Engagement on Facebook
Google “Facebook engagement for business.” You’ll see a lot of great tips, and a few unsavory tricks, for increasing Facebook engagement for your business. Social media experts and business owners alike gauge their social media success by the amount of engagement on their pages.
With Facebook in particular, engagement is important because the longer someone spends looking at a post, the more people will see the post. What am I talking about?
Facebook’s algorithm is set up to measure how long someone stops scrolling and stares or engages with a particular post. If someone stops scrolling to look at or engage with a post, Facebook will then put that post in someone else’s newsfeed. If several people stop to engage on a post, then Facebook puts the post in even more newsfeeds.
So, obviously, if you want your post to be seen by all of your followers and some of their friends, then engagement is a good way to go to get as many eyeballs on your post as possible.
What Does Engagement Look Like?
Well, engagement means people are liking, sharing, and commenting on your post. Comments and shares are more valuable than a like these days, because they take more time.
How Do You Encourage Engagement?
Here’s the thing that many forget: The best way to increase engagement is to post really great posts. What do those look like?
Think about your followers. Why did they become your follower? Did they respond to an invitation from you? Did they see a particular post that made them want to see more from you? Consider how you snagged the followers you have and you may have your answer to the what to post question.
No Followers Yet
To gain followers, you need to be very consistent with your posting schedule. Post every day at the same time. Post a link with a comment one day, post a completely original post several days a week. Vary each post in length from very short to very long. Always include an image when you’re not posting a link.
Why everyday? Because this is another little part of the Facebook algorithm. If you’re not posting regularly and consistently, Facebook doesn’t like you. They penalize you by not showing your post to very many people. Ask questions. Take a poll. Be a little vulnerable.
Once you’ve been posting consistently for a month, start paying attention to what’s getting engagement. What type of post draws comments? Which posts have received the most likes? Then, begin changing one thing at a time. If you noticed shorter posts receive the most likes, then add a couple of shorter posts to your schedule. If you noticed that longer posts receive more comments, but only in the evenings, then add another longer post to your evening schedule. Building a following of people who engage with your posts requires a lot of time, patience, and attention.
Don’t be afraid to merge the old with the new. I found most of my followers by networking face-to-face. I attended networking meetings and met other professionals. I got to know them and they got to know me. We became friends in real life. Then we became friends on Facebook. Then they eventually saw a post from my business and liked it. Don’t underestimate what real world engagement can do for your online engagement.
Crafting a Post for Engagement
Okay. First of all, what I’m about to describe is my own process. Everyone is different and creative minds, such as mine, don’t always make sense to others. So, if you try it out and it feels very awkward for you, then don’t do it. Find a way that works best for you.
First up, if you are already inspired and know what you’d like to write about, then write about it. Then go find a free-to-use, with no attribution needed, photo. You can find those at Compfight, Unsplash, Pexels, and other sites. Make sure at Compfight to select the right options on the left to find an image that’s okay to alter and use on a post for your business.
Tips for Choosing the Right Image
When choosing an image, it’s always best to pick one with these two things in mind:
It’s relevant to your post. Don’t choose the photo with the cute baby if your business and post have nothing to do with cute babies.
Your target market will identify with the image. What does that mean? It means choose a photo with people in it. And make sure the people look like your target customer. For example, if you mostly work with busy professionals, then make sure the person or people in the photo look like busy professionals.
Once you’ve found the image, optimize it for Facebook. Take it over to Canva and resize the image to fit in the Facebook-sized square. If you’re going to put words on the image, then make sure they are large and centrally located. Remember, most of the people on Facebook are on there using an app on a mobile phone. Keep little screens in mind when formatting images.
Posting Your Perfect Post
Next, either post it or schedule the post. Use Facebook’s own scheduler. Anytime you can use Facebook’s tools, do it. It factors in to the algorithm that determines how well your post will do.
Hashtags can be used on Facebook, but they aren’t the best for increasing engagement unless you’re using them to add to or tell a story. Say what?
Everybody makes mistakes. #cantfindmykeys #oh #theyreinthefreezer
That’s an example of hashtag usage that tells the story and makes light of a situation. It’s funny. Or, at least, it’s supposed to be. When followers see a post that has hashtags in it that do not add to or tell a story, they (rightly) assume that you’re trying to reach a broader audience. There’s nothing wrong with doing so every once in a while, but just remember that this decreases engagement. Your follower is going to assume this post isn’t aimed at them, and because of that many won’t engage.
What Do You Do If You Have No Clue What to Post?
Start by browsing through the images or running a Google search for a topic that is related to your business. Many times, I see an image that sparks an idea that leads to a great post. Other times, images just don’t help.
If you took the Google route and you find something that you’d like to make sure your followers see, too, then make sure you do so by linking to that page. Give credit where credit is due.
If you read a post that spawned a train of thought that eventually led to a post, then that’s something else entirely. Don’t steal other people’s content, but definitely be inspired by others.
When Should I Post to Facebook for the Best Engagement?
Monday through Friday, noon to 3 p.m. is ideal when a lot of people are on Facebook. There have been several studies that indicate posting in the evening, 7 to 10 p.m., will result in more clicks. If your post requires some reading, then you might want to schedule it for the evening.
Here’s the thing, though. Whatever you decide on when to post, you need to post to the time slot consistently. Make it part of the schedule. When I say Facebook likes consistency, I’m not kidding even a little.
Here’s the Thing About Engagement
Engagement on Facebook or any social media platform isn’t the yardstick by which we should be measuring success. Take a global view on social media. It’s one part of your marketing. It’s one wedge in the pie.
While I love what Facebook does for businesses, I strongly believe that it isn’t for every business. You know your target audience, right? Then make sure Facebook users are your target audience.
While it isn’t realistic for everyone to gauge their social media success based on revenue or engagement, you will, however, get in front of more people with social media. Additionally, it will be one more verifying source that says you’re trustworthy and your brand is consistent.
Facebook is a great place to connect person-to-person. So, you can create connections with people who will follow your business because they made a personal connection with you.
Quickest Way to Lose Engagement
It’s not appropriate coming from a business page. Do you enjoy snarky people that condescend to you? If the answer is yes, then by all means post all the snarkiness you’d like because that’s who you’ll attract is like-minded people.
Facebook is not for venting your frustrations. Even on your personal page, be mindful of how you conduct yourself. What you say and how you say it matters.
One Last Thing
If you’ve tried every tip, trick, strategy, method, etc., and your engagement hasn’t increased, that’s okay. How’s your business doing? Do you have new leads coming your way? Any prospects find you?
If you are snagging plenty of customers, then don’t panic. You’re doing something right, somewhere. If you’d like to see an increase in engagement regardless, flip your social media on its head. Change your strategy completely. Or, hire a professional to evaluate things and work with you to develop a strategy that works.
Another thing—your followers just might not be part of the typical Facebook users. If you have the most engagement on a Monday morning at 9, then keep posting Monday morning at 9. This isn’t a science. Follow your gut and common sense.
Sometimes, the most obvious answer is the best answer. The best way to increase engagement might be to ask questions. If you want people to comment and start a discussion, then give them something to discuss.
And, don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. Facebook is only one part of marketing your business.
As always, if you have questions, you know where to find me.