The 2015 Guide to Facebook Engagement Part 2 - 12 Suggestions to Improve Your Posts & Boost Engagement
12 Suggestions to Improve the Quality of Your Posts & Boost Engagement
1. Get personal.
A post with no commentary feels like sending a greeting card without writing anything in it. If you’re posting photos, status updates, longer columns, etc. and getting no feedback, it’s probably because it doesn’t feel personal to your fans.
And yes, it’s even important to make your business Page feel personal.
Your posts need some commentary from you–a note about your feelings, your friendships, your goals, showing a vulnerable or even humorous side. This is what allows people to connect..and connection leads to action.
2. Focus on the fans that are actually paying attention to you right now.
So many times I head people say, “I have 2000 fans, but only ten of them will actually comment on a picture.”
Rather than stress out about the vast majority who isn’t engaging, you’re better off getting really, really personal with those ten.
Respond back to the people who are responding to you. Click “Like” on their comment, and generate more conversations underneath their comments. Remember, it doesn’t count as much on Facebook if you to have a lot of fans. What counts is that you have a few engaged fans.
3. Make sure you ask questions that are going to ignite a true conversation.
About once a week, I ask questions to my audience about their concerns with growing an online business, the struggles they are facing, and some of the worries they have actually had while building an online business.
Recently, I asked my audience what was one of the biggest fears about their business right now. And wow–I was so pleasantly surprised to see how much honesty came through in the comments!
Mind you, it wasn’t just any vulnerable-making question. I picked one that rang true with my own brand, that followed from things I talk about regularly.
That’s the key to making these kinds of big questions work for you, instead of against you. Pick something that seems like a random bombshell, and people might feel alienated. Pick something that aligns with who you are and what you offer, and people will begin to open up like you wouldn’t believe. Your openness will give them the much-needed outlet to express some of their concern about whatever it is that they are working on.
4. Try to stick around a little bit, especially after you post a question, even if it’s for ten minutes.
Following the response to that big question–”What’s your biggest fear?”–my instinct was to stick around, rather than leave my desk and let the comments flow in. I just didn’t want to leave those people hanging.
So for the next 20 to 30 minutes after I posted that question, I stuck around and replied to each of the people that posted and used their first name as well. I wanted to let them know that they were heard.
This means the world to people, in the impersonal realm of the Internet. The fact that you’d not just ask your audience to get vulnerable with you, but stay to hear their answers, is a huge gesture. When people see that you are answering them in real time, they will be more likely to start the conversation again next time with you.
5. Create posts that are relevant to your brand and tell a story.
Storytelling is always tough for me to express when I’m trying to explain it to a new customer because when you think of a story, you think of something on the longish side, right? Something that takes a while to get through.
But when I’m talking about storytelling on Facebook, I mean just little short snapshots of what you want to convey. Sometimes a great little story is a perfect lead into a link that goes to a blog post. In fact, I often use the first paragraph of my blog post as my Facebook post.
The purpose here is to ignite a feeling in your audience. Each time you post, question what you want your audience to feel. Do you want them to be happy? Do you want them to feel inspired? Do you want them to feel empathetic or informed or supported or connected to you? Feelings, after all, are what get us to take action.
6. People will share posts that put them in a good light.
Studies have shown that people will share your post if it puts them in a good light. That’s why inspirational quotes get shared the most on Facebook. If it’s an inspirational quote and I share it with my friends, it makes me look like a person who inspires people. If you want more shares, then you want to make sure you are putting out content that people will be proud to share and will make them look good.
7. Create each post as though you are talking to a friend.
After this episode, I want you to go back to your Facebook Page and read your last ten Facebook posts. Do they sound like you are talking to your best friend? Or are they a little stiff? When posting on our business Page, we can take a very unnatural tone…not at all the way we’d post on our personal Facebook wall. But if your personal Wall has way more “friends” than your Page has “likes,” that just proves the point!
People connect with you much more easily when you talk to them conversationally.It might take some practice to get out of the habit of being in “Business Talk” mode, but trust me, it will go a long way toward engaging your audience.
8. It is all about the image.
You already know that images on Facebook go a long way. For the majority of your posts you should be including a really eye-catching image. But this tip is not to create images. This tip is about finding a simple way to get a bunch of images done at once so that when you are posting on Facebook, you actually have what you need to make that post look fantastic.
Images are going to get you more likes, clicks, comments, and shares–I can promise you that.
I love using a tool like Canva for this. They have tons of backgrounds and images and text to use. But if you’re the type who will go down a rabbit hole while creating an image yourself, don’t go there.
Instead, you’re better off outsourcing your image needs on a platform like 99Designs. You can find a designer who will work at a price you can afford…trust me, it’s a lot cheaper than you might think…and get some great, eye-catching images in a lot less time than it takes to make one yourself.
9. Make sure when people share your content from your blog that it looks really good on Facebook.
You know when you go to a blog post and grab the URL, you copy it and paste it into the post on Facebook and the image and title of whatever is on the web page should get pulled through. You know what I’m talking about? Have you ever had the experience that nothing gets pulled through or just a thumbnail of the image gets pulled through?
That is not what you want to do.
In Episode #44 I offered a cheat sheet to walk you through how to use a specific WordPress plug in that will make sure all of your posts, when shared on Facebook, actually get pulled through correctly and look really good. Go download this cheat sheet now–it will show you step-by-step how to actually install a WordPress plug in called OpenGraph that will help you make sure your blog posts get pulled through correctly on Facebook. The image will show up correctly, the title will be there, the description. This is important stuff.
10. Mix up your content on Facebook.
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.
Mix up your content as often as you mix up the type of posts. Sometimes include links to blog posts. Other times just use quotes, quick tips, facts, or whatever it might be.
If you want to know what’s really interesting to your audience go into your Facebook insights. Inside of insights you can actually see which posts are getting the most engagement. You will see on that very first page, if you scroll down into Facebook insights (every single Page has Facebook insights, it’s like analytics) you will see what people are sharing the most. That’s what’s working; do more of it.
11. Upload video directly to a Facebook post.
I want to actually take one idea that I just mentioned in Tip #10: video. The reason video deserved its own tip is because I’m seeing amazing things with my content and those of my customers in terms of sharing video on Facebook. I’m talking about uploading the video directly to a Facebook post. I’ve been doing this a little bit pretty consistently. Each time I post a short video I already have thousands of people I have reached, versus maybe a few hundred with an image post. If you upload a short video, let it go for 30 minutes and then come back. I promise you your reach is almost guaranteed to be higher than anything else you have posted over the last week.
What do you put in your video?
- You can make a quick video of yourself talking directly to the camera.
- You can have a few slides that you go through on the video telling people about your latest podcast episode or blog post.
- You could also do a quick video where you invite people to a webinar or tell them about your cheat sheet.
12. You’ve got to check out one of my favorite scheduling tools.
Confession: I am in love with Edgar.
You can go to http://meetedgar.com for all of the details.
Edgar is not a free service, but it’s worth paying for. I’ve always struggled to find a tool that I’m comfortable with that’s really easy to use that will help me schedule my Facebook posts. It’s a lot of work to constantly be looking for content to schedule in advance and post on your Facebook Page: a mix of your own content, other people’s blog posts and videos, re-posts of your old content, quotations, etc.
Engagement Truly Matters
When you make an honest effort to understand your audience and you give BIG and share freely, your fans’ trust in you will snowball. Their loyalty to your brand will be obvious by their level of engagement. From there you are golden because you will have built a foundation of extraordinarily useful content and a tribe ready to consume it.
Now I would love to hear from you! What’s working for your business when it comes to Facebook engagement? Please post in the comments below.
Also, don’t forget to download the free cheat sheet that I’m offering with this episode. It will make these tips come to life for you.