Targeting local Facebook users? Struggling to get noticed in their newsfeeds? Struggling to get local folks to like, comment and share what you post?
This recent NPR study may offer some clues.
NPR has been experimenting with five of its radio affiliates in different regions across the U.S. Rather than posting national NPR content, they’ve been creating specific, targeted local content for the Facebook Pages of these five stations.
In the beginning, using Seattle’s KPLU, they found that targeted posts were six times more successful at attracting comments, shares and likes than posts that were made on the national NPR Facebook Page. KPLU earned record website traffic in the process.
9 Kinds of Successful Local Facebook Content
NPR analyzed which posts were most successful in attracting user engagement and they found these posts could be grouped into nine types/categories of Facebook content. You should read the full article on Nieman Lab, but I’ll offer this summary:
- Place Explainers: “Every city has traits, quirks, and habits that are begging to be dissected.”
- Crowd Pleasers: stories that “zero in on that feeling of pride” that we all have about our hometown.
- Curiosity Stimulators: local stories “that have you hooked at the headline … that captures a geeky and quirky side of a city.”
- News Explainers: “Rather than just telling you what happened, News Explainers dissect why or how it happened.”
- Major Breaking News: self-explanatory … shootings, Hurricane Sandy, etc.
- Feel-Good Smilers: positive stories … kinda similar to the “Crowd Pleasers” category above.
- Topical Buzzers: posts that capture “the story of the moment that everyone’s talking about locally.”
- Provocative Controversies: local content where “you could feel your blood beginning to boil.”
- Awe-Inspiring Visuals: “People love to goggle at beautiful images of their city.”
It’s important to keep in mind that these are news-oriented radio stations that are creating and succeeding with these types of local Facebook content. So, the obvious question is…
How Can a Small Business Use This Data?
If I’m a local, small business owner using Facebook, there are a couple items on that list above that I’d avoid like the plague: News Explainers, Major Breaking News and Provocative Controversies for sure. And maybe even the Topical Buzzers type, too … but that depends.
But the other local content types could be pure gold for a Facebook-using small business. Interesting information about your hometown … great photos and visuals … crowd-pleasing, pride-generating content … unique things that stimulate curiosity because of their great headline and local angle? Those all seem doable to me.
And don’t forget this: Facebook itself has already said that business should post content related to their business, but not about their business.
And all of those ideas above fit that recommendation.
Your turn: What types of local content have you seen working well on Facebook? My wife did a year-long “Friday Photo” game where she posted a picture and her friends/fans had to guess what it was. Hugely successful. What’s worked for you or your clients? Comments are open.