Cat Got Your Tongue? Five Ideas for Fan Page Updates

Facebook is like a virtual cocktail party. There are some people in your network that you know well; others you don’t. One of the most written-about topics when it comes to social media, especially Facebook, is what one should write in her status updates. With fan pages, it becomes even more troublesome. How do you write in a tone that is both conversational yet true to the brand? Too often, brands resort to simple selling and promoting. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Do you want to log on to your Facebook page (aka virtual cocktail party) and have a sales guy hawking his wares in your newsfeed?

I didn’t think so.

Those in the trenches of social media often advise keeping your fan page newsfeed in the 80/20 ratio: 80% conversation, 20% selling. Some professionals prefer a more lenient 50/50 ratio. Whatever range you go with, here are five ideas for the days when you are feeling conversational:

1. Give them the facts. A jeweler might want to post some interesting tidbits about diamonds or other gems. “Did you know that crushed diamonds are often used in mineral-based makeup?” People like to be educated and informed, even on trivia. Don’t make your update a micro-course in biology, but don’t be afraid to inform, either, especially if it is unusual and interesting information.

2. Ask them a question that begs for an quick answer. Ask questions that are fun for readers to respond to, but don’t require them to write a book. You’ll get more responses. Blackberry asked readers what was their New Years Resolution. They got a hearty response rate with most people just giving one resolution. If they had asked them to “share you top five highlights from 2009,” they may have not gotten as much interaction, because people need to first think of five actual highlights, and then they have to describe those highlights. It could get messy or convoluted, or the prospect of simply spending all that time on Facebook may bore them so they move on. Like most things in life, keep it simple.

3. Tie an update into a current event, and throw in a product shot. iPhone (or Blackberry or any competitor) could upload a shot of their product, then write, “Our iPhone 3G would have come in handy for Lindsey Vonn: she could have texted all her pals as soon as she won the Gold.” Take it a step further and ask for interaction. “What would she text?” Experiment a little with ideas to see what works, and keep it fun.

4. Use your Fan Page to answer consumer questions. Every day, client services teams field questions from customers. Use some of the broader ones as a point of conversation on your wall. “We recieved an interesting question from a client the other day . . .” then briefly explain the question and give a quick (but useful!) answer.

5. Give them something to watch. Funnyordie and youtube are rich with videos that may relate to your field in a comical way, or, may just be extremely viral and worth posting. It doesn’t have to be a funny clip either: if it’s relevant to your product and may educate your fans in some way, post it. Give credit where credit is due, of course.

Don’t be afraid to be imaginative, keep it simple, and take a few risks with your content: provocative posts (within reason) often get the best responses. If Facebook can sometimes be like a virtual cocktail party where you mix and mingle, then just like you would at a real party, get out there an have some fun!

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