How to Strategically Dominate the Facebook News Feed
Getting someone to click “Like” on your Facebook Page is only the first step toward building a thriving community—because few (if any) of your fans will return to your Page by typing in its URL. Instead, it’s up to you to engage them with timely and consistent updates that appear in their News Feeds. But this is exactly where most brands fail. They grow their fan numbers, but engagement is low—which means fewer clicks, countless lost leads and zero marketing momentum.
High engagement, on the other hand, is the secret sauce for Facebook marketing. It’s how big brands stay top-of-mind with prospects. And when people start interacting with your Page daily, you amplify your reach through the real-time Ticker. Every time a fan interacts with your Post, all of their friends see that activity in their Tickers, too.
Each time your fans engage with your Page, you get exposure in the Ticker. The more exposure, the better! (The Ticker can be found on your Home Tab in the upper or middle right column.)
But the opposite is also true. Posting too little (or in a way that discourages interaction) combined with already-low engagement leads to—you guessed it—even lower engagement. On Facebook, if you write a post and no one comments, likes or shares it, in effect, it disappears.
To drive continuous engagement, you need to make regular and compelling appearances in your fans’ News Feeds. Here are 3 ways to get the ball rolling:
Strategy #1: Post 2-5 times a day—consistency is key.
Anyone can handle this posting schedule for a week or two, but the real winners on Facebook are the companies that keep it up—every single day (or at the very least, Monday through Friday). Consistency always wins on Facebook. Since your fans visit Facebook at different times of the day, one post a day simply isn’t enough—most fans won’t even see it.
Instead, post several different types of content throughout the day; these can include short videos, quick tips, links and questions, to name a few. Stagger your posts at different times to reach more fans. And never forget to include a call-to-action—words like “comment” and “like” DO increase engagement.
Plus, the more you post, the more feedback you’ll get on what kinds of posts work best—and use this information to post more of what your audience really wants.
One extra tip: For maximum engagement, keep your posts around 80 characters or less. A study by Buddy Media showed that posts with 80 characters or less received 27 percent higher engagement rates. That’s big!
Strategy #2: Include a (good) photo with your update.
Photos are the #1 type of content people look at and engage with on Facebook, hands down. In fact, two separate studies—one by Web Liquid, and one by Momentus Media (see the data here)—both found that brand Page posts with photos got higher engagement than any other status update type, even those with videos!
What’s more, Momentus found that if the status update contained the word “like” or “comment,” it also received higher engagement. What does this mean for you? Post more photos, and openly encourage your fans to leave a comment!
BIG timesaving tip: Source photos in advance. It took me longer than I care to admit to find interesting, fun and engaging photos to pair with my posts. When you link to an article outside of Facebook, a photo is pulled from that URL; but when you post your own tip, quote, thought or idea, you have to add your own photo.
Here’s what I did to make it easier: first, I made a list of the 10 topics I talk about most on Facebook. Then, I went to several royalty-free photo sites and downloaded pictures that worked with any or most of my topics. This saves me 15-20 minutes every time I post.
After you write your own topic list, here are some royalty-free photo sites to check out:
Strategy #3: Use Facebook ads to promote your latest post.
Here’s an idea I bet you haven’t tried yet: run an ad promoting a post to your existing Facebook fans. This is a no-fail way to re-engage the fans you already have—and get your posts (and therefore your brand) back into their News Feeds again.
Few of us think to use advertising to reach our existing customers, but in reality, the people already on your Facebook Page are also the ones most likely to engage, comment, share and buy—because they’ve already given you a vote of confidence by liking your Page. So why not invest your ad dollars in them?
Here are step-by-step instructions to create an ad:
- Choose your Facebook Page as the “Destination” of your ad.
- Choose “Facebook Ads.”
- Choose “Page Post.”
- Craft a SHORT yet engaging post with a very simple image. If it’s too long, it will get cut off; and if the picture is very busy, it won’t stand out. (Look at your own News Feed to see how small those images really are!) Consider changing out your post daily to keep things fresh—you can do this easily from the ad manager, as often as you like.
- Finally, target EXISTING FANS of your Facebook Page.
- The best part about investing time, and maybe a little bit of money, into fan engagement is this: having a thriving, engaged community is the best way to grow your Page—and it’s also the best way to turn existing fans into diehard Super Fans who advocate for you, buy from you, and ultimately play an important role in bringing even more qualified leads your way.
- That’s when Facebook will start to work for you, and you’ll see results you didn’t think you were capable of.