According to a survey conducted by The Creative Group, more than 50% of advertising and marketing executives said they expect companies to increase their investment in Facebook this year.
Facebook is simple, you update your wall and people will flock to your page and respond, right? That is the dream that every business owner believes before they get started; or that is what they’ve learned from people who claimed to be ‘experts’ in this field.
Most of them tend to give up or stop updating their page when they aren’t seeing the results that they want despite their constant updates.
Here is the hard truth; people don’t want to hear about your products all the time. Why would they? When they’ve been bombarded daily with advertisements from all possible platforms – from TV, to radio broadcasts, giant billboards, and even while you’re surfing the web. Let’s face it; people don’t come to Facebook to see advertisements.
What scares these advertisers is that Facebook is built for the control of their users, which means they could choose to ignore these adverts if they want to.
To increase engagement on Facebook, you need to create content that is not only relevant but personal too. Based on my own experience with my brand and through analyzing what other brands do, I’ll share with you some methods that have helped me increase my Facebook page engagement and what I’ve seen worked well for others.
1. Ask QuestionsQuestions are a great way to spark dialogue with fans. It is probably the easiest way and one of the best methods to get people to respond to your posts.
Having said that, there are many types of questions that you can ask your fans. Here is a short summary to help you get started.
2. TimingTiming is extremely important when it comes to posting on any social networks. Imagine updating your wall post when everyone is at work or when they are sleeping. It would be better to post after work or when people are in transit. These are the times that people are most likely to check for updates on their social network accounts.
According this post by Dan Zarella (@danzarrella), the best time to share on Facebook is noon and a little after 7pm.
A tool that I recommend to help you ease the work is Buffer. Buffer has proven to increase Facebook engagement as users are posting at the right times.
3. PhotosWe’ve all heard the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? On Facebook, a picture is worth much more than that.
Photos has to be one of my favorite ways to build engagement because they stand out better compared to status updates or posted links. Pictures are clear and concise and are easily digestible to the mind.
Leneys, a ladies fashion apparel company, uses photos to their advantage by posting pictures of multiple photos and asking their fans to choose their favorite.
This simple post alone helped them to receive over 51 comments, 52 likes and 55 shares and their fans are asking their friends too.
4. Facebook ContestContests are another great way to increase Facebook engagement because not only does this reward loyal fans, but also it creates excitement and will get users to visit your Facebook page frequently to check if they have won.
There are many types of contests that you can organize. Social media promotions platform, Binkd, for example, not only allows you to create a straight-forward sweepstakes contest but also more challenging contests that create engagement. Different contests can be structured to target the engagement that you would like from your audience. A ‘vote to win’ contest would get you likes, but not as many comments as the more challenging contests that would require you to write a tagline in the comment box.
Mari Smith recently organized a successful Facebook contest using Strutta. Her contest received over 392 entries from 377 unique entrants. Her contest also garnered 15,571 votes from 2,153 unique voters. One of her posts about the contest received over 50 shares, 42 comments and 150 likes and that is just one post.
5. Crowdsource For AnswersRather than answering questions by yourself, why not get your fans to help others who are in need of tips and advice?
That is what Natural Parenting Tips, a Facebook page dedicated to helping parents is doing. Every day without fail, they update their page with questions from their fans. The idea is to crowdsource for tips and suggestions from their fanbase, which in turns helps other fans out.
Watch how engaging your fanbase can be when your brand presents them with something they can relate well with.
6. Call To ActionCall to actions instill psychological nudges that help marketers drive their audience to respond the way that they want to.
One thing that most business owners or marketers tend to miss when they update their Facebook page is not having a ‘call to action’. Your audience tends to respond better when they are given specifics as to what to respond to.
What do you want people to do? Do you want them to comment? Click the like button? Share something with their friends?
Subway, an iconic American Franchise, fully understands the importance of the call to action. On their Facebook page, you’ll find them frequently adding the phrase, “Like” this if you … or Click “like” if you ___. This simple photo alone helped them get over 53,000 likes and 404 shares.
7. Facebook AdsSeeing that only a small fraction of people gets to see your Facebook wall post, what you can also do to increase your page engagement is to promote it by using ‘page post story ads’, or Facebook’s most recent wall post promotion, which will help your wall posts get greater reach.
Below is an example of a page post – story ads from Mari Smith for one of their most recent social media courses.
8. Frequency Of PostingThe frequency of posting has also shown to have an effect on Facebook engagement.
According to a research by Buddy Media, pages that posted one or two times per day receives 40% higher user engagement compared to pages that had more than 3 posts per day. This shows that it is not the quantity of the post, but the quality of your Facebook wall post.
What works for your brand may not work for others. However, these guidelines are proven to have helped increase engagement because all of them utilize content that engages with the audience on a personal level.
What about you?
How have you increased your engagement with your customers and prospects on Facebook. What tactics have worked best for you?
About the Author: Aaron Lee is the Social Media Manager at Binkd Platform. He specializes in social media marketing especially in how small businesses can grow using social media.