• Candice

Staying in Touch while Staying at Home

My Facebook for Business trick makes starting a conversation so much easier!

It will save you time, up your engagement numbers, and it's free.

Your online presence is more important than ever before.

With stay-at-home orders in place and non-essential businesses closed for the foreseeable future, online interaction may be the only way to contact your customers. Facebook has become a major channel of communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even more than it was before. Which I didn't think was possible. My 9 year old is using a Facebook group for school! I did not see that coming.

“Online conversations have become essential, for both business and personal interaction.”

Steps to getting that conversation going.

Let's jump right in. First, go to your Facebook business page. Near the top, you’ll find the "CREATE POST" button. But we don’t want to click “POST” today. Instead, select “PUBLISHING TOOLS” for more options. It will open in a separate tab.

Side note: Kind of loving this new dark theme and layout.

This will take you to my favorite page: Publishing Tools. My suggestion is to bookmark this page. You’ll want to visit each time you’re on Facebook. It will save you time, you’ll see your engagement numbers, and you won’t have to scroll past your crazy aunt’s posts about how holding your breath is the same as a Coronavirus test.

Before we go any further, I do want to mention that I prefer using the Desktop Site for this. I can use all of the available options and have the greatest control over my content.

Next, click the “CREATE POST” button. A dialogue box will pop up. This is where the magic really happens.

Check out all these options! So many ways to reach your audience. For today, let’s focus on these three features: WRITE A POST, PHOTO/VIDEO, GET MESSAGES. We’ll go in order and add something to each.

  • WRITE A POST – Your regular typed content goes here. For this example, we’ll pretend I’m looking to help new clients! Make sure your message to the point; you want it visible without visitors needing to click “See More.”

  • PHOTO/VIDEO – Choose a combination of photos, videos, photo carousel, or slideshow. (Instant Experience is another choice, but that will be a later post all to itself.) For this example, I’m going to use one high resolution image.

  • GET MESSAGES – Don’t skip this step! If “Get Messages” is not already visible in your box, make sure to select it. This is a shortcut to have customer chat in Messenger. You’ll see where the button appears in the next step.

You're almost done!

After you’ve added the above items, click preview. You will be able to see what your post looks like in both Desktop and Mobile Views. See below for what my sample post would look like. You can clearly see the “Send Message” button. Your viewers will not have to click away from your post to send a direct message. How convenient!

How does your post look? Fantastic, I’m sure. So let’s get it out there for everyone to see.

Exit the preview dialogue box. If you’d like to post now, then head on down to the “Post Now” button. On your way, click the Instagram box if you’d like to share the pic to your sister page. This only works for posts with one picture. If you know ahead of time that you want to do this, uploading a square image would be optimal.

Want to schedule this post for later? That’s a great idea! A few days ago, I was able to schedule two weeks of Facebook content for a client in just over an hour. Halfway through your post but your kid needs Google Classroom for a minute? Save your work as a draft! It will be waiting for you in Publishing Tools when you get back.

(Note: Scheduling does not work for Instagram posts as it conflicts with their terms of use. Bummer.)

Now that you've seen all the options, feel free try something new. Finding the right content mix for your audience can be trial and error. Maybe upload a video instead of a picture. Post a poll. Check In when you go somewhere fun! But please, not until the CDC tells us to stop social distancing.

One last thing: When you’re done with your new post, drop a comment here with the link! I want to see it and support you with a big virtual thumbs up. Then be sure to friend me on Instagram and Facebook for more tips and tricks. Let's stay in touch. From a safe distance, of course.

See you on the Net!