Why does everyone bang on about ‘Engagement’ and ‘traction’ on social media?
Picture this…You’re spending your precious time creating valuable content and sharing it on your Facebook business page. But your fan base isn’t growing much, your page is eerily quiet and no-one seems to be taking much notice. What’s the secret sauce that’s missing?
It’s engagement of course. When you’ve got an engaged audience your fan base grows, your online influence increase and more people take notice of you, which gets you more engagement, and so on.
Before we jump into the 15 engagement building ideas let’s explore what engagement really means, and why it’s so critical.
What is Engagement?
Engagement is getting your fans to interact and take some action as a result of your posts. Examples include responding to questions, holding a conversation, sharing, LIKEing, commenting, clicking on a link or adding you to an interest list. The important thing is that some form of interaction takes place.
This is important because it increases your Facebook Edgerank score. Edgerank is the formula Facebook uses to determine how ‘popular’ and ‘newsworthy’ your content is, which determines how often your posts appear in your fans’ newsfeed.
Studies have shown that, on average, only 16% of your fans will ever see your posts in their newsfeeds. So engagement is critical to increase your exposure and get more of your hard-earned content in front of your audience.
15 Ways to Increase Engagement
The best strategy is to take a number of these ideas and mix them up so you’re posting a variety of content. Your audience is on social media for a bit of light relief, fun, education and inspiration so mix it up and keep them interested.
1. Fun stuff!
You’re on Facebook to promote your business but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuffy. Perhaps have a certain day when you publish fun stuff, or keep a swipe file of fun content you can use when things are a bit dull. Wednesday’s are a good day for a bit of fun content as employees call this ‘hump’ day and need a bit of cheering up. And Friday’s work well too as the weekend countdown begins.
Here’s an example of a fun picture I posted recently – a ‘photobomb’ – which are very popular at the moment.
2. Third party links
You don’t always have to come up with your own content. Make sure you’re sharing third-party content often. That’s where some of the best ideas come from!
If you’re curating content you can share directly from sources such as Feedly.com. Setting up a Google Alerts for your keywords is a great way to find fresh content in your field.
And don’t forget one of the best sources of relevant third-party material is your own page’s newsfeed. Posts from pages that you’ve LIKE’d will appear in your page’s newsfeed so you can quickly scan what’s hot and popular and share with your audience.
3. Status Updates
This might sound obvious but with all the scheduling tools (and our busy lives) it can be easy to forget to post a quick status update on your business page. Rather than just posting business updates show your human side. Let your audience ‘behind the scenes’ with what you’re working on, excited about, or focussed on that day.
Images are massively popular on Facebook – in fact, all the social platforms. Images rank higher in the Edgerank score than text or videos, so make sure your posts are image rich. A clever way to get your message across is to find an appealing or personal image and add your own text to it.
A hot tip is to post Instagram image on Facebook. Instagram is the fastest growing social platform at the moment and a great place to find images, or cross-post with your Facebook page for maximum clout.
Videos are also popular; short and to the point are best. If you’re not a writer but you’ve got a message to share grab your iphone or flipcam and make a quick 1 or 2 minute video introducing your latest blog post, webinar or giveaway. Free tools like Jing.com allow you to create short ‘screen capture’ videos if you don’t want to be in front of the camera.
How popular are infographics! Everyone seems to be creating them and they are a great visual way to share a lot of information in a condensed and eye-catching format. (In fact, I’ll probably turn this article into an infographic at some later date for my blog!)
7. Top Tips
Depending on your market, you may want to share some short tips. People love short ‘how to’ tips and these can be presented as text, video or images – or mix up the formats.
8. Industry News
Keep up with what’s going on in your field and share industry news. You can find this information in Google Alerts and in the forums and communities you belong to. Also monitor ‘hot trends’ and breaking news for updates you can share with your fans.
It’s OK to promote your offerings on social media as long as it’s not the only thing you’re doing. Interspersed with a rich mixture of content it’s perfectly OK to promote your new freebie giveaway, special offer or webinar. In fact, it wouldn’t make sense not to.
10. Blog Posts
Don’t forget to share your latest blog posts on social media. WordPress users can automate this process using plug-in’s. A great way to do this is to introduce the post with a quick sentence on why you wrote it or one of the main benefits of reading it. Or summarise one of the key points.
This might sound obvious but if you’re not on social media every day ‘being present’ and talking to your audience how can you expect them to engage with you? You have to be there to engage! Even 15 minutes a day is enough to answer comments, share content and stay involved with your community.
Also take the time to join others’ conversations on their pages and within Facebook groups.
Inspirational quotes are very popular (you may have noticed!) and a quick and easy way to get a great visual and a bit of daily inspiration into your fans’ newsfeeds. There are whole sites and Facebook groups dedicated to motivational and inspirational quotes so they’re not hard to find and share.
Asking questions is a great way to build engagement on your page. Come up with a list of questions and ask a question a day, or perhaps follow Marie Forleo’s model and have a Q&A day on your page.
Questions don’t have to be related to your business. In fact, top marketers say they get their best engagement when they ask non-business questions, such as which films people have seen recently, or what they’re making for dinner.
I belong to a mums group where questions have ranged from ‘would you want any more children?’ (that was an interesting thread to follow!) to ‘describe each of your kids in one word’.
One word answer questions get the best response because they take much less time and thought to respond to, and make quick and fun reading for others.
Following on from the multi-media theme, try posting podcasts or short mp3’s on your page. Not many people use audio on social media but podcasts are incredibly popular so see how you can use this format to spice up your page.
Contests are another popular way to build engagement but use with caution. Make sure your prize is related to your business so you get your ideal clients signing-up, and not random freebie seekers (imagine offering a free ipad – you’d get loads of engagement but with the wrong people who are never going to be your customers – unless you’re in the ipad market). Perhaps give away a copy of your new book or training program to a lucky fan.
So there are 15 ways to build engagement on your Facebook page. Pick two that resonate with you and commit to putting them into action on your page. Write that post, record that quick video or find that amusing but relevant infographic that your market will love.
What other ways have you found to build engagement on your Facebook page? I’d love to hear in the comments!