Even on Facebook, Content is Everything
Published: June 4, 2013
Author: Mark John Hiemstra
I’ve grown tired of the “Content is King” phrase that gets thrown around more than meaningless economic buzzwords at a political rally. It should be, by now, a well-known fact that your content is what makes or breaks the presence of your business on the Internet. Reducing it to a buzzword takes away from the actual importance of the content (words, images, videos, etc.) that you display to your customers.
Maybe we could paraphrase Hall of Fame NFL coach Vince Lombardi: “Content isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
What people seem to be forgetting is that the content on your Facebook Page is just as important as it is everywhere else, whether that be on your website, in your paid ads (on FB or elsewhere), and wherever you post content for public consumption. Let’s explain why content matters so much (prepare for some sports clichés to drive the point home).
Facebook Is a Foundation
For those of you using Facebook ads to promote your local business, your Facebook Page is the support site for all of these endeavors. It gives you the foundation upon which you craft your presence on Facebook.
Your Facebook page is where you can let people know who you are and what you’re all about and why they should care even the slightest bit about your business. It’s the anchor that keeps your proverbial ship from sailing into uncharted waters; you are the one steering the ship, and it’s up to you to make sure that it’s going where you need it to go.
You’re Working Against Short Attention Spans
Much has been written about Internet attention spans over the last couple of years. One study suggests that users see less than 20% of the content on any given page. Most authorities on the subject blame this on the amount of content available to us, and I wouldn’t disagree with that.
Think of the Internet as a giant newspaper. Can you remember a time when you read every single story in a newspaper? Sometimes people see things that just don’t interest them, and they move on.
The other side of that coin is that sometimes people see a topic that interests them and it is poorly written, fails to engage, or does not make the points promised on the headline in time to really grab their attention.
Remember what Billy Wilder said: “Grab ’em by the throat and never let ’em go.”
It’s Never Their Fault
If you’re not getting engagement with your content on your Facebook Page, it’s not the users’ fault, it’s yours. You have failed to present them with an opportunity to engage with you in a meaningful way. You have failed to give them the content that speaks to their needs. Whether it be the words you write, or the images and videos you post, if you haven’t gotten them to the point where they can engage in a conversation with you, or share it with their friends, you’ve missed a golden opportunity.
There’s a Lot of Time on Site at Stake
According to a recent article, Facebook users spend an average of 6 hours and 44 minutes on the site each month. That’s a significant amount of time.
The way Facebook differs from other sites is that you are competing with other businesses right there on someone’s News Feed. Hence, your content needs to kick butt. You need to find ways to engage with people – not just to create the actual engagement, but to increase your Edge Rank, giving you the ability to reach more of your followers.
It’s a tricky game, but to do it, you need to spend time, plan ahead, assess the value of certain posts, pore over analytics to see what works and what doesn’t, and continuously re-strategize, in the same way you would with a paid campaign.
Bring It In!
For businesses who want to make their presence known with authority on Facebook, great content is the only way to create engagement. And that content will be different for every audience. Whether it be pictures of unicorns or long status updates about something that’s important to your audience, or links to your external site where you have more great content (P.S. you still have to convince them to click), the content needs to speak to the audience.
Content creation (we could call it writing, but remember that content extends far past the written word) is a bit of an acting job: you need to get inside the head of your audience and try to assess what it is that they most want to know about. And your audience will show you what works for them by their level of engagement with your content.
Keep creating outrageously fantastic content for your audience, and they won’t be able to stop paying attention to you, wherever you may pop up. Remember what the coach said: “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” He was right, and your level of engagement with your audience will be reflected in your commitment to creating great content for them.
All right, ready? Hands in. Content on three. ONE, TWO, THREE, CONTENT!