How to Post Strategic Status Updates

If you are looking to use social media to market your company, brand, product, you name it, you must first understand the dynamics of how people communicate on social networks. The majority of messages posted to social networks are brief messages in text although most contain images or video. Most messages are of a personal nature, and most people respond to more personal posts versus commercial ones.

If your company is building a presence on social networks such as Facebook, you must learn the art of developing strategic, engaging, and effective content. Regularly broadcasting promotional messages can quickly kill conversations and turn people off. Posting useful information, asking questions, and initiating conversations with or responding to your online community are more appropriate and “social.”

In addition to posting, conversations can happen on social networks within the comments made on your updates as well as on other people’s updates. The conversations that grow out of comments are like discussions within online forums or the dialogue that forms on blogs. Stimulating conversations within comments is a way to build better relationships with your customers and prospects. To be effective communicating in social networks, you need to be both strategic and engaging.

What makes a post strategic? Think and plan before you post. Keep your business and marketing objectives in mind. For example, why do you have a Facebook Page? Branding? Customer service? Sales? All of the above? Each objective presents distinctly different messaging approaches.

What makes a post engaging? On Facebook, you can measure general engagement in a number of ways. Someone “Liking” your post is the lowest level of engagement because it takes little thought or effort. A better sign that you've created an engaging update is the number of comments on each update. Engaging posts use visuals to attract more attention and the quality of the content can help generate conversations.

What makes a post effective? Two better signs that a post is effective on Facebook or other social networks are how often it is shared and how many actions it generates. The more your updates are shared, the more chances of brand exposure and actions. Posts that “convert” or that result in an action of some kind are the most effective and usually require a click on a link you’ve included on the post and one more step such as filling out a form or making a purchase.

Effective posts can help drive traffic to other sites where people can more directly interact with your company. Make sure you can track and measure the actions that occur once people leave Facebook and end up on your site or another site.

As the administrator of your Page, you can track and measure post effectiveness using your Page's Insights where you can see metrics including:

Actions on Page – Clicks on your contact information and action button.

Page Views – Number of time people viewed your page and sections within your page.

Page Likes – The number of Likes your Page has received.

Reach – Total number of people who were shown your posts. This does not mean they actually saw them, only that they had the potential to see them.

Post Engagements – Likes, comments, shares and other interactions with your posts.

Video Views – The number of times videos on your Page have been viewed for at least 3 seconds.

There is no single magic formula for effective posts on Facebook Pages. Trying too hard to follow a formula could eliminate the natural rhythms of conversation and online community building. Be receptive, responsive and respectful, and get to know your audience, and you'll be off to a good start.