Apparently it’s all to do with Facebook’s ‘EdgeRank’ algorithm which decides what shows up in people’s news feeds – an algorithm that puts the spotlight firmly on “engagement”.
Many people are suggesting it’s a cynical ploy by Facebook to get business page owners to pay for advertising or to promote posts. And yes, this will help your reach.
But according to Facebook itself: “Our goal in the news feed is always to show someone the most relevant information from the things they are connected to on Facebook.” In other words, page posts need to be as engaging as posts people may see from family and friends. So, the more your fans like, share or comment on your Facebook content the more likely your posts are to appear in their news feeds.
So how to achieve this? Well the simple answer is to make your posts more engaging. But what exactly does this mean? Here are six ideas to try (and make sure you keep an eye on your analytics to see what’s working).
1. Keep Facebook posts short and sweet
No one wants to see lengthy diatribes about your product of the day. Keep it short, get to the point and move on. Research has shown that 100 characters or less is optimal – blame it on Twitter (also, this means that if you auto post from Facebook to Twitter, it doesn’t get annoying cut-off). If you have something more to say, use your blog and link to it from your Facebook page with a short and interesting comment.
2. Get the timing right
If you are targeting small businesses, don’t upload posts at 10am, when they are all busy working. Interestingly, the best time to post a link is between 1-4pm weekdays, and engagement is higher on Thursdays and Fridays, when people’s minds start to wander away from work and on to social media. Also, the average lifespan of a post is 3 hours, so wait at least that long before posting a new update.
3. Try not to use URL shorteners
I don’t really understand this one, but a recent study suggested that using full and cumbersome URLs seems to increase engagement. It’s probably a trust thing. Go figure.
4. Include a call to action
Facebook posts that ask people to “like”, “comment” or “share” get a much higher level of engagement that those who don’t. I guess we really are all just sheep.
5. Ask your fans a question
It might be as simple as which of your products they prefer, but people love to think they have a say. And questions placed at the end of an update get more engagement that at the beginning.
6. A picture paints a thousand words
Updates that include an image are considered more engaging that others. But please, take care to ensure that the photo is relevant to the post, or to your biz. The internet is cluttered enough with picture of puppies and babies. Also ensure you don’t infringe on any copyright if using an image from another source.
Do you want your social media presence to be more about quality of content and engagement than just the number of likes? Call Direct Sites Online on 02 9557 7623 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help.