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Step Up or Get Left Behind - How to Improve Engagement with Your Facebook Fans

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Step Up or Get Left Behind - How to Improve Engagement with Your Facebook Fans

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: November 29, 2011 Updated: March 2, 2012

If you operate a Facebook fan page, then you’ll have noticed a plethora of changes in recent months. While many of these changes are cosmetic, some are not, and they could have a big impact on your social media success.

One of the most notable changes you may have noticed is to the dynamics of your “newsfeed.” I say significant, because these changes don’t just affect how users consume updates; they ultimately reward and promote business brands that are more engaged with their fans.

Why Engagement is More Important than Ever

So how is Facebook rewarding engaged business pages? Here’s how it works.

In the new Facebook, users can choose to view posts that receive the most attention (“Likes” or “Comments”) and feature these more prominently in their newsfeeds than less popular posts (using the “Highlighted Story” newsfeed option). You can see this at work in your own newsfeed if you've noticed how posts by friends that attract the most comments tend to stay prominent in the feed – well, the same rule applies to pages. After some backlash over these algorithm-based changes, Facebook did retract a little and now users also have the option of viewing posts as they come in by selecting the “Recent Stories” option at the top of the newsfeed.

If you already have a highly engaged fan base then the launch of the “Highlighted Story” option is a win-win for you. However, if you are a small business still trying to get accustomed to the overall site changes while maintaining an active profile, then these changes might be problematic. So what can you do to ensure you get more impressions in your fans’ ever-evolving newsfeed while continuing to deliver actionable, relevant, and timely posts? To do this you need to step up your engagement strategy.

How to Step Up Your Engagement

Here are four steps you can take to improve the way you engage with your Facebook fans:

1. Focus on Quality Content – More than ever Facebook is geared to reward posts that contain quality content that compels the reader to act. If you can perfect the art of posting content that drives interaction and engagement, then your chance of gaining more newsfeed impressions increases. How do you do this? At the risk of sounding repetitive, focus on posts that are actionable, relevant, and timely. Check out your competition and see what they are posting.  What about some of the brands you follow – what are they doing that you could emulate?

Take advantage of the new Facebook Insights tool which now offers enhanced reporting tools to help you monitor engagement. For example, the "People talking about This" metric charts all page engagement including likes, comments, polling data, event RSVPs, and more. You can also get valuable information about the kind of content your fans are responding with individual post metrics. 

2. Slow Down on Quantity – Once you have developed the art of producing impactful posts, you can put the brakes on quantity. Why? If a post you published earlier in the day is still doing well in terms of comments and likes, anything you post after that will be eclipsed by it in terms of newsfeed positioning. Which moves us on to my next point – timing.

3. It’s All in the Timing – According to a recent study reported by Marketing Chart, timing can have a significant impact on fan engagement. Overnight posts, for example, help retail sites drive 20% more engagement, while Wednesday appears to be the best day of the week for engagement. The report also reinforces quality over quantity with 1-2 posts per day producing optimal engagement. While these numbers focus on the retail sector you can easily use your Insights page to track how your timing affects your content popularity.            

4. Reply to Comments, Most Brands Don’t – Are you responding to posts and questions on your Facebook pages? Apparently 95% of posts on brand pages never receive a response. That’s according to a survey by Socialbakers. While not all posts require an answer (many are opinion, rants, etc.), remember that social media is a two-way street and gives your company a human face, so respond where appropriate!

There are many ways you can step up engagement and increase your Facebook profile, for more tips and a real-world example read Putting the "Social" into Social Media Marketing: 3 Tips for Interacting with your Customers.

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  • Check out these Tools for Online Success from Google and SBA for tips on how to succeed online with tips and insights from small business owners.

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About the Author:

Caron Beesley

Contributor

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

Comments:

Facebook is undoubtedly one of the best social networking platform that is easy to use and has a lot of benefits. In line with business creating their individual page that would possibly congregate people or simply called fans. But then there are things to consider like what is said on this post and I think giving response to those queries is one of the most important tactic of making sure retaining your fans and gain more of it. House and lot
We have found that Facebook is a very great way to share business ideas and topics related to our business. Advertising for troubled teens in need of a boot camp is a very volatile subject, Facebook enables us to stay up to speed with our customers. It is also a great way to share the latest developments surrounding legislation regarding boarding schools and boot camps.This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
Create more new friends and stay active on facebook, post something different. This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
I have been having a hard time on my clients facebook fan page cause there is no enough fan likes. Question is how am I going to improved the number of fans the fan page has. Anyway, I totally agree with the things you've stated above! But still it will matter and will have great effect if you have a good number of fan likes. Apartments for Rent in the Philippines
Thanks for the article Caron... great stuff! With your help, we will get buttonsrus.com solidly in the 21st century very soon! As you implied, either we get with the program, or we dont sell any Custom PinBack Buttons! Happy Holidays from Buttons R Us!

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