So, you want people to be interested in your brand’s Facebook page, but you can’t find a logical reason to incorporate cat pictures into your posts? I get it. Fighting for engagement in a Facebook feed filled with Buzzfeed lists, breathtaking scenery pictures, and restaurants serving quinoa on a ray beam is challenging. But, there are a few proven ways to generate engagement with your Facebook followers, and here are a few that I recommend giving a try:
1) Ask questions!
“How many jellybeans are in this jar?” Even though you knew the odds were stacked against you, and you didn’t even want to win the freaking jar of jellybeans, you couldn’t resist making a guess could you? Well, your Facebook followers are no different. So go on – ask your followers a fun question that is tied to your brand. Ultra-competitive followers (y’know, the same people that take 5 mins/turn to come up with a triple-word score in Scrabble) might even be funneled to your website to search for the answer.
Asking questions also provides you with a way to better understand your consumers. Ask what your followers like about your product/service, ways you could improve, and what they’d like to hear more about on your Facebook page. People will respond when you encourage them to provide their opinions. But, make sure to thank helpful commenters with a reply that shows you appreciate their feedback and value their opinion.
2) Share photos
Photos are the most-shared content on Facebook, so make sure to leverage them for your posts. Put a face to your brand – showcase your employees, post in-store pictures, and give a behind-the-scenes look at the development of your products/services.
You needn’t look further than your own personal feed for successful photos types: scenery photos, funny photos, infographic photos, and images highlighting coupon/discounts are all popular types. (Read Social Media Examiner’s guide on How To Sell on Facebook for ideas.)
Consider establishing a hashtag and encouraging customers to share photos of your products/service using it – that way you can curate content from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and incorporate user-generated photos into your Facebook posts. Or, simply search for customers who are already taking pictures by searching common keywords that might be used to discuss your brand. (To search for Instagram photos, I recommend using Statigram.)
As well, with larger link-preview thumbnails, you can now select a photo to upload into a link post. When that link post is clicked, followers are sent directly to your website, making that click much more valuable than simply being sent to an enlarged version of a photo. (More on that here.)
3) Post Fun Facts
Want to educate your consumers about your brand without being boring? Frame your educational moment as a FUN FACT! “Did you know?” questions get great responses – just make sure they are somewhat interesting.
4) Run Contests
Want to generate some buzz? Run a contest! Facebook rules have changed again, so that followers can once again enter a Facebook contest by performing “like” and “share” actions. To really engage your audience, ask them to answer a question and have the comment with the most likes win. For example, run a “caption this” contest or “How would Chuck Norris use a _____ to stop a moving train?”
5) Make It Not All About You
Would you like to hang out with someone who only talked about themselves whenever you saw them? No! And this extends to Facebook posting as well. If all your handle ever discusses is your brand, you will over-saturate your audience, including your brand advocates. So, what’s the solution? Follow key influencers in your region or industry and share posts from them that you think your followers might be interested in. I recommend a 60/40 rule – 60% of the posts can be about you and 40% community or industry-related.
Make sure to schedule your posts for peak visibility times; whilst this can vary based on your following, these are typically hours when people are not working. During the weekday, this means commuting times, lunch breaks, and evening hours, but be sure to also schedule posts for the weekend! Facebook now has a tool in Insights that enables you to see when most of your followers are online – take a look and tailor your posting times accordingly. For more on this, see my blog on Why Being Social Shouldn’t Stop at 5pm.
Also, think about capturing your audience in the right frame of mind. If you’re making a post about food at your restaurant, time it to just before lunch or dinner, so that just as your followers are starting to get hungry, they see you as the immediate solution. As much as everyone loves a steak dinner, they might not be loving it at 8am.
Research has shown that handles that make 1-2 Facebook posts a day get the most engagement. My recommendation is to make one post in the late morning/early afternoon and one in the evening, so as to not overwhelm your followers. And, if your post yields high engagement in the 4-6 hours since it has been made, considering promoting it to increase its reach further (on average, Facebook posts only reach 16% of a page’s followers without promotion).
No matter what posts you experiment with making, make sure to check your Facebook Insights to see what post types are getting the most engagement, and adjust accordingly.