I did a very unscientific poll on Facebook the other day. I asked “Has Facebook improved or hurt relationships in your life?”. The vast majority said that it improved relationships (although a few said it did pose some challenges). The point being that although it's a relatively new way to communicate, it's having a positive impact on most users lives.
My last post was about my friend Jerry Jacquin who died in a plane crash. If I would have just posted it to my blog it may have gotten a few reads and comments, but by posting it in Facebook, it had over 400 views, dozens of shares and hundreds of comments. Also, I received some very nice messages and “Thank You's” from Jerry's family and friends. The post was just a spew of my memories and emotions, but it struck a chord with a lot of people.
That is what social media is all about, connecting on a real and emotional level with friends and clients.
I have various Facebook accounts where I am Brian or B2b or my band Dough! I post different things to different audiences. Brian is the person and is all about Bacon : ), while B2b talks about Social Media and Technology, and Dough! is about music.
I posted a simple joke on my Dough! page that went incredibly viral. It ultimately reached over 70,000 people and had over 900 shares. Although Dough! is just a small local band, it obviously caught the attention of enough people that it just escalated and quickly.
I have posted some stuff that has gone viral, but this was simply amazing… that a simple little comic will ultimately be shared over 1000 times and touch over 100,000 people! If you ever doubted the value or power of Social Media… that should make you go “Hmmmm”???
Why Can't I Do That?
More often than not, people miss the point of Facebook for business. Businesses tend to post more about themselves and pay little to no attention to their audience. Heck… I have even seen businesses try to gratuitously post their information on my nightly (and personal) caption contests. Just talking about yourself all the time turns people off, and the chance of that going viral to 100,000 people is easily statistically below the chance than the Cubs winning the World Series this year! It's Not about You… It's about Them. It's Not Advertising,… it's about building a relationship with your audience!
Get Noticed without being Obnoxious!
I not only do this myself, but I have trained countless others with various types of business. Be aware that every business has it's own DNA, but more often than not, these are the top 3 things you can post to Facebook, that will garner the most feedback and attention!
Pictures are worth 1000 words (and occasionally 1000 shares). The more topical to your audience the better. Personalize them with your own thoughts and invite comments and sharing. Also, make sure you have the legal rights to use them, or simply share from another source.
2) Polls, Questions, or Caption Contests
These invite people to interact with you and each other. Make them fun and topical but NEVER EVER make them political or religious… you are guaranteed to piss of at least 1/2 of your audience that way!
3) Share Your or Other's Knowledge
Find a great article that teaches about and supports what you do. Including a graphic (from the original post) increases interaction by at least 50%. I use blog posts (like this) and find articles through Google Alerts and websites I surf to share awesome and timely tips that help the people I have the honor to know, like and trust (and who follow my multiple personalities : ).
You have to measure what's working and what's not. That comic was lightening in a bottle, but most good posts reach 4-5% of my over all audience. Advertising averages around 1-2% so I am getting more than twice the audience through posts which my followers, fans, and friends like and interact with!
I would love your Comments and Feedback! If you have any questions Contact B2b.
Exceptional points. My sense is people forget social media is about the other person or persons and focus more on themselves or their businesses. I post a Forgotten Fact every day and even though it does not go viral they continue to secure positive reactions.
So right about pictures as the human mind reds or hears words, but thinks in pictures.