Is anyone listening?

23rd September 2019

Being a business owner is a bit like being a new parent. It’s scary, there’s always another thing to do and someone else always seems to be doing it better.

The guy down the road has thousands of followers on Facebook and people always respond to his posts. But mine only ever get liked by family members. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

There are a number of potential reasons for this, and the good news is there are lots of things you can do to help improve engagement with your page. The first step is to ask yourself why you have a Facebook page. What do you want to achieve? The second, and equally fundamental, thing to do is to work out who you are. That may seem an odd thing to say, but adopting the right character and tone of voice is pivotal. Remember, the internet is a conversation.

As a former broadcast journalist, I was always taught to write the ‘top line’ of whatever story I was writing as if I was telling someone what had happened face-to-face (pretend you’re down the pub, the editor would say). Long, convoluted sentences with lots of clauses don’t get the ‘news’ across. We don’t talk like that so why do we suddenly adopt a formal tone when we get behind a keyboard? Have fun with your customers, don’t just bombard them with sales pitches. It’s a cliché, but genuinely try to take a different approach to something (I can’t bring myself to say ‘think outside of the box’), rather than just asking them to come and buy a new hanging basket, pair of shoes or car.

Images are really important, and that doesn’t mean you need to get every single picture that you post designed professionally. It just means you need to give it a bit of thought. If you’re selling dog food, for example, why not use a picture or video of a dog, rather than a shot of a bag of kibble leant up against your counter. What’s more likely to catch your attention as you scroll past pictures of friends’ dinners/ children/ views of their legs on a sun lounger somewhere hot?

Going back to my first two points, you really must know why you’re on Facebook in the first place before you can even begin to secure the correct tone of voice. Do you want to send people to your website to buy something, raise your profile as a new business, build a reputation as a business that is knowledgeable and trustworthy (ie lawyer, chiropractor, etc) or do you just want to have a bit of banter?


One thing you should try at all costs to avoid is posting something that will make you look silly. We all make mistakes; autocorrect has a lot to answer for in terms of embarrassing typos. But there’s no excuse for making marketing decisions that will ultimately alienate your audience. On Father’s Day, Vodafone UK got a bit of a battering on Twitter after telling dads to switch off their phones and laptops and have a #ScreenFreeFathersDay. Firstly, who is Vodaphone to tell dads all over the UK what to do on their day of the year, implying that they don’t spend enough time engaging with their family? And secondly – this is the hilarious bit – they asked dads to share the ‘Screen Free For Father’s Day’ graphic to announce they were going screen free. Twitter users were quick to ask exactly how they were meant to share the image if they weren’t allowed to use their devices.

Having said this, don’t be scared of social media. Try different things and see what works for your business. And if you decide you need a bit of professional help with managing your social presence, you know where we are.

Posted in: News