Engagement is hard, and I’m not talking about the anxiety of proposing to your long-time crush. On Facebook, engagement is anything a user does to one of your posts other than scroll past and ignore them on their feeds. If they click a link, like a picture, watch a video, share a post or comment, it’s engagement. Chances are pretty good that you need more engagement on your posts, regardless of your current engagement rates.
When in Doubt, Go Visual
Visual content is the kind of all content. That’s why images are far and away better than text posts, and why videos are swiftly becoming the most popular form of media on Facebook altogether. As yet, there’s no integration for the in-between media, like slideshare shows or podcasts, but you can use images or videos to link to those.
Visual content gets you noticed in the flood of primarily textual content. Bright graphics stand out, compelling images gain traction and great photos get shares. It’s also surprisingly easy to make a compelling image. At the most basic level, all you need is a smartphone and a bit of time with filters, which is why Instagram is so incredibly popular.
Likewise, make sure your visual content is easy to digest. Users don’t want complex logic puzzles in the form of a Facebook picture; they want infographics, they want charts, they want pithy quotes plastered over pictures of stars or trees or empty roads.
Cater to Interests
Which leads me to my next point; you need to cater to the interests of your users. If you’re followed primarily by a tech-savvy audience, posting infographics about blogging and social media and YouTube might be a great idea. If you’re followed primarily by teenage girls and you share those graphics, they’ll give you the most quizzical “what the F is that?” look they can manage before unfollowing your page.
Everyone likes visual content, it’s just a matter of discovering what visuals and styles work best for your given audience. I guarantee that someone in your audience likes memes, but that doesn’t mean you should share a constant stream of memes unless the majority of your audience enjoys them. The same goes for anything; baby pictures, architectural history, renaissance paintings, pictures of trains or anything else.
Feature Your Fans
You know what your fans really like? Themselves. Take advantage of this self-serving attitude by running weekly or monthly engagement contests. Here’s an idea:
It’s the post-Christmas season and people are taking down their decorations. Put up a contest for your users to show how they dispose of their unwanted candy canes, get rid of their desiccated tree or pack away their ornaments in individual packages. Pick the best 1-5 winners – depending on how many they submit – and post them in an album on your page. Share the pictures and share the album as a whole, to promote both these users and your page. You’ll earn likes from those people, as well as from any of their friends and family, plus anyone who thinks their images are clever.
You can easily come up with a theme for a photo contest every month and run them, and you barely even need to provide a price. A simple 10% discount is plenty for the winners; taking a picture isn’t exactly difficult, these days. If you want a more intensive contest or to attract more support, give away a better prize.
Mix Up Content
You can’t just post text posts and photos all day long and expect to have a unique and varied experience for your audience. Instead, you should have a mixture of types of content for a daily and weekly basis. For example:
- Several text posts that relate to current events and your brand.
- Several image posts you’ve made to represent your brand or push certain ideas.
- Several images you share from related blogs that your audience will like.
- Links to blog posts you’ve written in the last few days.
- Links to posts on other sites that you found interesting and thing your users want to see.
- Questions, asked either through image or through text post, on a regular basis.
- Videos, possibly as many as 1-2 per week depending on your industry.
It may be a good idea to establish a calendar. Take a blank week-long calendar and fill out each day with the types of posts you want to push on that given day. Maybe Wednesday is your video day; pencil it in. Establish something of a content calendar and tweak it as some things work and others don’t.
Clickbait is the Buzzfeed/Upworthy/Clickhole style of Internet writing where the title gives you an idea of something you might want to see, and then, when you click through to see it, your hopes are cruelly dashed by a low-effort post written by a toddler.
It’s frankly astonishing how popular clickbait posts really are.
Rather than waste time with clickbait, which has been banned by Facebook – albeit poorly enforced – study why clickbait works and write better posts. There’s a reason it works; exploit that reason to make your own writing better without sinking to such low tactics.
First of all, avoid boosting posts. When I say promote posts, I mean going into the Power Editor and creating promoted posts ads. So, you know, do that. Advertise your posts, so you can put them in front of a wider audience. Whether that’s your audience or a lookalike audience is up to you and your testing.
The point of promoting posts is just to increase exposure. Naturally, around 10% or so of your full audience will see any given post you make. When you promote a post, that number improves. When more people see your posts, more people have a chance to engage. Furthermore, each time a user engages with a post, that post is further shared on their news feeds. This gives you another wave of exposure, for free, and you can’t really argue with that.