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3 Ways Entrepreneurs Get Their Content Shared on Facebook

Make it relevant and timely, but it doesn’t hurt to be emotional once in a while

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BY Marishka M. Cabrera - 21 Jan 2016

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PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

You’ve reached 10,000 fans on your Facebook page? Congratulations. But getting people engaged in your content, liking your posts, and sharing it with their friends so it keeps appearing on the news feeds of your target audience, may be your next challenge.

“Facebook is where people spend most time hanging out with their immediate friends, and around 4 in 5 of all shares originate here,” says Tom Simpson, group chief strategy officer of Ambient Digital, which has offices in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia. and Thailand. Simpson adds that Facebook is where consumers share content across a wide range of topics, and it is where they show who they are, what they’re interested in, and what they value.

This is the reason why entrepreneurs need to create content that Facebook users will be compelled to share with their friends and post it on their own news feeds. How can firms do that? Take note of these three ways:

Make your audience cry  

Nothing gets your content noticed more than making viewers shed a tear. Producing content that has emotional appeal works especially well in Asian cultures, which tend to be family-oriented.

Make it personal, notes Erika Villanueva, assistant marketing manager of digital marketing firm iManila. Touch the audience’s hearts, make them laugh, or do something that will connect with their emotions. This will make your content not just shareable, but also memorable.

If you need inspiration, take your cue from these two tear-jerking commercials from Hong Kong’s MetLife and Thai Life Insurance, each garnering tens of millions of views. The MetLife commercial tells of the sacrifices of a father so his daughter can have a better life. Thai Life Insurance, on the other hand, shows how kind gestures, albeit often unrequited, can go a long way. They work because both were able to tie in the brands with values that are close to Asians.

Don’t be a hard-sell

To avoid being labeled a hard-sell, create material that is relevant to your customers, and be subtle about weaving your brand into the content.

“Marketers need to go beyond their own bubble and make content that is relevant to the user, to the entire community, and the current pop culture—and unless you are an Apple, Coke, or a McDonald's, this content may not necessarily be about your brand most of the time,” says Cyrus Cruz, managing partner at Manila-based marketing agency and business incubator Powercom.

What is important is that your content is timely, whether it is posting a greeting during an important festival or asking people’s opinion after a post. By doing this, Villanueva adds, you are showing your market that you not only care about promoting your product or service, but also in the issues they are interested in.

Don’t take your audience away from Facebook

The same thing goes for any other social-media platform, such as Instagram. Your videos and images should be easily viewed through Facebook, which means users do not have to go to a separate site to access your material. Video-sharing, for instance, is increasingly popular among users due to improvements in video functionality across social-media platforms.

In the Philippines, where internet connections tend to be slow and spotty, Cruz says asking users to visit another website might be asking too much, because most users will not have the patience to wait for your content to load. Remember that the more convenient it is to view your content, the more likely it is for users to share it.

Make sure that all your images are branded, so even if they don’t appear on your page, viewers will still recognize the brand. Villanueva explains, “You have to remember that the role of social media is not primarily leads generation but more on brand awareness. Once you're recognized, that's when the leads come in.”

Keep in mind that while content is king, distribution is queen, Simpson says. It is important to pay close attention to consumer sharing habits and broaden your reach across social channels and devices.

“The big takeaway for brands wishing to engage with Asian consumers is to ensure they are creating the right content for each platform,” he adds. For instance, Instagram tends to be dominated by conversations on food and beauty, while news on sports, finance, and entertainment are focal points on Twitter. A fully integrated campaign using a full range of video, display, and social-media buys, across social-media and other web platforms is the way to achieve a viral effect in Asia’s increasingly cluttered online space, he concludes.

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