Welcome to Social Media Tips and Tricks, our weekly informational feature informational feature designed to give you the tools you need to dive into the digital crowd with enough confidence to make you feel like you’re the king of the jungle. Well, not really, but definitely more confidence. This week, we’re taking a closer look at the social media giant Facebook and how you can use other mediums to generate more content to interact with your followers.
But First, A Little Background…
Facebook is a little special when you compare it to other social media outlets. A few years back, in an effort to expand their advertising and marketing aims, they changed up their algorithm and the way people see posts in their feed. Instead of seeing something from a fan page that you already “liked,” you’d only see what Facebook deemed important enough. The more a post is shared or liked, the higher the chance that it’ll pop up on most of the fans’ feeds.
For small business owners, this can be a handicap given that you’d have to pay a pretty penny for your fans to see each post. These are posts they should be seeing anyway since they have already “liked” the page. As you can image, this sparked quite the controversy on the internet since many small business can’t really afford to promote every single post.
However, the reason why Facebook changed their algorithm wasn’t to bring about the internet apocalypse, but to instead provide relevant content to people. While this may be frustrating, there are ways to increase visibility your posts/status and drive more engagement to your page.
One of the best ways to increase engagement is to get visual with your content. I talked a little about this in the last Social Media Tips and Tricks for Twitter, but it also applies to Facebook. If you are posting a blog post, it’s better for you to directly post it to your Facebook page verses using another 3rd party tool like Jetpack for WordPress or Networked Blogs.
Let’s take a look at Liquified Creative’s Facebook Fanpage as an example. We currently have a total of 238 “likes”. Third party posting results in only a thumbnail and less visibility.
On the other hand, posting directly to our Facebook page (image and link, along with desired captivating text), allows for this to happen:
The biggest difference between the two methods is that using a third party app gives off the appearance that you haven’t tailored your message to your audience. It makes the image smaller and is generally less visual than a post that has the full image. Plus, readers can tell when you are cutting corners, and if it doesn’t appear as if you genuinely want to engage your audience, then you can’t expect much engagement from your readers.
As a result, you can see a clear difference in engagement from the two. The first image garnered no engagement, while the second image, received three “likes.” The post also reached almost all of our current fans, 213 to be exact, because of those three “likes.” As we previously discussed, the more engagement you have on your post, the more others–who may or may not already be a fan of your page–are likely to see it.
Another simple tip is to actively engage your fans by asking questions. People are naturally opinionated and usually have no trouble sharing their thoughts on subjects. Asking questions allows for discourse with your audience and shows that you aren’t just there to advertise to them. Give a little, get a lot.
I prefer to ask open-ended questions instead of one that might only require a yes or no response. This can be on topic, off-topic or a little of both to show that you are a real person with real thoughts and not a marketing robot.
People love free stuff and will flock to it. It’s a great way to give back to your existing audience and draw new people to your brand/product. A few tools available to run Facebook contests are Rafflecopter or Woobox. The greatest thing about these tools is giving you great control over the entries and conditions.
Contests work well if you pair them with relevant content because you don’t want to simply give away something without leaving your new visitor with a reason to come back. It’s also a great idea to include your other social media profiles to give visitors options. In today’s social world, everyone has their social media avenue of preference. Don’t shortchange yourself. Every encounter is an opportunity to turn a visitor into a frequent visitor.
Use Other Social Media Avenues
Managing all of your social media accounts can be a lot, but it doesn’t have to consume all your time if you connect them all to each other and make them work for you. You can use other social media avenues, such as Instagram or Twitter, to help build content for your Facebook page.
For example, Instagram has settings that will allow you to connect your account to your Facebook fan page and Twitter:
So if you post an image to Instagram, like so…
It’ll automatically populate your other accounts:
In conclusion, Facebook can be a great way to connect and engage with your audience. Though, it does feel slightly limited due to its unique algorithm, which when used effectively, can be an asset to any business.