Facebook has gone through several changes in the past few years. In fact, the way that you use Facebook to engage with your audience is very different than when you may have started. Let’s begin by defining what engagement is. Facebook engagement is when a fan does one of the following four things: like, comment, share or click on a link. What this means for you is that if your followers are reading your updates, viewing your photos or liking your fan page, they are not considered as engaging with you. Why does this matter? Well, the more your fans engage with you in one of those four critical ways, the more often your content will appear in their Facebook News Feed. This may come as a shock, but if you want to understand what really works for Facebook engagement and how you can implement it, keep reading.
The first step is to know your audience. Facebook aims to create an experience that is focused on the user, the fan, not yours. This means that your audience (your fans) are more likely to engage with content created for them. By creating content, and a steady stream of it, that is relevant to your audience, you will guarantee that your posts will get through.
Facebook spent a lot of time asking its users how they feel about the type of content in their News Feed. The response was that people want more from the people they love (friends as well as pages they’ve liked) and less promotional material. This applies to you because the promotional material they speak of isn’t paid advertising, but status updates and posts that push people to “buy now”, “install this” or “enter sweepstake”. People expect to see this type of promotion in a paid advertisement, but feel the promotional rules that Facebook has are violated when this type of promotional content pops up on their News Feed as free status updates. In fact, by listening to fans you can create more engaging content. After all, those type of promotional posts are not conducive to fan engagement anyway.
Create a stream of non-promotional content that creates conversation with your fans, referred to as native posts. It should be written in a voice that is familiar to your audience and represents your brand. If you have this type of content posted often enough, you can afford to supplement it with a promotional information, or non-native posts, time to time. In this sense you are giving your audience valuable and relevant information as well as incorporating your products and services for sale, which won’t turn them off. Don’t be surprised if your non-native posts don’t reach the same levels of engagement as your native posts. This is normal and the reason why you must have a regular and consistent stream of engaging content to boost your page so that when you do post promotional material, it will continue to appear in your audience’s News Feed.
There are a few other simple ways to help you achieve higher engagement with your audience.
- Include personal content – share some commentary about your personal side and include a candid photo.
- Focus on your followers that are actually engaging with you – like their comments or write back to them. Don’t waste your time on engaging with people that aren’t interested.
- Ignite conversations with your posts – ask open ended questions (but keep them relevant to your business).
- Use a scheduling tool – if you don’t have time to sit and post content on Facebook all day (and honestly, who does?), try using a platform that allows you to schedule content to be posted in advance.
At the end of the day, you are in charge of your Facebook, but if you are worried about declining engagement it’s time for a change. Now that you have some strategies to boost engagement, set yourself apart from others who find themselves in the same boat. Luckily, increasing audience engagement on Facebook is something that can be easily rectified.