by John Eberhard

Social media sites are constantly evolving, partly because of the types of things that people post there. Facebook, the largest and most influential social media site, is no exception.

I am going to give you some tips on what types of things to post to Facebook when marketing some product or service, in order to get the most impact.

Facebook allows you a number of options in the types of things that you can post as a status update. You can post:

  • A text only message
  • A photo or graphic, including a text message about the graphic and if you like, a link to some other page on the Net
  • A photo album, i.e. a collection of photos, plus text commentary about each photo if desired
  • A link to some other page on the Net. Often, but not always, a small thumbnail of a photo from that page will get posted too. You can also include commentary about that link.
  • A video, so that the video will play on the Facebook page
  • An invitation to an event of some kind

Unfortunately, posting a text-only message on Facebook doesn’t have much impact any more. This is due to the heavy proliferation of people posting photos and graphics, often graphics with writing on them. With all this graphic content on Facebook, the text-only posts are getting sort of lost.

So if you want to post any content on Facebook to market your business, it needs to be graphic in content in order to break through the noise. Come up with some photo, video, or graphic that will promote your business. This is easier with some businesses than others. You may have to get creative and work on what type of graphic content would be right for your business.

And don’t use a tiny photo. Bear in mind that if someone clicks on the image, Facebook will enlarge it to take up almost the entire screen, with your text comment and any comments from others on the right hand side.

But I have sometimes seen people post some tiny photo, so when you click on it, the photo doesn’t get any bigger and is still tiny. As my wife’s old marketing boss used to say, use up some of that real estate. Plus, people now have the expectation that if they click they will see a larger version of the photo. Post a large photo, Facebook will reduce it for how it will appear in the news feed, and then when people click on it, it will appear larger. And a larger photo has what? More impact. That’s right.

I have recommended using Ping.fm, now Seesmic.com, and hooking up all your social media accounts to it, so you can post one thing and it goes out to all the different sites. The problem with this is that Seesmic.com is geared to Twitter, with the same limitations of text-only and a limit of 140 characters. So if you post via Seesmic, you will of course have a text-only post. Not that you can’t do that, but I think Facebook now merits special consideration and a custom posting just for Facebook, and of course, the use of photos or graphics.

And of course I’m talking about photos and graphics that promote your business, not cute photos of animals or feel-good sayings over a sunset.