You share a coupon every day on Facebook and no one clicks on it to redeem it. Why? Because most people on Facebook are not looking for your product or service. They are there to trade recipes, check up on their kids, share a joke or get a daily dose of inspiration. You are out of place in their news feed. You haven’t been personal, you haven’t been funny or inspiring. You have jumped right to sell, sell, sell mode and as a reader, I am in ignore, ignore, ignore mode.

You might think that you don’t have anything personal to share. After all, it’s easy to be fun when you’re Oreo. You have a product with great brand awareness and loyal fans. Even those of us who don’t indulge regularly still  appreciate the funny images, clever quotes and Vine videos for Oreo cookies. But what if you aren’t marketing for a popular consumer product? Is there still a place on Facebook for you?

The answer is maybe. Remember that Facebook is a lot like a backyard barbecue. The conversations there tend to be informal and personal. So what would you say about your business on a bright sunny afternoon with a beer and burger in front of you? If you can’t think of anything that would be appropriate in that setting, then you don’t need to spend time on Facebook. Your time will be better spent cultivating business conversations on LinkedIn or perhaps G+.

If you think there is a fit, then here are a few topic ideas that will help you tap into the human and social side of your business:

trumanShare stories of your team. 

We routinely share photos and short videos of life at the ‘Peg. Quotes from Jenna and pictures of the cats at work generate comments, shares and the occasional new fan.  

But you don’t need to be a quirky marketing company to be funny and personal. Sheet metal fabrication company Bomar Industries mixes photos of their employees playing paintball and a wedding photo of the company owner along with images of their manufacturing floor.   

Share your  history.

If your company has been around a while, dig through your archives. Old advertisements and photos of team members when they were younger make terrific content to share on Facebook.

Picture1Be a Person

Find your sense of  humor by being  funny  in context. Here is an example from an HVAC contractor. This was a long winter, and most of us were convinced that the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil was wrong, confused or incompetent.  

That’s why I thought it was so funny when I saw a post on the page of an HVAC contractor talking about criminal charges being filed against Phil.  The caption and the picture made me stop, laugh and remember that contractor for a few days.

But just as we don’t laugh every day, some businesses are not funny but they do have an important and personal message to share. Women’s shelters and medical facilities can use the Facebook platform to be informative and inspirational, sharing success stories and requests for donations.

Talk about your clients.  

People naturally love it when you talk about them. Share examples of your work, share photos of completed projects, feature thank-you notes and links to completed work. The point is to make your customers feel appreciated and that is true  in every business.

Your Facebook page doesn’t have to be all fun and games. Once you engage users, you earn the right to share a bit of business information too. Just remember to treat Facebook like a backyard party. You need to entertain the guests so they want to talk with you. They will be willing to look at your coupon if they have come to care about other elements of your business.