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How to maximise engagement on Facebook?

Facebook is a strong tool in a digital marketers’ arsenal and for good reason: it allows brands to connect with their target audience on a personal level and to communicate carefully selected messages that resonate with consumers and prompt a behaviour in-line with overall business objectives. However, this - whether marketers like it or not - is changing and changing fast.

Why? We hear you ask

Ultimately content that hits all the points above and can be consumed in easily digestible digital bites should stimulate sharing behaviour, and spike engagement with your target audience. In a fast -paced environment, shared content is a nod to your brands social activity prowess- someone has taken the time to think, ‘okay, this is worth a pause in my day to hit the share button’. Keep it simple: content needs to connect emotionally, practically or both- if it does this, then a share could be on the cards.

The Challenge

This is good news for users of the platform, as it protects them from being bombarded from millions of messages that simply mean nothing to them and interrupts the usability of the social media application. The question for the marketing contingent, however, is: how, in a changing Facebook ecosystem, can ‘we’ maximise engagement? Here are our 8 suggestions to tackle the query at hand.

Cut through the noise of the newsfeed

Ensure that once your brand posts are seen that they’re noticed:

Create content that is engaging, relevant, useful and helpful. Develop social activity that is consumer centric and considers the world from their perspective. Give them a clear inclination to act in response to the messages your brand has sent.

Mix it up- don’t get lost in the bland, step up and stand out with strong visuals and video content that helps inspire, educate and provides an insight that will intrigue followers. Just remember to keep it relevant and aligned to your social strategy objectives.

Live content is a great way to be in the moment with your followers. It can create an exciting dimension to communicating with your audience and prompt users to engage there and then, as there is a sense of not wanting to miss out on content that may disappear when the stream comes to an end.

Encourage interactions and discussions with your posts. Inviting followers to comment and discuss on relevant industry specific topics is of a two-fold benefit: not only are you drawing your followers into conversations centred around your brand, but there is also the opportunity to gain market intelligence on your audience based on their reactions. As a side note- give due consideration to how you frame your questions: cultivate a comment feed of positive sentiments and avoid any negative conversational pieces that could have an adverse effect on your brand.

It’s all in the timing and frequency. Use the data at your disposal to best inform decisions on the best times to post- test when works best and put your learnings into action.

When it comes down to frequency, the time old question of quantity vs quality pops up. It seems like a difficult ultimatum but, in reality, it shouldn’t be. Quality should be the hero in your social media story. In terms of frequency, less can be more if you give users purposeful information. A scheduled distribution of carefully selected posts, can give your audience a proactive reason to actively seek out your content, preventing such a reliance on Facebook serving it up. Sure, creating a high quantity of quality posts would be the ideal, but if that isn’t achievable, avoid posting lots of poor content just for the sake of posting.

Build strong CTAs that are linked to the behaviour you want to encourage your users to take. You’ve got them this far, don’t lose engagement by failing to construct an enticing CTA.

Optimise for mobile consumption. With more content now accessed on mobile devices than ever before, it should be a priority to design content with a mobile first mentality. Consider: how to format content- summaries, headlines, easy to read blocks of text that flow; what page designs and colour schemes should be used and ultimately think of any other factors that will support in breaking the behaviour of a mobile user; slow them down and pull them into your post.

Tactics to improve engagement can also come in other forms including: offering incentives to your audience to follow and like your pages; getting your brand social itself - joining industry relevant groups or commenting on posts that may develop mutually beneficial social relationships in the long-term. Promoting Facebook content on your other branded social media channels could also drive traffic and engagement.

To share or not to share

Ultimately content that hits all the points above and can be consumed in easily digestible digital bites should stimulate sharing behaviour, and spike engagement with your target audience. In a fast -paced environment, shared content is a nod to your brands social activity prowess- someone has taken the time to think, ‘okay, this is worth a pause in my day to hit the share button’. Keep it simple: content needs to connect emotionally, practically or both- if it does this, then a share could be on the cards.

Does anyone have a crystal ball?

It would be great to see just what the future of Facebook holds, but while we all work on our psychic abilities, it’s a case of evolution and adapting your social media strategy to continue to survive against a constantly changing Facebook backdrop- keeping up to date with the latest mechanisms and trends will help drive and shape your social activity and inform how content is best delivered to maximise engagement with your target audience.

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