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Case Study: 5 Tips on Using Facebook From a Social Media Expert

October 22nd, 2012 ::

I love Facebook!I have a major confession to make: Although I write about social media a lot here on GrowSmartBiz, I was not that active on Facebook. I would read as much as I could about using social media for marketing, share what I had learned, and then not follow my own advice.

I have a second confession to make: Facebook intimidated me when it came to my professional life. I was so scared of doing it “wrong” – posting content no one would care about or see – that I ended up doing nothing. Sad, but true.

When September came around, I decided to get serious and start actively using my company’s Facebook page (I am already active on my personal page).  Here are 5 things I have done and learned over the past, nearly-2 months:

1. Play around with timing

I like to quote Dan Zarrella, the Social Media Scientist, a lot, because he takes a very in-depth, numbers-focused look at social media use, including when to post on Facebook, what words to use, etc.

However, I found that what works for everyone else might not work for me.  After quickly looking at the posts that got comments and likes and the most views, I learned that the best time for me to post is between 8am and 11am during the week and around 6pm on the weekend.

2. Personal posts are engaging posts

I thought it would be a great idea to share articles, videos and photos that I found valuable, interesting, and/or entertaining. Not my best idea. I have learned that the more personal the post, the more activity it generates.  For instance, last week I was without an Internet connection for half a day (Verizon thankfully showed up to fix the problem very quickly!). I posted about how crappy it is to be without Internet when you work from home, and it generated a lot of engagement, which surprised me.

3. Photos definitely get more attention

You hear a lot about how engaging photos and videos are, and I learned that yes, they are. When I share a photo that I take (rather than one that someone else took), I get higher engagement rates.  I just started using videos last week, so the jury is out on what content is most engaging, as well as when to post it (weekday versus weekend).

4. Editorial schedules help – a lot

I always suggest putting together an editorial schedule, but I didn’t put one together for myself at first, because I wanted to learn what people would find engaging.  Now that I know, I have a partial schedule:

  • Monday: Fun post that has nothing to do with work because I hate Mondays
  • Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday: Share latest GrowSmartBiz blog posts
  • Wednesday: Post something client- or partner-related
  • Friday: Video tip of the week

5. Facebook is not time-consuming

One excuse that small business owners use a lot to justify their non-use of social media is the time commitment. Well, I can say with no uncertainty that this is exactly that–an excuse. If  I added up the amount of time I spend each week deciding what to post on my Facebook page, writing the update, posting, and responding to comments, it would be 30 minutes tops.  That’s 4- 5 minutes a day. Totally doable.

Now that you know how I use Facebook (you can like my company page here), how do you use it? What status updates have you found to be most engaging? If you’re not using Facebook for your business yet, why not?

Image courtesy of socialmediaguy.com

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Marketing, Social Media | 2 Comments »

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the tips, I’m a big fan of the editorial schedule. But I disagree on the “Facebook is not time-consuming” tip. If you’re only spending 4-5 minutes a day on Facebook, how are you responding to people who post on your Facebook page? Responding to a post with multiple comments and following up with answers to questions (which may take research) is something that happens frequently throughout the day. And that’s more then 4-5 minutes a day.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for chiming in! The people who are leaving comments on my Facebook page require only quick responses. So yes, if you have a high level of engagement on Facebook, you might be spending a half hour on it every day – maybe more – but when you’re getting started, you aren’t going to be spending a lot of time on it. It’s more important to get started, get used to posting on Facebook, and then go from there.