Does it sometimes feel like you post on your community’s Facebook page only to be greeted by silence? Are there only a couple of consistent commenters?
Here are some tips to help put the “social” in your social media presence.
1. Ask questions:
Asking a question gives people a concrete and easy way to engage with your post, boosting the chances they actually will. For example, try something along the lines of “This Day in History: Today is the 49th anniversary of the release of the Beatles album Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. How many times have you listened to that album?”
2. Include a call to action:
Rather than just linking to your community’s web page, ask people to tag friends who might be interested in more information, or to RSVP for a specific event, share a post, etc. The CTA gives people a specific request and increases overall engagement.
3. Focus on your post length:
It’s great to write a post about the pictures or video or link you’re sharing, but keep that text relatively short and to the point. Longer posts are harder to engage with, because people don’t read long posts on social media without being heavily invested in the page/topic, and people are often hesitant to engage if they haven’t read everything on a post. Shortening the posts makes it more likely that people will read and respond to your post. A Facebook post of 40 characters receives 85% more engagement than posts with higher character counts. While cramming everything you need to say into 40 characters can be impossible at times, it’s a good reminder to be as concise as possible.
4. Limit each post to one question or call to action:
Give your audience an easy way to respond, but make sure that you’re not confusing them with, multiple options. Make engaging with your posts as clear and simple as you can, and people will be more likely to do so.
5. Vary your post types:
Photos are great, but they shouldn’t take over your whole page. Give your audience different types of content to engage with so you get a better sense for what your audience responds to most often. In particular, focus on these two things:
- Post more videos: Facebook is heavily pushing videos these days, and rewards pages who post them with more organic views. Better yet: The autoplay feature means that videos will start playing the moment they’re on someone’s screen, upping the chances that they’ll stay to watch the whole thing, and maybe even like, share or comment.
- Post more links: Links tend to have higher-than-average organic reach for pages under 1,000, and because a click on the link counts as engagement, they can help overall engagement rates grow.
- Most importantly, regularly monitor what’s working for your audience: Go to the Insights section, click on “Posts” on the left menu, and then on “Post Types” along the top of the screen.
Here you can see content type, average reach and average engagement, which helps you better understand how your content is performing on Facebook.
6. Know when your posts are most engaging:
Lots of businesses tend to post on their pages during the business day. It makes sense – employees are at work, so that’s when they post. The problem is that reach and engagement aren’t always the greatest at that time – everyone else is also either busy working or doing something else with their day. That leads to many posts competing for not a lot of eyes, dropping reach and engagement.
To beat the competition, check out your Insights to find out when your audience is online, and then try posting at that time. (Go to your Insights, and click on “Posts” on the left menu. The graph of when your fans are online is at the top of that screen.)
Try posting at various times of the day to see what time gets the best response for your page. Scheduling posts makes this easy. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Content posted early- to mid-morning has less competition (i.e., fewer people are posting then). This means your content is likely to be seen by more people, and people are more likely to engage with it. That’s because there isn’t as much content being shared on Facebook at that time. However, much of your audience is probably also busy getting their own day started, so they may not be as available to engage.
- Larger audiences are frequently online sometime after dinner- but definitely check to see if that’s true for your audience. The benefit is that more people are online; the downside is that all those online people are making updates of their own, so there’s more competition for all those eyes. Vary your messaging schedule, and post both morning and night to see which works best with your audience.
- Try posting on weekends, because there are lots of people online then. Very few pages actually post content at that time, so there’s less competition. Keep in mind, if you post evenings and weekends, someone should be available to monitor posts for engagement and be available to respond.
The great thing about social media is that you can experiment with all sorts of ideas. Try out a few of these, and use the Comments section to let us know what works for you!