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Despite the rise of Snapchat and the ease of Instagram, Facebook is still king when it comes to advertising.
Nearly every business – from your grandma’s hairdresser to industry giants like Red Bull – have a Facebook page, but not everyone knows how to use their business’s Facebook page to get attention from their followers.
Now sure, some of that is because Facebook keeps changing their algorithms and prices, making it difficult to engage your audience without paying significant amounts. That being said, there are a number of strategies and approaches for engagement that can help you to reach more people with your posts for free.
I’ve collected some of the most effective options here – these aren’t meant to be quick fixes that will guarantee every single post is a hit, but instead an overall strategy that will help you to build your page and its brand over time. After all, one or two popular posts don’t guarantee a high traffic page – only a consistent and intelligent approach to Facebook engagement can do that.
Crafting the Perfect Post
What to Post
There isn’t a single right or wrong way to craft a post for your Facebook page, but consider using the following formats as they tend to encourage more engagement from viewers.
- Videos: Video is being pushed by every social media network right now, and if your video looks professional, can be watched without sound (or with automated captions), and isn’t overly long (studies suggest that the majority of your message needs to be delivered in the first 10 seconds), you can get a lot of engagement from viewers!
- Events: Consider creating events that are hosted by your page, such as a sale, an ongoing promotion, or an in-person special event. Then, invite people who have liked your page to the event – whether they are attending or interested in the event, they will continue to receive information whenever you update the event page and their friends will be able to see if they are attending and may also be drawn to your page.
- Images: Posts without images rarely do well on Facebook, as it is all too easy to scroll right on past them. Use one of the many available online and easy-to-use image editors to craft a simple image that helps to get your point across and grabs the attention of anyone who is scrolling through their feed.
When to Post
Tons of research has been done into the best time to post on social media, and the numbers don’t lie. You can read a technical report compiled by researchers in San Francisco,this infographic by Microsoft, or this summary by Buddy Media for detailed breakdowns, but in general you should be posting in the early evening – about 7 or 8pm – or on weekends.
Posting during business hours, which is easiest for most pages, is actually not the best idea as people generally aren’t checking their phones at that time.
How to Post
Trying to juggle the perfect content with ideal timing can be difficult, which is why using social media scheduling programs like Buffer can be a lifesaver for reaching audiences at the perfect time. You also want to be sure that you aren’t posting too many times per day – some research shows that about twice per day is an ideal number.
Finally, you want to end every post with a direction for your audience. One of the most common ways that this is done is by asking a question at the end of the post and asking readers for their opinion in the comments. Other pages find great success by asking people to “like if they agree,” “tag a friend who does this,” or “share with their friends.” If you don’t provide this direction, it’s likely your target audience will just pause to enjoy the post and then keep scrolling by.
Building Your Page’s Personality
One of the most important parts of building engagement with your page’s fans is by creating a page that people recognize, care about, and are interested in. The best way to do this is by crafting a personality for your Facebook page that people are drawn to, and that remains consistent over time.
Some pages do very well at curating this kind of community, especially Facebook pages that are popular in the geek world. If building a page personality is something that you think your Facebook page needs, consider the following strategies:
- Keep your Voice Consistent: Many pages are managed by more than one person, but you want your page’s personality to be consistent over time. Brainstorm some guidelines with your team to ensure that your posts’ direction, sense of humour, and tone stay consistent across the board.
- Interact with Others: Take the extra time to reply to comments, share other page’s posts, and to return messages that are sent to your page. This extra step helps you to build rapport with your audience, and is a great way to gain some dedicated fans.
- Comment on Local Events: Your posts shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. Talk about current events that impact your page – whether they’re local events or industry happenings. Intelligent or humorous time-sensitive commentary on topics that your audience cares about is a guaranteed way to get some more shares and discussion happening on your page.
- Feature your Fans: People appreciate pages that appreciate them. If someone tags your page in a positive post, share it to your fans – it greatly increases the likelihood that others will also begin interacting with your page in this way. You can also choose to put out a call to your fans for images of them using your product or ask them to post a status using a specific hashtag and then highlight the best responses on your page.
Reaching Out Through Facebook’s Tools
Of course, the best strategies for making your Facebook content truly engaging involve using Facebook’s advertising and outreach tools. Chances are you’re already using at least a few of these, but with Facebook’s constant updates there’s always something new to learn about advertising on their platform.
- Live Video: The recent public release of Facebook’s live video streaming service means that your page can access live streaming whenever you want. Consider giving fans a look “behind the scenes” of your business, announcing the winner of a contest live, or using this awesome feature in any other way that you can imagine.
- Insights: Facebook offers an incredible number of features for understanding insights into your audience and how well each post of yours performs. To access these analytics, go to your page and then Publishing Tools to see a quick overview of how well each post has performed, and Facebook’s Ad Manager for advertising-specific insights.
- Coupon Codes: You want to make it worth people’s while to like your page! Consider offering specific benefits – such as a coupon code or helpful tips through posts on your page that aren’t available anywhere else. These incentives can be a perfect way of gaining (and maintaining) fans on your page. Similarly, offering regular contests that people can enter through simple steps like comments, likes, and shares, can drive up traffic and gain a lot of interest without too much work on your part.
Make Your Page Your Own
It should go without saying that tips and tricks that work for one page, won’t necessarily work for all pages. Much like storefronts, every page has its own niche to fill and its own specific audience, and its up to the page creator to decide what approach to take to improving their Facebook engagement.
What strategies do you find the most useful when it comes to creating Facebook content that your page’s fans interact with?