Have you ever been talking to someone at a party and they tell you a story that seems to go on forever? You stand there nodding your head like you’re listening, but all you want to do is walk away. The same thing happens on Facebook. The only difference is that it’s much easier (and socially acceptable) for somebody to “walk away” if you start rambling on Facebook. They just scroll down on their newsfeed.
You probably don’t mean to ramble. Most likely you want to tell your customers about a sale or event at your store. But if you’re posting content on your store’s Facebook page (or you’re one of several page admins who post), keep in mind the following guidelines:
Keep your posts short
More than any other Facebook interaction, your posts should be short and to the point, while also being conversational, engaging and fun! Remember that these updates show up in your fans’ newsfeeds so you want to grab their attention and get them to click a link, like your post, look at your picture, etc. They aren’t likely to do that if you post so much text that they don’t want to wade through it to get to the point.
Some exceptions to this rule are related to unusual circumstances like product recalls, or maybe a tribute to an employee who is retiring. When it’s an important issue or a special occasion, feel free to get a little wordy! But if you’re promoting an event at your store, approach it like a reporter would with a news story: who, what, when, where, why.
Keep your replies short…as much as possible
If a customer asks you a question or writes a complaint (either publicly on your profile or via private message), don’t worry as much about keeping it short. Of course, you still don’t want to write them a novel in response. Do your best to answer their question or address their complaint immediately, but don’t go into such a detailed response that they lose interest. Consider asking them to take the conversation off of Facebook if it’s a serious complaint that needs to be discussed in more detail.
Avoid using jargon
This applies to posts, comment replies and private message responses. You’re more likely to use jargon in a response to a question or a complaint, but it’s still possible to do this on a post as well. Do your best to avoid it in all Facebook interactions, if possible.
For example, if a customer asks about a product recall for something that was sold at your store, don’t go into the specific detail about your store’s recall policy. Tell them exactly what products are being recalled and what they need to do. Keep it simple!
Facebook doesn’t limit you to 140 characters, but take a cue from Twitter and try to find the best way to make your point in one or two sentences. You don’t want your store’s page to be the person you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party…