Does Your Content Marketing Sound Like Facebook Spam?
"This message contains blocked content that has previously been flagged as abusive or spammy. Let us know if you think this is an error." -- Facebook notification for message senders
With all the wonders and joys of content marketing on the Internet, there come a few drawbacks. Consider this: according to Mashable, 89% of all email is spam. Facebook claims about 4% of the content shared on the network is spam, as well. While the Facebook number may seem small, the social media giant has an aggressive anti-spam security system set in place, starting with the warning above that sometimes appears when you're sending messages to others on the network.
For PR pros and small business marketers generating content for Facebook and other social media sites, it's important to stay as far away from spam-alerting content as possible. Check these 5 tips out to make sure your content is appreciated rather than flagged as spammy:
1. Make Your Timing Perfect
While it's advantageous to stay engaged with audiences via your Facebook business posts, too much of a good thing can have negative repercussions. Keep your posts on a consistent schedule. We suggest steady updates of one or two a day.
It's important to remember that letting your posts languish can also be a turn-off to readers. If you've abandoned your regular posts, it's more than likely your audiences will abandon you.
2. Give Audiences Reason To Read
One hallmark of spam is that it brings no value to the people who read it. Keep this in mind when you draft your content. You should always ask if what you're sharing makes peoples' lives better. To do that, test your content to see if:
- It engages readers immediately
- It provides specific value for their lives
- It motivates them to act
- It compells them to share
Write in a tone that invites readers to return. Using humor is a solid way to win over audiences. Sharing unique news is effective, as well.
3. Invite Audiences To Participate
One of the best ways to know if your content marketing is hitting it off with readers is to get their feedback. Spammy content doesn't initiate conversation, it stops it. Go the opposite direction with your posts. Encourage reader opinions, invite them to share their own experiences and continue the discussion once you've started it.
For example, when the University of Southern California posted about the then-upcoming 2010 graduation, they asked graduating students to share their best of stories. Once audiences responded, the school answered each person back with a unique congratulatory message. This discussion launched multiple threads and built a huge wave of interest in the graduation ceremonies.
4. Avoid Spamalicious Language
There are hundreds of words that set off email marketing spam filters for a reason. They are loud, pushy, misleading and irritating. Stay away from those words in your Facebook posts, as well.
How do you know if your language has that spam twang? Chances are, when you're more interested in pushing your products, services or brand than you are in providing value to your readers, you may be headed in that direction.
5. Use Good Ideas For Inspiration
According to the network, 1.5 million businesses have Facebook pages but not all are high performers. So, what sets the best apart? They manage to create a sense of community for their fans.
Need some inspiration? Check out 4 businesses that are rocking Facebook with creative ideas:
- Ben & Jerry's—Visit the photo gallery of happy Ben & Jerry fans enjoying their ice cream in unique locations
- iTunes – Become a fan and you get 20 free songs
- Starbucks – Get to know CEO Howard Schultz via his cool updates
- Redbull – Check out the video of the Redbull racing NASCAR driver Brian Vickers and his pit crew performing a pit stop in Times Square
Facebook is a channel where there are few limits when it comes to creatively connecting with audiences. Stay away from spammy ideas and language and step out of the box to connect with your fans in unique ways that elevate your content marketing effots.
Need other ideas on how to leverage social media better? Check out our Social Media Survival Kit For Small Businesses.
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