In the first part of Planning for Facebook we covered the importance of organizing your status updates according to categories of information. This approach helps you streamline your posting activities and takes the stress out of the question ‘What shall I post about on Facebook today?’. We also covered three possible informational categories: Affirmation, Knowledge and Emotion.
In the second part of Planning for Facebook, we will explore four more categories: Invitation, Promotion, Seasonal and Visualize. They will also help you organize your business and creative information in clear and logical streams for quick and engaging updates when you need to catch your Facebook likes attention.
A Facebook page is a channel for two-way communication. Don’t just post a status update after a status update talking about yourself. Show that you care about your likers and invite them to share things with you. Give them a chance to engage with you by asking open-ended questions, by encouraging them to comment and by interacting with them. Even a quick and simple status update along the lines of: ‘Hello, everyone. What are you up to on this beautiful Saturday morning?’ may attract a record number of replies and make your Facebook wall a lively hub of activity. So, express an interest, extend an invitation to chat and be part of a group. Some of the topics you can cover under this category are:
- ask your likers about their day – has anything exciting happened to them,
- invite your likers to share something with you – a story, an anecdote, an interesting resource, a link to an exciting blog,
- ask for recommendations and personal opinions on a topic of interest to you,
- ask your likers for advice,
- stimulate a friendly and ongoing banter every now and then,
- engage your likers by mentioning things of interest to them – ideas for birthday presents, recommendations for colour combinations that may suit a particular face or shape and so on,
- thank your likers for their ongoing support.
As a business person your most important task is to ensure the continued success of your business. For this you need to make sales, so don’t shy away. You don’t have to be direct about it – this is not the point of a Facebook page, however you can think creatively and develop a schedule of promotions and customer service events. Think ahead month by month and jot down any offers you can make. Then promote them on your wall. A status message along the lines of: ‘It’s Cyber Monday and only today we are giving a free strand of beads with every order! Please help us spread the word’ catches the attention and stimulates the bargain-hunter in each one of us. So, go ahead, plan and promote in a fun and engaging way:
- organise a regular competition held at a particular time,
- promote your newest designs and products,
- indicate any special postage fees – free posting or capped posting fees,
- ask your likers to mention you on their blog, Facebook page or other social media and give an incentive or a reward to the most creative mention,
- organise a raffle,
- ask likers to send you pictures of them using your designs,
- ask for feedback and give your likers the option to post product reviews.
Seasons come and go and with them a steady succession of celebrations and holidays. Some of them are personal (birthdays, christenings and other milestones) whilst others envelope us all in the spirit of good-will and carefree happiness (Christmas, bank holidays and so on). So, align your business information flow with the seasons and make a list of any seasonal events which directly affect your designs and practices. A status message along the lines of: ‘Christmas is my most favourite time of the year! The snow, the presents and the goodwill inspire my work. This is when I create my most personal designs’ can make your approach more personal and individual than a simple mass produced item which you pick off the shelves of a department store. So, embrace the seasons and align your business with them:
- post holiday-related status updates – wish your likers a ‘Merry Christmas!’ and a ‘Happy Easter!’,
- talk about birthdays and other personal celebrations which pinpoint our way through life,
- develop an incentive scheme for presents bought from you – from a free gift wrap to a beautifully handwritten card,
- mention your holiday-specific pieces – a Christmas-themed bracelet or a St. Valentine’s heart,
- share how a holiday makes you feel ,
- post an update about a seasonal craft event you will be attending,
- think outside of the box and mention non conventional holidays, like First Spring, a local festival, a famous writer/artist day.
A picture is worth a thousand words! So, don’t forget to post images and photos to make your Facebook wall an attractive and eye-pleasing place. Think about how you scroll down your Facebook feed. If you are anything like me, you will be skipping through the long and winding text status updates whilst your eye will be invariably caught by beautiful and emotive images. You will even click on these and then like them or comment. So, start taking photos and posting them on your wall. And I don’t mean just of your products and designs:
- take photos of your booth at craft fairs you attend,
- take photos of the different stages of your creative process – people are fascinated by the ‘making’ of a piece,
- capture on camera a beautiful view from the window of your studio and share it with your likers,
- share an image of a beautiful sunset which inspired your latest design,
- go for a walk by the sea and take photos of shells and wild waves, then use them to explain the creative forces raving in you,
- post street style photos of your designs – worn by real people in real situations (don’t forget to ask for a model release).
After your categories have crystalised, you can keep referring to them in times when the question ‘What to post about on Facebook today?’ starts to swirl incessantly in your mind. Or you can go a step further and develop a posting schedule alternating the different categories of information.
Having a Facebook page is a fun way to maintain a relationship with your likers and clients and to tell them about your business in an engaging, social way. So, enjoy it and take the stress of regular posting out of it. Don’t forget to stop by SilverSense’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SilverSenseLondon ) and say hi. We love to chat away!
Rossi combines her love for crafts, jewellery and beads with her interests in languages and communication. She runs SilverSense (www.silversense.biz) – a dynamic jewelry making supplies company providing you with gorgeous gemstones, freshwater pearls and Czech glass beads. Please connect with SilverSense on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SilverSenseLondon), Twitter (@silversense1) and on Google+ (https://plus.google.com/100194574406489853972/posts).