10 healthy prompts for your Facebook page

your crowd
So you got a Facebook page – or whatever other social media outlet is hot by the time you read this post. Now, read on for some clarity and specific content prompts:

Ignore the manipulators.

There’s no shortage of advice on how to use Facebook (and other social media) out there, but a lot of it just doesn’t feel right. All those experts telling you the secret to manipulating people so they buy your stuff, or give you permission to market to their friends, or endorse your product – just ignore them. No need to pretend or perform.

Have a conversation, build a community.

Here’s what Facebook is really great for: having a conversation and building a community. Of course you also want to sell your products and fill your classes, but you can let that happen as an organic side effect.

In order to have a conversation, you need to be open, ask questions, and listen. One of the most valuable features of Facebook is that people can give you feedback on your offer – no focus groups required.

In order to build community, you have to be helpful, give generously, and make it easy and worthwhile for your people to pass on what you share. So simple – just like in the real world where you can feel the sunshine on your skin.

Now, for some specific prompts:

10 prompts for Facebook posts that go with your style

  1. Tell us what inspired you lately. How did you come up with that tea blend?
  2. Show us your process. What is happening in your studio or work space?
  3. Feature the people you serve. How did you make their lives better?
  4. Feature the people you work with. How do they make you better?
  5. Connect us with your local or global community. What do we have in common?
  6. Ask for feedback.
  7. Invite questions and offer advice. Share your knowledge.
  8. Explore a specific aspect of your practice. What’s the story behind this one asana?
  9. Give us something special – a free class, a recipe… Reward us for being part of your community.
  10. Offer your products or services.

For more prompts and inspiration, keep in touch!

p.s.: Seth Godin has written a great post about what feedback needs to be ignored.

{Photo by alexkess on Flickr.}

How to create great swag.

I just bought (!) a tote bag from ¿Por Que No?, which means I conducted a self-experiment on why people want or don’t want your swag. The result of this (very enjoyable) experiment are three rules for creating promo items that send the right message:

1. Make it look bomb.

My rad new tote bag is bright red with a sketch of a parakeet on it. Perfect for the target audience: Portland can always use one more splash of color, and we’re into art that sometimes borders the amateurish but never holds back with creativity and outlandishness. Two bonus points here! (The rumor is that people around here also just like to put birds on things.)

On the other end of the spectrum, have you ever flipped through one of those catalogs that show all the cheap crap you can have your logo printed on? Flimsy pens, plastic yoyos, and, maybe worst of all, generic, half-transparent t-shirts with no consideration for fit or comfort? And if you have, did you ever find yourself thinking wow, I want one of these?

The problem here is that this kind of swag treats people as if any small shiny object could charm them into giving you their money and their loyalty. But your people aren’t lemmings, so don’t let anyone tell you that “people love that stuff.” Create something you would love to wear, even if it wasn’t your studio/practice/business/project.

2. Make it quality.

Yes, that makes the whole project more expensive, but investing $500 into something that actually works is so much better than throwing out $50 for nothing. If you’re on a low budget, opt for ordering a smaller number rather than compromising on quality.

The quality of your swag also says something about you and your business: Do you respect your people’s sense of style? Do you value quality, fair trade, sustainability, and beauty? Your swag is part of your brand. Let it send a consistent message to the world.

3. Make it a conversation piece.

Rather than just slapping on your name and logo, make your swag a conversation piece. The best thing that can happen to you is when someone asks your lovely client where she got that awesome t-shirt and what she loves about that place. Get creative!

Final words:

Lucky you! You already have the main ingredient for great swag: an offering that people are genuinely happy to accept and to pass on. Wellbeing, joy, community – let that message shine through in everything you put out there.