The question of how to increase an organization’s Facebook Fan Page engagement has been a heavily discussed topic over the past year. Fan Engagement is exciting and involving the fans of a Facebook Fan Page so that they like, share, and comment on posts, photos, videos, and applications on your page-, which is reflected in the Facebook Insights. Here are some best practices for increased fan engagement compiled from social media marketing experts.
Jeff Bullas, who works in branding and social strategy and is Listed in the "Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers" on Forbes.com at #14, gives great advice on how to make the most of Facebook from a marketing perspective. Marketing Zen, a full service Marketing and PR firm, also lends advice on how to keep fan engagement high on Facebook fan pages.
Here are the top 11 ways to reach and engage more of your Facebook Fans.
- Posting on your Facebook fan page between 8 AM to 7 PM will receive 20% more fan engagement than posting at other times.
- Wednesdays and Sundays are the best days to post on your Facebook fan page.
- Posting 3 or 4 quality materials will receive more likes and comments than posting more often with lower quality. Don’t forget to adjust numbers for audience size and organization
- If you use 80 characters or less, there is a 66% higher engagement than longer posts
- Ask the fans questions. If you ask questions, you are both inviting engagement and giving them a prompt to help them get started. The key is to ask questions that your fans will care enough about that they’ll take the time to answer.
- Fill in the blank posts are 9 times more effective than regular posts.
- Keep it simple; don’t overwhelm your fans with too much complicated information. Fans do not like to do math to understand a post.
- Fans may want to learn more about you and what you have to offer – but they want to talk about themselves. Fans need to feel that they can relate to the topic. Keep an eye on Facebook Insights to see how people respond to different topics, and keep going with what works.
- If and when it’s possible, take the time to interact with your followers so they feel included. If you have a large following, it may not be possible or practical to respond to every fan, but interacting when you can, or giving blanket responses can encourage followers to continue engaging with you.
- Use images in your Facebook posts to tell a story, catching users’ eyes as they scroll through their Facebook feed, and as a launching point for conversations.
- People use Facebook to learn, but they also sign on to relax, have fun and enjoy themselves. Try posting something light and fun once in a while, your followers will likely appreciate it, and feel more engaged and connected with your company.
Amy Porterfield, Social Strategy Consultant, Ekatrina Walter, Social Media Strategist at Intel, and Mari Smith, Facebook Marketing Expert are also well qualified and have more depth to add to these ‘newbie’ tricks.
The most important part of a Facebook Fan Page is getting the ‘People Talking About This’ high (PTAT). Mari Smith, Facebook Marketing Expert, has narrowed down the keys of engagement to four important areas: Content, Promotion, Engagement, and Conversion. Smith suggests:
1. Posting a Call to Action (CTA) in your post
CTA prompts readers and fans to share, like, or otherwise engage. Smith suggests saying something like “Tell me your thoughts in the comments below,” or “click this link.” The clearer you make your CTA the better people will respond to it.
2. Look closely at Facebook Fan Page Insights to figure out when your PTAT number is highest and why.
There is a program called EdgeRank that helps by creating Facebook newsfeed algorithms. The system is based on points and calculates time decay and can calculate which posts are the most effective or most viewed.
Ekatrina Walter notes that another effective and interesting idea for content is celebrating milestones. Thanking fans for reaching certain numbers is a nice way to make them feel appreciated, and thanking fans can be a simple and effective way to cement their loyalty.
Dan Zarella, social media scientist who works for HubSpot, said that according to his research, major organizations can maintain their fan base with a post per day. This study is limited to brands. However, it’s very much a gauge on what your organization does and if you have a lot of content to push.
Ekatrina Walter adds that you change up your content posts is to cross promote across all of your social platforms. Options include: Linking up your Google + page with your Facebook Fan Page, having a twitter and Pinterest application on your Facebook Fan Page, and always including Facebook Like buttons on all of your content and external sites. Walter also recommends creating an email signature with plugs for all of your social hubs in order to promote in every interaction without overtly bombarding people.
Porterfield mentions that the goal of an engagement ad vs. a regular ad is that in an engagement ad, you are not being directed out of Facebook.
In creating an engagement ad, the Like button appears in the ad so that the individual doesn’t have to leave the page they are on to “like” your page. Once they click the like button, your updates will begin to show up in their news feeds. Porterfield notes that that majority of information and inclinations on Facebook are derived from the newsfeed. This helps to spread your message because the more fans you have, the more people are getting news delivered right to their newsfeeds without having to click directly to your page.
Additional reporting provided by Danielle Deschaine.