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Whether we’re updating our personal Facebook profile, company page, or Facebook group, starting a dialogue and encouraging engagement is usually at the forefront of our minds. Despite that, a majority of Facebook posts go largely unnoticed. Why?
By the end of this post, you’ll hopefully have a better understanding of what makes a Facebook post engaging, and where to find content that’s interesting, entertaining, and of high enough quality to publish to your audience.
What Makes Facebook Content Engaging?
Before we look at how to find interesting content to post, it’s important to realize what actually goes into crafting an engaging status update. Whenever my team posts to our clients’ Facebook pages, we work with the DRAVITI acronym. This stands for:
Include stats, data and hard edivence. Readers can quickly absorb this information and many figures can often be used for ‘shock and awe’.
Make sure whatever you post is relevant to the audience and what they’ll be interested in at the time of posting.
In the words of the Joker, ‘Why. So. Serious?’. Unless you’re a funeral director, don’t be afraid to show a bit of light-heartedness. Have a laugh and a joke with your audience. Build some rapport.
Photos and graphics can have a huge impact on the amount of interaction you receive. Make the most of this!
Make sure you don’t make people feel like they need to be wearing a shirt-and-tie to be on your Facebook page. Let them enter wearing flipflops while holding a can of cheap beer.
Say something worthwhile. Have an opinion. Think before you hit ‘Post’.
Try to make your readers have as many ‘aha!’ moments as possible.
Of course, it’d be impossible for every post to tick each one of these boxes, but I suggest trying to make sure that each post ticks at least three.
Where Can I Find Engaging Content?
Now that you know what goes into an engaging Facebook post, you need to be able to routinely find content that can tick these boxes time and time again.
In an ideal world, you’ll have a steady stream of data-rich, relevant, amusing, visual, informal, thoughtful and insightful content that you can easily schedule using Buffer or another similar service. These five resources should help you keep your timeline stocked up with fascinating content that people can’t wait to engage with.
Prismatic is the perfect alternative to Flipboard, acting as an aggregator of quality, engaging content from around the Web. Type in a broad keyword (in this example, ‘Social Media’), and hit enter. I’ve been choosing Prismatic over a standard RSS reader such as Feedly as it not only saves time on manually creating content feeds, but also introduces you to new, highly relevant websites that you might not otherwise have discovered.
The sharing options aren’t great (Twitter, Facebook and Email), but if you run the Buffer or Hootsuite browser extensions to schedule posts in advance, this shouldn’t pose a problem.
You can quickly browse different articles by hitting the ‘down’ arrow on your keyboard, until you find an interesting and relevant headline and teaser paragraph, then use the acronym above to craft an engaging post relating to the content that you’ve found.
Since Pinterest’s new design, it’s become easier than ever to find visually oriented content to share with your audience. Include the word ‘infographic’ along with your search term, and you’ll find tons of data-rich content that you can pull stats and figures from to fascinate and shock your readers.
You won’t find many articles on this subject recommending Goodreads for finding engaging content, but do a quick search of any published book that you love (or which will resonate with your audience) and check out the reviews. You’ll notice that the reviews on Goodreads are second-to-none, often written by individuals who actually know what they’re talking about, and who care about the subject. A real rarity on the Web, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Reading a few of these reviews will give you some new, thoughtful insights into a certain topic which you can share with your readers, hopefully encouraging them to engage with the conversation, too.
We all know that quotes from famous and wise folks always grab attention. If I were to say to you now ‘Don’t give up, keep going!’ you’d likely take not one jot of notice. Whereas, if I said ‘Muhammad Ali once said “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion”‘, you’d be much more likely to take it to heart.
In order to find quotes on a huge array of subjects, my first port of call is always BrainyQuote. One option is to simply post the quote onto your Facebook wall. The other option is to turn the quote into a graphic (you could use the new, free graphic design platform, Canva for this), which will often encourage even more interaction.
Stop scouring the Internet, and get out and about. Go into the countryside. Attend a conference. Have coffee with someone you admire. Step outside of your comfort zone. By keeping yourself busy and actually doing things, you’ll have plenty of content to share. Take pictures and share your stories. By telling people more about you rather than about what other people are saying, writing or doing, your audience will be far more willing to engage with you on Facebook.
Rather than relying on social media, Google or RSS readers to offer you interesting content day in, day out, try a few of the ideas above. Once you’ve found something interesting, I urge you not to simply copy and paste the title. Spend some time crafting content that ticks at least three of the DRAVITI principles mentioned at the start of the article, and you should see engagement and interaction on your Facebook page or profile increase nicely!
Where else do you find interesting and engaging content to share with your readers?