In my last post, I gave an overview of what engagement is and why it is important. To recap quickly, engagement, in very simple terms, is what your fans and followers do to interact and engage with the brand.
While engagement is a buzzword right now, it is a buzzword that is here to stay. The conversation in Social Media has changed from how many followers you have to how engaged those followers are. Let's call it a best practice.
Having a Facebook page, a Twitter account or a G+ account isn't enough. It has to be updated on a regular basis with quality content. While all social networks have their own personality, audience, and best practices, they center around one key aspect -- shareable content. It is the content that you post that is going to get people engaged. The better it is, the more engaged your audience would become. The more engaged your audience is, the more likely you are to see an increase in fans and hopefully from there, an increase in sales.
THE BIG 5
In these blogs, you will often see me talk about the BIG 5. The BIG 5 is a term I coined for the major social media powerhouses. These are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and Pinterest. While other social media sites are pretty big, not all of them can be used as an inbound linking tool. Take Instagram for example. Instagram is right up there in popularity, but it’s used more often than not as a branding tool. In terms of making the largest impact, the BIG 5 is the way to go.
These networks are the most valuable to brands because they have the biggest audience and it is likely that your customers are active on some of these sites.
HOW TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT ON FACEBOOK
Facebook is the biggest network of the BIG 5. It is the network that your friends are on. It's the one your co-workers are on. Your grandmother might even be on it. Facebook boasts over 1.06 billion monthly active users. In other words, just about EVERYONE is on it. With that kind of number, it would be just plain stupid to ignore.
Another thing to note is that Facebook is a network of nosy people. Users head to Facebook to see what their friends are up to, to look at pictures, to get news [I admit, I get a lot of news from Facebook and what people share], to watch videos, and to chat with friends. People LOVE Facebook. As a brand, you should love Facebook too!
Because Facebook is so important, I am going to break this post into 5 parts.
I have done a lot of unofficial research on Facebook and noticed that photos are the key component to getting views. People are more likely to look at a picture than a text link. This is very important information to a brand.
Marketingland found in a recent study that photo posts received 4x the amount of engaged users per post compared to a text post. It also received 4x the amount of shares and twice as many likes. Photos are crucial to getting seen.
Bottom line - Post a photo with each update. If you are promoting a link to your site, you still want to add a photo and put the link in the description section. Another tip is to put the link at the top of the description, or after the first sentence. Content is shortened on the newsfeed, only a few lines of your text will show up on the photo. This will make sure your link is always visible. You want your link up there incase someone doesn't click on the picture itself to see the full text. When shared, this link also gives any viewer the option to click away.
To get people talking, you will also want to ask questions with your photos. This is a great trick! Do it!
While videos require a bit more work [you know, hair and makeup 🙂 ], they can prove to be thought provoking and effective in getting your message across. One way you can engage your audience is by posting a Youtube link. This will give your audience easy access to watch your video. The nice thing about this is that you don't have to leave Facebook to view it. It will play right there. Another, more effective way of posting a video is to post it through Facebook itself.
ReelSEO, did a study that showed found that Facebook videos have 10 times more viral reach than YouTube links.
The reason here is simple. The shelf life of a link is shorter than the shelf life of something uploaded to Facebook. Uploaded content lives on the page in the video gallery (or photo album). It is always there. People can click through your galleries at any time. When you post a new video, there is a chance that people will go to the next video as well. Whereas links can gets buried in your newsfeed as you continue to update.
Asking a question is one of the sure fire ways to get people talking on Facebook. Humans are social and they want to be heard. It is easier to get them talking if you ask them a question. This can be a question about your brand, about your product, or something related.
When coming up with questions to ask, make sure you put your reporter hat. This is a fundamental rule I learned in Journalism school. Don't ask “do” or “is” questions. A “do” or “is” question will leave you with a yes or no answer. Ask “Who,” “What,” “Where,” “When,” and “How.” The goal here is to open up for long conversations. You want to get as much out of the answerer as possible. Remember, the more people that comment on something, the more it will show up on the newsfeed. The more it shows up on the newsfeed, the more people will see your brand name.
4. Reply To Answers
If you are asking questions, it is likely that you are going to get some responses. That's great, but the buck shouldn't stop there! Remember, it's a conversation. You wouldn't ask someone a question in person and when they answer not respond would you? No, that would be rude. The same goes for Social Media.
Facebook just launched a new feature where you could respond directly to a comment. Use this feature. To activate it, go to your brand page and click on the promoted link. From there, you are good to go.
5. Like Answers
On the same topic of replying to comments, make sure you like the comment as well. At the very least, it shows the commenter that the brand noticed and listened. You are more likely to get people to continue talking by employing this simple tactic.
I'll leave you with these final questions to think about for now.
How are you engaging your audience? Have you seen an increase in sales through social media by being an active and engaging brand? What challenges do you face as a brand trying to interact?
In my next post, I will share a few more ways to engage your fans on Facebook. I understand it is a lot of work, but that's what I am here for. If you would like to talk about ConvertWithContent managing your Facebook account, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Refresher Course - Social Media Engagement Strategy - Overview