The power of the "Like" on Facebook is generally understated. Everyone likes to be liked, but social media specialists and community managers look for more than that. A successful post can be judged by how many "Likes" you received, but the true goal is to get your content seen by as many people as possible. The only way this can be accomplished is through the power of sharing. Getting your fans to share your content with their friends can give your business or brand exposure it wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Here are some important tips you should keep in mind that will get you great results with your Facebook status updates.
It is important to understand that a majority of your Facebook fans do not want to see promotional content. Too much promotional content turns people away, and has even caused Facebook to change its algorithm that impacted the prominence of particular types of self-promotional content from pages. In a blog post last year Facebook said
"As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content."
Most social media marketers know that it's not uncommon for Facebook to make changes to the news feed based on the feedback of their users. In order to combat these frequent changes you need to have a well-thought-our marketing strategy that is very fluid. Before posting any content you should ask yourself the following three questions:
1. What are your goals?
Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Trying to increase sales? Reach out to customers with informative content that will push them further down the sales funnel? Your answer is probably a combination of all the above questions, but if you can identify a single main goal, this can slightly alter the game in terms of your content strategy.
2. Who is your target demographic?
You may think that the content you find is great to share but you should ask yourself if that content will resonate with your target demographic. We all are guilty of posting content that you think is clever and witty, but falls flat with your audience. It is important to think in terms of what your fans would like to see instead of what you would like to see.
3. How do you want to brand yourself?
There should be a clear message and theme throughout all of your posts. Curating content and posting on a whim can sometimes convey a disjointed message. Find and create content that complements your product or service, and stick to it.
Many of you will already have considered the above items and are still having difficulty getting your posts shared by your audience. Here are ten tips to help you improve how often your posts get shared and to increase overall engagement.
- Mix up your content on Facebook - this is one of the easiest things to do. If you want posts to be shared and to get the likes, comments and clicks you have to keep things interesting. Continue to stay with the common theme you have but mix it up when it comes to the type of content you share. You should use a combination of images, videos and non-image posts and analyze the numbers to see which post type resonates with your audience.
- Make sure content from your blog looks good on Facebook - ensure that you have all the necessary Open Graph tags in place on your site so when that content is shared, it displays correctly within Facebook.
- Create stunning visuals - Images on Facebook go a long way. For the majority of your posts you should include an image that catches the attention of your users. With the sea of content already in the newsfeed of your users it is important to stand out.
- Create each post as though you are talking to your friend - go back through your Facebook page and read your last couple of posts. Do they sound like you are talking to your friend? Do they sound rigid and stiff? You should take a natural tone with your audience and talk with them, not at them.
- Post fresh content and stick to a schedule - this may seem obvious but when your users know when to expect your posts, they are more likely to come back.
- Ask questions - asking questions of your fans is a great way to get them commenting and involved in your community.
- Respond to comments - again, this may seem like a no-brainer. Engage with your community and be part of the conversation.
- Elicit a strong reaction - appeals to emotion are usually a great way to get people fired up and willing to take action by sharing your post.
- Keep your copy simple but powerful - write your posts carefully and try to work in a call to action in them. Just like you would tell a potential customer to "subscribe now" or "click here", the same strong, directive copy should be applied to your Facebook posts. Try to work in a way to say "like and share if you think that..." and then include something that most people would agree with you on. Keep things simple and straightforward.
- Upload your videos directly to Facebook - uploading videos to Facebook is a relatively new feature. I have seen amazing results when doing this with all of my clients. Videos automatically start playing in Facebook and it is easier to grab the attention of your user through a video post.
In order to achieve success on Facebook you need a community. Be part of the conversation, and engage with your users. Worry more about the quality of your posts than the quantity. If you don't have a community, you don't have anyone listening to you.
Do you have any tips that have helped your sharing and engagement numbers on Facebook? If so, please comment below and let us know what has worked for you!
Written by Andrew Wasyluk. Andrew is a social media specialist at Page1Solutions.