Social Media 101 – Step 6: More Facebook Strategies…

luxOk, maybe this is a little more of Step 5(a), but as you’ve probably gathered, I can get a little long-winded. Most folks won’t hang with me long enough to allow me to carry on and beleaguer the point even further. Now, keep in mind that I like to hear and tell a good story – but today, I will get to the point – in a minute.

I guess my love of stories comes from growing up in the home of a musician. My father, bless his crazy soul, is a musician (available for wedding, bar-mitzvahs and playing just about anywhere*) and as such, he had some crazy friends. Some of them were crazy in the sweet, fun sort of Shel Silverstein way. Others, I’m convinced, were a hop skip and a jump from full time murderous rampages using cocktail forks – but, I digress (per my usual.)

There were always people around (in our house, smoky taverns, recording studios, emergency rooms,etc.,) or I was always around said people, who told these stories. Some really cool, some really bad, many set to music, some set to screaming and yelling. I fell in love with stories and story telling. Everyone’s got a story, even if it’s confusing and ultimately surreal to little boys. Dylan-esque stories, beer-filled rants, incoherent gibbering, deeply personal and incredibly shallow conversations – I grew up on them, and they still feed my imagination. Man, I do love a good story.

What’s your point, James? Get to it, man…

Ok – the point is if you build a compelling story on Facebook, people will dig it – and they will come back to hear a little more of the story. How do you do that? Well – you gotta decide who and what you are, who and what your audience is, and what they (and you) are looking for and expect. You know – all that crap that we talked about in the first few steps (you DID follow those first few steps, right?) If you build a compelling story, using compelling content, you have a better chance of “Going Viral,” which is really the name of the game. If you have 2000 followers sharing that story with 120 people (the average number on Facebook) – well, you do the math. That’s what you’re looking for in all of this – and that’s the real power of social media and social marketing.

And, without further adieu – the rest of the story (see what I did there?)

Lesson 6: More Facebook Strategies…

The Exercise:

Part 1: Strictly Business: Once you’ve figured out what you’re going to say – keep saying it. Say it in photos, movies, stories and things that your audience will find valuable. Don’t babble about your dogs or what you had for lunch (unless you’re a vet or a restaurant.) This won’t really help you grow, and personal minutia is far less likely to get picked up and redistributed for you. That sort of thing is best left to your personal Facebook page. Remember, you’re trying to build customers – not impress people and make friends. You want to be friendly, but this is about business. Treat it as such.

Part 2: Add Value: This is the tricky part. You want make your story inviting, interesting and relatable, or it come out as cold and boring or greedy or overly salesy, but you’ll see much larger response if you add some sort of value. Tips, tricks, advice, links, etc. You want to give the viewer something that they can use to better their business or life or whatever. If they find it interesting and it builds your brand’s “story,” they’re a lot more likely to spread it to their friends. Great success!

Part 3: Ask Questions: If you invite interaction, you’ll get interaction. Don’t make all your stories closed-ended: “Here it is – and that’s the way it is. Period.” Leave some room for discussion: “Where it is – what do YOU think about that?”

Part 4: Leave ‘Em Wanting More: Again, this is one of those questions of “closing the loop.” You want to give your customer/liker enough information in your posts to be compelling, useful and valuable – but you don’t have to give them the full story every time. Build up to it – then deliver the hook or punchline later. Think 4-5 posts ahead sometimes and lead your viewers on. Leave them hanging so that they come back. In the words of Lux Interior “How do you keep a moron in red-hot suspense? I’ll tell you that later – but first I’ll tell you this…” Pique their curiosity, set them up and knock ‘em down later. Curiosity is a great sales tool.

Building and telling compelling stories will put asses in the seats and bring them back for more. If you tell a good story, folks will spread that story for you, help you write that story and they’ll come back or hang around to hear the end of the story. How else could Mr. Zimmerman get away with all 10 minutes of “Joey?”

Next up is Step 7: Even More Facebook Strategies…

*My father really is an amazing songwriter and musician. He’s an inspiration.