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The Definitive Checklist for Effective Facebook Posts

Ron Schott
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facebook-write-something-and-make-it-countWhile most in the industry think that copy can change the world, it’s quickly becoming apparent that you need to think of each individual post as a self-contained piece of marketing with copy, art, and targeting.

Facebook, while their stock hasn’t been showing it, has been consistently making improvements to the way brands can use their network to reach customers and advocates. But, with more functionality in posting come more things to think about when making that post.

This quick guide was created to help you remember the most-important aspects in making a successful post.

Message

This is where, traditionally, a team spends most of their time – in the copy. With Facebook’s advanced targeting, you’re able to create different messages for different audiences, which make copywriting actually easier rather than harder.

You have the chance to craft a super-specific and targeted bit of copy that truly speaks to your intended audience, rather than a watered-down, please-them-all bit of copy that may or may not even cause someone to pause in their news feed long enough to get to the meat.

Pro tip: Asking questions is great, but don’t just ask a question to get an answer. Have an answer in mind and ask a question that not only leads there, but goes further. Also, be sure to bring other pages into the conversation when you can by tagging them in your post.

Image

It’s been said many times over that a picture is worth a thousand words. Nowhere is this more apparent than in today’s social media landscape with Instagram still gaining and gaining and Pinterest taking the visual desires of many and turning them in to clicks.

Images are quickly becoming an important part of brand marketing strategy – and rightfully so. For the first time, the industry is seeing budget set aside for the creation of imagery especially for social media.

Pro tip: Aim for images with a 403 px by 403 px dimension. That way you can pin that post if needed. The largest size of a picture that Facebook will display in a slideshow is 960 px by 720 px.

Targeting

Since Facebook rolled out their advanced post targeting a few weeks ago (to pages with more than 5,000 Likes), brands have had the chance to provide a richer experience to their fans than ever before.

By giving brands the chance to target super-specific messaging, Facebook has cut down on that age-old nemesis of advertisers everywhere – noise. Also, they’ve provided a way for brands to more effectively manage their EdgeRank by making sure that users only see content that is hyper-relevant to their interests.

Facebook now allows you to target page posts by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interested In
  • Relationship Status
  • Language
  • Education
  • Workplace
  • Location: Country, State, City

We aren't aware of any of the large publishing/CMS tools that have the ability to tap into Facebook’s advanced targeting features, but look for this soon.

Pro tip: Create targeting profiles for your target audiences and refine them often to make sure you’re delivering targeted, specific material to your audiences. Create multivariate testing with multiple copy/image combinations for different targets in order to test effectiveness.

Timing

Along with targeting, timing of posts is the second-most important thing you can do from a creation and distribution standpoint when thinking about Facebook posts. There are many views on when and how often you should post, and that’s another topic for another time, but there are definitely ways you can test and refine your posting cadence – as well as decide when to post to which targets.

One tool, Prosodic, uses a clock view to show when your fans are most active in regards to your posted content. One thing we’d like to see here is the ability to potentially splice data by targeting criteria.

Pro tip: Don’t just think about what times of day to post, think about wider events like planned press conferences, major sporting events, and other cultural events when you’re laying out your timeline. You don’t want a great post to be overlooked because of something you knew was coming. Also, scheduling posts in advance gives you a chance to move them around if breaking news fills the newsfeed.

Final Word

Facebook marketing is still what it has always been about – making a connection through interesting content. While that hasn’t changed, the way we go about making those connections has and will continue to evolve, creating the need for an educated and quick-to-learn team tasked with creating, delivering, and refining content for this channel.


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