In this post, we will uncover 31 powerful tips and ideas for getting more engagement on Facebook.
Facebook. Oh yes. We love it, don’t we?
The sad thing about Facebook is that, contrary to what we might think, it’s not free. Especially not today – with its organic reach being at an all-time low, the only way to really get your message out there is by paying.
(here’s an updated version for 2018: Increase Facebook Engagement here)
So then what’s the point of even focusing on getting engagement on your Facebook page, you might ask?
There are a few reasons:
1) First of all, people use Facebook to determine how popular (and trustworthy) a brand is. Not all people but most people use this platform first. Social proof is very important when you are in business because it’s how people are able to tell if you’re for real or not. However, the number of likes isn’t the whole story anymore. People look at likes AND engagement, combined, to determine whether they can trust a brand or not (at least somewhat trust it anyway). That’s why it’s good to have some strategies and practices in place that have posts to encourage engagement in some way.
2) Second of all, when people engage with your content, Facebook is then able to see that your updates are relevant and interesting and will therefore increase the organic reach you get so more people can see it. Facebook has a complicated algorithm which changes on what seems to be a daily basis – but the thing you must know is this – the more organic engagement you get, the more organic reach you get too. This means you might not have to spend as much money to promote and boost your posts to get seem by your community. Pretty cool.
A note I want to mention before we get into some ideas and tips for content creation on Facebook to stimulate engagement is this…
You determine your success.
To some people, 5 likes on a post is nothing. To others, it’s amazing progress. It all depends on the size of your community, how long you’ve had your page, how often you post, and more. Don’t dismiss the ideas because the particular example in the article doesn’t have hundreds upon hundreds of likes, comments, and shares. That is not the point. The point is to connect with others. To get them to respond and engage. We are not talking about going viral here, we are talking about connecting.
When it comes to Facebook marketing… YOU determine your success. Every page/business is different. (tweet this)
Okay, now that we got that out of the way.. let’s dig in with 31 ideas for getting engagement on Facebook. These are listed in no particular order.
[Also make sure to see this post for more GREAT ideas: 5 Ways to Use Facebook in 2015]
1. Make sure your page is optimized
Is your page lookin’ good? A lot of times you might not be getting engagement because your page simply doesn’t look professional. You’d be surprised how many pages I come across that have blown-up blurry images for the cover photo and a weirdly cropped profile image.
Also, make sure all of your information is filled out so people know what your page is about. If someone stumbles upon your page and it’s too vague or doesn’t look very professional, chances are you won’t get that person’s presence in your community.
Image is everything. Especially in business. Present yourself well, as you would in any real-life event or meeting. Make sure you’re brand-aligned.
The first step is making sure your page is optimized. See ALL 31 tips for more Facebook engagement here.. (tweet this)
2. Show your unique personality
According to IBM, showing a unique social voice increases marketing effectiveness by up to 54%, and a 10% lift in social voice can result in sales lift of up to 1.5%. (tweet this)
Don’t be afraid to show your quirky side. If your website copy has curse words sprinkled throughout, then it only makes sense you use the same kind of language in your social posts too. Be consistent with your voice and tone, and remember to stay aligned with your brand strategy.
Think of social media as an extension your website or brand. It’s just another place for you to be your totally awesome you.
3. Ask questions
Question posts on Facebook get on average 100% more comments.
When you ask a question you’re leaving the door open for engagement and interaction. You want to hear what your followers have to say. You are giving them the floor, allowing them to shine (or troll, depending on who you come across). Ask them questions – they love it.
Just be sure to be very specific in the questions you ask. The types of questions that work best on Facebook are close-ended simple questions. Anything that gets a yes/no response or a very quick reply. Don’t make them think. They don’t wanna write a novel for you. Who has the time for that, anyway?
But it was a simple question: “Has anyone tried this?” the answer can be a simple yes or no. But because my tribe is awesome, they provided a lot more insight into their answers.
I never did actually try this… (referencing the “no ‘poo” thing above) but I got some good thoughts and experiences that people had by doing the no ‘poo challenge.
4. Use unique captivating images
Photos on Facebook get 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-throughs.
Even though Facebook has been saying they are putting more value on link updates, based on my experience with my pages and my clients’ pages, it’s pretty clear that photos are still dominating in terms of organic reach.
A thing to consider is not to post the same types of images you see everywhere else. Post something really cool and different whenever you can. Also, avoid posting memes, as Facebook as mentioned they won’t be allowing it in as many news feeds as before and I’ve really noticed this to be the case.
This meme cracks me up. Hahaha.
5. Share videos within Facebook
Recently, Facebook released an update that allows videos to play automatically when they are centered on the screen. I first saw this maybe 6 months ago, used by a brand in an ad. I had just read that Facebook was working on Video Ads and I got excited that I got to actually see it in action…
Then it exploded. In my face. Autoplay videos everywhere. My phone? Videos. My desktop? Videos. Freaking videos playing automatically everywhere! Thankfully you can turn the option off so it doesn’t have to freak you out like it did for me at some points, but many people aren’t aware this is an option.
Use Facebook’s autoplay videos for more engagement and reach for your brand. (tweet this)
Sharing videos on Facebook can be a great way to get more engagement especially when the video is viral-worthy. Just make sure the video is uploaded to Facebook rather than a link from YouTube, only Facebook native videos have the autoplay ability.
6. Be seasonally relevant
Fall is here and with it are the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. You know what I’ve been seeing on my news feed lately? You guessed it. Lots of things pumpkin and specifically people making fun of the fact that everything is Pumpkin Spiced Latte crazed. Funny, because even when you make fun of it, you’re still adding fuel to the fire… cause you’re STILL talking about it.
Not that there’s anything wrong with it. It’s actually great – be conscious of the seasonality and what people tend to gravitate towards in each season and post about that.
7. Ask for engagement
Posts that have a call-to-action, such as asking for a like, comment, or share, actually see an increased engagement by 48%.
But be careful – because one of Facebook’s recent updates mentions that blatantly asking for engagement may result in the post not being organically shown to as many people to start off with.
So let’s weigh the pros and cons here: on the one hand, if you don’t ask, you might not get. On the other, if you ask, Facebook might not let you get in front of the people to actually hear you. Decisions, decisions.
A good strategy here is to simply not be totally blatant about your asking for engagement. Don’t use phrases like “LIKE this if…” or “Share this and…” but instead ask in a more natural voice: “Show your support by giving a thumbs up!” or “Let us know below what you think about…” are some options to use.
Don’t be afraid to ASK for engagement from your tribe on social. CTAs rule! (tweet this)
8. Use relevant hashtags
So Facebook isn’t Twitter or Google Plus in terms of how popular hashtags are on the platform. That’s probably mostly because the purpose of Facebook is different than Twitter and Google Plus – each platform is visited with a different intent. This is also probably why hashtags on Facebook are not as popular as they might have thought they would be.
A thing, however, to keep in mind is the presence of any trending hashtags. If all of the sudden you notice people using the same hashtag, it might be a good idea to post using the hashtag too. While not everyone searched posts via hashtags, there are still SOME people out there who do. Can’t hurt to put yourself out there in an even more accessible way, right?
9. Tag other pages
One of the Facebook updates early this year made it so that when you tagged another page (especially a popular or trending page) in your post, your post would be shown not only to your community but ALSO the community of the people who like the OTHER page. It’s a great way to get yourself in front of a new audience.
Of course the tagged page has to be relevant. Don’t go tagging random big pages hoping yours will be shown to their community – it’s not as simple (nothing with Facebook is). But tagging a page when you mention them is a good idea. When there’s news or something happening with that company too, it’s good to write a post and tag them as it might show up for people in the news & recommended posts section that sometimes pops up for us in our news feed.
10. Show a glimpse of your life
We are all creepers. We like to creep one people on Facebook. It’s one of the reasons why we go on there. So naturally, it’s only smart to take that user intent in mind when creating your posts – a lot of times I see that some of the most engaged posts are ones that show a glimpse of the life behind the brand.
If YOU are your brand, then this is quite simple. You automatically win at Facebook easier than a company-brand would cause you’re probably already posting a lot about yourself.
The purpose here is to really personalize and humanize you, especially if your business is a product-based brand. People don’t relate as easily to products, they really need to see faces and emotions to connect. Give them that. Show them how you got started and why, indirectly through storytelling.
Another idea is to show photos of the CEO or Founder doing something totally normal. Maybe there’s a birthday in the office? Snap a picture of that. Or maybe you are traveling somewhere… snap a pic. Or maybe it’s something even more random. Show it. Show that there’s a real human behind the computer and people are going to relate to your brand much easier.
Here’s an example of how I did this recently. This picture doesn’t really have anything about what I do as a business but because authentic connection with my tribe is extremely important to me, I like to post things like this just for fun. This particular post shows that I not only speak Polish (good skill to have), but also spend time with my family (good values) and have pretty modern parents, haha. It’s all things that can help someone relate to me on a more personal level.
11. Show behind-the-scenes looks
This is very closely related to the point above – the purpose is to show the life outside of the face of the brand (aka products, logo, etc). A great thing about behind-the-scenes outtakes is that you can do this in a way that promotes your products/brand without coming off a salesy or promotey at ALL. This is awesome.
Post photos of some of your work in progress, getting ready for a speaking engagement, or actually at the events with other attendees. The entire time you’re showing your expertise and what you offer without blatantly asking people to buy your products. You’re just there, showing off what your momma gave ya… or whatever. (that’s the brain, of course).
Here’s a photo that was taken of me during my social media presentation for a campaign at a client conference in Las Vegas over the summer. I didn’t have a huge community on Facebook yet on the new page since I had just created it a few weeks before but the engagement was great.
Here’s another one behind-the-scenes. It showed my true self – that I’m not polished all the time (no one wants to be perfect or polished as a brand because then they can’t relate to you!) and it shows that I was thinking about creating spiralized veggies.. they could connect the dots and suspect there will be a recipe coming soon (if I ever figured out how to use that spiralizer, ha..)
People love to see what you’re up to. Show them. Feed their curiosity and get them excited about what’s to come… build anticipation in a non-sleazy way. Make them happy they are a part of your tribe on social media and make them feel like they are getting these exclusive sneak peeks and news that other people just don’t receive.
It’s that “exclusivity” feeling. And all that jazz 😉
12. Post what your audience engages with most
So honestly you won’t know what your audience engages with most if you don’t, just kinda, try it all. Don’t be afraid to play around with it. That would be step one.
Step two is to notice what they can relate to the most and what they enjoy the most. Then post more of that. It’s that simple. Just give them what they like to see and you should be good.
One of my social media clients in the Spring was a brand new luxury apartment building in Chicago. One of the things people loved engaging with a lot was our weekend recommendations post. We compiled the four things you should do/see in Chicago over the weekend and posted it in this format every Friday afternoon (and tagging the pages in there too, of course). It got some good engagement usually.
13. Use user generated content
What’s a community without the people? Nothing.
One of the BEST ways to showcase your product without being salesy and overly promotional is featuring your brand advocates with your product, especially if you are a product-based business. People love seeing themselves highlighted by a business they love and support and you will not only deepen your relationship with that particular customer, you will also show other customers that you appreciate them and hopefully stir a thought in their mind to snap some photos of themselves with your product too, with the hope of getting featured. You’d be surprised how much we want to be acknowledged (or famous, even for 5 minutes). This is especially true if your audience is largely comprised of Millennials or teens.
So I don’t actually manage GlamGlow’s Facebook but they are one of our e-commerce clients over in my agency world. They are doing a great job with leveraging user generated content (UGC for short). They have a regular feature on their Facebook page that features their “Glamoholics” (cute name) and they even added a section to feature them on their website as well.
Best type of content for engagement? User-generated content! With it, you’re golden. (tweet this)
It’s client appreciation on steroids cause it does great things for YOUR brand too.
14. Talk about the news & trending topics
There’s a section on Facebook that shows what’s trending online lately. This is based on what people are talking about. You can click on any of the links there and a list of popular posts about the topic will show up.
Also, these posts will randomly sneak into your feed as well. I’ve often seen posts made by pages I’ve liked and some of my friends pop up in my news feed because they were talking about the topic. It’s a good idea to check what’s trending sometimes and take advantage of this if you’re short on what you want to talk about.
Of course, remember to stay on brand.
15. Use emoticons
Using emoticons on Facebook increases comments by 33%.
Just because you’re a business doesn’t mean you don’t have emotions! Show it off by sprucing your captions with some smiley faces thrown in. Just don’t go crazy with it… if you do too many, someone might just think you handed over your social media management to a tween 😉
16. Share unique quotes
Quotes on Facebook get 26% more likes and 19% more shares.
An interesting thing is happening with these quote updates. They used to be super popular for a while.. but lately I have been seeing them less and less. I have a feeling that people are getting used to the quote thing and they are kind of over it.
I would test to see if your community likes it and go from there.
17. Talk about birthdays
There was a weird update a few months ago that made it so that posts that included specific words were featured in the news feed more than others – particularly the words like birthday, graduation, congratulations, and some others. I’m not sure if it’s still relevant but, hey, it can’t hurt.
Always nice to feature someone having their birthday at the company with a nice behind-the-scenes photo pushed from Instagram to humanize the brand, right? Keep it light. And light will come 🙂
18. Celebrate the day & share your successes
Did something totally awesome happen today? Good. Post about it. Maybe you stumbled into a celebrity and snapped
a creepy stalker picture a nice selfie with him? Hey, why not – show it off!
Work it, girlfriend. It’s another successful day behind us. You deserve to celebrate it.
When something noteworthy happens to you – don’t keep it to yourself. Flaunt it.
When I focused on my photography freelance business up until about a year ago, I did my acquaintance’s first shoot and then did another one at the beach. The photos came out great; she’s a born model. If she had a business, she’d be a great ideal client: determined to succeed, ambitious, and moving fast to make her dreams come true. That’s kind of what she did with her modeling career. It pretty much took off and she grew a huge following and was featured in many publications – and with her, so was my work. The beach photos I did with her were featured in such publications as Sports Illustrated, Maxim, and CS Chicago Magazine, to name a few.
I celebrated. Your fans want to see that. Allow them to be happy for you as you are happy for yourself. And if you get haters, well then… you’re doing something right 😉
19. Just be positive
It’s been shown time and time again that people respond much more favorably to positive posts. Contrary to what you might think (we do see plenty of negative articles on the news feed sometimes), people will engage more easily with happy, uplifting, and inspirational content.
Good. There is hope for humanity yet.
20. Keep the posts simple
Facebook posts with less than 80 characters get 23% more engagement. Posts between 100 and 250 characters get about 60% more engagement. (tweet this)
This really goes with knowing what your audience likes most – I have seen some really long posts that do amazingly well and get a ton of engagement too. Practice best judgment – if the post requires a longer post, then do that. But if something can be summarized, do that. If you want to post longer updated, perhaps Google+ is a good platform for you to look at, they absolutely love it there.
21. Test to see when’s the best time for you to post
There are some times and days that are usually best in general for us to keep in mind but this changes all the time and really depends on your community. It’s very easy, thankfully, to check when most of your people are online. Play around with the Insights tab on your Facebook page to get to know your community more.
This shows quite nicely when your community is online. Some things to keep in mind – don’t go just based off this. Use it as a guide and then start testing to see when people tend to be most responsive and when you get more reach. Just because a lot of people are online at a certain time, it doesn’t mean your post will get engagement.
When you pick a highly-active time for overall audiences, it’s more likely that your post will have a bigger competition to get in people’s news feeds too – so there’s always all these fantabulous caveats to any strategy, right? Just test it out and see what works for YOUR community and page.
22. Be mindful for your audience composition
You can determine quite easily how you community is comprised in the Insights tab – you can learn a lot of different things about your tribe that way, including their gender composition, age, location, etc. It’s some powerful information to have when it comes to content creation, especially when you don’t know much about your audience (and you’re not necessarily starting off with a strategy, it’s a backwards way of working but hey, whatever).
Here’s an example – a page I manage has a pretty even split between males and females but a bit more active males. I posted the image on the right first with the adorable puppy – I heard crickets. I mean, I thought it’s cute and what’s this we hear about posting cute stuff online to get more engagement?! It’s supposed to work, damnit!
Well, apparently the males are just more active on the page and they don’t care about puppies with adorable Bears collars. Pfff. Well, the Bears sports-specific posts are, on the other hand, blowing up! This tells me that the community on that page likes to just be IN the game and probably not into the frivolous objects related to it.
If I didn’t test.. I wouldn’t have known this.
23. Re-share popular posts from other pages
I’ve noticed that when you re-share a post from another page, especially when it’s already a popular (and viral) post, you will get a LOT more reach for that post as well. Facebook already knows the post is well liked and they will give you more organic reach – therefore that’s an opportunity for more engagement.
Here’s a fun post I re-shared from someone’s page that popped up in my news feed. I thought it was fun. And surely, I got like 40 comments within 24 hours and the most organic reach I have gotten in months! Nicely done, Kam.
24. Share your Instagram photos & videos to Facebook
You may know that Facebook bought Instagram a while back – and I’ve noticed that the photos that are pushed from Instagram to Facebook tend to get more organic reach than do regularly uploaded images. It’s a good insight.
Like this random photo I took of a product, Nana’s Nola granola, I got for review for my wellness blog. Product photos don’t usually get a ton of engagement but this one did surprisingly well. It’s not even that good of a photo!
25. Choose a good preview image for your links
If you want people to click through to a page from a link you share on Facebook, you’ve gotta make it more appealing. Including a call to action or at least making it intriguing enough to get a click is very important.
Two great examples – the first one was shared automatically from my WordPress before I uploaded a good featured image and it grabbed the first image it saw – my logo. Not so sexy. The second preview image is one I created and grabbed, making sure it’s set as the social image for the page, and if it doesn’t show up well I would upload it manually to make sure it’s the right one. It definitely communicates a lot more right away and entices a click through that way.
26. Boost your posts
If you have something important you’re sharing on Facebook and you want to make sure more of your community sees it, you can throw some money at Facebook to make it happen. Again, Facebook is NOT a free platform and to really make it work you have spend some money on it. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you are strategic and intentional with it.
27. Show your product in fun places
If you have a product-based business, I’m sure you have struggled with showing your products off well on social media at some point. It can be hard! How do you balance fun content with promotional content? You don’t wanna come off too promotional… but you wanna push product (without necessarily pushing it).
One of our marketing clients shows a great example of how to do this. The founder of this anti-aging skin care company travel a lot – their way of showing their travels is to feature their products in these awesome places. It’s a nice way to make your posts interesting and fun, and you’re promoting the product without being overly promote-y about it.
You don’t even have to say anything about the product if you don’t want to because one picture speaks a thousand words.
28. Inject humor into your posts
36% of people stated that they go on Facebook for humorous content.
People react more positively to positive content – especially funny and entertaining content. They are much more likely to share things they find exciting or hilarious, because then their friends will think THEY are hilarious and exciting too for finding it.
So be funny. Be entertaining. No one wants to engage with a page that’s a snooze on Facebook. What’s compelling about that? Nothing.
29. Do Flash Sales and special promotions
I’m going to be doing a separate post about why I love flash sales but basically, it’s a great way to drive some sales from social media. As you may already know, Facebook (or any social media) isn’t made to be a sales generation tool – it’s more of a lead generation and lead nurturing tool. So, it’s hard to get sales that come directly from Facebook. I’ve had ROI-minded clients (not my favorites) complain about not seeing any direct ROI from social for their e-commerce business.
A way I wanted to show that social does contribute is to run Flash Sales. It’s a post that is only shown to the social community with a special discount code. The result? We showed that, yes, social media DOES in fact contribute to sales directly, when done right. This post below generated an extra 17 transactions that were linked to Facebook.
There are right and wrong ways to do Flash Sales but I love doing them for my e-commerce clients. Look for a longer guide on how to run these types of promotions for your own business in the near future.
30. Love your followers
Always show your gratitude regardless of how many followers you have. Be happy for the community you do have rather than comparing yourself to other pages with bigger ones. Think of ways to reward your followers, whether it’s through special promotions and discounts or just simply through highlighting them in fun and special ways. People love being recognized.
This isn’t as easy to do now that like-gating has gone away but there are still ways to reward your followers for being a part of your community. Get creative with it and remember – think community and value first, and you’ll do just fine.
31. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Seriously. Have fun with it. Social media isn’t supposed to make your hair go grey. If you don’t get it, learn it. If you don’t have the patience to learn or just can’t seem to figure it out, that’s okay. Not everyone is meant to be doing social media!
Hire help. If you have no idea how to make your brand appear right on social media and you feel like you’re not being very intentional with your posting – consider creating a social media strategy. This is the first step to really making all of your social media posting and activity intentional and brand-aligned so that you get the results you want.
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