By Phil Davis | August 1, 2013
Not every company has a crack team of community managers on staff. Even when it comes to the most popular social networks, like Facebook or Twitter, many companies are lacking a solid content strategy. If the resources aren’t there, or social just isn’t on a brand’s radar, it’s common to have someone take on the duties of social posting as an additional role until the right person can take charge. Should you find yourself taking the reigns of your brand’s Facebook page, here are a couple simple suggestions to help keep your brand’s page look clean and professional.
Shorten your links
Is there anything more displeasing to the eye than a bunch of URL code clutter? Rambling links look bad. They take up space and can make a simple, brief post look like a short story. There are many free link shorteners out there, utilize them. As an added bonus, most of them come with their own click metrics. Remember, data is your friend.
When used incorrectly, link previews are just as irritating to the eye as code clutter. They used to be a nuisance for pages, because their ability to pull correct images, headers and descriptions from the link’s landing page was spotty at best. Luckily, recent changes have enabled page admins to upload their own image for a link preview. Should you decide to use a link preview box versus an image (see below), make sure you upload an image related to the link or content. You also have the ability to edit the box’s headline and description, so do it.
Use images when you can
You’ve heard the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ — well, it’s true. Text can only do so much. Your post may be important or useful to your fans, but when they’re scrolling through numerous friends and page updates, they may miss it. Images capture your attention and make your eyes focus. Make it relevant, use a text overlay if necessary. Few companies can make text-only updates work, interactions come when the post is visually engaging.
Keep your posts brief
Assume your audience has some form of attention deficit. The lifetime of a post is short, especially on mobile. Facebook’s post character limit is more than 60K. If that’s a problem for you, then you should reassess what you think you need to be posting. Studies have suggested keeping it around 140 characters or less. Not only does this force you to practice some self control when posting, but it helps with cross publishing for Twitter.
Asking for Likes/Shares/Comments
If you’ve taken the time to create an engaging post with good content, you shouldn’t have to ask your fans to interact with it. That will happen on its own. If they aren’t interacting, that should tell you something. Asking for interactions is fine in some situations, but if it’s a common practice in your content, it comes off as cheap, desperate or simply lazy.
This isn’t intended to be a strategy or a social media posting guide. These are simple tips that will help you look like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t. Until your brand has the time and resources to hire someone with more experience, let this be your cheat sheet. Keep in mind, one of the main goals of your posts should be to drive traffic to your site or blog. So treat your posts as teasers to the content you’re trying to expose, and not a landing page.
Do you have a community manager and a strategy but still feel like you’re missing something? Then it’s likely some coaching is in order. Leave a comment, tweet at me or send me an email with any questions or for more information.