Welcome to 10 for Tuesdays at L.B. Writes, 10 weekly tips about writing and social media marketing for small businesses and non-profits.
There is one major thing that the small-business and non-profit worlds have in common – people wear multiple hats. If you’re a small business owner chances are you find yourself hiring and managing employees, cleaning, keeping tracking of payroll, booking clients, and maintaining records all in addition to your area of business expertise. In the non-profit world you may find yourself with a broad job description encompassing tasks that are both in your area of background and in areas you are unfamiliar with.
Often, the person tasked with managing social media for a small business or non-profit has little or no experience with marketing. I’m not going to sugarcoat things that can be very intimidating! But if you find yourself in exactly that situation, have no fear. Here are ten easy ways that you (yes, YOU) can start writing better Facebook posts today.
(1) Use proper grammar – Nothing ruins a Facebook post faster than a bunch of grammar mistakes. Now I’m not saying you need to start worrying about every Oxford comma, but if your posts are littered with grammar mistakes it looks unprofessional people won’t take you seriously. If you wouldn’t send out brochues and flyers with mistakes, don’t post Facebook statuses full of mistakes.
(2) Spell check. – So when I said nothing can ruin a post faster than grammar mistakes it was a bit of a lie. Misspellings will catch people’s attention even more quickly. If you’re a bad speller then use a browser with built in spell check (i.e. Firefox) or type posts in Word first.
(3) Edit and delete when necessary. – If you realize that one of your posts has errors (whether they be in grammar, spelling or accuracy) don’t be afraid to edit the post or take it down.
(4) Beg, borrow and steal. – As a former teacher I give you with the wise words of Mr. Harry Wong – “Beg, borrow, and steal.” Now I am not suggesting copyright infringement or plagiarism here, but if you are stuck look at other pages that do social media well and imitate their strategies.
(5) Ask for help. – If you want to take the beg, borrow, and steal strategy one step further reach out to the pages you think “do social media well” and ask for advice! Everyone loves flattery, if you tell a page administer you admire their social media strategy and would love some tips, they will probably be glad to oblige.
(6) SHARE – Remember that social media is just that, social! If you’re not sure what to post, hit the “SHARE” button and share the posts of others from your industry or area. One option is to share upcoming local community or charitable events.
**Bonus Tip: If you are looking to expand your page, don’t be afraid to ask for shares as well! It is perfectly okay to ask the fans you already have to share your page or a particular post on the page.
(7) Look to others in your field – This also relates back to #4 beg, borrow, and steal. Look to others in your industry for best practices in social media marketing. My first major social media marketing role was while serving as an Americorps VISTA managing a thrift store. I began participating in a Thrift Store Marketing group on LinkedIn where we shared best practices, and I also followed several thrift stores from around the country on Facebook, which gave me lots of marketing ideas to replicate with my own store. And yes, the results were successful! In my one year as manager I increased the store’s Facebook following by over 250% and had customers comment that they, “just had to come in because the store just seemed like so much fun from Facebook.”
(8) Pictures – They say a picture is worth a thousand words, if you find yourself tongue tied (keyboard tied?) keep it simple with some photos. Not sure what to photograph? Options include pictures of your office or retail space, events you’ve run, professional portraits or even web art which relates to a post.
(9) Keep it fun and simple – At the end of the day remember that social media is social. Yes, as a professional organization you want your web presence to be professional, but in the social media world it is also okay to have some fun. Post a throwback Thursday picture of your staff or your business. Write about the obscure holidays such as Siblings Day (April 10), Work Like A Dog Day (August 5), or Clean Your Refrigerator Day (November 15). Check out , for lists of obscure holidays in every month to find some relevant to your business or organization. Other easy fun ideas include contests, fill-in-the blank or question posts, and polls. Let your followers interact with your page.
(10) Plan ahead – When you’re juggling multiple priorities, one of the easiest ways to stay on top of your social media management is to plan in advance. Set aside some time to plan your posts for the upcoming week, or even month. You can start with a vague list of post ideas or write out complete posts and schedule them in advance. This may not make it any easier to come up with post ideas, but it will definitely make managing your posts easier!