Organic Facebook Content for Local Businesses: Building a Loyal Following
Want to build a loyal, local audience on Facebook? Wonder what types of content to post?
To explore how to create organic Facebook content that builds a loyal following that turns into customers,
Why Organic Facebook Content Matters Right Now
We’re recording this in June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and many people are working from home. This presents a problem for local businesses that have, in the past, relied on in-person networking events, traditional signage or billboards, and foot traffic for customer acquisition.
As these sources diminish, it’s more important than ever to remain top of mind with consumers so they remember you when things start opening back up. How? You need to show up where people are spending their time—online—and develop a relationship with them by having two-way conversations.
Right now, many people are spending much of their time on Facebook, which makes the platform ideal for building that relationship. Organic content plays a key role in that process.
Developing Organic Content for Your Business
Deciding what to talk about or say with your content is more important than the amount of time you spend on social media or how many times a week you post.
Unfortunately, the biggest challenge many business owners face is having no idea what to say on social media. Far too frequently, they post content that isn’t well thought-out. Funny cat videos and “Happy Friday!” images do nothing to bring a business closer to achieving a goal like generating leads or sales.
Instead, you want to create content that shows your target audience just how much they need whatever it is you provide.
Allie has developed a process for drilling down into super-specific, individualized topics of interest for any audience. And once you recognize what those topics are going to allow you to do—or know—about your audience, you’ll have discovered a truly powerful thing.
Outline Your General Core Categories
This first step relies on knowing your industry, your customer, and the products and services you provide. Ask yourself a few different questions:
What are your products and services?
What are your industries or the niches within your industry?
What do your ideal clients really care about or focus on?
Too many businesses believe that their direct products and services are the only things they have to talk about. But content can go so far beyond that.
A running store could obviously talk about running and encourage existing customers to buy more running shoes. But they should also create content to grow brand-new categories of consumers.
Next, create three to five subcategories under each of your core categories.
Using the running store example, subcategories could be running form, running trails, running shoes, or stretches for runners.
There may be some overlap between subcategories and related core categories, and that’s okay. You’re just trying to break things down as specifically as possible to make it easier to come up with those final topics. If nutrition was a core category, you could break it down further into subcategories of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Identify Specific Topics
Now it’s time to drill down to the very specific topics you’re going to talk about. If running is your core category and running shoes is one of those subcategories, perhaps asking something like, “Which running shoes are best for me?” can bring a topic area into focus.
Use Organic Content to Attract and Identify Qualified Leads
Local businesses generally don’t have crazy advertising budgets. They also don’t have all the time in the world. Their goal, if you ask most of them, isn’t necessarily to get unlimited leads, it’s to get qualified leads who actually need what they sell and have the ability to buy it.
The most qualified lead is going to come from someone who has raised their hand by consuming that business’s content. Use your content to ask, “Does this show me—by them consuming or engaging with my content—that they’re a qualified potential prospect for me?”
Use Client Avatars to Inform Your Content Creation
To continue with our example, our running store’s client avatars could include experienced runners, people who’ve never run but are thinking about it, and newbie runners who want to stick it out.
The topics that will appeal to those three groups are very different; not every topic will work for everyone. A marathon runner, for instance, doesn’t need to be educated on the benefits of running, nor do they need tips for training to run a 5K. That’s why really understanding who you’re selling to in the beginning is such an important part of this process.
Pay Attention to Triggering Events
A triggering event is when someone first becomes aware that they need you, or becomes more receptive to what you have to offer.
If you can build a relationship with your audience at the earliest point when they need help, you have the potential to be with them for a very long time and deepen that relationship before they ever seek out any other businesses in your industry. With the right content at the right time, you can block the competition, make the relationship stronger, and actually drive a new group of consumers to your business.
Create Your Own Content to Develop Custom Audiences for Ads
Are you wondering, “Do I need to create my own videos? Do I need to link to my own content? Can I link to someone else’s video or share someone else’s video? Can I link to someone else’s content, curate it, and still accomplish the same objectives?”
The Connection Between Organic Content and Ads
Most local businesses won’t reach enough people organically to justify the time it takes to create their content. If you want to get serious about focusing on social media marketing, you should put a minimal amount of money behind your content.
If you’re putting forth the effort to create content for social media, sincerely ask yourself, “Is this worthy of investing money in? By putting this content out there, am I learning anything about my audience or how receptive they are to what I have to offer?” If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t be spending your time creating that content to begin with.
When you do decide to invest just $10 promoting every single piece of content, you’re going to reach a lot of new people. Your local community is going to start seeing you a lot more. You’ll be able to test creative, topics, and copy. You’ll gain valuable insights about your audience.
And if some of that content you’re promoting gets heavy engagement—whether it’s comments, likes, shares, or views—you can gain a lot of local recognition. But if you don’t invest anything, you’re never going to get that attention because you’re not going to reach enough people on a regular basis organically.
Content Credit to Socialmediaexaminer