Facebook engagement has been the topic for my past three blogs. I explained the science of Facebook, explaining that the equation is simple: get likes, comments, and shares (fingers clicking or moving on your post) will get you rewarded on Facebook. Someone reading your post will not get more eyes on your post. I went over the fact that only a small percentage of your readers see the posts you labor on, and if those few like what they see, then more will see it and that is the reward.
I went over a few techniques in the second blog, with a focus on the fact that you have to thoughtfully construct your post to ignite the action needed for your fans to engage.
You have to always keep in the back of your mind that Facebook thinks your fans are not interested if they are not moving their fingers on your posts. If your “few” fans are not interested, they are not going to send it out to more folks that will not be interested, their goal is to keep folks on Facebook. I emphasized that you have to know your fans in order to create posts that will interest them.
This week I am going to go over a few more ideas and tips that will help you with your engagement.
Hashtag or Not?
Hashtags were introduced in 2013 to Facebook. The important thing to know about hashtags is that they do not have an impact on post reach or engagement.
That leads to the question of should a small business use #hashtags on Facebook? Let me first explain what happens if you click on a hashtag in Facebook. You’ll see a feed of posts that include that hashtag. You may also see some related hashtags at the top of the page. Please keep in mind: A hashtag must be written as a single word, without any spaces.
So, if you had one person specifically searching for what your business offers and you gained an extra fan, lead or sale from that wouldn’t it be worth that extra step? A few points to help when you are using those hashtags are:
- Use relevant keywords to your business and audience
- Use Hashtagify.me http://hashtagify.me/ to find trending hashtags related to your specific tag
- Keep the tags to a minimum. Facebook views too many as spam, so the general rule is to not go over two.
- Keep your hashtags short
Make sure the hashtags you use are relevant to your content
Do not put your #hashtag in the middle of the #sentence. This makes #reading the sentence #annoying. Do you see how that can be irritating? Instead write your entire post, and then at the bottom of the post add your relevant hashtags.
As a note of caution, sharing directly from Instagram to Facebook may not give you the kind of post you want. See the example below
Have a Facebook Party on your Fan Page
I am going to cover two types of Fan Page Parties. One is the Fan Page Friday party. This is where a host creates a post stating it is a Fan Page Friday Party. Many like to list rules (like me) The main goal is to get to know other pages, learn a bit about those business owners and like their pages. I did a whole blog on mistakes people make on Fan Page Friday Parties , and what I really want to emphasize here is that it is not about liking every single page that you have not already liked. The objective is to find targeted fans that will help your business, make connections, network together, and share some love. Getting more likes to your page might be “fun” but if those likes never engage or are not really interested in what you do, what is the real purpose. Remember, we want a few engaged fans over many fans.
The other type of party you can host is a Facebook party on your page where you invite fans to join and you give away prizes. You give a specific time you are starting, and start your posts. You might want to start by asking folks where they are from to get things started. Every 10-15 minutes post another question. You can go from What type of business do you have, what is your favorite vacation spot, What are you currently struggling with in your business, to do you have a special need I can pray about for you. Here are a few of the posts from a party that iBloom had in February.
Mix up your content for more engagement
This is an easy one; consider this another reminder to actually do it. If you want posts to be shared and to get the likes and comments and clicks you have to keep things interesting. That means using video and different images with your posts and maybe trying a few posts without images just to experiment.
- Sometimes people get more engagement with the non-image posts. (Rare, but it happens!)
- Some people want image quotes and they want to share them.
- Other people love to see posts about your blog post so they can be reminded what you’ve got out there.
Keep it fresh for your fans. Even if your Facebook insights show that your fans love quotes on images, having the same thing on a regular consistent basis quickly becomes boring. You might like steak, but you will lose your interest if you have steak for three meals every day.
Upload video directly to Facebook to increase engagement
People love short videos. It is one thing to see a post telling us something, but it is entirely different to see a video on your page. People love that bit of mystery and tend to just have to see what you have to say. If you post from YouTube or Instagram, your video will not automatically play. More important than having your video automatically play is the fact that if you post directly from Facebook to your page, you have to opportunity to create a call to action at the end of that video. You could share a link to your blog or website or a cheat sheet to a webinar. Not sure what to put in your video?
- Make a video talking directly to the camera.
- You can talk about your latest training, blog, or webinar
- You can invite people to your webinar
- You can share things about yourself that your fans might not know.
You can share a quick “how to” on something you want to share
Use specific words to increase engagement
News of a birth, engagement, wedding, anniversary all create an interest with your friends on your profile page. Some research has shown using the word congratulations will increase your reach. That does not mean putting congratulations in the majority of your posts, it means using it wisely as you craft those important posts.
Shorter posts (around 250 characters) get more shares. About 60% more shares is not a figure to sneeze over. I once heard someone say that the mind is like a sponge and as it looks at a photo image, it is trying to absorb not only the quote, but the image as well. When there is a lot of text, the mind has to shift to a different “mode” if you will. When I read this, I put the knowledge on a “shelf” if you will and not too much longer later in the week as I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I caught myself clicking the like, laugh, and heart “emotions” on different posts, yet when I came to a post with a lot of text, I kept on going. I did not want to take the time to read the entire post and therefore did not click because I did not want to leave an “emotion” that correctly reflected what I was feeling about that post. This may seem rather simplistic in nature, but put it on your “shelf” and bring it out later when you are scrolling through your newsfeed.
Here is an example for today:
How about you? Are you a small business using Facebook? Are you working on improving your Facebook engagement? What’s working well for you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.