Facebook engagement is tough to come by for brands these days. Facebook began tweaking its news feed in early 2014 to limit “reach” for business pages. And once they saw the ad revenue rolling in (from brands paying to keep traction), they never looked back. It seems like every month a new study is released, each time showing a lower rate for organic reach. Facebook is officially a pay-to-play social network for brands. However, there are things you can do to increase engagement on Facebook without spending money.
3 Ways to Increase Engagement on Facebook
Know your fans
The most impactful way brands can increase engagement on Facebook is by offering content that their fans find relevant. Show your fans that you get them… That you understand what they want. What types of content do fans of your brand find useful, helpful or valuable? If you want them to engage with it when they see it (leading to people they’re connected with seeing it), you need to thoroughly answer these questions, then deliver.
It’s also important to know when your fans are most likely to be using Facebook. Share your post when your target audience is actively listening. While Facebook’s algorithm does attempt to save relevant posts that users may have missed for later, the news feed is still a scrolling feed at heart. If you drop relevant content into a fan’s news feed while they’re staring at it, they’re obviously much more likely to engage with it.
Stand out in the news feed
People scroll. People scroll fast. If you’ve proven to fans over time that you consistently deliver valuable content, there’s a chance that they may stop simply from seeing your brand name or logo. Most likely, though, they won’t. They’re looking for something interesting to catch their eye, and the numerous text and link only posts aren’t getting the job done. Be visual. Use images, video, infographics, etc. to say things you would have previously said using text only.
When sharing a link to a page with no images on it, add your own image so that the post can still pop visually. The page preview that Facebook generates when you paste the URL into the status editor looks very bland when there are no images for it to pull from the other end. Also, when sharing your own video, always upload the video to your brand page then share it. Facebook is still awarding good visibility and reach to native Facebook videos, over YouTube or Vimeo links being shared through Facebook.
Use the Facebook Targeting feature for organic posts
You read that right. Facebook offers the ability for you to target your posts to only appear in news feeds for fans most likely to find your post relevant…at no cost. You’re able to target based on general demographics (age, location, gender, etc.) and fan interests, and can also specify time periods for the post to be visible in targeted news feeds (great if it’s an event at a specific time later that day that you’re promoting). Social Media Examiner offers an extremely thorough overview of how to effectively use the tool.
Which of these worked best for you to increase engagement on Facebook? Have you found other ways to increase engagement on Facebook without paying?