One question business owners often ask about social media is what to post on Facebook, Google+ or other social pages and platforms. The list of options is long, but here are five easy things to consider posting, plus five things you should never put on your Facebook business page or in any other public forum for that matter:
Five Types of Posts to Consider
1) Bite-sized Business FAQs: Most businesses get asked the same questions over and over. Develop a list of the things people ask most about your product, service, business or industry – along with some they don’t ask, but you wish they would – and supply brief, informative answers. Don’t post your list all at one. Instead, offer them up in bite-sized pieces from time to time as helpful tips that provide extra value to people who visit your social media page. If you already have an FAQ section on your business website, avoid simply linking to that. Doing so forces customers or prospects to make extra effort to click through to your website and find the answer.
2) Offers and promotions: If you are having (or planning to have) a sale, run a contest or offer discount coupons, by all means announce and offer them on your Facebook page. But when it comes to promotions, some words attract attention better than others. Good words include: event, offer, new and win. Words that tend to turn people off include: exclusive, free, discount and limited.
3) Photos, graphics or other visuals: People love eye-catching photos, interesting charts or graphs, illustrations, videos or other content they can grasp at a glance. Be sure images are decent quality and charts tell a simple story. Poor quality pictures or complicated graphs won’t help. If you sponsor local events, teams or causes, that’s made-to-order photo material for your Facebook page.
4) Links to interesting items you’ve seen elsewhere: This requires the least amount of work on your part. Whenever you see or read something that would help your customers in some way related to what your business does, save the link in a “helpful links” list. Then share those links with a brief explanation on your Facebook page. This shows customers you are looking out for their interests beyond simply trying to promote your own business.
5) Your own helpful tips or articles: If you already have a blog, this is easy since all you have to do is put your blog posts on your Facebook page. But you can also write articles for your website or write brief updates directly to Facebook.
Five Topics to Avoid
1) Negative comments: One of the worst things you can do is talk trash about a competitor or customer.
2) Unverified information: Even if you are in a rush to share news or other information, take time to get the facts right. Many business owners have shot themselves in the foot by jumping the gun on announcements that contain incorrect dates, times, prices, phone numbers, addresses, directions or other vital information.
3) Out-of-the-blue subjects: Stick to topics that have relevance to your business and your customers. When you stray into unrelated topics you quickly alienate your audience. People take time to visit your page because they see you as an expert in your area of business, so don’t blow.
4) Overly personal information and opinions: There’s a fine line between being open, personable and opinionated and going over the line into rants or personal details that should remain personal. Applying the “is it useful to my customers” test will help.
5) Confidential business or customer information: This is common sense but still trips up some businesses that post such information innocently or by mistake. Think first, and only hit the publish or submit button when you are confident that what you are about to post is appropriate.
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About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.