Social media platforms are always evolving, perhaps none more so than Facebook.
As writers in this medium, we must evolve with it. Every community is different, as is every brand. But there are a few tips I can offer to other social media managers that will help improve your craft.
Before you can talk to a community you have to understand and embrace how they talk about you. Your community should inform your voice and your content (to an extent). Check Tumblr, check Instagram, check Pinterest. See how people talk about your brand and use that to inform your writing.
2. Write to one action.
You either want your fans to “like,” share, comment, or click your link. There's no way you can expect them to take more than one action on it so don’t try. Look at your post and determine what you’re trying to get your community to do—what action are you trying to spur? If there’s more than one thing, it can get too confusing. Keep it simple.
3. Your copy shouldn’t be confined to the “Write something ...” box.
The best Facebook writers spruce up pictures and infographics with clever copy. Infographics don’t need to be these long images riddled with stats and graphics. The busier ones tend to be ignored on Facebook. You can have the most riveting infographic in the world, but if it takes too much thought or too much time, it will get lost. If your infographic can’t fit in a 400 x 400 jpg, there may be too much info.
4. Give inspiration before you ask for action.
These posts are where you can establish your voice and the lifestyle of your brand. If you want your community to post photos, you have to show and ask. Show them the types of photos you want to see on your page, and ask them to do the same. Although it’s not always a given that they will, so be ready to adjust accordingly.
5. If it feels a bit forced, your community will think it’s definitely forced.
Often when you manage communities there will be messages that you have to work into your content plan: sponsorships, contests, brand support pushes, etc. These won't always be a natural fit with the lifestyle content that you normally push out. If you have to shoehorn some of these messages, push to make sure they're in line with the brand's voice, tone and overall approach. Similarly, in your regularly scheduled posts you'll often find that when you're trying to force engagement it will feel inauthentic. Your audience will recognize lapses in authenticity and your engagement will suffer for it.
6. Standard tenets of good writing still apply.
Just because the people who comment on your page fail to use the proper versions of your/you’re and there/their/they’re doesn’t mean you can.
7. Experiment, measure, respond.
The more chances you take with your writing on Facebook, the more you can use metrics to understand what type of writing works with your community. And then the better you’re able to write to that end.
8. You’re only as good as your next post.
Any writer should continually strive to improve his or her craft. When it comes to writing for any social platform, you can’t rest on laurels. After every post that falls flat, you should ask, “How can I make this better?” Similarly, after every successful post you should ask, “How can I make this better?”