5 kinds of Facebook posts that drive 186% monthly sales growth

A lot of effort and good money goes into writing and promoting your Facebook posts, so it just makes sense to do it correctly. However,  there’s no single right way to post on Facebookbut a variety of formats to get your readers engaged.

Zeal for Life, a wellness brand, has five good examples. From January to May of this year, they went from $2.1 million to $6 million in monthly sales. Facebook played a huge role in that spike, showing that the world’s largest social network can provide a strong ROI. We sat down with Jim Lupkin, Director of Social for Zeal for Life, to find out how he achieved these results.

Their brand revolves around a health-conscious image, supported by scientific research. But since their customers are rarely familiar with all of the 40-plus nutrients in their products, Zeal for Life explained one of them. By giving a tangible reason why their products are healthy, they went beyond the usual “good for you” marketing and interacted with their fans more intimately, like a live demo.

Don’t just say your product or service is good; show it. Treat your Facebook posts like in-person conversations, and your fans will respond well to them.

Pay attention to the relationship between their viral and paid impressions. The viral impact is huge (34,016) but the organic one is relatively smaller (6,325), which means they traded reach for a higher conversation rate.

There’s a multiplier at work here acting as a discount. They bought 2,000 in paid reach but got 34,000 in viral reach, making this a spectacular buy 1, get 17 free deal. That’s why posts with high engagement often have more net conversions.

Facebook ads aren’t hard to set up — you can set up a campaign in under 60 minutes.

But it’s important to note that you don’t need high virality in every post. Sometimes you just want clicks and conversions, not shared stories.

Traditional advertisers usually have a hard time understanding that social media is different. You shouldn’t just blast your message out like a radio spot, condensing as much information as possible into 30 seconds.

You need to be honest and vulnerable. Not everybody likes your product, and that’s okay. When you pretend you’re flawless, you come across as insincere, which is a death knell in social media.

That’s why Zeal for Life asked their Facebook fans to tell them whether they liked the product or not. It shows they’re imperfect, human, and relatable. These posts are also a way to get free survey results, which is the first step toward improving your product.

Here, Zeal for Life relays a customer story sincerely, they cite her by name and include her picture with their product. You’re inherently distrustful of what a salesperson tells you about a TV set in the store, but you listen closely when people close to you talk about what they like; they’re impartial, after all.

By asking their fans to share their experiences with the brand, they proved they value honest feedback. It also got them free testimonials in the process. In the case of negative feedback, it directed their attention to spots they need to work on, helping them to improve faster.

You’ll notice they clocked 77,991 paid and 58,142 viral impressions, too. This is another high engagement post that likely has a high conversion rate.

Inviting fan participation is always a good way to get comments, as well as likes. It also demonstrates an interest in what they have to say, making your brand more likeable.

Offering to feature their recipes galvanizes people through competition. Since all these recipes involve their products, it’s another way for their customers to willingly share the products with their friends on Facebook.

In order for your fans to see you as more than just a business, you have to act like more than just a business.   By showing appreciation to your fans,  you befriend them, creating a personal relationship with them that transcends your product.

The world’s most successful brands have one thing in common – authority. Harley-Davidson defines motorcycles for an entire subculture, Apple represents the intersection of sleek technology, and Dove dispels popular beauty myths and helps everyday women feel great about their bodies. It’s about being the first brand people turn to when they think about an industry.

The most lucrative opportunity in social media isn’t about selling at all. It’s about branding. Don’t just tell your customers to buy your products. Ask how they’re doing, re-affirm them, and value them. Build a personal connection.

Study Zeal for Life’s brand voice on Facebook, because they’re not marketing like TV advertisers. They engage their fans in conversations by talking with them, not at them.

So, what post types do you use? What’s been the most success, and which failed? Let us know!

Dennis Yu has helped brands grow and measure their Facebook presences. He has spoken at Search Marketing Expo, Search Engine Strategies, Web 2.0, The American Marketing Association, PubCon, Conversational Commerce Conference, Pacific Conferences, HostingCon, Affiliate Summit, Affiliate Convention, UltraLight Startups, MIVA Merchant, and other venues. Yu has also counseled the Federal Trade Commission on privacy issues for social networks. Yu has held leadership positions at Yahoo and American Airlines. His educational background is finance and economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics.

Teaser image courtesy of Shutterstock.