Writing for Facebook seems like the most natural thing in the world for many people, but look a little closer, and you’ll see there’s a strategy at work.
BY KAREN LOTTER
There is a reason why some people and some FB Pages attract a lot more attention than others. It is all in the content of the posts, which includes writing, images and videos.
Of course, it depends on whom you want to attract. I’m thinking of Business Pages. Unfortunately, most people who run Business Pages have no training in writing or public relations marketing. Furthermore, they expect things to happen like magic on the Internet. They have heard the word viral and if they don’t have 1000 friends, likes or followers within a month, they quit.
So let’s look at how to write a good Facebook post.
1. Use Nouns and Verbs when Writing for Facebook
Facebook pages are hard work, and, besides perseverance and a good marketing strategy, they require good writing. Dan Zarrella has proven that you need to use nouns and verbs.
Many decades ago William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White told us to:
‘Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn’t been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place… it is nouns and verbs, not their assistants, that give good writing its toughness and colour.’ The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White
Strong verbs include words like amaze, create, surprise, stump, shock, trick and discover.
The best nouns are those that refer to objects that you can see or touch, as they help to create images in the reader’s mind. The more detailed your noun is, the better.
A post about your dog, ‘My dog loves his food’ might not draw as many likes as ‘Here’s Benji gobbling his kibbles’.
2. Know what shows up where
Remember that links (to articles on the Web or to blog posts) are different from status updates. They don’t show up in your status bar, and unless they get a lot of Likes (thumbs up) or comments, they may not show up in your Facebook Friends’ newsfeeds either. This means that Facebook favours original content.
Facebook has an algorithm that determines where your posts show up. They measure and make these decisions based on how much fans, their friends, and other people engage with your posts. So the more comments and “likes” an entry gets, the more people will be allowed to see the post.
3. Interaction with Facebook Friends
The foundation of a successful post is good writing, but Facebook Friends create the momentum of the post online. Friends will notice it and read it, or pass it along via the Share function of Facebook. This lets each one of their Facebook Friends know that 1) it exists, and 2) they think it’s cool enough to be associated with.
Because Pages are searchable by search engines, don’t forget to use keywords so that you can be found.
About the Author:
Karen Lotter is a journalist and writer based in South Africa. She runs a company specializing in creating websites, writing creative and interesting content and optimizing sites for search engines.
She has written profiles, features, advertising copy, obituaries, press releases, and columns in magazines, company newsletters and newspapers, and written and produced corporate scripts.
Since she stopped writing political speeches (after 13 years in the trenches), she has focused on writing for the web and presenting workshops on communications-related issues.
Karen tutors the Writing for the Web Course at SA Writers College.