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14 Tips to Increase Facebook Engagement
Posted on September 25, 2019
Last year, one of the top questions on all marketers’ (and our clients!) minds was, “How do we generate more Facebook engagement for our business?” And for good reason – if there’s one metric that can’t be ignored, it’s engagement – any type of action your fans and followers perform on your Facebook page. Whether it be in the form of commenting on an update, liking your page content, viewing your photos and videos, or simply clicking on your links, Facebook engagement not only extends your organic reach in the Newsfeeds, but also exposes your posts to your audiences’ extended networks.
Numerous studies over recent years have all found that one of the most significant factors in Facebook’s post ranking algorithm is engagement. However, as more and more businesses are joining Facebook and ramping up their posting strategies, it’s becoming more challenging to maintain and grow your engagement rate. While businesses were once able to post some content and see the majority of their fans engage with it, this is no longer the case. In order to stand out in those ever-crowded Newsfeeds, your business needs a strong engagement strategy to generate better response from your Facebook marketing activities.
So what goes into developing an effective engagement strategy? It starts with understanding what motivates people to engage with a Facebook post.
A New York Times Study1 found five primary reasons why people share information online:
- To delight others with content that is both valuable and entertaining
- To identify and present ourselves to others
- To foster relationships
- For self-fulfillment
- For spreading awareness about issues, products, and brands
Keep these in mind as we cover the following tips to generate Facebook engagement.
- Post Share-Worthy Content
Your Facebook audience is not going to want to engage with an overly promotional sales pitch, but rather content that will make them think, smile, or ultimately improve their lives in some way. Knowing that 96% of Facebook users access the site via mobile devices2, your goal should be to capture the attention of your audience and make them pause scrolling through their endless Newsfeeds. The best way to accomplish this is by creating original content that stands out, delivers value, and makes your followers feel good about sharing it with others. Whether your posts entail breaking news, industry information, educational blogs and white papers, or even humorous and entertaining videos, providing relevant and helpful information not only attracts comments and shares, but is also the third most common reason consumers decide to do business with a company. And we’re all here for that, aren’t we?
- Keep Updates Short & Sweet
According to Facebook data, people scrolling through their Newsfeeds on mobile devices spend just 1.7 seconds to consume an item, while desktop users spend 2.5 seconds – yikes! But there is some good news – people can recall content after seeing it for as little as just 0.25 seconds3. The takeaway – you need to act fast to capture your audience’s attention.
With dwindling attention spans and extremely passive consumption, your posts need to be able to grab scrollers’ attention quickly and effectively to get your page noticed. For the best chance of engagement, keep your posts short and sweet. Facebook found that posts with less than 250 total characters generate 60% more likes, comments, and shares4.
- Use Quality Images
They say a picture is worth a thousand words – but when it comes to Facebook, they can be worth even more! Images naturally capture attention and are easy to consume – which is why Facebook posts that include an image (or images) see higher-than-average engagement rates. As a matter of fact, recent studies have found that posts with images generate 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more clicks than those without5. With results like these, you can’t afford not to include images. And all you need to get started is a mobile phone. Get in the habit of taking quick snaps on your phone, add a crop or filter, and watch the engagement on your posts take off.
- Leverage the Power of Video
While photos are widely accepted by marketers to be among the most successful post types, they are outperformed by video. In fact, it’s long been an accepted truth that Facebook video posts attract the most attention of any other type of post. And with Facebook users consuming more than 100 million hours of video content each day6, it’s clear that people can’t get enough of it.
Like photography, Facebook videos can be as simple and inexpensive as using your mobile phone. Not sure where to begin? Consider your topics of expertise, such as how to check and replace a furnace air filter, drivers making deliveries despite extreme weather, or how to get your home heating system ready for the colder months. You can also do a Q&A session with team members or leverage video as an opportunity to introduce your techs and CSRs to your client base. With 73% of marketers planning on creating video in the near future7, it’s clear that videos are your best shot to keep fans engaging with your posts.
- Go Live!
What’s more powerful than video? Live video! While people may love watching videos on Facebook’s Newsfeed, nothing beats the engagement that Facebook Live generates. One of the quickest ways to ramp up engagement, live videos generate the highest engagement of all – getting 6 times more interaction than regular video posts8. Better yet, a recent experiment found that Facebook Live videos attracted over 1,300% more comments9 than their uploaded video counterparts.
Looking for a reason to go live? Get creative and be yourself! In order to generate the most engagement, be sure to plan in advance and let people know when you’ll be broadcasting. They can then spread the word and potentially bring even more traffic to your page.
- Ask Questions
Facebook engagement becomes much easier when people become more inclined to respond to your posts and participate in active comment threads. There’s nothing better than starting a two-way conversation with your followers and fans – and there is no better way to get them talking than by asking a question. Consider a mix of both close-ended and open-ended questions to get started. People may be more inclined to answer questions and engage with your content when all they need to do is reply with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ For this reason, asking closed-ended questions is a simple yet effective way to generate engagement from both fans and non-fans alike. Open-ended questions keep the dialogue flowing as they typically require fans to put some more thought and detail into their replies. For instance, asking questions such as “Do you know how to change your air filter?” “Do you use a propane grill?” or even “Do you like the cooler Fall weather?” all require a simple short-ended response. On the other hand, asking questions such as, “How often do you change your air filters?” “What’s your favorite food to cook on your propane grill?” or “What Fall activities are you enjoying most?” open up the conversation and welcome fans to weigh in with more detailed responses. By taking the time and effort to answer, your fans show that they value their relationship with your brand.
- Respond to Your Fans
Speaking of keeping it conversational – if a fan takes the time to comment or leave a reply on one of your posts, make sure you reply! Nobody likes to be left hanging, and those who engage with your posts expect you to engage in return. Make sure you have a point person or designated team in place to monitor and respond to all comments. Better yet, aim to get Facebook’s ‘Very Responsive’ badge on your page – this shows fans that you quickly respond and address their questions and concerns. Facebook’s algorithm counts discussion as a strong indication of quality content, so the more you respond, the more “bonus points” the algorithm will reward your page.
- Post Consistently (And at The Right Times!)
It’s no secret that the more people interact with your content, the higher your Facebook engagement will be. But how can you make sure people are actually engaging with your content? It starts with posting at the times your audience are most active online. While there are several reports claiming the best days and times to post, the truth is that these vary largely by industry. By leveraging and analyzing your Facebook Page Insights data, you can gain a better understanding of how and when your audience engages with your content. From there, you can create a content calendar and schedule posts for the times they’re most likely to generate more engagement. No matter when you post, just make sure you post on a consistent basis. Once your followers become familiar with your page and content, they’ll be more likely to come back for more!
- Add a Call-to-Action (CTA) Button
What actions do you want visitors to take once they’ve landed on (and liked!) your Facebook page? Tell them! Like your website, your Facebook page should include a clear call to action. Whether it’s a button encouraging page visitors to book a service appointment or delivery, watch a video, click to your website, or even call your business, a CTA button gives users engagement options far beyond the standard likes, shares, and comments.
- Get Verified
If you spend any time of Facebook, you’ve likely started to notice those little grey or blue checkmarks popping up next to certain pages. These indicate that a page is verified – and you can (and should!) get one for your business page too. A verified badge shows Facebook users that your page is legitimately you, so they can feel safe and welcome to engage with your posts. This helps to build trust with your audience – after all, nobody wants to share or comment on a post from a fake page. And by verifying your business’ Facebook page, you’ll also rank higher on lists of searched items, which gives you a higher chance of interaction and audience engagement. The best part – verifying your page is an extremely simple process and can be done in just a matter of minutes.
- Feature User-Generated Content
One way brands are increasing their reach and engagement is by placing a focus on user-generated or fan-generated content. This type of content not only generates more comments and higher Facebook engagement, but also increases the likelihood that your fans will share your content with their own immediate networks. As a matter of fact, Facebook has reported that user-generated content featuring a certain brand achieves up to 6.9 times more engagement compared to regular content created by a brand10. Shout-out your fans who take the time to create and submit content and encourage others to do so. Something as simple as sharing a fan photo of your town or surrounding neighborhood blanketed in a fresh coat of snow can go a long way in showing how much you value your customers and community. And that feeling of goodwill will result in more engagement overall. Talk about a win-win!
- Celebrate the Holidays (Even the Lesser Known Ones)
Facebook engagement is all about the relevance of your posts. And what better way to create relevance than by acknowledging and celebrating holidays with your followers in your posts? While everyone knows and posts about the big holidays – Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, 4th of July, etc. – there are hundreds of lesser-known and fictional holidays you can celebrate and highlight on your page. Consider, for instance, National Dog Day (August 26) or National Donut Day (the first Friday in June). What better way to celebrate than by posting pictures of your staff and their furry friends or a picture of the team digging into a box of donuts? These types of posts show a more human-side of your business, which ultimately generates more engagement. After all, people like doing business with other people. And with so many of these “holidays,” you’re almost certain to find one relevant to your business – celebrate it!
- Avoid Anything Potentially Offensive
When it comes to driving engagement, it’s all about getting more likes, comments, and shares. And while it may be tempting to express your opinions on given topics, it’s important to avoid posting or participating in any posts that may potentially be deemed political, religious or controversial. You want your page to be an atmosphere of inclusion, not one where conflicting opinions or hostile comments are on display. When it comes to sharing current events, keep it light and upbeat – your fans will appreciate it and you’ll mitigate the risk of potentially offending anyone.
- Have Fun!
When you first signed up for Facebook, you likely did so to connect with friends and family. And your intentions were simple – to have fun and enjoy yourself while keeping in touch. As Facebook has since grown up and become increasingly more about business, we’ve lost some of this – but that doesn’t mean your page has to be boring or not have any fun. Rather than taking a serious, business-only stance, relax, be light-hearted and have some fun with your fans. Anything make you laugh lately? Share a human moment or mildly frustrating situation to poke fun and attract responses from all who can relate. And don’t be afraid to include some of your favorite emojis in your updates. Posts with emojis generally get higher like, comment and share rates than those without.
With over 2.41 billion monthly active users11, making your content stand out on the seemingly endless Newsfeeds can be a challenge. But by incorporating some of these ideas into your Facebook marketing strategy, you significantly increase the chances that people will engage with your content. Just remember – at the end of the day, your audience ultimately determines what is engagement-worthy – not you! And the more your audience engages with your posts, the more positive impact you’ll see not only on your other Facebook metrics, but also on your business’ customer base, leads, and sales as a whole!
Warm Thoughts has generated tremendous success for clients by understanding how to attract more followers to them, and even more important, engage. We manage your social interaction, with creative posts created just for you, and strategy honed by our success with dozens of fuel companies. Contact us today to see how we can make your social media presence a source of pride and strength for your company.