How to create the perfect Facebook business post

Posts are the face and voice of your Facebook business page. There are several methodologies and tactics suggested by industry leading professionals and ace marketers, but it is easy to get confused with way too many options. It is extremely hard to engage fans with Facebook giving more precedence to content ranking in the newsfeed with regards to one’s family, friends and colleagues. You will have to create some awe-inspiring content to compete with your audience’s birthdays and marriages.This means that you don’t have a lot of time to grab your users’ attention. With your audience checking their social media while waiting in a queue, hanging around for a train, or sitting on the toilet, content that does not provide value simply doesn’t cut it.

At huloo, following some careful research and comparative analysis, we’ve put together some facts and tips to allow you to easily enhance and post the right way!

Let us first take a look at the different formats that your post can take, and this year's most trending and engaging content within each of these. 

1. Links

2. Images

3. Facebook Carousel

4. Videos

1. Links

Links are one of the most popular ways to share content on Facebook seeing as they are easy to copy and paste within the basic editor, and then automate the presence of image and metadata within the post. This information from the website is directly pulled into your basic editor box. 1,200 width x 627 height pixels is the ideal size of the image. Here is more information on the exact specifics.

The disadvantage of using a link is perhaps the fact that reach allocation by Facebook is not so great in terms of growing organically compared to videos and photographs.

2. Images

According to Facebook, as of 2017, the social media site experiences a cascade of at least 300 million photographs everyday! This content asset’s popularity is quite synonymous with links and videos. To make it out of the cacophony and magnitude of photographs within the news feed to stand out, you need to start with uploading images with ideal dimensions - as specified by Facebook - being 1,200 width x 630 height pixels.

However, posting a lot of photos on your Facebook page just because they are one of the more popular content assets can result in Facebook punishing you with low reach. Instead, the trending inclination is now towards video. The best advice when posting this particular content would be to ensure originality and high quality. According to Facebook, text which is longer than 90 characters can be truncated on certain device screens which are rather small like your iPhone or android device. The image should have minimum amount of text, 20% is the recommended weightage in terms of textual presence on an image. You can go here to know more about news feed image size, ratio and character specification.

3. Facebook Carousel

The Facebook Carousel format is a rich way to showcase multiple images and/or videos at once in a single interface on Facebook. This posting option for photos and videos allows you to exhibit a showreel of products, show an enhanced visibility of one product in a panoramic view, tell a story through progressive pictures/videos or make a tutorial of how to in a simple progressive manner.

4. Videos

Facebook reported in its news room last year that there were about 8 billion videos being watched on the social media platform everyday. A video is the most engaging content asset there and consequently Facebook boosts the reach of a video uploaded to it directly over link shares from YouTube or Vimeo. The numbers this year have also risen dramatically given Facebook’s change in the algorithm favouring long length videos with emphasis on completion rate percentage.

Square videos are trending and performing better in terms of engagement more than landscape videos this year. The reason for this would be the rampant use of Facebook on mobile phones. Videos on Facebook are played automatically with audio muted, it’s therefore important to craft videos which prove to be engaging even if their audio is turned off.

Content Curation

It is natural at times to get drained out of fresh content, or it could be a bit time consuming to be able to come up with something new every other day. This is where sharing content from other industry leading experts can pay off well for your brand. Another reason apart from the lack of inspiration and time to curate content is to let your followers know you are updated with the latest trends within your industry by sharing content from that particular industry’s experts, pages or firms. Curation can also be used to showcase something and explain how you are different in the industry. A real life illustration could be when you invite your art enthusiast friends over to an art gallery to see a painting by Picasso. You guys can then discuss if and why you do or don’t like the body of work.

There are some tools and platforms out there which would allow you to do this, helping make life a little bit easier:

Buzzsumo

This is an online platform which allows you to discover the most shared and trending content in a topic category against a custom defined timeline. You can get alerts in your particular topic category, share within buzzsumo or else where while you can also track authors and influencers pertaining to your desired category or content. For example, you can search for trending content about cars - all trending content being shared about ‘Automobile Industry’ across all major social media channels and while also specifying the timeframe, like in the last 24 hours, week or month.

There is a key feature within Buzzsumo called Saved Content. You can bookmark any article that interests you within the Buzzsumo platform and add to a list.

All saved articles using the desired filters can be accessed from the Saved Content tab, you also get a display of insights pertaining to that link

Courtesy of Buzzsumo.com

You can then either choose to share directly from within the list or ‘Buffer’ to post later. If you would like to read it later you can use ‘Add to Pocket’.

Epic Beats/Epictions

Epic Beats is another tool for content curation and content marketing. You can run a basic keyword search within the interface of Epic Beats and obtain relevant content. There are several search options to customise your search query too. A date range can also be set to filter results for refining the search query further. An important feature about Epic Beats is the diverse customisation of search queries and results that can be defined. You can filter results based on content type, format, category and even geography to segregate target audience.

There is a content insights tab within the interface which allows you to gain insights on things like ideal time to publish or share, word-count, best content formats and top domain within an industry.

Image courtesy of Epictions.com

Copywriting

Saying a lot with little

An average adult’s attention span is calculated to be about 8-9 seconds. Consequently it’s important for you to make a distinct impression as your readers are bombarded with a variety of information everyday. Research suggests that readers on an average read about 20-28% of the words in a post or webpage. This means the first few words on your blog need to grab the most attention while being interpolated with whatever media you have alongside your text. All these stats point in the direction of thinking where blogs cannot be confused with posts.

The character limit suggested and backed by research say to tuck it under 50 characters or ideally 40 characters in order to enjoy maximum engagement. Now it would seem a herculean task to accomplish this but we’ve got some short and sweet examples helping show how this can be done.

This Facebook carousel by Michael Kors is just 44 characters long. Notice the appropriate use of a hashtag.

This blog post by Epicurious is just 39 characters long - pay attention to the usage of metadata and attractive title optimisation.

Facebook’s new algorithm gives priority to family and friend’s posts on users’ news feed more than anything else. As a result, you have to aim at writing copy which will provoke them to scroll over their friend’s or family's post to engage with yours.

Tone of Voice

Tone of voice is, in a nutshell, your choice of words, keywords, expressions and attitude. There are specific words and sentence constructions in place that can help build a strong sense of value in the content you present to your audience.

Let us look at some ways in which you can leverage tone to enhance your branding through your Facebook posts. (These are broad examples, for more information please visit here.)

Expert: You would either be a subject matter expert writing content or sharing content from experts, implying your expertise and command over the content at hand. Readers would acknowledge your brand’s authenticity and reliability if the tone communicated is as mentioned above.

Straight: You would employ this tone if your industry is one where you want to quickly establish relations with your viewers and you have to cater to their limited time and attention. You will not beat around the bushes in this manner of tonality. For example, if you are an educational consultant all your posts would point towards a precise deadline for application to colleges or exact course curriculum information.

Friendly: Some organisations have more to benefit from being goofy and more conversationally relaxed in their tone than being straight. This serves if you are in a niche market and trying to create an impression, subsequently creating engagement.

Tonality checklist

- Accuracy

- Anti clickbait

- Quick and easy scroll through the feed

- Explain why something is interesting instead of just saying something is interesting

- Appropriate use of words

Optimal scheduling for Publishing Posts

The statement ‘the best time to post on Facebook is the time when your audience network is on Facebook’ is a very obvious and useless statement. The financial industry often exclaims market timing but on a platform like Facebook, it is appropriate to be concerned of social timing more than anything else. Let us look at first working with accordance to the statement given above, since it is easy to start with and will definitely improve your overall reach.

Posting when your followers are online

Huloo has procured analytics from several large online businesses inclined towards global reach and 24/7 scrutiny. The following are some established facts as of March 2017:

-The highest click through rate (CTR) on Facebook occurs between 1pm and 4pm. There is a peak at 3pm on Wednesdays.

-The least efficient times appear to be on weekends. Before and after 8am, 8pm.

- Photographic posts enjoy 50% enhancement in likes and comments compared to textual posts.

- Videos and Facebook Live enjoy unprecedented ranking in the news feed.

It is also pretty safe to base your decision of scheduling your content on these generic trends as these are the aftermath of Facebook’s latest update in its algorithm. Instead, it’s advised to take the data from Facebook insights and notice your audience’s behaviour pattern, responses and online time periods.

- Click the insights tab on your page’s header

- Go to posts in the side menu to the left. You will find various methods of viewing data and a graph depiction of the peak hours of your fan’s online presence.

There are colossal amounts of data within Facebook insights which help tell you about your fan’s behaviour and responses. This is the ultimate data which should drive all of your Facebook strategies.

Posting when your followers are not online

Have a think about this; ‘posting when your followers are online means fighting through thick competition and gaining lower brand reachability’. Posting in non-peak hours is not a suggestion which undoes what has been mentioned above. Instead, it is a strategy you may like to act upon once you have moved from your humble beginnings of starting out your page on Facebook.

Stats from wiselytics.com give a very interesting insight into the average amount of audience online everyday. The following image depicts average data across 9 pages.

Let us see how we can activate this data:

  • Everyday has just about the same amount of followers online. Most of the pages are experiencing peak on either Wednesday or Thursday. That is now further competition for standing out in the news feed.
  • Likewise is the case of hourly peak hours of either 1pm or 9-10pm. All the competing pages will throw their content at users during these peak hours and days.
  • This means you will have to move away from the concept of when your followers are online and embrace the consideration of space they would have on their newsfeed for your post.
  • This implies that it is not just Wednesday or 1pm but every day and time having potential.
  • With Facebook’s machine learning algorithm, there are several variables at place to consider, such as topics, previous performance of the post and much more, hours and days are just data accumulated out of these variables.

We at huloo have built an omni-channel social analytics and media management tool which would estimate all of this in the most efficient manner for your brand. We combine these factors with our exclusive data (huloo’s holding rights on data) to roll out the best possible times to post.

Hacking the Newsfeed

First, let us look at what the Facebook news feed actually is and how it functions. The news feed, in a nutshell, is the ever updating stories on your homepage for Facebook in which all user networks intermingle to share, view and react to content across the news feed.

The current Facebook algorithm functions on machine learning. Nobody knows the exact dynamics of its working but generally machine learning programs run tests and function depending on the reaction of people to those tests.

That means, if people fancy your content and engage with it, they will see more of it on their newsfeed. This also means if they think your content is pretty ordinary, they will stop receiving further updates of the sort on their newsfeed. The Facebook news feed is basically a grand ‘Facebook’s got talent’ audition for your content and the panel of judges is the audience.

Preferred Audience targeting

This is a great feature by Facebook which allows you to do something you could only do for your ads in the past. Targeting can now be done for your organic posts as well seeing that you would like to filter and restrict viewership with regards to the specific category of audience you are aiming for.

The icon which is situated 2nd from the right side shaped like a crosshair is the preferred target audience option. The beauty of this feature lies in the fact that it allows you to push content towards targeted people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to say. Just think for a second, why would loads of people flock to follow giants like Dell and GM? It could be due to a variety of reasons and some of these people who follow do not have an inkling of interest in the company’s updates or content.

This feature is also very complimentary to your business if you have a long range of products and you want to effectively target content based on user interest and demography.

What small businesses can benefit from this feature is by using the ability to allow and restrict who sees what you post, especially if there is content being posted about a wide variety of things or catering to appropriate/target age groups and gender. Specific location based targeting of audience mingled with all these feature options would allow in a very precise narrowing down of reach.

Let’s take a hypothetical example, if you are a magazine like “Woman's era” which is positioned as a Polish variant for major Australian cities, you may aim at targeting women who speak Polish, above the age of 18 - 65+ within the localities of Melbourne and Sydney.

Content identification and filtration

This process can be a bit time consuming and has the potential to confuse the weighing of options but it would pay off well for your posts to stand tall in the news feed.

Identifying good content involves either checking your Facebook insights page and weeding out the content types which garnered an average reach. Weeding these out would mean not to use or post that sort of content again, but the 1-2% or top content that had performed with better reach and engagement can be reused as part of your campaign in the future. If your Facebook page is relatively new and all of your content is averaging the same or negligibly varying reach, you can experiment with content on another channel before you post on Facebook. Say for example, you use Twitter, you could post multiple forms of content on Twitter - perhaps up to ten tweets a day. Then afterwards, observe what your top tweets are in Twitter Analytics. The formula is that if the content has garnered great engagement on Twitter, it is safe to tailor and utilise on Facebook as well to enjoy great engagement.

Use Original Photographs

Posting photographs is a great way to improve reach and engagement on Facebook. About 80% of the content shared on Facebook comprises of photographs. This shouldn’t make anyone overly surprised seeing that a picture is worth a thousand words.

The use of stock photos renders a low reach by Facebook to start with. The objective of original photographs on your Facebook page needs to be humanisation. People need to know there is a real face that looks, laughs and feels behind the business or brand's Facebook page. These pictures could be anything from your product line, street sights to your pets and employee recreation.

Use high-quality videos

Facebook wants to compete with YouTube. Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm is definitely aimed at rewarding multimedia more than any other content asset, with organic reach, but only if the content is uploaded directly to the site.

Stats say that about 85% of the videos on Facebook are viewed with mute turned on. It therefore makes sense to craft videos which make sense when watched without audio. The aid of prominent and apt typography accompanied with visual narrations or depictions really does the trick. For example, buzzfeed’s baking recipe is adhering to the things mentioned above.

Rye Clifton, director of experience at GSD&M says “If you can make something compelling without needing people to turn the audio on, you’re ahead of people who are not thinking that way.” It goes without saying that this stands true only if the content is made for Facebook.

It is important to include large text, have the beginning of the video start with something that causes intrigue and is eye catchy. Then, keeping in mind the shallow attention span that is prevalent these days, it is important to keep the video short and snappy.

Facebook live is another great feature Facebook has to offer. Public figures, pages and people can share instantaneous video content. Broadcasting as such allows your brand a dynamic and authentic connection with your audience. It goes without saying that after the completion of the broadcast you can reuse this content within your marketing stint. Live videos appear on the broadcaster’s profile and news feed. As well, Facebook have recently updated their newsfeed to give higher priority in terms of rank to live videos.

To post to Facebook live from your phone you can follow this directive: (Alternatively you can use this link from your desktop or other devices.)

- Tap upon “What’s on your mind?” it appears to the top of your news feed in your facebook app.

- Tap the Live Video icon (the camera icon with an eye inside it).

Note: It is recommended to write a description for your live video so people will know what it is about, you can also choose to skip this weighing the situation at hand.

- You can then choose an audience for your video, public, friends and so on.

- Tap ‘Go Live’ to commence your live broadcast.

- You can cease the broadcast by tapping on ‘Finish’.

Note: The maximum time limit for a Facebook live broadcast is 4 hours. 

Prominent and objective call to action

A clear communication of your objective and what you want your audience to do is what your ‘call to action’ (CTA) is all about. You will find your page’s CTA beneath your cover image. Choosing the right call to action for your page will drive people from Facebook to your website, contact you or book your services. The options range from buttons like ‘Shop Now’, ‘Sign Up’ and ‘Download App’ and many more.

In order to add a call to action button to your page you need to have the page role of an admin, editor, moderator or advertiser. You can add a call to action button by going through the steps mentioned below:

- Click +Add a Button underneath your page’s cover image

- You will have to choose from the drop down menu’s options like ‘Book services’ or ‘Get in touch’ and fill in the required information. This could be giving your website URL and so on.

- After locking down a choice you can then click ‘Add Button’ You can always test and make changes or delete your CTA  button by hovering over it.

Note: It is not advised to have so much text within your ad copy as shown in the example above. Most users will be overwhelmed by content and skip over it. This has been purely used for the purpose of illustrating a CTA.

Non-salesy Content

Pushing products relentlessly and urging people to buying them on your Facebook business page would be a great turn down for your audience. Especially if the product’s value is questionable and there is pressure, you are bound to attract a negative reaction. At the end of the day, nobody wants to buy something they do not need after having it shoved into their face. There are stats in place that say people would like to know about a product and read about it before they make the purchase. This means your audience on Facebook would like you to educate them towards a purchase, not tell them ‘Hurry buy this and that and something else before the deal ends’.

Great marketing is always showing people what they need to see rather than the effort to create an artificial intrigue or want. The objective is to find out what your audience wants and provide it to them. On Facebook, you can easily know what your audience is thinking by posting posts which end as questions and then responding to their comments.

Objectives of the post

A generalised objective of your Facebook post would be to create engagement with your audience. Why should you do this? When you engage Facebook users, your reach increases. There is a method to this in place and you cannot randomly post something and expect engagement. When you lack a clear path, the best thing to do is to make one.

Your critical methodology would be towards pre-defining actions you want your audience to take, which would have a specific impact on your business. These could range from subscribe, like, comment, share, book, contact, buy, educate and inform or just know what your audience is thinking. These are certain types of content you would like to utilise using Facebook for Business in order to accomplish the above mentioned objectives.

- Post questions which would be easy to answer and by this you can create engagement. You can even experiment with asking sentimental or emotional value questions like ‘What was the best investment decision you took in your life’. They could also be a ‘fill in the blank’ variants which would render an immediate response.

- Funny posts have a charm that enchants most of the audience on Facebook, helping accomplish your objective of ‘shares’ in an effective manner. They can or cannot relate to your business or industry. Posting personal pictures which would exclaim your activities or interests to your audience serves for humanising your brand.

- Motivational, philosophical or other miscellaneous quotes in general are great tools to serve information to your audience quickly. This establishes your brand’s take on certain things too.

- Articles and blogs leading to helpful or interesting information is another ripper of a content asset to post as this cements objectives like educating and informing.

Interesting ad copies with a well configured mix of all the above mentioned content types, information about your service and a specified line expressing what the audience needs to do will see to it that your objectives are met. There are numerous ways of achieving engagement on Facebook, the question to be asked before posting is simple - will I engage with this post?

Power Editor for Posts

Power editor is a very powerful tool as the name suggests for advertising, campaigns, post objectives and omni channel analytics over Facebook advert campaigns. For now, let’s look at creating a page post in the power editor.

Click here to get access and install the plugin.

The power editor at first can look a little daunting but it’s quite easy to navigate through. Overall, it’s an intuitive tool that takes a little bit of getting used to. You can create a post in the power editor in the following manner:

- Go to power editor from the link mentioned above. (You can alternatively type facebook.com/powereditor

- Click on the hamburger icon to the top right corner, a menu will drop down.

- Click page posts from the menu

- In page posts choose either ‘Ads posts’ or ‘Published posts’

- Click on Create Post

- You will get a window which allows you to fill in loads of custom detail information and targets. You can fill in the details for the post here.

- You can then choose whether the post will be an ad or is to be published on your page.

- Click the Create Post button

- The post will not publish to your page directly. Instead, the post will appear in your lists of posts in the power editor. You will have to click on the action drop down menu icon beside the search.

- You can then click publish if you want to post it immediately or you can schedule it to publish at a later date and time.

Basic Editor for Posts

There are lots of things you can do while posting. Let’s take a look at the basic editor for posts.

You can upload an image from your file system/hard drive by clicking the icon to the far left on the bottom row, the one that looks like a camera.

An interesting and funny feature can be the emoji, which is the icon next to the camera that looks like a smiley, upon clicking it you can add a feeling to your post. For example you can post something like “Feeling happy after the first round of funding for our company” after selecting the feeling option from the menu that cascades down. There are other variants such as remembering, drinking and travelling. It is recommended to use this to add flavour and fun to your post sometimes.

The icon to the right of the emoji is for check-in location updation. You can give the location from where you are posting or add the location pertaining to the content within your post.

The option to the far right is for tagging products, this is a very effective maneuver if you are listing products or talking about a new release.

When you are ready just click Publish.

If you click on the drop down arrow beside Publish you will see other stuff like Schedule, Backdate and Save Draft.

You can schedule to release your post at a particular time and/or date. Metrics suggest the best times to publish are in the afternoon and the night at about 9-10pm.

To backdate a post is to change the timing of it to an earlier period. You would use this if you want to have your content in accordance with your timeline’s order.

Save as draft allows you to not yet publish a post live. You would use this if you are waiting on something or are unsure of the schedule to publish. You will see the drafts menu below the publish editor on your page.

Posts as content stories

A post can never stand alone as the perfect material on Facebook as it needs to belong to a strategy which narrates a story. This goes with the philosophy of a click being a decision and a scroll being continuity.

Continuity in narration has been a very popular, time and tested marketing approach. Think about the comic strips that appear in popular newspapers or magazines, they stand a much better chance at maintaining viewer retainership by releasing one episode or instance within the comic strip compared to releasing an essay comprising the whole comic. Curiosity, intrigue and the interest for what is concealed drive a mind towards dedicatedly pursuing things.

While there is no need to pursue this aggressively since the focus of Facebook content ranking within the newsfeed has shifted towards video more than anything else, it is good to utilise this as a practice within your content strategy on your Facebook page.

For example:

Lego has utilised the aspect of their fluidity in terms of block construction with their Lego blocks to showcase how a variety of models can be constructed.

Consistency in terms of posts takes a brand’s image miles ahead towards progress. It does not suffice to create memorable and engaging content and forget about posting again for sometime basking in the glory of the content created. To keep fuelling the expectation of your audience, it is important to observe dedicated consistency in posting. There are numerous ways to stay in schedule with Facebook posts, one could be to manually schedule them or use a tool like huloo to sign up for a content scheduling!

Summary:

- Identify and deploy great content assets like Link, Image, Facebook Carousel & Video.

- Use tools like Buzzsumo and Epicbeat for content curation.

- When writing ad copy or any posts in general, keep it below 50 words.

- Preferred Audience targeting, content identification/filtration, original photography, videos, clear call to action, non-salesy content and Facebook insights, scrutiny are key in standing out within the competitive newsfeed.

- Define your objectives before posting.

- Include content stories and maintain consistency for a great content strategy.