So, you have a Facebook page with a decent number of fans, you're posting regularly, but you're getting little to no engagement. What now?
Try these 10 tips to optimize your Facebook posts for the best possible results.
#1: Who am I talking to again?
First and foremost, you need to know your audience. Who is your ideal client and what are their interests?
List five Facebook pages in your niche/industry that are of interest to your clients. They might be your “competition” or they might just be closely related to what you do. Now list five pages outside of your niche/industry that clients are interested in that could at least be loosely tied to your business. Don't know what they like? Ask them! Either get talking to your customers, or take a quick poll on your Facebook page.
Once you know what your target audience is interested in, you can curate content and get a wide range of post ideas that will be of value to them. What type of content gets great engagement on other pages? What are they doing poorly that you can do better? If you post something of interest to your audience they'll appreciate your help, whether it is about your company or not.
#2: Tell people what you want them to do!
If you ask fans to like, comment or share a post, then they are far more likely to do just that! Sounds simple, but it can be incredibly effective! Stick with one call-to-action to keep things simple and easy to act upon.
#3: Keep it short and sweet!
Posts with 80 characters or less received 27% higher engagement rates on Facebook. That’s a huge lift in engagement! That being said, you should always test to see what works best for your audience. I have seen pages do well with very long posts, and plenty of average length posts succeed as well. Try out a variety of post lengths and see how your fans respond.
#4: Post photos for more engagement
Photos get the most likes and shares of all the post types used on Facebook. You can (and should) still accompany photos with text and links to direct people to your content, but rather than just posting a link and allowing the thumbnail and associated text to display, add a photo.
#5: Mix things up!
It's good to mix things up and use a variety of post styles, including photos, videos, text-only posts and link posts. See what tends to work best with your audience and lean the most heavily on that format, but still try something new from time to time.
While photos generally perform the best, link posts tend to perform the worst of all post types on Facebook. Should link posts be avoided entirely? No, I wouldn't go that far, but I would use them sparingly.
#6: Asked and Answered
Ask a question or use “fill in the blank” posts to get more comments. For example, “Fill in the Blank: My favorite vacation spot is ________.” or “Coffee or Tea? What's your favorite way to start the day?” are examples of short questions that elicit a fast, easy response. It's generally best to stay on topic, and don't make people think too much! They should read your question and have an instant, short response they'd want to share.
#7: Time Tested
Post at various times of day to see which time performs the best and gets the most engagement on your page. If you're posting three times per day, a good starting point might be 9 AM, 1 PM and 6 PM. Then you could try an hour earlier and later for each time slot and see how engagement rates vary. Over time you will see a pattern of days and times that perform the best with your fans.
At a bare minimum, you should be posting once per day, but ideally you should aim for 2-3 times per day. I've seen suggestions of up to 5 times per day, but I think you need to have VERY likeable content and a loyal fan base that's dying to hear from you to post that frequently. (We can't all be George Takei after all.) Any given fan won't see everything you post, which is why it's good to post more than once a day – but don't go wild either. 😉 Aim to be consistent and post regularly.
There have been studies that say Wednesday at 3 PM is the best time to post and avoid posting on weekends. Or the best time to post weekdays is 1-4 PM and the worst time is 8 PM – 8 AM. I don't really know what to think of those sorts of stats. Those numbers may hold true for your page, and they may not. You might find out that 10 PM on weeknights and throughout the weekend is when your audience is active online. The only way to know for sure…say it with me…is to test and see!
#8: Use some photo magic
Way back in Tip #4 I mentioned how important it is to share photos. You may be asking where to find great photos and wishing you had an easy way to edit them though, am I right? Don't worry, I've got you covered!
When possible, use your own photographs! If you have a physical location &/or products to sell, you're in luck! Take photos of your products in use, take photos around your shop, of your customers and your employees. People love behind-the-scene looks and original photos. You don't have to have Photoshop to edit them either. While you want to make sure your photo is well-lit and not blurry, you don't necessarily need pro-quality photos either. Instagram, Snapseed, and Pic Stitch are easy ways to edit photos and make collages on your iPhone.
My favorite way to edit photos, add banners and text online is PicMonkey. It's free and easy to use. You could even upload a solid color background and add text in PicMonkey if you would like to post a quote as an image. Watch the video below for a quick how-to lesson on using PicMonkey.
#9: Entertain, educate or empower your audience
(Hat tip to Amy Porterfield for that phrase!) While it's completely acceptable to sell to your audience and tell your story, don't make it all about you all of the time. Facebook shouldn't be a megaphone to SELL, SELL, SELL! It should be a two-way conversation.
The majority of the time, you should be focused on providing an insane amount of value to your audience – whether that content is about your services or not. If people come to like you for the value you bring them on a daily basis, they are far more likely to come to you when they are ready to buy.
Stay top of mind and relevant and your fans are sure to become loyal customers.
#10: Make your own list!
People love lists. You enjoyed this list, right? 😉 If you have a Top 10 list, a checklist, or any sort of useful guide, be sure to share it with your fans. Post the list title or tease them with a few tips and then direct them to your website for all of the details. It's a great way to drive traffic! (This method is also extremely effective on Pinterest.)
Have you used any of these methods for your posts before? Which ones are you eager to test for yourself? I'd love to know in comments!
Author: Julie Lowe