If you are a social marketer staring at your Facebook page trying to figure out why the “People That Are Talking About This” number is looking rather anaemic, this post is for you.
First of all, realize you’re not alone. Engagement rates have been trending downwards across the board since fan pages first launched two years ago. In fact, the latest studies reveal that most brands only see around 1% of their fans engaging on Facebook.
The good news is there are a few tactics you can easily deploy to immediately improve engagement.
1. Post After 11am Local Time.
From looking through dozens of different pages, it seems that users are more inclined to like, comment or share content from mid-morning through the end of the day, than they are first thing in the morning.
Perhaps the morning is for checking the news, getting the kids to school or just focusing on their real job – who knows – the data just point to increased
goofing off at work/school/home engagement after 11am.
Be sure to look at your Page Insights to see in which cities you have the most fans. For example, if your fans are predominantly east coasters you’ll want to post after 11am EST, whereas if they’re left coasters you’ll want to adjust to PST.
2. Post Photos. Not Links.
Conventional wisdom has been to post links to content on your site. After all, you want to drive people to check out your product, right? Wrong! Users apparently prefer to stay on Facebook rather than visiting your site. Its the complete opposite of search.
The conspiracy theorists will tell you that Facebook somehow penalizes linking out as part of a master plan to control the world. Whether that’s true or not, if you want to be successful on their platform its better to play with them, not against them.
Posting photos seems to consistently drive the highest levels of engagement. But not just any photos. Users have emotional responses to photography. A photo that is unique, well framed and high quality will get more likes and comments than one that is stock, poorly lit or blurred.
3. Post No More Than 2x per day.
Facebook is not Twitter. Posting throughout the day does not work at all. In fact the data points to a 50% fall off in engagement with each additional post on a given day.
So if you’ve linked your Twitter account to your Facebook page, unlink it now! Twitter posts have no business being on Facebook.
4. Enlist The Help Of Your Top Fans.
This one is a little trickier, but well worth the effort. In general, you’ll find that 5-20% of your total fans have at one point engaged with your content in the newsfeed.
Within this group you’ll find a sub-group of highly active fan who are responsible for generating at least 50% of the total engagement on your page. If you can enlist this group to be your connectors (e.g by reaching out to them directly and creating a Facebook Ambassador program) and grow the group over time, you will grow your overall engagement.
As a page admin, you can identify your top fans via Facebook’s Open Graph API. You’ll need some basic coding and data handling skills to get the data into an actionable format. If you don’t know how to do it, contact me and I’ll walk you through it.
5. Acquire New Fans Who Are More Likely To Engage.
In your page insights you can see the age and gender segments of your total fan base and of your fan base that is Talking About This. If you see a segment with a higher percentage Talking About This than in the overall fan base, then you have found your sweet spot.
Simply run a Facebook ad campaign targeting the sweet spot and you will gain fans who are more likely to engage with your page.