By now you know that Facebook is almost always pay-to-play. While this is true, it does not mean that you can ignore the platform for marketing. It is incredibly effective, and although organic reach and engagement rates have been declining since 2014 (it had dropped to 6% – a decline of 49 percent from peak levels the previous year). In 2018, organic reach levels had dropped to 1.2% and organic engagement dropped to an average of 0.6% in 2017. That does not mean you have to give up.
How to Increase Organic Facebook Engagement
Plenty of brands are able to pay to advertise to reach their desired audience. Other brands – particularly small businesses – don’t have the budget or don’t have the time and know how to make this kind of investment. Don’t panic. Organic reach is not dead, it dropped – but if you are a smart marketer, you can still earn those eyeballs organically.
What is Engagement & Why is it Important?
Facebook “engagement” essentially consists of three components:
Comments and shares are the most valuable and carry the most weight as legitimate forms of reach, but it is not as simple as it seems.
Post engagement plays a large role in WHO sees your posts because it is a major factor in Facebook’s algorithm. The formula determines whose News Feeds your posts get displayed in and ultimately, how many users you’re able to reach.
Facebook values comments on posts that come from conversations between Facebook users. Particularly if they are friends, so trying to gain the system with unnatural comments won’t work. We’ve outlined 14 different tips to help you get more Facebook engagement so you can increase your reach and actually see an ROI from your efforts.
14 Tips on Increasing Facebook Engagement
Use Engaging Images, Particularly Videos
Photos get more engagement than text posts, but videos (particularly videos that are uploaded natively to Facebook) get the most love from Facebook. Why? Facebook is competing with YouTube. If you create a video it will be prioritized over other types of content.
Besides format, keep a few other things in mind:
- Keep images clean & easy to read & understand
- If possible, share photos of your customers at your place of business or using your products. Tag them and you will see engagement skyrocket.
- Green and blue-grey are the two colors that perform worst on Facebook.
- Bright colors like aqua, bright red, navy, and chartreuse work best.
- Landscapes with little activity don’t perform as well.
Share Exclusive Discounts and Promotions
This still works. Offer special deals and perks to your customers to keep them interested and to drive sales. Just make sure to make the deal actually enticing. When you craft your posts, include call-to-actions with links to the most relevant page on your website.
Post on Sunday
Sundays are great days to post, followed by Saturday. Thus, posts on Saturday and Sunday will get more engagement than on the weekdays, people are home, relaxing, and they will have a little time to browse Facebook without thinking about work. Grab them while they are in this state and you increase your chances of engagement.
The more interactions on a page, the more the algorithm will work in your favor. Make sure you reply to each interaction individually. While you’re at it, personalize the responses. This will build a personal relationship with the commenter and possibly transform them into a brand ambassador. Ask your audience to share their thoughts and feedback on your product and services. This is another way to listen to your customers and improve your business. Posting content that shows you took their feedback into consideration can build customer loyalty and show you value their ideas. There are a few things to keep in mind here:
- Geo-location – if your business is local, Facebook wants to see that locals are engaging. It tells their algorithm that the content is good for people in that area and will serve it to more of your fans in that area.
- Get conversations going – Facebook values conversations between people on the platform. If you can craft a post that gets people talking to each other, Facebook will send your post to more newsfeeds.
- Timeliness – Speed of engagement matters. The quicker people are commenting and talking to each other after you post, the more the Facebook algorithm will kick in in your favor.
Remind Fans to Share
This one can be tricky since Facebook does not want you asking for favors on the platform. However, you can be really smart about how to craft your posts so that you can get people to share your content. Sharing doesn’t always have to originate on Facebook. Make sure to optimize your website to make sharing to Facebook easy for your audience.
Post Regular, Fresh Content
If you don’t put in the time to maintain your Facebook page, it will do little to nothing to help your business. When using Facebook as a marketing platform, a considerable amount of time is required in monitoring feedback posted to your Facebook Page, and keeping your page updated with fresh content. You can’t expect to get likes if you leave questions unanswered and fail to encourage conversation. Use a social media scheduling tool to schedule your posts and then make sure that either you or someone on your team is ready to monitor the action around it.
Get People to Engage by Asking Questions
People want to have their voice heard. This includes your customers. So go ahead, ask for their opinion. Need some ideas? Here goes:
- Ask customers to help you name a product
- Ask them to describe memories and moments associated with your brand.
When Skittles asked fans to describe the moment they opened a pack of the candy, the post received over 5,000 interactions. Keep your questions simple. Relate questions to specific consumer lifestyles, such as where or how they use your product. Monitor your customer feedback on Facebook posts and comments, Twitter mentions and emails to find question topic ideas.
Fill in the Blank
Use a short sentence with one word missing to generate a significant amount of comments, likes, and shares. Pringles used a fill-in-the-blank post to connect their chips with a relaxing summer holiday. A bonus of this tactic is that Pringles got a snapshot of their fans’ product preferences by monitoring the comments. Use fill-in-the-blank posts as a two-pronged engagement tactic: interact with your online community and get to know them better for future marketing campaigns. Use the post tactic in conjunction with a specific event, such as a summer holiday or a family ski trip. Awkward or funny situations get people to engage on a more personal level.
Don’t Use Hashtags on Posts
Posts on Facebook that include a hashtag receive less engagement than those without hashtags. Although hashtags serve to categorize content on Twitter and Instagram, they impair engagement levels on Facebook, so just leave those out.
Increase Engagement By Posting Images via Instagram
Instagram is a Facebook property, as such, Facebook prioritizes Instagram posts that are shared directly from Facebook to Instagram. It’s super easy to use too, just takes one click.
Get Your Team Involved
So…remember how we spoke about engagement. Get your team ready. Have your co-workers who are not admins of the page ready to engage EACH OTHER on your posts as soon as they come out. Your co-workers are probably similar to your target audience and in your geo-location – so they are a great sample audience for the Facebook algorithm to clone.
Best Time to Post
There is NO one best time to post. Seriously. You need to dive into analytics to find the best posting time for your brand or business. Then, you need to test posting immediately before, on the dot, and right after. Keep testing until you figure out the time that gives you the best results.
Only Upload Source Videos on Facebook
Publishing videos directly to Facebook will get you the most engagement. Do not share links from YouTube or other video sites.
Short Post Descriptions Get the Most Interaction
The shorter the description you write for your post, the more your interactions you will get. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, people on Facebook have short attention spans and want you to get to the point, so do it…and do it in 50-140 characters.
How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts
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- Schedule posts to multiple Social media accounts including Facebook pages, Twitter Accounts, Instagram accounts, Pinterest Boards & LinkedIn business pages
- Have multiple people create and post content (and let you control what gets published)
- Pull Reports
- and much more
If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. Have questions, just ask by opening up a chat?