18 Practical Tips To Get More Engagement on Facebook

26 Aug 2016
Alan Martin

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According to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Industry report, only 46% of marketers feel like their Facebook marketing efforts are working. Why so low a percentage?

Well one of the reasons often cited by marketers is because it takes a lot of time and effort to maintain an effective presence on Facebook (time, that could be spent on other activities), yet so few fans actually see any of the content that is published.

The key to organic visibility on Facebook is engagement!

This article explains why engagement is such a crucial factor in your Facebook marketing success and more importantly, what you can do about it.

Facebook’s Newsfeed Algorithm

Thanks to a complex algorithm Facebook uses, which looks at over 100,000 different data points (sometimes referred to as EdgeRank), the majority of your fans won’t see your posts. The reason for this is simply because there is just so much competition for space in the newsfeeds (well, that and the fact that Facebook want to make money from selling ads), so Facebook uses this EdgeRank formula to decide what updates users see in their newsfeeds, based on how they have interacted with the Pages and Profiles that they Like.

It is entirely possible for someone to come across your Page, click the Like button and then not see any more of your posts after a period of time, because they have not interacted with your Page again, other than initially clicking Like. On the other hand if someone has Liked your Page, then gone on to Like a particular post, leave a comment or share an update, they are more likely to see your future posts. At least in the short term, until they stop interacting with your content.

Research from Social@Ogilvy reveals that for Pages with over 500,000 Likes, a 2% engagement rate is not uncommon.

Doing Something About it!

Now you know the extent of the issue, you need to do something about it!

Facebook provides some excellent information about engagement on your Page and through the Insights tab you will be able to see the engagement that your page has had over the last seven days as well as access Post-specific information such as Reach, No. of Likes, Comments, Shares and link clicks. This is a great starting point and will help you identify which of your Posts have been the most successful in the past and figure out what resonates well with your users.

Next, to encouraging initial Likes, engagement should be your main objective. What follows are 18 practical tips to help you improve your engagement levels and help you achieve better results from your Facebook marketing.

Practical Ways to Boost Engagement

1. Ask Questions – above all you need to encourage your readers to respond to your updates in some way. A good way to do this is to ask questions. Try to include a question in the majority of your posts. Conventional wisdom seems to favour asking the question at the end of a post but you can test using this in different locations.

Make sure your questions are straight-forward and quick to answer. If your questions involve a great deal of thought or require a long response, your engagement levels are likely to be much lower than if you had asked a question that was quick to answer and required little effort, so you may have to think laterally.

If you are linking to content in your post, try experimenting with teaser questions such as “What do you think of Tip 4?”. This technique requires readers to click through and read the content before they can answer the question.

2. Use images – Images as a content type tend to attract a lot of engagement, so make sure that the majority of your posts have an image to accompany them. I’ve been experimenting recently with uploading and posting promotional images, rather than just linking out to a page on my website, and been getting great visibility as a result. I then add a link to the website in the comments, rather than in the original post.

If you need images to accompany content that you have created (articles etc) a good source of royalty-free images is Pixabay or Unsplash.

3. Use Video – Whist organic reach for most content types is in decline, video seems to be the exception. Facebook is trying to establish itself as a serious player in online video, going head-to-head with YouTube, and one of the ways that it’s fighting this battle is by making video content more prominent on the platform. As a Page owner or Admin you can cash in on this by making sure that you are posting video content as much as possible.

Not only will your videos be more likely to be seen, but they are also more engaging than many other types of content.

4. Respond to Comments – When fans leave comments on your page it is vital that you respond to every one with an appropriate reply.

5. Personalise Responses – When you are engaging with fans on your wall use their names to personalise the response. You should also sign-off your own posts with your name. This is particularly necessary when your Page has a logo as it’s Profile picture and there is no visible person to connect to the Page.

6. Caption Requests – People love to suggest funny captions for photographs and this type of post can generate a lot of engagement from your fans.

7. Industry Best Practice – Do your homework! Check out the Pages of others in your industry to see what types of posts are getting the best response for them.

8. Valuable Content – If you provide valuable and relevant content to your fans they will show their appreciation by Liking, Commenting or Sharing the Post. Key to this is to have a content strategy, where you have decided what type of content you are going to share and when it is going to be shared. Hand-in-hand with this goes the editorial calendar where you have your post’s themes planned in advance.

9. Post-and-Hang – A common mistake people make is to post an update then leave immediately to get on with other important tasks. By sticking around on Facebook after you post you can respond in real-time to comments, which makes the Page more vibrant.

10. Use Non-Business Posts – Your Page is quite rightly focused on business-related updates. However there is no harm in sending out the odd non-business-related Post. Some of Chat Marketing’s Posts with the highest engagement levels have been to something as simple as “Have a great weekend” posted at 4.45pm on a Friday afternoon. If you support a charity or good cause, why not give them a mention if they are doing a fund-raising event?

11. Fill in the Blank – Another fun way to engage your fans is to write a piece of text with some missing words and ask fans to fill in the blanks.

12. Ask for a Response – Tell your fans what action you would like them to take! This technique should be used sparingly, but a bizarre phenomenon with social media is that people often do what you ask them to do. For example, at the end of a post you could say “Feel free to share this opportunity with your friends”. You have to be careful though that you are not too obvious with this e.g. “Click Like if you agree”, as Facebook’s algorithm now attempts to weed out these type of posts.

13. Themed Days – On the Chat Marketing Facebook Page we have experimented with ‘Mention Monday’. The idea being that fans of the Page can come onto the wall and introduce their own business. This is good for the businesses that respond because it gives them access to a new audience and good for Chat Marketing because it improves the EdgeRank with those who are posting. We have also tried ‘Facebook Friday’ where we focused our updates on Facebook, gave tips and offered Page reviews.

You could also try ‘Expert Friday’ where you invite a subject expert to be on the wall at a set time on a set day, to answer questions for an hour. This feature should be promoted to fans in advance, encouraging them to either hang-out on the Page or submit questions in advance.

14. Mix up the Media – Vary your updates sharing text, photos, video and links. Don’t always stick to the same type of content type.

15. Fan of The Week – Once a week, you can draw a fan at random from those that have engaged with your page, and make them ‘Fan of The Week’. It helps if you offer a prize or a discount to the person who is crowned ‘Fan of the Week’ as an incentive. You can do this manually or you can install the ‘Fan of the Week‘ Facebook App.

16. Timing – Your levels of engagement will also be influenced by timing i.e. when you send your posts out! A lot of businesses tend to send out their updates when it is convenient for them, but you need to focus on your fans and when the majority of them will be active. If you sell overseas you also need to be aware of this when planning your schedule in order to give all your fans the greatest chance of seeing your posts.

The longer the time-lapse between sending out a post and your fans being active on Facebook, the less likely they will notice your post. It is worthwhile experimenting by sending out posts at various times of the day to see what times get the best results. You can get this information through your Insights.

You should also note that there may be a difference between when your fans are most active on social media and when they are more likely to engage with your posts, but you will find this out through testing different times. In general people tend to be more active on social media during the day, but that’s when everyone else is posting too, so you might find that engagement rates are higher in the evening and at weekends.

Coupled with the issue of timing is the issue of frequency. You should make sure you are posting regularly, at the very least once a day but two or three times a day is not too much, as long as the updates are spaced out.

17. Facebook Ads – The other tips have all been free but if you have a little bit of budget you can put towards Boosting some of your posts, you can get your content in front of more people and encourage them to engage with your posts.

19. Create a One Page Website

A great technique for encouraging engagement is to create a one page website, where you link to your Facebook page and encourage fans to introduce themselves when they like your page. Michael Port does an excellent job of this strategy with his ‘Think Big Revolution‘ page.

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Conclusion

So now you know the importance of engagement, get started today by putting these tips into practice and be sure to let me how in the comments below how you get on!

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