New Facebook Success Strategies for 2019
Leading social media consultant Jenn Herman hosted a session on current Facebook success strategies at The 2019 NAMM Show. The presentation offered practical tips to help you make the most effective use of your time and business presence on the social media platform. Here are highlights. (Watch the video for the full session.)
Every post should have a purpose.
If your content doesn’t serve a purpose or isn’t of value, it won’t generate engagement. You need to know your “why.” What’s your end goal? Your content strategy should be to educate, entertain and provide value—not to sell. And, as Herman noted, if you give your audience what they want, they will buy from you. Create content that drives conversation with your customers—the “social” in social media.
Create Facebook captions that work.
Facebook algorithms are complicated, but writing good captions will give you a leg up. Use positive language, and avoid salesy verbiage. Using such words as “big news” or “excited” can help you rank higher. Don’t write “click on the link” or “buy it here.” Use the buttons if possible.
Also, use photos instead of link previews, then write your text and add the link. For example, “Wouldn’t this look amazing under the Christmas tree: [link]?” This approach usually has a stronger impact. It becomes a photo post, which always outperforms link preview posts.
• Entertainment: Entertaining content for your audience gives you exposure (reach) that you can’t buy. Follow the Charmin feed for an example of entertaining posts.
• Education: People want to feel smarter. Create quality educational content, such as videos, tutorials, photos and downloads, and they’ll share it.
• Edutainment: Combine entertaining and educational posts. An example is Merriam Webster, which makes the word of the day entertaining and fun, using animal photos.
Use Facebook Live video.
It’s paramount right now. Facebook Live videos get priority in the Facebook feed and drive more engagement than regular videos. You’ll also get to know your audience better—and get to help them. Facebook Live videos show real expertise and personality. You can prove yourself to be an expert in the music products industry. These videos are meant to be raw and real. You can’t fake it when video is live.
What you can do on Facebook Live.
• Answer your audience’s questions. Write down your customers’ 10 most common questions, and create 10 Facebook Live videos.
• Answer questions your audience should know. What are 10 things you wish your audience knew that they don’t know to ask? Create 10 more Facebook Live videos.
• Provide behind-the-scenes access. It could be a storefront or recording studio. Live stream store events or students taking lessons (with parental consent, of course).
• Showcase products or services. Do a quick video to explain the technology involved in a new product.
• Host music sessions. Promote live shows in advance as much as possible. Tell your audience what to expect. You can have multiple guests from different locations using such tools as Ecamm Live or BeLive.tv.
How to use Facebook Live.
Remember that “done” is better than perfect. Going live on camera takes some getting used to, but it gets easier the more you do it. Don’t worry about all the fancy tech—just go live with one button. Also, practice beforehand. Learn your angles and lighting. Talk to the camera and keep talking as practice, so you get comfortable. You’ll discover what to say and how you want to say it.
Be someplace quiet and/or use a microphone. Think about your environment, and experiment to get the best possible lighting. Get an external mic to connect to your smartphone.
Have someone ask you questions, or talk to that person from behind the camera. Give them a list of questions, and have them ask you the questions. It can help you relax, and you’ll talk to the person instead of the camera. Don’t use a script, but have a general outline. Use bullet points to keep yourself on track.
Use Facebook Groups.
In 2018, Facebook announced it was placing emphasis on Facebook Groups. This year, Facebook Groups is starting to fall off due to over-saturation, but they’re still powerful. Before starting a group, get customer feedback. Your audience will tell you what they want, need and who they are. In groups, people feel safe and are more likely to engage. It gives them the privacy and safety of a closed environment. Groups also currently get priority in the Facebook feed and can be Public, Closed or Secret.
How to use Facebook Groups.
Facebook Groups are not about you or your store. For example, you can create a group for adults who want to learn how to play an instrument, and you can mention your store. But make it about your target audience, not your business. Be sure to set group rules and guidelines. Make sure you adhere to them and be prepared to kick offenders out of the group. Also, moderate the group and be actively engaged. They’re showing up for you, so be there. It’s easy for a group to die.
Consider providing challenges or homework. Ask group members how they’re progressing. Offer links and resources to keep people coming back. Consider offering exclusive access and rewards only to group members. And avoid selling in the group—use it as a lead generator tool. You can encourage them, but you’re not there to sell.
Use Facebook Events.
Facebook Events are a hidden goldmine. Use them! Log in and scroll through events you may like as a business. Whenever you click on an event to indicate you’re going, it’s posted in your feed. Your followers see that and also become interested. Updated photos and details then appear in the feeds of those attending or interested. This works well for events that are weeks or months out because you can continue to promote up until the event date.
How to use Facebook Events.
Create an event for anything, including going Live. Events can be singular, recurring or multi-day. It’s easy to set this up. Write a detailed description, including hours, links to tickets (e.g., Eventbrite) and so forth. Use a Facebook-recognized venue or location if possible, so you can tag it. Also, use keywords in your descriptions for tags in Facebook search.
Going forward using Facebook.
• Focus more on community and less on sales. So many businesses have forgotten the word “social” and treat Facebook as a sales billboard. It’s about community and a long-term investment in your audience.
• Provide customer service. The direction of social media is customer service. The person managing your social media needs to be able to answer customer questions and respond promptly. And be prepared to handle negative comments.
• Create visual and video content. You need visual content! Facebook is leaning toward video, so capitalize on that to show up in the feeds of your audience.
• Be authentic and transparent—flaws and all. If you do something wrong, admit it. Embrace who you are as your brand. You can’t be everything to everyone, so be yourself and customers who want to align with you will.