Move From Broadcast To Social Engagement With Your Facebook Page

Most organizations are using their Facebook page to broadcast information versus using it for two-way communications.

Missing the Mark With Broadcast Marketing Only

They are missing the mark. They are doing all the talking. They come across as arrogant, egotistical and self-serving. They don’t focus on their customers. They focus on themselves.

These organizations are using old school push marketing techniques. They have yet to adopt the concept of “social.”

Those that continue to post broadcast messages are missing the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships. They are neglecting the chance to listen to and engage their customers. They are overlooking the occasion to connect with their customers and prospects.

This is unfortunate.

With a few tweaks, organizations can integrate social communications with their Facebook Page posts. Listening, asking and conversing with customers are good things. After all the organization exists to serve its customers, doesn’t it?

Four Types Of Posts For Your Nonprofit Facebook Page

Here are four different types of post that your organization can use for your Facebook page.

1. The Announcement

This is what most organizations post to their Facebook Page: a typical announcement of a sale, a service, a product or an upcoming event. The post is a one-way push, broadcast announcement. Most look like this.

With some minor tweaks and creative thinking, the announcement can serve both as a reminder and a chance to engage customers with a question. It could look like this:

Here’s another great example of a broadcast post that also includes a social element.

2. The Resource

Why are your customers coming to your Facebook page? Are you thinking of their needs and sharing good resources with them with your posts?

The resource post is all about them, not the organization. The more you curate useful and relevant content from all the informational noise and post for your customers, the more likely they’ll return to you. You’ll create some loyalty.

Here’s a great example of a resource post that also invites customers to engage with the organization.

3. The Question

Take a look at how Bonsai Interactive artfully asks a question that encourages engagement and discussion.

While it is a close-ended question, it still engages the reader and begs for an answer. This question had 13 responses from readers. That’s good social engagement.

When posting a question, avoid yes-no and close-ended questions. Ask more open-ended questions. Or state your question in a way that engages the reader and makes them want to respond!

Here’s an excellent example of an open ended Facebook question that begs for engagement.

4. Photos and Videos

 People love to see themselves in photos. Upload photos from your current events and tag those that you know. You can always ask people to tag themselves too.

Here’s another example from a nonprofit event.

And post short video clips too. As the Internet becomes more video driven, this will show that you are riding the wave.

Embracing Social On Your Facebook Page

Embracing social media requires a new way of thinking about engaging customers and prospects. It’s a mind shift about encouraging discussion and feedback versus pushing information.

Ultimately, the goal is to engage the participatory culture and make your posts more shareable. It’s all about doing something for others. Sharing resources, tips, deals, articles, recommendations and photos are all behaviors that the Facebook network has the potential to amplify. The stronger the relationships, the more likely they’ll buy your products and services.

What barriers does your organization face with using its Facebook page? Why do you think so many organizations use social media to broadcast information instead of engage others?

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  2. Danielle says:

    Great post Jeff! Thanks for the information, I plan on passing it along.

  3. Jeff – such a great post. What I appreciate most is the way that you take a “typical type” of update and then tweak it every so slightly with concrete examples that show us all how to make it more interactive. One of the biggest challenges organizations do face is this very question of “how.” This offers great examples and I plan to point people to it.

    I think this begs the follow-up question: what does it take to create a participatory environment in the first place? Does there need to be a certain practice of participation for a while, I wonder? I notice that if the organization isn’t used to posting engaging updates on facebook, then it’s difficult to get that participation going for a while.

  4. Amy Pollack says:

    Thank you for this post. Putting the “social” into social media seems obvious but truly is a mind shift for many, particularly those in small organizations with limited staff. Engaging in conversation is time consuming and can be viewed as a chore or one more thing to add to a long list of responsibilities. I think it takes a little bit of convincing for folks to understand what the benefits can be and also to find that it can actually be fun, too! Understanding that “it’s not about me or us,” but rather, what I/we can do for you and with you is key. These conversations can lead to deeper relationships and added value which can translate into measurable results.

    In classic advertising, the goal was to express a product or service’s benefit to the consumer. Merely announcing that a product or service exists is not sufficient. Today’s social media present a new platform to do the same thing; only now the conversation can be two-way, enabling the “advertiser” to truly cater directly to its audience.

    1. Jeff Hurt says:

      Thanks for reading and for sharing! Always appreciate that.

      Always appreciate your insights and feedback. Thank you. Your follow-up question is a great one. Maybe others have some thoughts and ideas for your question, “What does it take to create a participatory environment in the first place?”

      Thanks for reading and providing some valuable thoughts. I like what you said, “…the conversation can be two-way, enabiling the advertiser to truly cater directly to its audience.” Good stuff.

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