Hold the phone! Stop the presses!
Wait a minute! Why aren’t you promoting your business on Facebook?
Look, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the options on Facebook. They’re constantly releasing new features and showing no signs of slowing down. If Facebook is part of your marketing strategy, you could get bogged down by your growing options. There’s a temptation to leverage every single feature in the platform, or you can get completely paralyzed by all your options.
Before you start posting random images, motivational memes, and “deep thoughts,” take some time to consider these factors before you post.
- Audience Scheduling
Remember your audience consists of real, live, breathing people. (Though sometimes people post some incredibly insane content that makes you wonder… Yes, they’re still human beings.)
People have schedules.
Take a few moments to think about your core audience, and when they’re going to be most active on social media. If the majority of your Followers are lawyers, busy with litigation during the day, try to schedule your posts outside of the standard 9am – 5pm. In fact, take it one step further and think about what else you know about that audience. Is it mostly male? Mostly female? Do they attend happy hours and wear expensive clothing? Do you have content that you can share that will help make their lives easier? If your content is truly valuable to your audience, try to post your content when your Followers are most active on social media.
Next, think about what you want from your audience in terms of engagement. Do you want “likes?” Do you want your content shared? Are you looking for lively (perhaps controversial) conversation?
Think about all these factors when posting. Don’t simply post an article and hope for audience interaction. Post your thoughts or opinions regarding the article, and follow it up by asking your audience a question. Just like an advertisement, a Facebook post won’t get engagement without a “Call to Action.”
- Photos and Videos on Facebook Posts
Whether you’re sharing someone else’s article, your own blog post, or a Facebook Note, include a photo or video on the post. Maybe a funny photo? A controversial image or video? Facebook posts with images will get you more clicks and higher engagement than posts without images.
Another note, be sure to share “real” images. Including overused stock photos in your posts makes you look lazy. Plus, it adds an air of “in-authenticity” to your persona and brand. Your goal is to “connect” more with your audience. Inauthentic images damage and fracture your connection. So don’t do it. Find images that fit your content, or juxtapose your content to jumpstart a conversation.
- Facebook “Live”
Facebook “Live” has broken the internet. Well, not literally, but since its recent release, Facebook live has yielded millions of views for individuals and businesses which never would have been noticed before.
Keep in mind, before starting your “Live” broadcast, have an idea of what you want to say. What’s your overall point? Loosely (emphasis: loosely) outline your talking points and make sure to include a Call To Action. Examples of Calls to Action are: “Let me know what you think in the comments below. Like or share this video if you like it.”
Do NOT script your “Live” broadcast verbatim. Even the best actor will come off as insincere or stiff following a verbatim script.
- Polls and Contests
People like winning free things, or getting discounts. People will “Like” a brand page, even if they’re not truly familiar with it, just for the chance of saving money, or winning a contest. If you can make someone feel special by making them feel like they’re “part of something” then by all means, do it!
Make a poll or contest if you want to boost traffic to your page, get testimonials, gather opinions from your ideal audience, get more shares, get product engagement photos from your users, and build your email list.
- Boost Facebook Posts
If you find your level of audience engagement lacking, or simply want to see a “boost” in engagement, try using Facebook’s “Boosted post” feature. It’s relatively inexpensive, and is a great way to grow your audience reach and exposure.
The price for a boosted post will vary according to how many people you want to see your post. Think about hyper-targeting your audience to get the best return on your ad buy.
Some people frown on the practice of “Boosting” but considering it works for some of the world’s most powerful brands, why shouldn’t you use it to promote your business and your brand?
Keep in mind you don’t need to (and you shouldn’t) boost every single one of your posts. (That would look desperate!)
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before boosting a post.
- Does it promote ONE specific service or product?
- Does the post bring attention to a LTO (limited time offer), backed by a sense of urgency – and immediate reward?
- Are you trying to build traffic to your business’ site? (and build your email list?)
Dive Deep Into Facebook
Facebook’s “Audience Insights” tool is free for you to use. And you should definitely use it! You can see what types of posts your audience tends to engage with the most. Are they commenting and sharing your videos more than your plain posts? Do you find people engage more with posts where you ask questions, or say something controversial?
This is a great time to take note of your own style and be “self-aware.” Just because you think something is awesome and clever… doesn’t always mean your audience will agree. If you find out a strategy isn’t working, ditch it. Or at the very least, shelve it until you can figure out how to make it work better.
Alternatively, when you find something that works, leverage it! Use that strategy more! Make it part of your persona and brand. Find ways to improve on it. Are there other, similar topics or niches you can tap into? The Insights tool offers an almost psychic preview into your audience’s driving factors.
Take the time to dive into the Insights Tool periodically. You won’t regret it!
One Final Thought:
Don’t you just hate seeing a well-known brand use old, stale, recycled content? It almost hurts to watch. It’s a Cardinal Sin which most companies are guilty of. Don’t let it happen to you. If you must “Curate” content, (i.e. share content written by others), make sure it’s not content that’s been around the block already. Curated content should look like you searched high and low, finally found this awesome article, and just had to share!
If you’re writing your own content, make sure you’re posting a unique point of view or opinion. People don’t want to read the same re-hashed opinions over and over again. Find a way to tie your point of view or brand with the topic. Even if people disagree with your content, they’re likely to share, comment, or respond to it in some way.
Your goal should be engagement. Not necessarily agreement.
Share your expertise. Give facts to support your opinions. Give advice to your followers. If you agitate problems, be sure to follow up with a tangible solution.
Find ways to brand yourself as an expert in your niche. If you’re looking for a way to build a reputation as a credible authority in any field, you need to post with some frequency. Post daily, weekly, bi-weekly… Whatever works for you. But try to create a schedule, so your followers have something to look forward to. Once you set a schedule, stick to it. You don’t want to “let people down.”
There are tons of ways to increase audience engagement on Facebook, these were just a few. What’s your favorite one? Do you have more ideas to share?
(See what I did there?)