In small businesses, employees (if there are any) are often forced to wear many hats…one of which is managing your social media channels. Unfortunately, coming up with Facebook post ideas will make you crazy when you’ve got 1,000 other things to do. It’s frustrating. It’s stressful. You worry about what to post today, tomorrow and next week and you’ve got about 45 minutes to get it done before you have to do your real job. It shouldn’t be that hard.
Well, there’s good news! With this list I’ve created, it isn’t that hard…..
I decided to jot down all the things a small business might post about….all to help others just like you. Ok, not really…I did it for myself. But, I hope you find it useful too. Keep this list of post ideas handy and you’ll never be sitting there staring at your computer on Monday morning asking yourself, “What the #### am I going to post today?!”
1) Company Events or News:
These are the types of posts that allow your fans to see behind the scenes and really get to know the people behind your company name.
• Post pictures from your employee softball game, company banquet, or company holiday party.
• Announce new employees or location changes.
• Celebrate employee birthdays or milestones with the company.
All the cool kids run contests. You can run it straight from your timeline or through a 3rd party app site like shortstack.com, tabsite.com, or woobox.com. However you choose to do it, you will certainly fill up some posts promoting it.
Types of contests you can run:
• Photo Contest – Best photo wins OR photo with the most Likes wins OR winner chosen at random
• Caption This Photo – Best caption wins OR caption with the most likes wins OR winner chosen at random
• Like This Post – Winner chosen at random
• Comment on This Post – Winner chosen at random
• Like and Comment on This Post – Winner chosen at random
• Fill-in-the-Blank – Best answer wins OR answer with most Likes wins OR winner chosen at random
• Q&A – All correct answers get entered into contest and winner chosen at random
• The list could go on and on……
3) Caption This Photo:
No contest….just ask for engagement in the form of captions.
4) Ask Questions:
Again, no contest, just ask questions….Polls, multiple choice, fill in the blank, true or false, etc.
5) Ask for Advice:
Let’s clarify this one. Pleeeeease do not ask your fans what you should have for lunch. We all have to see those people in our personal news feeds. No one cares. Ask things that matter or atleast things that make people feel like they are contributing to something. The whole idea is to get your fan base involved and engaged…
• For restaurant owners: Tell fans you are going to run a special this weekend and need help deciding which entrees to include.
• For a Dentist Office: Tell your fans about your remodeling project at the office and need opinions on a color scheme….one that might make going to the dentist a little less miserable.
6) Create a #hashtag Discussion:
(and be ready to monitor it) All the big dawgs do this, but so can the peanut gallery.
• If you’re a local dance studio promoting your week long dance camp “Gettin Jiggy With It – 2013”, encourage your fans to post their favorite dance style <with their friends> including #gettinjiggy2013 to get a feel for what your customers want to see and learn at the camp. I hope that’s not what you call your camp, but you get my point.
7) “How to ________”:
Pretty self-explanatory…..no one knows your industry like you do (ok, maybe some people do). But you have a wealth of knowledge that is probably second nature to you….share it!
• How to Change Your Own Oil, How to Identify a Real Diamond, How to Build a Birdhouse, How to Bake a Moist Cake, How to Do the Perfect Pushup.
Sharing is caring…..atleast that’s what my 5-year-old tells me. Do it.
8) Client Testimonials:
Ask for them and post them! They don’t have to be 15 page PDF’s…..just a couple of sentences about why you or your company is awesome.
So many options here, so little time… My 2 cents here is that you may want to pick 1 or 2 types that you want your business to be identified with and go with them.
• Inspirational quotes
• Quotes by industry experts
• Favorite quotes of employees
• Funny quotes
10) Sporting/Special Events:
Unless you live under a rock, you know when the Superbowl, NBA Championship and World Series are going on. Try to find a way to relate your business to the event (even loosely) and post it. And if you can’t do that, post about it anyway. It’s ok to post off topic things just for fun once in a while.
Don’t forget about local events in your community like fairs and carnivals, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, etc. You also have things like Fashion Week, Black Friday or my all time personal fav….Shark Week! (It’s a bad week to be a seal.) You don’t necessarily have to be a fan, but if your fans are fans of it, it is worth recognizing.
11) Holidays/Nationally recognized tragedies:
Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, St. Patty’s Day, 9/11, etc.
In regards to tragedies, you’re only recognizing out of respect. Nothing more. Don’t even think about trying to gain something from one of these posts. It’s in very poor taste.
12) Good causes you support:
Autism Awareness, St. Judes, Breast Cancer Awareness….maybe even change your cover image or logo to pink in honor of it??? Maybe you even raise money for a charity…..tell people and ask them to join in your efforts. It shows people who you are.
13) Fill in the Blank:
“I hate people because ______________.” Kidding…..probably not a good idea. As a mechanic, maybe you would post, “The biggest challenge I face with maintaining my truck is ____________.” And then reply with tips in the comments to help them solve their problems.
14) Meet the Employees:
People do business with PEOPLE, not companies. Someone may dig that your Warehouse Manager, Hugh Cumber, (not even kidding….this is a real name…Google it) sports a Mohawk and plays hockey in his spare time. Or how about your Office Manager, Anita Knapp, (still not kidding) who brings in donuts for the whole office every Friday?
You will, of course, be limited to what your employees are and are not willing to share. But, have fun with it. The shared info doesn’t have to be personal.
15) Industry News, Tips, and Best Practices:
White papers, press releases, and links to articles or blog posts from other resources in your industry are great. However, sometimes the blog links don’t get quite as much engagement with the auto-generated preview. You may be better off posting a tip or 2 that you made up yourself with a fitting picture. And if you want to post others’ links, try posting just the link <no preview> and then an actual image from the blog or your own image. You’re still sharing the link to the content…..you’re just making it a little more visually appealing.
16) Social Buzz Words:
These things have taken on a life of their own (just for fun). TBT (Throw Back Thursday), Wacky Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Hump Dayyyyy (can’t get that Geico camel out of my head), Funky Friday…
17) Case Studies:
Success stories of people using your products and/or services are priceless! Much like testimonials, case studies take it a step further and really dive into one person’s story. They may take a little more time than your average post, but make a blog post out of it as well and kill 2 birds with one stone. Maybe even do it in video form???
18) Promote Your Products and Services:
Specials, discounts, etc. Be VERY careful…..only 20% of the time….if that. Social networking etiquette says you should post good content that benefits your audience atleast 80% of the time. The other 20% can be used for tasteful self-promotion.
That’s all I’ve got….for now! Do you have any other Facebook post ideas you think should be added to this list? I’d love to hear them in the comments below…
By Kelly Gretzinger
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