Step Up or Get Left Behind - How to Improve Engagement with Your Facebook Fans
by Caron_Beesley, Community Moderator
- Created: November 29, 2011, 7:45 am
- Updated: March 2, 2012, 3:29 pm
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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