Whether you have 1,000 Facebook Fans or 1,000,000 Facebook Fans, only a fraction of your posts reach your audience. Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to determine what shows up in News Feeds, and only the best posts with high engagement make the cut. According to Facebook, roughly 16% of your fans will see your company’s content on any given day. PageLever estimates the numbers are even lower at 3-9%.
Developing engaging content is the key to reaching more Facebook Fans. Posts that have been shared, liked, commented on, and those that have high click-through rates are more likely to make it into your Fans’ News Feeds. At the same time, when your posts are consistently interacted with over a period of time, new posts will be more likely to appear in the News Feed, as well.
In the popular OMI class, Tips and Tricks of Successful Facebook Growth, Ekaterina Walter, Social Media Strategist at Intel and author of best-selling book Think Like Zuck, shares her best advice for boosting engagement on Facebook. In no particular order, here are 4 of my favorite tips from the class:
1. Get to Know Your Audience
The first way to increase engagement is to make sure you truly understand your Fans and know what they are interested in. Relevancy rules all when it comes to Facebook.
If you’re not sure who your Fans are or what they are interested in, try a Facebook poll. Conducting a Facebook poll is one of the best ways to learn about your current Fans, and the insights that you collect can help shape your content strategy. In her class, Ekaterina explains the results they achieved from the below poll.
2. Ask Questions
Asking simple questions is another great way to learn about your Fans, while driving interaction at the same time According to research by Likable Media, posting questions can boost engagement by more than 6X. For example, if your company sells cookies, you could ask, “What was your favorite cookie as a child?”. Not only will you drive interactions and engagement, but you’ll also start to develop a more meaningful relationship with your audience, and they will start to associate your brand with good thoughts—family, cookies, memories, etc.
In the example below from Ekaterina's class, Intel asked Fans what they are interested in. Not only did they get valuable feedback on their audience, but they also drove 97 comments, as well.
3. Keep It Short
The shorter the status update, the likelier it is to be interacted with. Posts should be less than 250 characters and optimally around 90 characters. A study by Buddy Media found that Facebook posts with 80 characters or less had 27% higher engagement rates. In fact, when posting an update, you don’t even need to finish your sentence. Fill-in-the blanks tend to do extremely well on Facebook with 90% more engagement than regular text posts (source: Facebook).
4. Include Images in Posts
Images in posts have a better chance of getting noticed in the newsfeed.. According to Facebook, brands get double engagement when they use visuals. Photos can be used to help tell your company’s story or to show fans an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the company. Creating a custom image is also a great way to commemorate company milestones and thank fans for the part they played in achieving them.
In her class, Ekaterina shows a great example of how visual stories drive engagement. When Intel posted a photo album of its museum redesign, they drove 17,000 Likes and over 1,000 comments—without a single word of text.
5. Include a Call to Action and Ask Your Audience to Interact
The easiest way to get your audience to do what you want them to do? Ask them! If you aren’t already, simply requesting "Likes" can increase engagement up to 5X. For example, if you post new research or a quote, you can include “LIKE if you agree” in that update.