Facebook status updates

Facebook has been around for 10 years now since it launched in 2004. It’s almost hard to remember what life was like pre-Facebook! Now we can update our Facebook status and communicate with all of our friends and family at once, or offer a discount coupon on a Facebook business Fan Page and begin seeing results in minutes.

You’re likely to get into a rut when using your Facebook status update to market your business because you do what comes easy for you. Resist the urge. Evaluate your page’s Insights and see what type of content results in the highest reach and engagements. Facebook provides detailed statistics on your page engagement under the admin panel. Do more of that.

You may need to experiment with some different types of content than you are used to posting on your Fan Page status. It’s more important than ever to post quality content because Facebook has gradually reduced its organic sharing of posts since 2006. On December 5, 2013, it announced that it was changing its algorithm again to “show the right content at the right time,” which meant that even fewer organic posts would be showed.

The number of times your content is viewed is influenced by factors such as the number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular, and how much fans have interacted with this type of post in the past. This means that now you really have to work to get “free” Facebook status update views.

Of course Facebook isn’t saying this, but the obvious reason for the algorithm change is that they’re pushing brands toward its advertising as an alternative way of getting more eyes on posts. The easiest way to promote your Fan Page is through boosted posts. After you have your credit card information logged in, it’s simple to click “boost post” on an individual Facebook status update and get thousands of additional views.

You can either boost the post and allow Facebook to select the audience (“friends of friends”) or get more granular with your audience and drill down by selecting demographics such as cities, ages and various keyword descriptors, such as “small business,” “chamber of commerce” or “medical.”

Several times a month I select particular blog post links I want to boost and spend $30 each to boost my Facebook status updates. Within 24 hours, a boost will results in anywhere from 5,ooo to 10,000 views vs. a couple of dozen organic views. Of those views, I’m likely to get about 20-25 clicks on my link, 30-35 clicks on my post and 5-6 “likes” on the post. Those link clicks have brought me several new leads, so it’s definitely been worth the money.

Try these Facebook status updates

So, what are some different types of Facebook status updates that you might want to try?

1) Questions: You want to engage your fans, and questions are a great way to do that. But don’t just ask general questions, ask questions that relate to your business. One of the best I’ve seen at this is Jim Hicks Home Improvement, who not only uses the technique on his Fan Page, but also on his personal Profile Page. He posts photos of beautiful rooms and then asks questions such as, “What do you like most about this mud room?” and “What’s the best element in this before and after kitchen remodel?” His friends rush to comment on his updates.

2) Content from your website or blog: As I mentioned above, I post a lot of links to my blog posts on Facebook. It’s a great way to promote your blog. But don’t forget about your website, as well. If you’ve got new products, new employees or sales to announce, go ahead and post those, too.

But here’s the caveat. The majority of your Facebook status updates should not be sales-focused information. You should remember the 80/20 rule. About 80 percent of your posts should be helpful information from multiple sources. If you provide helpful or entertaining content most of the time, then your fans will let you get away with the occasional sales-y or promotional status update. Just don’t overdo it.

3) Coupons: Research shows that offering coupons with “$ off” produces twice the engagement of “% off.” Even if the actual dollar amount is small, fans prefer the cash discounts.

4) Facebook status updates that include a single image generate 120 percent more engagement than the average post. A cool way to add photos is to use PicMonkey to add text to your photos before uploading them to make them stand out.

5) Run contests, promotions, drawings or sweepstakes: Until recently, you had to use a third-party app to do this. Facebook changed the rules in August 2013 and began allowing businesses to run their own promotions by changing their page terms. Just be sure you follow the rules to a T. This article explains really well what you can and can’t do.

6) Behind-the-scene-look: This works really well, especially if you are in a “glamour” industry such as media. Show “a-day-in-the life”-type photos and content that usually only employees get to see. A similar type of content is “before-and-after” shots of makeovers — whether you are a hairdresser, dog groomer or a house remodeler.

7) Posts about your favorite charity: Not only is it helpful to the charity, it shows that your business is community minded. You can even combine your Facebook promotion with your social responsibility by challenging the Facebook community to help you reach a certain level of “likes” by a given date, and in response you will make a donation to the charity. For example, if breast cancer awareness is your cause, you might challenge your fans to help you reach 5,000 “likes” by the end of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and you will give $1 for each “like” you receive.

These are just a few ways to think differently about the content you are sharing on your Facebook status updates. There are many creative communications tools you can integrate into your social media strategy if you plan your approach rather than waiting until the last minute to figure out what you are going to post. The best way to do this is by setting up a content calendar a month at a time so that you’ll know in advance what you are doing from one week to the next. At the end of each month, use your Facebook Insights to analyze what worked, then rinse and repeat.

Your Facebook status updates are just one factor in creating great marketing that people will love. Download our FREE report and we’ll tell you how to use all your social media and your website to the kind of marketing that will attract raving fans that will convert into customers.