Using social media effectively
Creating content for Facebook
Facebook is set up for use by two different audiences:
- individuals who have profiles where they can upload updates about themselves, photos, videos and links
- companies and organizations who have “business pages” or “public service pages” designed for the public
You can set up a business or public service Facebook page for free. This is different from an individual page as it helps you:
- get access to metrics via Facebook Insights to find out who is viewing your content
- share more information about your organization via Facebook tabs that can contain videos, newsletter opt-in forms, and text – these are not available on a personal profile
- assign administrator roles to different people in your organization
- attract an unlimited amount of “friends” – a personal profile limits you to 5,000 friends
Here are some tips to help your Facebook posts and comments catch people’s attention.
Set a schedule for number of Facebook posts per week
- Deciding on and sticking to a regular schedule for Facebook posts will help keep the account active. This will help you keep your readers engaged.
- It’s a good idea to post daily if possible.
Keep your content short and simple
- Although Facebook allows for lengthy posts, keep the length of your posts to 250 characters or less to make sure that the whole post can be viewed in people’s news feeds. Avoid a length that will prompt the user to click to “see more”.
- Keep the length of your comments on others’ posts short as well – 1000 characters or less.
Tip: you can check the number of characters in your content by:
- Drafting your post in MS Word and using the “Word Check” feature
- Using an online character counting tool such as http://www.lettercount.com/
Establish a friendly tone
- Use a conversational but professional tone when crafting Facebook posts.
- Avoid using jargon or acronyms.
Include links to your or your partners’ relevant web content – and calls to action
- Your Facebook posts should include a single URL, whether to something on your website that you want to promote, or to news articles or other organizations’ information and events.
- If possible, give your users information about something to focus on and follow up with (for example, an event you’re hosting, a petition you suggest they sign, or a cause you support)
Add images to your Facebook posts
- Using images helps your posts stand out. You can post photos from events you’ve been at or hosted, or use free Creative Commons images from Flickr.
- Use logos or any graphics that have been created for your organization to promote your organization’s brand where possible and appropriate
Tag any partners that you mention in your posts
- If you are typing an individual or organizational partner’s name in your post, type the “@” symbol in front of it. If they are on Facebook, this will trigger Facebook’s tagging feature and display your post on their page.
Ask people to share, like, or comment on your posts
- And, in return, make sure to like and share content by partner organizations!
Check out CLEO’s Facebook page and share our free legal information.
Note: Some of this content was adapted with permission from two resources produced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control: “Guide to Writing for Social Media” and “Social Media Guidelines and Best Practices”