There was a time when the potential reach for Businesses using Facebook as a marketing and branding tool was almost limitless.
Unfortunately, things have definitely changed. As Facebook grew in the amount of users it had, the potential for cash generation became obvious, prompting the company to go public. The problem with going public, was the company’s entire focus shifted. Facebook moved from being user oriented to being cash driven and motivated to ensure that stockholders received a significant ROI in the form of healthy dividends checks.
The shift in their approach massively impacted their ability to support the organic reach of businesses. This has left businesses is somewhat of a catch 22 situation. They are not experiencing the organic reach they once received, meaning they need to turn up their engagement, but how do you improve engagement without reach?
Engagement is the Trump Card
In the same way that Facebook shifted its approach to increase the bottom line, businesses will have to shift their perspective. This means that businesses will have to change the way they view Facebook. When you do this, you will be opening the door to some tremendous opportunities as well as even bigger results than you have grown used to. Despite the fact that Facebook has shifted directions, the fact remains that the platform still has over 1 billion users worldwide. The manner in which you reach them will be different. One way that a company can measure engagement is by the number of comments they receive on their Facebook posts. An added benefit of increasing the amount of comments on your posts is increased reach. The more comments you receive the more the number of people who see it will increase.
One way that you can increase engagement is to undergo a paradigmatic shift as far as Facebook is concerned. The companies that are doing exceptionally well view Facebook as an investment. They have no reservations about paying to promote their posts as well as using Facebook ads. This is not to suggest that engagement can’t be increased without spending money, but the money spent is definitely worth it and the ROI is significant. If you want to build a following that is totally engaged, take the step toward investing in post promotion.
The reason that you need to promote your posts is that not every one of your fans will see your post on their news feed. The new Facebook algorithms only show your posts to about seven percent of your fans. This can be increased in a number of ways, the quickest and most effective way is to promote the post.
Posing a question to your fans is an indirect way of inviting them to comment on your post. The more answers that you receive the more comments that are registered, improving your ranking. Remember, the more people that comment and like a post, the more the post will be seen by others, improving the overall engagement and exposure of your page.
Another way that you can do this is to pose a fill-in-the-blank question in your post. It encourages a great deal of interactivity between the fans. Be sure to participate, you want to use this time to connect to your fans. Engagement is the name of the game. This is a way that you can make sure that you are controlling the image that your fans have of you. To build an image that portrays you as approachable is huge and it can be directly correlated to the manner in which you will deal with customer service issues.
Be creative when posing questions. You want to ask questions that will create a buzz. Don’t ask a question that will place you in a position that will force you to choose a side. This is a quick way to alienate some of your fans. If you find yourself in such a situation, don’t choose a side, take the position of mediator.
Here are a couple of simple questions that are actually highly effective in producing comments and extended interactivity:
- If I hear one more word about _________, I’m going to explode!
- How many rings before you answer the phone?
- What is the first luxury car that pops into your head?
These are just examples; nothing political or along the lines of religion, but things that will get people to throw in their two cents.
Use Images to Build Interest
Not only do images help to increase the interest level of any post, they are also important in increasing the power ranking of the post. Images and videos carry more gravity on Facebook than standalone text posts. What this means for you is that you will be able to increase the amount of people that initially see the post while also making the post more inviting. Keep in mind that humans are visual creatures and an image registers with people in a number of ways. Ten people can see the image and be stimulated in 10 different ways. Many times this stimulation will be more than enough to entice them to comment on your thread. A short sentence or relative story will also make the post more inviting.
If you want to tell a story in a quick and effective manner, images work wonders.
Invite Your Fans inside Your Company
One of the most powerful benefits of using Facebook to promote your business is that it allows you to do this without appearing to be overly promotional. It is not simply engaging your fans that matters, but the manner in which you engage them. Giving your fans an inside look at how your company is run and the philosophy behind the machine allows them to connect to you. It is the connection that will almost obligate them to comment on these type of posts.
You can post photos of employees performing their jobs or your product being manufactured and packaged. You can also give them a glimpse of you interacting with your existing customers. This provides a sneak peek of what they could expect as one of your customers.
Show them Your Personality
Your company’s personality is a part of your brand. When you allow that personality to come forth in your posts, it give your fans something to connect to. It also becomes a powerful lure to comment and be a part of what you represent. The businesses that are most effective in using Facebook as an platform of engagement are those who know how to connect and relate, exposing their personality.
If you notice, only one of the five tips mentioned here required a specific budget. The rest only require creativity and consistency. Facebook users are engaged by hundreds of posts on a daily basis, so the more that you can make your post standout among the rest, the better chance you will have of increasing the level of engagement that your posts are receiving. Remember to remain specific in your post. Not only do vague and ambiguous posts fail to gain the interest of your fans, but they don’t send a clear message about your brand. Pay attention to the types of content that your fans respond to as well as the best time to post, and you will experience increased engagement.