There are plenty of types of social media posts, but the majority fall into one of two categories (and sometimes fall into both): conversation and conversion. Knowing the difference between the two and the reason they’re important can help you to plan out your strategy appropriately.
Conversation posts are those that don’t have a direct influence on your business but that are engaging in some way. The goal is to get people to interact with you. It could be a question that solicits peoples’ opinions about a particular car. It could simply be images of a cool car. It could be statements or questions about events in the local area.
Here’s an example of a conversation piece of content:
It’s interesting, of general interest, but still stayed on track with focusing on something relevant, in this case the OEM brand. It received good engagement in the form of likes, comments, and shares. This is the goal of conversation posts. You want to build up “good will” in the algorithms (at least in the case of Facebook and Google+) as well as with your fans. This helps your other posts get more visibility when it’s time for them to come to light.
Conversion posts are obvious. Their goal is to get an action from the users that will help business in some way. It’s about getting foot traffic and/or clicks to the dealership website. That’s it. Here’s an example:
In this case, the goal is to get people to value their trade. Simple. Quick. The important thing to remember with conversion posts is that there should be creativity involved. It’s not just posting a link to the trade evaluation form and saying, “Click here to see how much your trade is worth.” It should be framed in the format of a story, something quick and interesting that will help it stand out. Trust me, if you post a link to your trade form without a story attached to it, nobody will like it. Doing it in the way we did for this dealership got 40+ likes on Facebook and turned into 30+ clicks to the website.
It’s not about coaxing. As you can see in the text associated with this post, we’re very clear that they’re clicking through to a trade form. However, we told an interesting story and it worked.
I wrote more in depth about the topic on Social News Watch:
Mix it up. There’s no magic formula. If I were cornered with a knife to my throat and forced to answer the question about the proper mix of content I would say something like 6:1 – six conversational posts for every conversion post, but I’d be guessing and generalizing. The reality is that it’s different for every page, every market, every demographic. Some can get away with 3:1. Some can only muster 10:1. Whatever is right for your page and your business is the way to go. It’s not a copout response. We spend a lot of time determining the personality and limitations of each individual client and the ratios listed above are real-world ranges that we’ve seen and applied. The key is finding what works best for you.