Build Your Business:

Tips and Tricks for Creating Engaging Facebook Content

By Deborah Sexton, Contributing Writer

Learning what kind of content you should be posting is a trial-and-error process that can be aided by observing what similar pages are doing.

June 30, 2020

In last month’s column, I discussed choosing which channel(s) you want to be on and some guidelines for making that decision. This month, I’m going to discuss what kind of content you should be posting.

Content is going to vary somewhat based on which channel, and for that reason, I am going to stick to talking about Facebook for this column.

In the beginning, figuring out what type of posts and how many is one of the toughest challenges when using Facebook to promote your business. Many people never figure it out and give up, or simply discount social media as a waste of time.

The key to being successful is patience and persistence. Yes, there are guidelines to follow, but since every business is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. So you’re going to need to employ of a lot of trial and error in your journey.

I’ve mentioned this in my earlier columns, but it’s worth repeating. Social media is not about “buy my stuff.” It’s not about “this is what I think is important that you should know.” It’s never going to be about you and what you think should appear on your business/fan page.

If you can’t discover what kind of content your customers are interested in, you are never going to show up in their newsfeeds, and they are never going to visit your page to see what’s new. How many business pages do you visit that have only posts about what they sell and how wonderful they are? How much do you care about that?

Because motivating people to “share” a post is still one of the top things that Facebook uses to determine post rankings that is your ultimate goal. It’s not easy to do so don’t worry if you don’t get lots of shares, but typically a shared post will have an emotional trigger such as fear, sadness, happiness, or anger.

If you are a rank beginner, here’s a great way to get started. Do a search on Facebook to located five or 10 of your biggest competitors. You probably already know who they are, but if not, use keywords to locate pages with similar products and services to you.

First, you want to take note of what kind of content they are posting and second, look to see which types get the most likes, shares and comments. Then it’s a matter of monkey see, monkey do. Using Google, search for similar types of well-performing content and share that to your page. Or come up with your own version of the most popular content.

If you are active in the industry, you are already familiar with speakers and educators who talk at shows, write articles for magazines, have podcasts, etc. Go check out their social media pages.

If you check out pages in the months of July and August, you’re going to see a lot of posts about face masks, status updates on when shops are opening, and similar posts about how a decorated apparel business can help you during this pandemic.

Posting about customers’ jobs, fundraisers, and client success stories are some other common themes. If you sponsor a sports team, you may want to keep people up to date on how the team is doing with photos wearing the uniforms and fanwear you printed.

Regardless of what the posts are, use existing similar pages to help you determine what you should experiment with posting on yours. Another great strategy is to track what kind of response your competitors’ pages are getting to compare to your own.

To do this, go to your fan page (every Facebook business page is also a “fan” page). At the top, you’ll see a tab called “Insights.” At the top of this area, you’ll see a page summary of the past seven days, which will show you valuable info on your page likes, post reach and engagement.

If you keep scrolling down, you’ll see “Pages to Watch.” Here is a blue button that says “Add Pages.” This is where you type in the name of the competitor pages you want to track and compare against yourself. It’s an easy way to do a side-by-side comparison and learn from your competitor’s success and mistakes.

You probably already know that photos and videos drive the most interest. So avoid posting anything without a photo or a video. Another type of post that drives engagement is a story that can be updated. Perhaps you are helping a client with a fundraiser. Let your fans know how close they are coming to the goal and celebrate when the goal is reached.

It should go without saying that your business page is NOT the place to post content that is political, religious or controversial in any way. Unless you want to generate tons of negative and vitriolic comments, save those subjects for your personal page, should you choose to do so.

Over time, you will see what type of content resonates the strongest with your followers, and you will not need to spend as much time doing research. Keep in mind that Facebook’s algorithm is going to reward posts that have the highest engagement and relevance. So if you post something that no one cares about, you can actually be punished by the algorithm limiting how many people will see it and future posts like it.

Any post that keeps people entertained and on Facebook is going to be the kind that helps you increase your visibility and continue to grow your page’s followers.