Facebook PVA Store Tips & Tricks #9

Exploring the best practices for your posts

The most critical aspect of your Facebook presence is your posts. What you put on your Wall is the showcase of your business. After a Facebook user Likes you, he most likely won’t go to your Page very often; typically, a user sees you only as an update in his News Feed. So, you have to be interesting, engaging, responsive, useful, and fun. No pressure, right?

You want your posts to establish you as an authority and expert in your field, however, never forget that Facebook is a place where people come to be social. It’s like a big cocktail party where people are having fun talking, so don’t be a wet blanket and talk only about the big sale you’re having. You don’t want to be that irritating sales guy at the networking event whom everyone avoids — or worse, “un-Likes” you!

Helpful tips, useful information, and links and photos can go a long way toward making your Page engaging and popular. To that end, you find out how to post text updates, photos, links, and videos. You also discover how to target your updates to specific members of your community.

Posting Updates to Your Wall via the Publisher

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The Publisher is where you post information to your Wall that goes out to people who Like you.

The function of the Publisher on your Page is very similar to that of the Publisher on your personal Profile. When you post a status update to your personal Profile, however, it goes out to the News Feed of all your Friends, whereas an update to the Wall on your Page goes out to the News Feed of all those who Like you. Your Page’s status update then shows up in the News Feed just as a person’s status update shows up on the Feed of Friends.

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Richard Braggs

Realize that when you post to your Page Wall, your post shows up in people’s News Feed along with all the other posts of their Friends and Pages they Like. Don’t refer to previous posts or things that are on your business Page that people can’t see right then. If you want people to come to your Page to see those things, make sure you tell them to come to your Page. And make sure that each post can stand alone as a complete thought.

How long to make your post

Kind of like a Tweet, you have a limited number of characters available in the status update space: 420, to be exact.

Note: After you type around 320 characters (depending on word structure), your post will be cut short, and a See More link pops up, as shown below…

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Keep your post shorter so that people can easily read it and not miss anything valuable if they don’t click the See More link.

How often to post an update

One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How often should I post?” The answer will vary depending on your goals and comfort level. Some people worry about “bothering” their community with too many posts. Or that some people will un-Like their Page or hide them if they post too much. We can assure you that most of your community won’t mind your posts if you’re doing them in the right way. That’s why it’s important to provide value.

Also, many people aren’t on Facebook all the time and might not see your posts. Depending on how many Friends a user has or how many Pages a user Likes, your post might go through a News Feed fairly quickly.

For example, if you have one person who Likes your Page and has 10 Friends who post one update per day, and your Page is posting five updates per day, you’ll be very visible, occupying one-third of their daily News Feed. However, say that you have a person who Likes your Page and has 500 friends who post one update per day: Your updates will just be 1 percent of their daily News Feed, and they may miss your posts. Bottom line: Don’t worry about posting too often — people will miss your updates, and you want to continue to stay visible.

What types of material to include

When you go to create a post, think about your community. What do its members need? What’s in it for them? Think of yourself as the funnel that guides the best information to your community — and that will be what keeps your community coming back for more. Also realize that you’re participating in a conversation.

Be sure to vary the types of material you post, too. Following are types of posts that you can use to market yourself as an expert, have fun, and plug your business all at the same time without being annoying:

♦ Pictures of a great Event you had
♦ Video of behind the scenes happenings at your business
♦ Questions that engage your audience and allow you to do some market research
♦ Links to blog posts that solve people’s problems within your niche
♦ Controversial news stories within your niche that will spark conversation
♦ Events that you’re hosting that will benefit your community
♦ Links to resources that are helpful for your niche

Again, this is just a partial list of post types. How do these market your business? By establishing yourself as the go-to person for your market. You notice that these posts aren’t all about you and what you’re selling. However, you’re continually popping into the News Feed and reminding your community that you are there. You’re branding yourself as an expert in your business.

Including Attachments

You might have noticed icons above the Publisher. You use these icons to attach an item to your post. They are, from left to right, Status, Photo, Link, or Video. We recommend varying your posts so that you use these attachments frequently. People like multimedia, and your status updates will be more visible when you use these features.

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Questions can be a great tool to get interaction from your audience. People love to give their opinion or chime in with their experience. You can also do market research, albeit unscientific, with these questions. As you can see, we found out that 177 people of the 356 responses spent 10 and 20 hours per week on social media. The questions are in the form of poll answers, and you can choose to limit your answers to only ones that you allow or you can let your community members add their own selections.

This question will appear in the News Feed of everyone who likes your Page. Questions are also very viral, meaning that when people answer a question, their answer appears in their News Feed for their Friends to see, and it can then be answered by their Friends, as well. You may wonder whether to allow people to add their own options to answer the question. Sometimes people enjoy putting in their own options and try to add something clever. Other times you may want to get more clear responses for research purposes, so you may not want to allow additional responses.

Attaching photos

Attaching photos is a great strategy for getting more interaction with your audience and marketing your brand because people love multimedia. A photo will be more noticeable that just a status update because it takes up more space in the News Feed.

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If you’re a speaker, a photo of you speaking at an event will market your business in a more exciting way than if you just post an update saying, “Spoke at an event with business owners today.” The great thing is that you can “show and tell” — that is, post the status and show the picture.

Or, say your business is a restaurant. You can post pictures of your food, kitchen, busy Friday night crowd, and so on. The possibilities are endless! Spend some time and think of all the picture posts you can have about your business.

Attaching links

When you post a link, you can use the 420 characters of the status box, or Publisher, to introduce the link and entice people to click the story. You can attach the link first and then write your comment in the Publisher or vice versa.

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The title and description are pulled in from the meta title and meta description on the Web site. Depending on the site, these might not even match the story on that site that you’re trying to promote. The Webmaster of the site has the control over the meta title and description, but you can edit what shows up in your post by clicking the Title and Description before you attach the link.

One other point of interest in this example CNN post is how engaging it is, with a teaser to the story that entices people to read more and click the link.

Attaching video

Video is a powerful tool to help your audience get to know you. You can easily upload a video into Facebook and you can even record one on the fly from a Webcam to post right away. When you click the Video icon in the Publisher, you will be given the choice to record a video with a Webcam or upload a video from your drive.

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Upload a video shorter than 20 minutes, less than 1024MB, and made by you or your Friends per Facebook terms. Again, you always want to abide by their terms and conditions or your Page is in danger of being shut down.

After you agree to the terms and conditions and your video uploads, you can edit some of the details. Another advantage to uploading videos directly to Facebook is that when non-Fans view your videos on Facebook, they will see the Like button for your Facebook Page in the upper left of the video screen. This is a great way to make it easy for people to Like your Page.

You can also post videos by posting a link to a third-party video site, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Most of these sites will allow the video to be played within the update. However, these videos aren’t stored on your Facebook Page for people to see later.

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