To be honest, that’s the question many people have been trying to figure the answer to.
Though I try to keep my blog’s Facebook page fresh and up to date, and post regularly, I will be the first to admit that Facebook is not my first love when it comes to social media. I should rephrase that and say that it’s not my favourite for my own purposes. I do love Facebook for my clients though! I have more enjoyment posting beautiful, amazing, witty, informative Facebook posts from clients’ accounts. I really don’t know why. I suppose I update my personal Facebook regularly because that’s how I connect with my family, friends, old classmates from university and relatives from overseas. I also keep in touch with my former ESL students from when I taught at language schools overseas and in Toronto. My personal Facebook is important to me because that’s how I follow up on what’s going on with family, how quickly my nieces and nephews are growing up and it’s also how I keep family posted on how Little One is doing.
My Life On Manitoulin Facebook page? That’s a completely different story.
You see, Twitter is my first love when it comes to social media. Twitter is my baby. On Twitter, I’ve cultivated relationships and have found community. Relationship building is very important to me because that’s who I am. I’m social and Twitter is all about connecting and nurturing relationships formed.
99% of my social media jobs have come from Twitter.
I know. It’s surprising, isn’t it? From tweeting with people daily and being myself, I have found myself with Community Management and Project Management positions from some amazing clients and well-known brands. I don’t advertise that it’s me behind the tweets. When I’m managing a brand’s Twitter account or Facebook account, I assume the position as the voice of the brand. It’s kind of cool. It’s like going incognito! I love it when people I know tweet or comment on a client’s Facebook page, not knowing it’s me on the receiving end.
In all honesty, I think my Mom still thinks that I blog, get “free stuff” and get paid to write about “things”. It’s a little hard to explain to people what a social media community manager and project manager position entails. Even if I attempt to explain the roles of a social media community manager, friends still say things like “It must be nice to get free things”. Really, what on Earth does “I work in social media” mean? Right?
Anyway, I suppose because I invest so much of my time and energy into my clients’ Facebook pages, I haven’t been as concerned with my own.
The question remains…
What do people REALLY like on Facebook?
What do people want to read? What kinds of stories are people interested in? What posts generate the most engagement? How do you get a Facebook post to go viral?
I was teaching a workshop at a Career Fair earlier on in the year and one of the stories I love telling people about Facebook success was the story of my friend, Julia from Ask Mama MOE.
Julia and I were in Detroit with Ford Canada for the NAIAS 2014. It was an exciting time to be included in something so big. Okay, and all the bright, shiny, beautiful vehicles really had our hearts aflutter.
It happened to also be the unveiling of the new Ford F-150. Julia snapped some stunning photos of a shiny red beauty and posted one on Facebook with the caption “I met my husband’s girlfriend. #FordNAIAS”
What happened next was magical.
Ford shared her post on their social networks, their social media team shared from their accounts, all of us (#FordNAIAS ambassadors) shared it on our social networks…and you can imagine what happened next. We all watched as Julia’s Facebook post received comment after comment, like after like, and share after share.
It was amazing! The numbers on that particular Facebook post kept climbing to the tune of 364 likes, 62 comments and 1,198 shares!
Please tell us how this magic is done!
Several stars had to be aligned for this magic to happen.
- First off, AskMamaMOE is an incredible blogger, social media lady, photographer, wordsmith, and princess to the people. She really is! People love her. How could they not?
- We happened to be at #FordNAIAS and it happened to be the day they unveiled the new F-150!
- Julia’s eye-catching photo and clever text was something that people were interested in. It sparked conversation.
- Her post was shared by Ford Canada, so in turn, all their followers could see her post.
You see, we can look at our Facebook insights, see when our audience is most active, do our research, and post accordingly, but sometimes…just sometimes, we hit that magic moment when all the right elements are present and then it’s magic.
Have I told you how exciting it was to see the numbers keep climbing?
Is this magic guaranteed? Always?
People always ask what the magic equation is for getting lots of views and a post to go viral. I refer them to How-To articles online. I tell them to watch for trending topics and be one of the first to share the news. Do your research, take a look at what’s going viral, check out sites like Buzzfeed, Mashable, and Upworthy. Go to your TRUSTED and RELIABLE news sites like CNN. Remember, not everything you read online is true. Just sayin’! Verify, fact check, verify, site your sources, verify. Have I mentioned to verify to make sure your info is accurate, true and reliable?
Have a clever text, an eye-catching image, a url to click (sending them to your website would be the perfect landing page), etc, etc, etc.
Many people know that there is no EXACT formula for viral posts. Having your posts shared by popular pages or being featured on a popular Facebook page would also be a great place to start! I have friends who are my Pinterest rock stars! Their food photos grace the pages of magazines (in print and online) and they are often featured on popular pages and seen on FoodGawker and the like. Their food photos make you want to reach through your computer screen and grab a bite! Really!
Some Pinterest rock stars whose Facebook pages I think you should follow are:
Stunning imagery, How-To posts, and shares of videos like those amazing Tasty videos are things that interest many. THOSE kinds of posts are the kinds I’ve seen with lots of success in being shared, liked and commented on.
I remember at the most recent BConnected Conference in Ottawa, Dino Dogan, Founder of Triberr told attendees that “Buzzfeed isn’t going to be sharing your posts. Who’s going to be sharing your posts? Your peers are. Those are the people you should be sharing”.
That’s something that has stayed with me long after I attended the conference. There are so many things to consider when curating material for your posts. Who your audience is, timing, making sure your post is interesting and whether you have a post that is shareable (title/hook, great image, clever text, link) are all very important in your digital strategy.
Because I realize we cannot only focus on the things we enjoy best (Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest), and need to put energy toward the things we do not give as much time and energy to (Facebook and Google+ for me), I decided to allot a bit more time toward the latter. Also, since my Life on Manitoulin Facebook following is still fairly small (I only have 3,694 Facebook likers) and because I spend more time managing clients’ pages than my own, I have been trying to decipher what kinds of information people really like on my Facebook page.
Here’s what I’ve discovered
26 Things I Learned About My Facebook Followers.
What I’m going to do may be a bit unconventional. I haven’t shared my Facebook insights with folks before (unless they are required by a PR agency or brand for a campaign wrap-up). I don’t care. My numbers aren’t that high on Facebook, but I will share what some of my posts that readers seemed to have enjoyed. I’ve gained insight (Ha! See what I did there?) on what my audience seems to be interested in. In looking at my Facebook insights, I can hopefully post content people might want to share, like or comment on…in a natural, organic, and authentic way.
Of course, boosting/having paid posts is one way to gain more reach and have more people see your posts, but the purist in me likes to do things organically and authentically. I don’t boost or pay. My numbers are still small potatoes, but I’m okay with that. Plus, this is my personal blog’s Facebook page. It’s not the page of a huge client/brand.
Okay, here are 26 things I learned about Life on Manitoulin’s Facebook likers!
- Two words: Grey’s Anatomy!
2. People really like Game of Thrones.
3. Canada loves Tim Hortons.
4. Humour always wins.
5. Nostalgia. There’s just something about shared experiences that really makes us band together.
6. Nobody likes a bully.
7. People like things they can relate to.
8. What’s the going rate for the tooth fairy these days? Parents want to know.
9. DIY, Crafts and Round-Ups are popular.
10. A little bit of humour can start the day off right.
11. Seriously, people really do not like haters.
14. Monkey see, monkey do.
15. People like quick and easy recipes.
16. OITNB. That is all!
17. Thank you for taking an interest in my bento lunches. Seriously, it makes me happy to see that people like them.
18. People like to observe National Days.
19. People like supporting local and they like supporting good causes.
20. When it comes to the welfare of children, people care about justice.
21. Parenting jokes make us laugh.
22. Kindness matters. It really does.
23. Sometimes you’ve got to put yourself out there. The hardest thing to do is leave yourself vulnerable. Sometimes letting things out is therapeutic though. It also makes you human.
24. Parenting woes and knowing we aren’t alone make us feel better.
25. Many Life on Manitoulin readers like to support Canadian farmers.
26. Most of you really love a story with a happy ending and one that gives you the warm fuzzies.
For those of you who have Facebook pages for your blogs or who manage Facebook accounts for your clients, what are some of the posts you’ve found were most popular? Do you have any Facebook posts that have gone viral? What kinds of posts interest audience most?