One of the most frequently asked questions from our social media training clients is “how do I boost engagement on my Facebook page”? We’ve put these 10 tips together to help you generate more likes, shares and comments for your Facebook content.
1. Ask questions
If you’re having a face-to-face conversation you’d ask questions, wouldn’t you? Yet, so many businesses simply use their Facebook pages for one-way broadcasting and then wonder why they don’t get any engagement. Initiate dialogue with your fans by asking their opinions and inviting them to share their thoughts. You’ll be surprised by what a difference this can make.
If you’re struggling for topics of conversation, try an either/or question, e.g. “Boris Bike or Tube?” Questions that are easy to answer will get more responses.
2. Post pictures
Visual content tends to perform better than text-only content on Facebook. In a recent Ipsos poll, 43% of respondents confirmed they had shared photos from fan pages with their friends. Larger images work better than smaller ones, so where possible use the function to upload photos directly from a file rather than posting a link that shows a thumbnail.
The sort of photos you want to post on Facebook are those that say something about your company: e.g. pictures of staff, customers*, your office/ shop, your products (if you have them), events you’ve attended. This is a great opportunity to put a ‘face’ to your business, and give your fans a chance to get to know you better.
*Encourage any customers of staff in your photos to tag themselves and share the picture on their personal profiles.
3. Share stuff from other pages
Sharing content from other business pages with a similar demographic to yours can be a handy way of boosting engagement, because your activity will be seen both by your own fan base and theirs. Hopefully, pages such as these will reciprocate and share your content with their fans.
4. Run competitions
Competitions are one of the best ways to encourage people to share your content – quite simply because there’s something in it for them! You’ll need to consider what to give away as the prize and what people should have to do to enter. Crucially, the two must correlate: if the prize is a £50 Amazon voucher, you can’t ask entrants to do much more than like or comment (note that you’re not allowed to ask them to share to enter). On the other hand, if you’re giving away a Ferrari, you can probably ask them to do quite a lot more! Do have a careful read through Facebook’s competition guidelines (Section E) before you get started.
5. Include a call to action
Have you actually asked your fans to like and share your content? If not, try it: A direct call-to-action can work wonders.
6. Do some good
A New York Times study revealed that 84% of social media users share content that allows them to support a cause they care about. If your business is involved in any charity or community work, this should definitely feature prominently in your Facebook content. Your fans are likely to prefer sharing this content to your ‘regular’ business-focused posts.
7. Watch what works
Use the built-in analytics on your Facebook page to scrutinise which of your previous posts have generated good engagement, and see if you can spot any trends. To access this data, click ‘See Insights’ at the top right hand side of your page. You’ll be able to see total shares and post clicks from the previous week, and if you select ‘See All Posts’ you can access a breakdown of all your previous content, including type (status, link, photo or video), reach (total views) and engagement (people who liked, commented or shared). See if you can spot what works and use it to inspire future posts.
8. Get your timing right
There’s no magical time to publish your Facebook content: it will very much depend on what sort of business you’re running, and what sort of customer you’re trying to reach. Use your customer knowledge and research to identify potential days and times to post, and see what happens when you try posting during and outside of these times. With a bit of trial and error you should be able to identify the windows of time that generate the best visibility for your content.
9. Don’t post too frequently
Less is more when it comes to updating your Facebook page. Research by Buddy Media concluded that Facebook pages which add content once or twice per day receive 40% higher user engagement compared with pages which add content more than 3 times per day.
It’s not a word anyone likes to hear, but paying for promoted content is worth considering, given that Facebook only displays page content to about 16% of fans. The reason is its ‘Edgerank’ algorithm, which assumes – probably rightly – that most people want to see content from their friends not from businesses, and therefore shows only a limited selection of your content to your fans.
You can partially get around this by curating content on your page that generates engagement, because the more popular your content is, the more frequently the algorithm will display it. You can see the total number of views each piece of content has amassed by looking at the bottom left hand corner.
However, if your numbers are languishing, despite your best efforts to improve your content, it may be worth exploring the options for paid placement of your Facebook page and/or individual posts. This overview of Facebook’s advertising products may be helpful.