Your Page needs to be seen in the Facebook New Feed.
Let’s keep it simple…
There are 5 things you should be doing on your Facebook Page to help ensure you grow your fan count, engage your fan base, and ensure that those fans see your posts in their Facebook News Feed.
#1. PROVIDE VALUE
People love tips and helpful information. Give them useful nuggets and give them timely information.
As well, be sure to engage users by asking questions when you post on your Facebook Page. Once fans respond, keep them talking by asking related types of questions to drive conversation deeper. The more they engage, the better your Facebook Page reach extends going forward with that fan.
TIP: If you need to post a news source that everyone else is posting, try to personalize your message and deliver it differently, not simply a share (regurgitation) of someone else’s information but add your own take and insight on the third-party article.
#2. BE RESPONSIVE
A recent study by the team at ExactTarget identified that the average response time by a Page Admin to a comment was 7 hours, and that 51% of the time another fan jumped in to respond faster than the brand. Do not let this happen to you. Respond to comments and Like’s on your Page in a timely manner. Acknowledging the individual is a way to connect with them. Watch your Page and answer posts fans make! There is simply no reason for not responding in a timely manner to posts and comments. There are all sorts of monitoring tools and 3rd party tools to alert you to comments and messages that can send you e-mail alerts. Use these and respond! The more timely your response, the more fans will comment and return in the future! Care = Loyalty.
#3. Post at ‘Best Times’ for your Page
This is where your Facebook Insights comes into play. Your “best times to post” are going to be driven by your industry (when your fan base is most likely to be on Facebook and most likely to engage) and more specifically by your audience (when are your fans on Facebook?). Facebook Insights allows you to see interaction patterns for your Page over time.
General page post studies by larger companies such as Buddy Media have shown those posting outside of business hours had a 20% greater engagement rate than those only posting in the 9-5 daily work hour times. As well, a more recent bitly study in May 2012, showed that traffic on Facebook begins to pickup at 9 a.m. daily locally, and begins to fade somewhat after 4 p.m. They noted that 11 a.m. can be a good time, in general, to reach people (11 a.m. for the user) in terms of visibility, but noted that engagement by users (taking a action to interact with your post such as Like, Comment, or Share) happened best between 1-4 p.m.
While some of these reports can seem to have conflicting data and even polar opposite tips, the reality comes back to your industry and most importantly, your very own Page Insights.
When are your Facebook fans engaging with your posts? Your answer to these questions guides your Facebook Page posting strategy:
- When are you getting the most reach to your posts?
- What type of posts (status, image, link, video) are getting the most engagement?
#4. Posts with Images drive more Engagement
We’ve all heard the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? On Facebook, a picture is worth much more than that! Images are the #1 driver of engagement on a Page since Timeline launched.
Images drive engagement more than links (which are the most used format of a post), more than video, and more than text only status updates.
According to an internal Facebook study, ”posts including a photo album or picture can generate 2X more engagement than other post types.”
#5. Use Tabs to drive Engagement
Last but definitely not least, use custom tabs!
Custom tabs that offer engagement and social sharing tools such as Contests, Sweepstakes, Coupons, and Deals can be a big booster of fan engagement, return fan activity, and reach for your Page.
According to this RocketMedia infographic, 40% of Facebook Page fans say they “Like” a Business on Facebook in order to get promotions and discounts.
So, in this day, incentives work! The cycle is simple.
> Attract user to “Like” your Page >
> Offer Contest / Sweepstakes / Coupon ,etc. in a News Feed post linking to a custom tab >
> On Tab capture e-mail, allow sign-up, give offer and >
> Promote easy Sharing to their friends with built-in social sharing tools
Services like TabSite offer robust tools to empower Page Admins to easily create and manage these types of Facebook approved incentives on custom tabs.
To underscore the potential here, Facebook marketing trainer and relationship marketing expert Mari Smith recently organized a successful Facebook contest. Her contest received over 377 unique entrants. Her contest also had 15,571 overall votes (people had to come to the custom Tab to vote on her Facebook Page) from 2,153 unique voters! Engagement!
Here are a few extra tips to help your Facebook Page create more engagement:
- Pin posts you want people to see for a while – Pinning post allows you to keep your more important message at the top of your Facebook page for seven days.
- Highlight your best posts- Highlighting posts give you the opportunity to make certain things stand out more than others on your Facebook page.
- Promote posts that need to reach the masses - Promoting posts give you the opportunity to reach a much larger portion of your Facebook fan base. You can often get a 25-60% boost in increase with this for-pay Facebook tool.