By now you already have heard that Facebook is making some big changes to the algorithm. While a lot of businesses and marketers are freaking out, I am moving forward with strategies that I already had in place. In fact, I am excited about these changes. It finally means all those things I have been teaching for the past 10 years are still true today! Well, if you are stressed out and not sure what to do on your Facebook business page and you need some actionable tips on getting more engagement, this is the blog post for you! Today I am sharing with you 5 actionable tips for getting more engagement on Facebook Pages because if you haven’t heard yet, engagement and community is the name of the game over on Facebook right now.
There are basically two formulas for video on Facebook right now (not to include live video which we will talk about in a minute). The first is very short form videos that ask a question and perhaps lead to other content pieces. I will give you an example. I have a client that did a 15 minute Facebook live talking about how to deal with the flu when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Then we did a very short 26 second recorded video that we posted about an hour later. In that recorded video she stated that today on their live they talked about xyz and then asked “I want to hear from you, what is your favorite way to build your immune system. Let us know below in the comments.” This shorter video ended up getting over 500 views, reached over 1k people and currently has 43 comments. (see stats below). This in about 2 days.
Short videos are a fantastic tool for getting engagement when done correctly.
The second kind of recorded video is more episodic. These types of videos can be longer (2-10 minutes) and keep people wanting more. If you want examples of this go check out the Facebook watch area and see what other people are doing here. The idea is to leave people wanting more at the end. That can be a coming up on the next show note or it can be a cliffhanger at the end. A brand that does REALLY well with episodic video is Social Media Examiner’s The Journey series.
If you are in the social media field you may just become obsessed with this short video series that comes out every Friday morning. They are VERY good at leaving cliffhangers at the end and make you want to come back for more. But they also have value-driven content that is both entertaining but also educational and insightful.
Another episodic video series I personally love is Homemade vs. the Internet. Not only is the video editing excellent and fun, the hosts are awesome together and highly entertaining. Plus they get viewers involved in helping them pick the upcoming challenges.
You know I am not going to write about ways to get more reach and engagement on Facebook and NOT mention live video. Live video is still one of the best things pages can do to get more action on their pages. Engagement rates on Facebook live videos are much higher than any other post types. Not sure if live video is worth your time? Would you rather post cat memes? Well according to the platform Livestream “Live video is more appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.” (source) plus they add (and I agree) that “Compelling content is the primary motivator for live online viewing.”
FUN FACT: By 2019, online video will be responsible for four-fifths of global Internet traffic.
Need tips for starting with Live video and getting more comfortable on camera? Here is a list of resources for you:
Content that you create not only on Facebook but across all your platforms should be valuable to your audience. You need to first understand your audience, second understand the sales cycle and funnel and know that you need content to meet all parts of that funnel. Content, especially video content, should do one or more of the following things: Informs, educates, entertains, or evoke emotion. If all you are doing is pushing out promotions or not bringing your audience what they want or need, you are failing. Value-driven means you think with the mindset of “how may I help you” and mean it. It means focusing on know, like, trust and skipping the spammy shortcuts. Do you want to know why most people don’t do this? It’s because it is harder. It takes more time and most businesses are looking for an easy win. But easy won’t cut it anymore. Gaming the system no longer works. And in the end, the people who invest in their audience and bring value will come out on top. It takes more patience but the reward is a hell of a lot better.
Stop the Me Me Me BS
Now, this leads me to the next item on the list. Stop with the me, me, me all the time. You know the quote by Theodore Roosevelt “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Yeah, that is legit the way you need to look at your content going forward. If all you do is promote, and spam, and have the what’s in it for me and my business mentality people will see right through that and move on.
Think about it. When was the last time you enjoyed being sold to? Most people hate being sold to, but they love to buy things. Just ask my postal person. She is always delivering packages from Amazon and other online retailers I shop. People love to buy.
What about those times when you ask innocent enough questions on Facebook and all of a sudden people you never talk to and hardly know start trying to sell your products. It kind of feels sketchy, doesn’t it? I bet you don’t really want to buy from those people, am I right? But what if a trusted friend or connection reached out to you with a product they have that might help you with your query? What if it was someone you trusted, someone you knew a lot of experience on that topic? Someone you see in your feed all the time and they are not coming off as pitchy? I bet you would be more likely to buy from them right? I know I have felt this way in the recent past.
The key is to be top of mind. Build trust. Wait for the opportunities to come up when you have earned the right to sell. I am not saying you can’t ask for the sale in your content. But you need to earn that shit.
Okay I know what you are thinking, the last two items on the list were more theory and mindset. You need actionable things you can do to get more engagement. So that is where engagement cycles come in. The premise is simple. After you do a video, a live video, or post some kind of content that is getting okay engagement (even if it is just one comment) go back to ALL the comments and respond. Ask questions. Get them coming back to continue the conversation. Be human. Be friendly. Be helpful. My favorite content to do this on is live video. Once I am done with my Facebook lives I always go back and respond to every person that commented. I will post GIFS, thank people for stopping by, respond to questions – even if I already answered them in my video, link to further resources where appropriate and ask questions to have people coming back. And they will come back…Engagement cycles are one of the best ways to get people to dialog with you. It also encourages even more new people to comment AND it shows Facebook that your content is worth pushing out into the newsfeed.
BONUS TIP: Once you are getting good engagement on a post, THAT is the time to run a boosted ad or engagement ad on that content. Ads with existing engagement outperform ads without. The social proof from existing engagement will help encourage more people to participate in the discussion.
Okay, so there are five things you can do right now to work on building up the engagement on your Facebook business pages. Changes won’t happen overnight but with the right strategy, and tenacity you will see 2018 be your best year on Facebook yet!
Let me know if you have any questions.
These notes are from my podcast Business as Unusual. Listen and subscribe to stay in the know and get even more great info and insights on social media, entrepreneurship and online marketing.
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