Facebook: Turning Your Message Into A Story

Posted by Jen Ochej on August 6, 2013

With Broadview’s clients, Facebook is almost always an integral cog in the larger campaign machine; it’s often the best way to reach out to a large number of people in the community and generate discussion, motivate people to action, and gain supporters.

The campaigns we run typically have very specific messaging that changes minimally, if at all, which means that we are constantly seeking out ways to keep things fresh and interesting. After all, even the most ardent supporter will grow tired of reading the same recycled Facebook posts day in and day out. That’s why I was particularly excited when I read this article about the White House, and other US government agencies, using Facebook as a way to share their history with their followers.

Rather than simply posting about new events, what these agencies have done is gone back to the very beginning of their existence, and filled in historical facts and events along the way. For instance, the White House page might include the inauguration dates of all the presidents, or the dates when various international dignitaries visited.

While it may seem counterintuitive at first to be listing past events when what you’re actually concerned with is what’s happening today, it can truly be a very effective tool. Not only does it fill out your page with interesting content, but it also gives your followers a picture of where you’ve come from and how you got to where you are today.

So how do you do it? It’s really quite simple: when you’re creating a new Facebook page, one of the options given is to list when your organization was founded. (You can also change this date on an already-existing page.) Generally, we have a tendency to list the first date at which our organization was an established, publicly known entity, but for these purposes it actually makes more sense to go back much farther than that.

When did your conversations about this issue first start? When did you first have the idea to create this community group? When did you first dream of opening this business? Go back to that very first inkling and work forward from there; doing so allows you to list events like, “Had first sit-down meeting to discuss the structure of a new union,” and “Toured commercial spaces on our search for an office.”

It might not seem like much, but added all together it turns your message into a story. Everyone loves a story, and telling yours can only be to your benefit.