If there’s one metric that Facebook marketers cannot ignore, it has to be engagement — which is any type of action your fans (or non-fans) perform on your Facebook business page. Anything from commenting on a post to liking it contributes to the engagement of a page. The higher the Facebook engagement, the better your reach.
The reason why high engagement holds an important place in Facebook marketing is mainly because it helps you reach out to your target audience organically, without spending on paid ads. This can obviously help you achieve your business and marketing goals such as driving more traffic, generating quality leads, and increasing sales.
However, as more and more people and businesses join the Facebook bandwagon, it’s becoming harder to maintain and grow your engagement rate. Gone are the days when you could just post some content and see the majority of your fans engaging with it. It’s no longer the case.
Here’s some data to help you understand better…
After analyzing over 880 million Facebook posts, content marketing software company BuzzSumo discovered that the average engagement rate on Facebook pages has dwindled by 20%. Specifically, they found that the average number of engagements on these Facebook pages has come down from 340 to 264 in just a span of six months.
Many successful brands have always focused on increasing and maintaining engagement, which is why they aren’t seeing a big difference in their organic reach. But given the recent algorithm changes done by Facebook, every (small and big) brand needs to create and post content that is relevant to its audience. And delivers real value.
In earlier times Facebook was dominated by spammy linkbait content and many blackhat marketers made hay while the sun shone. Today, you’ll find the Facebook algorithm is less forgiving and does not favor posts that try to create engagement the wrong way.
It’s time to rethink and analyze how you create and share content on Facebook. And give your followers what they want. Or else you will struggle to increase your organic reach.
What your business needs is a strong engagement strategy that works if you want to get better response from your Facebook marketing activities.
Does this mean you need to dump everything you’ve been doing and head back to the drawing board? Of course not. You can keep working with your current Facebook page. The only difference would be in the content you create and post.
In the following article we will be looking into how you can increase Facebook engagement by producing and sharing the right kind of content.
How to Increase Facebook Engagement
#1: Create Share-Worthy Content on Facebook
Facebook is a social network where people share and reshare content that they feel is worthy. The first and the obvious step to boost Facebook engagement is to create content that is share-worthy.
Your audience on Facebook is not there to hear sales pitch from you. So don’t expect them to engage with one too. Unless it’s a direct promotion of a product or service, they wouldn’t share it if sounds too salesy. What they want to engage with is the type of content that can touch their emotions or improve their lives somehow.
Share-worthy content gives readers immense value and gives them a reason to spread the word. It’s relevant to your target audience and connects to them on a deeper level. Ask yourself, “Will I be compelled to share my own content?” … If the answer is no, then you have work to do.
Since Facebook is accessed widely via mobile, your goal should be to grab the attention of your audience and make them pause scrolling through their endless newsfeed. Facebook terms this behavior as“thumb stopping”, a way to not only get people to take notice of your content but also possibly share it with their own network.
The Facebook content that you create and share could be…
- Breaking news
- Fresh product updates
- Industry information
- Educational blog posts and white papers
- Humorous and entertaining videos
Try to share content that has not been shared by others before. The best way to achieve this is to create original content that adds value to the lives of your target audience and makes them feel good when they share it with others.
So whether you create videos or eBooks or graphics, keep the posts relevant to your followers’ interests. Put in extra effort to stand out from the crowd so that your content gets seen in the newsfeed and ultimately gets more shares.
#2: Show Your Brand Personality to Increase Facebook Engagement
Businesses make the mistake of trying to sound too professional and boring with their typical corporate image on social media. However, this usually backfires because growing Facebook engagement is all about being social. The more you focus on showcasing your company’s personality with your content, the easier it will be to get more people to engage on your page.
Now, a common problem or question that brands have is – what if you haven’t been able to establish a real personality? How do you go about it then?
The answer is… You need to discover your voice and know it well.
In order to find your brand’s voice, you should…
a. Stay True to Your Brand
Regardless of the size of your business, you will always have some unique values that your brand stands by. You may tailor your message to different types of audiences, but at the core, you know what’s true for your company.
b. Identify Your Target Audience
If you don’t know your target audience and what their likes/dislikes are, you won’t be able to understand your own voice. Because ultimately, your business is all about catering to your audience. Identifying them and connecting to them lets you choose the right brand attributes to focus on.
Consider these 5 questions when trying to understand your audience:
- What do they want?
- What do they need?
- What are their questions?
- What are their concerns?
- What are their pain points?
c. Change Your Tone to Match Your Audience
The biggest difference between your voice and your tone is that even though your voice stays consistent overtime, your tone changes depending on who you’re speaking to.
Regardless of how you change your tone to match your audience and the current situation, the company’s voice should remain constant. All your Facebook page activity should reflect your brand’s voice at all times. This is how you are able to connect to your Facebook audience on a much deeper level and build stronger trust.
#3: Experiment with Your Posting Time
The more people interact with your content, the higher your Facebook engagement will be. In order to boost the chances of more fans and non-fans liking, commenting, and sharing your content try to post when they are most likely online. However, finding the right posting time depends on multiple factors. Which is why you need to experiment with it.
Until you figure out what time works best for you, you can start posting at times which are generally considered to be the best times. This way you’ll begin to generate some Facebook engagement right away.
You can also try to post your content on times that are outside the typical business hours (eg: early mornings, late nights, weekends, etc). The goal is to publish your content at times when the majority of your target audience is using Facebook. So the best times vary by business and industry.
Eventually, you will learn more about the best time that specifically works for your brand. You can get a better understanding of how and when your audience engages with your content by analyzing your Facebook Page Insights data.
If you’re not already posting at least once a day to your Facebook page, it’s about time you start doing it. It’ll help you grasp what times are working for you and what kind of content your audience is responding to. If you want you can even post a lot more frequently, especially when you are trying to publish time-bound content.
Also, when you’re sharing multiple times a day/week, you may want to smartly repurpose content. Re-publishing your previous content is completely fine. However, make sure you’re taking a fresh approach or a new angle every time you re-publish content.
#4: Ask Appropriate Questions
Facebook engagement becomes easier when people are naturally inclined to respond to your posts time and again. There’s nothing like starting a two-way conversation with your fans. And one the best and easiest ways to do that is by asking questions.
According to a study conducted by Dan Zarrella, posing questions to your fans is the most effective way to encourage comments on your Facebook posts. He says that a question works as a call to action, or engagement bait, that attracts the attention of people and gets them to share their thoughts and ideas via comments.
Why are comments so important? Because they’re a big part of Facebook engagement and send a strong, positive signal to Facebook. It gives the social network a better and a clearer understanding of what your page is actually about. Which leads to higher organic reach and ultimately helps you gain more fans.
In another study done by Edgerank Checker, they discovered that comments lead to 4X more clicks than likes. Which is why it makes sense to post questions from time to time to gain more Facebook comments.
Having said that, there are many types of questions that you can ask on your Facebook page. Here are some proven ones that you can use:
- Closed-Ended Questions
Asking closed-ended questions is an effective tactic to generate engagement from your fans and non-fans. People find it easy to answer questions and engage with your content when all they have to do is reply with a simple yes or no. They don’t have to put time into thinking and pondering over the question for too long, which helps you achieve a higher engagement rate.
- Open-Ended Questions
Unlike closed-ended questions, open-ended ones require the user to go beyond a yes or no and put in some thought when replying to your post. Such questions usually need the user to add some detail to their answer and spend time coming up with a worthy reply.
If your fans are putting in real effort to answer, then it shows that they value your relationship to a good extent. What’s more, you may find that there are new discussion threads popping under highly detailed answers, which means more engagement for you.
- Brand Related Questions
Brand related questions give you a better insight on how your audience is doing in terms of understanding your goal as a company. Every brand related question you ask should reflect your values as a brand, and, in a way, connect to your audience on a broader level.
The good thing about these questions is, they help attract a more refined audience to your page, growing your Facebook engagement rate over time. The idea is to post brand related questions along with general ones to make your page interesting enough for your audience.
- Questions with Images
Asking questions based on a picture you post is a simple yet proven way to get more people to interact with your content. Since people like visual content, they are more likely to comment and share your posts with others. It’ll also help you stand out from other posts in their news feed.
According to a study conducted by Hubspot, it was found that Facebook posts that contain an image get 104% more comments when compared to a post with no image attached. So why not take advantage of this while you can?
- Questions Asking Opinion on Shared Links
It’s a common practice to share links to other articles and blog posts on a Facebook page. But when you add a question along with your share, it increases the chances of getting more Facebook engagement. You don’t have to complicate things with the question. Just try asking your fans’ for their opinion on the article you are sharing with them.
You can also go for a question that is relevant to the content of the post. If you truly share articles that give real value, then you will find that a higher number of people are willing to respond with detailed opinionated answers. You’ll slowly learn what type of links you should regularly share with your audience based on the engagement rate you receive.
#5: Leverage User-Generated Content
Increasing organic reach on Facebook is of utmost importance for any brand that wants to reach out to more people in the long run, with no added cost. One way many brands are achieving this is by focusing on user-generated content or fan-created content. By connecting with their fans and customers on a higher level and posting their content on their page. They are seeing much better results.
Facebook’s algorithm has been making adjustments to become more robust and effective. The recent changes show that the social networking giant is giving higher preference to content that is receiving early engagement.
Your content gains more brownie points in the eyes of Facebook when you choose to post stories from your fans. Because this kind of content not only generates more comments and higher Facebook engagement, but also increases the chances of your fans sharing your content with their own immediate network.
People these days are tired of getting click-baited by content and page posts that don’t deliver on their promise. So naturally they are inclined towards content that is not only interesting but also authentic.
Facebook has already reported user generated content that features a certain brand achieves more engagement (up to 6.9 times) when compared to regular brand created content. So yes, this could mean that all your efforts to create high quality brand content could be easily overtaken by content created by fans of other competing brands. Just because it looks/feels more credible.
Also, social networks have given a whole new meaning to word-of-mouth recommendations, which are often seen as highly credible. So it makes total sense to leverage user-generated content that is more likely to result in word-of-mouth recommendations.
Last but not the least, remember that user-generated content is not new to your target audience. They are already engaging with it on Facebook. So when you truly take advantage of such content, you’ll become a part of a growing trend that is bound to fetch you more Facebook engagement.
#6: Use Facebook Live Consistently
There’s no doubt that the Facebook Live platform is growing by leaps and bounds. It is being accepted by consumers and brands alike, and it will continue to drive big results when used effectively. Businesses of all sizes are now able to go live to engage with their audience at a higher rate by telling relevant stories and increasing brand awareness in real-time.
However, in order to truly take advantage of Facebook Live, it’s important that brands focus on the “now”. Because this is one platform that is focused on everything happening now, in the moment. If your brand is looking out to boost Facebook engagement the right way, then you need to get good at connecting with your fans by engaging with them on something current.
As a brand you will learn how to best make use of Facebook Live once you start using it regularly.
In order to convince you to choose Facebook Live and actually put in the effort to get the most out of it, here are some advantages it offers over regular video:
Create a Better, Stronger Relationship with Your Audience
Let’s face it, the best and the most obvious benefit of Facebook Live is that it lets you connect and engage with your target audience at a much more intimate level. People can actually interact and communicate with your brand in real-time, making your content look and feel more authentic. Helping you create a higher level of trust and bonding.
Get Immediate, Crucial Feedback
Unlike an uploaded video, Live Video helps you get much-needed feedback in real-time. You no longer have to guess what’s working and what’s not or wait to see results.
You get crucial data on what kind of content your audience likes to consume and how you can improve it and achieve higher Facebook engagement. Communicating time-sensitive information such as updates, product launches, etc becomes a lot more feasible with Live Video.
Reach Out to More People
Live Videos on Facebook are in the vogue. In other words, they are happening. Which means by using them you have a higher chance to attract a larger segment of your audience. Giving your content more visibility and your brand the much-needed exposure.
Just because the content is being viewed in real-time and the comments are live, your business could post a simple update on its page and generate stronger Facebook engagement.
Video Content is In-Demand
In comparison to text-based content, video content has a certain edge. It’s more memorable and high-end. People find it visually appealing and aren’t afraid to spend more time consuming such content. With 500 million Facebook users viewing and sharing video content daily, it shows that video is here to stay.
However, with Facebook Live videos, you are able to take things to the next level in terms of engagement. Why? Because Live Videos get 3X more viewers than regular videos. And since Facebook sees engagement with an update as an important metric, you can get in the good books of Facebook by consistently using Live Video.
If you truly want to take advantage of Facebook Live to drive engagement, then don’t make it a one time thing. Along with regular videos, use it on your page as often as you can. To make things easy, start small. Go with one weekly or biweekly live broadcast. This would also give you time to plan out your broadcast beforehand and deliver quality content.
Keep in mind that building and growing a Facebook Live audience won’t happen overnight, unless you are already a huge brand with a massive Facebook following. Which is why you need to find your own voice, be persistent in your approach and above all, be consistent so that more people can find you.
#7: Be Selective & Post Less Often
In the rush to post more and more content to your page, you may be losing out on the opportunity to engage more people. In fact, research shows that at times posting frequently to your Facebook page may lead to less engagement in terms of clicks per post. So posting less often is the key.
In a research study done by the CoSchedule team, it was found that there is a clear connection between your Facebook posting frequency and the number of fans your page has. For example, pages that have 10,000 or less fans receive 61% fewer clicks to content posted if they posted more than 60 times in a given month. They discovered that you are more likely to receive higher engagement when you post five times per week maximum on such pages.
The idea is to avoid overwhelming your fans on Facebook and be highly particular about what you post. Try and focus on quality rather than quantity. Invest more time into creating and sharing relevant posts rather than posting just for the heck of it. On the other hand, if you feel that you post at a higher frequency without spoiling the quality, then do so by all means. The key is to create a balance, so you can optimize your post engagement and generate more page likes, comments, and followers.
We understand that as a small business owner, it may be hard to get this started by yourself. If you don’t have time in your busy schedule to create the amount of original content you need or even share user content, then we can help. Take a look at our Facebook marketing services and give us a call 404-596-7925 or contact us on our website. Our specialists are experts that can bring the extra boost you need to your business needs for Facebook engagement. Check out these case studies to see how we’ve done it for other clients!