When it comes to social media, Facebook is king. Forty-one percent of small businesses used Facebook in Spring 2015, compared to 12 percent for Twitter. When brands first started flocking to Facebook, they viewed it as an easy way to build a following without paying for ads. Facebook changed its algorithms, leaving many small business owners out in the cold. The new algorithm changed what shows up in users’ newsfeeds. Back in the old days, anything you posted showed up in your prospective customers’ newsfeed. Now, Facebook evaluates the level of engagement when choosing what to display in a user’s newsfeed. If a post doesn’t get many likes, comments, or shares, it gets buried. On the other hand, if a post receives lots of engagement, it enjoys a sizeable organic reach.
As you can imagine, this has created a catch-22. You can’t show up in the newsfeed unless you have high levels of engagement, and you can’t engage your audience unless you show up in their newsfeed.
Talk about total frustration!
Fortunately, there is a way around this. Employ these tactics to boost your engagement levels and show up in your followers’ newsfeeds.
Share the Right Content
Most marketers are too narrow in the scope of content they post. For instance, if you own a shoe store, you might only post content directly related to shoes. That is fine occasionally, but industry news sometimes gets boring. Broaden your appeal by broadening your message.
For instance, provide tips for runners or talk about power walking. Think about what people use your product for instead of the product itself. This will help you to post engaging content.
Switch from YouTube to Facebook Video
You know that video is a critical part of your Facebook strategy. There is a good chance that you are opting for the easy route of uploading YouTube videos. Like any good company, Facebook prefers its own products. That means that if you use native Facebook video, you will perform much better on social network.
A study conducted in 2015 stated that native Facebook videos get twice as many comments and three times as many shares as YouTube videos that are uploaded onto Facebook. They also get twice the reach. That’s a good enough reason to use Facebook’s video feature.
Get the Timing Right
Life is all about timing. You must get your timing right to succeed, and posting on Facebook is no exception. You can increase your organic reach by leaps and bounds by posting when engagement levels are at their highest. This will help you get the likes, comments, and shares you need to make it onto more newsfeeds.
Most people are confused about when to post. They think they need to post when most users check their Facebook accounts, so they post during the daytime. Sure, people check their Facebook accounts during the daytime hours, but they aren’t engaging with the content. That’s because they are overloaded with content options, or are busy with other activities. If you post during their busy peak hours, you’ll get views and nothing else. As your views without engagement build up, your chances of people seeing your posts will go down.
If you want to reach out to engaged users, post your content between 10 pm and midnight. There aren’t as many posts during this time, so people are more likely to engage with the content in front of them. You are likely to stand out, and get the organic reach you need.
If the idea of staying up late to write social media posts doesn’t appeal to you, use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite, Edgar, and Buffer. Then, you can hit the sack, knowing that your posts are going out at the scheduled times. Then, when you wake up in the morning, you can count your likes, shares, and comments.
Engage in Conversations
Engagement cannot be a one-way street. Interact with the people who took the time to engage with your content so that you can reach the engagement levels you desire. That means that if someone leaves a comment, it is a good idea to reply. Use social media monitoring tools to find out what comments people have left and then respond quickly. Don’t just do this once a day. You need to respond to comments throughout the day.
Most people will leave nice comments. Changes are you will encounter some trolls. This is the cost of using social media. Ignore the trolls, and respond to the people who leave thoughtful and engaging comments. Your social media listening tools should also look for questions that people ask. You need to quickly answer these questions.
Invite People to Engage
Marketers should never sit back and hope that the desired action happens. Instead, they need to ask for it. That is why you should ask people to engage with your content. Put your request right in the content. Simply ask them to like and share your post.
Not all your readers will comply, but those who do will help spread your message. Your engagement rates will go up, and this will help your content to land in more newsfeeds. Once this happens, there is no telling how much traction you will get on Facebook.
Let History Repeat Itself
Most likely you have created some engaging posts. There’s also a good chance that you haven’t learned from them. Spend time poring over your analytics so you can see what has worked in the past. Then, mimic the most successful posts. You know what your audience wants to engage with based on past behavior. Go out and get it done again.
Get Real with Your Photos
Photos are all the rage on Facebook, but most brands use them incorrectly. If you visit a random brand’s Facebook page, you will probably see one stock image after the next. That is not what people want to see. They want to look at real photos. If they see stock photos, they will breeze right by them.
Use your smartphone to snap some great photos and then add them to Facebook. You can also connect your Instagram and Facebook accounts so your Instagram photos are available on Facebook. Then, if you add a photo to Instagram, it will automatically appear on Facebook.
Create Shareworthy Blog Posts
When you post on Facebook, you will have a nice assortment of photos, text posts, videos, and links. Most brands rely heavily on photos because they are engaging. However, you also need to think about reach, which is where links come into play. That reach can help you get more followers and send traffic to your website.
Of course, you must post sharable links. Create list posts that people are likely to share.
Start by coming up with a killer headline. This will draw readers in. Then, create the post around what your audience wants to read.
How do you figure out what your audience wants to read?
It all comes down to social media monitoring. Your social media management team should use monitoring and listening to figure out what your audience wants. Then, create blog posts that provide them with the exact information your audience desires. Cap it off with a photo that will grab their attention and upload it unto Facebook. Then, watch the post as it makes its rounds.
People want their content in short, bite-sized chunks. However, many brands use their Facebook pages like blogs. They go on and on, and they lose their audience in the meantime. Prevent this from happening by keeping your posts within 50 characters, if possible. Every character after 50 will cause a drop in engagement.
This might seem impossible, but it isn’t that hard. Most likely, your posts are filled with unnecessary details which you can eliminate. Instead, write your posts like headlines, and then include links to more information if necessary. This will draw people in and boost your engagement levels.
Finally, you need to strategize how you’re going to boost engagement. The best social media marketing teams know when to post and how often. They also know what they are going to share and who will respond. They don’t guess what’s going to happen, and leave it to fate. They already know what resonates with their target audience.
Start by creating an outline of content you’d like to promote on social media, and then expand on it. Use that outline every time you write a new post. Also, create an editorial calendar that contains information about your posts, along with the times and dates that you will submit them.
Keep in mind that you will need the type of social media listening and monitoring tools that will allow these tips to work. With the right tools in place, your social media management team will be able to take over Facebook. Your engagement levels will increase and your posts will make their rounds.
Original Article was first published on Buzzlogix Social Media Marketing Blog.