Don't Be a Square: 3 Surefire Ways to Succeed at Social Media

Given that Facebook is increasingly saturated with marketers and advertisers (many of whom do it badly), you'll never be at a loss to find examples of what works and what doesn't right there in your own newsfeed. 'Friend' like-minded organizations who do it well. And watch them. It's no different than reading the greats to figure out how to not suck at writing. You'll also never be at a loss to find webinars, blogs, and books shouting that they'll help you rock at social. But what's true? A lot actually, but in my experience, there's no tried and true formula for ratcheting up the traction your Facebook posts. It varies! While posting at specific times of day is said to be key, so much of the information available on this is conflicting at best. Here are my top three, experience-gleaned takeaways:

Pay attention to your image: Never underestimate the power of the infographic. In addition, finding relevant quotes and gorgeous images to share via your page (even if you didn't create them, or you spend an hour a week scouting them out on Pinterest) will not only boost 'likes' and interaction with your base (cementing your status as alive and well in their newsfeed), it's a great way to create reciprocal relationships with other similarly-spirited Facebook pages. Tag them and thank them when you share the image. It might just land you on their radar. If it's done respectfully, imitation really can be the best form of flattery. And who doesn't love "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours?"

Really feel out your community: Take the time. Different communities want different things. Who are they? While Facebook's analytics aren't exactly boss, there's a lot of interesting stuff there to look at. Getting to know your demographic in this way will often surprise you. But moreover, watching what they really respond to and what gets them buzzing may seem like a no-brainer, but few people really take the time to do it. In addition to engaging with your community regularly and asking them to engage back, here's the major thing I've learned.

Stop being so damn serious: Seriously. If you want to stand out and you can afford to, show a little leg. Stuffy posts using formulaic pitchy-ploys to grab your audiences attention often fall flat. It's the "blah, blah, blah" effect. People are over it. I'm not advocating that you be vulgar or offensive. Honestly, having an edge within a certain modicum of creativity and class can be a hard line to tow. But when you do it right, it works amazingly well. From time to time, remind your audience that they can let their hair down with you. Who said it was your great grandmother's internet? Of course, don't overuse it, lest it gets tired, but implementing these moments like punctuation within an epic ongoing social conversation? Absolutely.



*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.



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