Facebook has over 1 billion daily active users and is a major piece of the social media marketing puzzle for many companies. Users scroll through their News Feeds, publish posts, share content, and engage with their friends and brands on a consistent basis.
In the early days of the social media network, brands saw a lot of success on Facebook and were able to reach their target audiences fairly easily. Additionally, they were able to do this organically (without using paid ads). But that began to change in 2014-2015, when business pages started seeing significantly less organic reach for their posts. The two main reasons for the decline? First, there’s simply too much content being published on Facebook, making visibility in the News Feed increasingly competitive. Second, assisted by an algorithm change, Facebook is deliberately trying to show people the content that is most relevant to them, as opposed to surfacing all the content available. Since the changes took effect, it has become harder to get those coveted likes, comments and shares because businesses’ posts aren’t being seen by a large portion of their audiences.
Seeing a high level of responsiveness to your content among your followers is definitely a sign of success in your social media strategy, so it’s important to leverage tactics that not only can better your engagement, but also translate into favorable outcomes like leads and sales.
Luckily, there are still ways to reach your audience and boost your Facebook engagement efficiently, effectively and inexpensively.
Post at the Right Time
Organic reach may have been reduced, but it’s not gone. One of the reasons Facebook changed the way content is displayed in News Feeds is due to the growing amount of content being published. As more brands and people started joining Facebook, the number of posts went up, as well, creating competition.
Lots of research has been done regarding when it’s best to post on Facebook. Early morning and nighttime are generally the best times to post updates, particularly around 8 p.m. This makes sense when you think about it – most people work during the day, come home and have dinner, and then relax, watch TV and peruse their News Feeds.
The trick is to post when engagement is the highest, not necessarily when the most users are logged in. Although most people tend to check their Facebook during the daytime, the most engagement happens in the evening. BuzzSumo found that posts published between 10 p.m. and midnight (local time) receive the most engagement.
Another option is posting over the weekend, when most people have more free time to check out Facebook. Additionally, fewer brands post on the weekends, so there’s less competition in the News Feed, which could be an opportunity to get more exposure.
Post Organic Videos
Research shows that videos have an impressive 135 percent greater organic reach than images on Facebook. When users are scrolling through their News Feeds, videos that automatically and immediately play silently capture more attention.
Not only does adding videos into your social media strategy increase engagement, but it’s also extremely easy to upload videos. Actually, Facebook prefers organic videos, meaning you upload the video directly to this platform from your device versus sharing a video from YouTube or elsewhere.
Ideas for video content include expanding on a recent blog-post topic, explaining your flagship product or addressing frequently asked questions. Commit to sharing more videos on your page to get your followers to watch you.
Capitalize on Facebook Live
Facebook Live is a video-broadcasting feature that lets any person or brand live-stream events, reveals, celebrations and more.
Although Facebook Live is simple to use (just tap the live broadcast icon while publishing an update from your mobile device), many are understandably hesitant about using this new form of unscripted content marketing. That’s because using Facebook Live to broadcast your cause begs at least 4 questions:
– What are we going to talk about?
– How should we respond to commenters?
– How long should we broadcast?
– Will anybody actually tune in?
If you have clear objectives and a plan that makes sense, you’ll be more successful using Facebook Live to engage your followers. The Humane Society, the White House and the MET are examples of entities that are successfully using Facebook Live to broadcast content such as news-as-it-happens, museum tours and feeding time for baby raccoons.
People spend up to three times longer watching live videos on social media than they do a prerecorded video. Tools like Facebook Live are very successful in generating engagement from fans and followers. You can literally catapult responsiveness from your audience by simply leveraging Facebook Live to share your content, take followers behind the scenes, host live Q&A broadcasts and report breaking news.
Post Awesome Content
It’s public knowledge that visuals work in social media marketing. In fact, visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
While it can be tempting to just link out to existing content, you’ll get much better engagement if you take the time to create some original and interesting content for the platform, like shareable memes or funny lines that will resonate with your followers. This will up your page’s engagement and ultimately get you more clicks on the other content you share there.
Another common practice that is effective on Facebook is curating content, or gathering and sharing the best content related to your industry from other sources. If you feel it will benefit your followers, share it. It sounds counterintuitive, but it does work. Content curation positions you as an expert and resourceful brand in your industry.
Build Upon Successes
When you understand what’s been working on your page, you’ll do it more! Look at the posts that have brought you the most engagement in the past. Sometimes the best way to get additional Facebook engagement is to publish more of the same type of content that you’ve already had success with.
But how can you go beyond what has worked? Ask yourself:
– Would I share this with my friends?
– What gets people talking?
– What’s trending in our cause?
– What are our competitors posting on Facebook?
Content will always be king, so be sure you’re sharing high quality posts.