sure you are really giving your audience the best and thinking outside the self-promotion box.
A music store could stream free playlists on their website and link to it through their Facebook page. They could offer a playlist of the month and sell the albums on the playlist at a discount for only that month and take down the playlist once the month is over.
If you own a restaurant you can talk about food, recipes and dining out. If you sell fitness clothes talk about workouts for at home or outdoors workouts, the type of clothes to wear at yoga class versus cycling class.
If you operate a bakery, and definitely don’t want to share recipes, you can also talk about parties. Most people going into a bakery might be buying cakes for birthdays and special occasions. Address party tricks, different ways to set up the cake, fun ways to cut the cake, different cake traditions around the world, and so on in your content! The possibilities are really endless when you open up your social media to that larger subject and give your audience the content they really want to see.
The important thing to remember is that on social media you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) be talking about yourself and your services all the time. It’s social media because you are supposed to socialize with others! The best way to draw your fans to you is by giving them something they would love to read, see or hear. The idea is that you can talk about the larger subject that your business or product addresses. Once your brand truly encompasses this idea the content will get much more exciting and the fans will definitely take notice!