Behind every business are the people who run it. Whether the company has one individual working from a dining room table or 1,000 scattered across the globe in multiple office locations, humans are responsible for their company’s success. Alas, most organizations never show their human side when posting on Facebook.
Though it’s common for businesses to have Facebook pages, an estimate suggests that there are about 25 million small business Facebook pages operating; most of them have run-of-the-mill posts that include uninspiring updates such as:
- Links to self-serving press releases and blog posts
- Calls for current “fans” to encourage their Facebook friends to “like” their page
- Announcements of upgrades to existing, and unexciting, products
- Call-to-action sale postings with links to corporate web pages that don’t offer anything interesting to the reader
- Marketing copy accompanied by photos that are clearly stock images with no connection to the company
Can you say yawn?
The essence of the problem is that Facebook, like all social media platforms, isn’t the right forum for the standard propaganda that works within billboards, print advertisements and packaging. Facebook is all about people and that means a company’s posts have to convey an emotional, real context.
Adding a Human Appearance to a Company Facebook Page
First of all, enabling staff members to turn a corporate Facebook page into one that has all the bruises and scars of a regular, old person can be tough for an exec to swallow. After all, the fear always exists that showing the dark side of one’s organization can lead to a loss of revenue.
Secondly, writing in a human way doesn’t come easy to marketers and sales professionals who have learned a certain way to speak to prospects and customers. Facebook often pushes them far outside their comfort zones.
Finally, it can be a challenge for businesses to accept that in order to operate a humanized Facebook page, they’ll need to put more effort into their posting behavior. Rather than being regimented and dull, they’ll be required to spice up every post. Talk about intimidating!
Making Serious Strides on Facebook
Once a corporation, regardless of size, is ready to honestly take a leap of faith and earnestly humanize their Facebook page, rewards await. If this describes your organization, take heed and try one or more of the following ways to begin to pull your brand ahead of your competitor’s via the Facebook machine.
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- Start allowing staff members to post. This isn’t to say that all team players should have this ability, but it’s a great idea to allow others to have access to the corporate page. That way, they can chime in. Make sure they’re encouraged to sign their posts with their names or initials; this can help increase followers because they’ll realize that the posts are honestly written by human beings.
- Stop ignoring comments by readers. Many companies never say “thank you” or “we’re sorry you feel that way” on their Facebook pages and then they wonder why customers stop writing to them! Make Facebook a two-way street, even if it can be tough at times.
- Admit your mistakes when you make them. As long as you aren’t embroiled in a legal battle because of a faux pas, you can post about your errors and then talk about how you corrected them. People like to see companies take responsibility for their actions because it’s a rare thing to do.
- Add some levity to your posts. Facebook is all about humor and fun! Unless your business is so dull that watching paint dry would be more exciting, enable team members to include some silly posts. Being able to laugh at yourself is a huge sign that you’re not going to take yourself too seriously. A great example is the Facebook page for StateCE and Vista College where we can find humanized posts that are relevant to national holidays, philanthropy, and social engagement.
- Cease all use of fake images. Start putting your employees and customers pictures up on the Facebook page – with their permission, of course. Facebook readers want to see people who are real, not models who pose in fake settings.
- Make your “About Us” section on your Facebook page interesting. Please, please, please don’t use a boring template for your business “About Us” entry. Make readers want to learn more by being witty, pithy and sincere.
A company Facebook page needs to have an open and social feel to it. There are many other places to speak in jargon and corporate-ease; the Facebook page isn’t one of them. Use it to showcase the human side of your organization and never fall into the robotic trap of posting “just to post” again.
Note: This post is a guest post from a member of our DMR Insider Community.
Image credit: mkhmarketing via flickr