The social media giant Facebook has become synonymous with interaction. On Facebook we engage with our friends, family and colleagues. We share our thoughts and feelings (and at times, even concerns) in various forms like posts, photos and videos. Facebook gives us all a platform to show who we are to the world and present how we see ourselves. We curate on Facebook a life full of love, happiness and at times drama which we share with our ‘friends’. This is the essence of Facebook: engagement. Having good engagement on Facebook
However, engagement works both ways. We not only put on Facebook content of our own, we also engage our friends in the comment sections. Additionally, we return the favour by commenting or liking or sharing our friends’ posts.
Businesses have used this very trait of Facebook, its ability to connect people with each other and make a community to their advantage. They have taken the interaction people have on Facebook to a new level. Now engagement on social media is not only about our friends, family and colleagues, but also about the brands and businesses we are interested in. And they know that this engagement is a two way street.
So if you are a business on Facebook that is looking to increase its engagement with its target audience, here’s how you can do it:
Asking questions is one of the best way to garner engagement. So interact with your followers on Facebook using questions relevant to your brand. You can do this using posts, opinion polls, quizzes or even surveys. However, do not limit yourself to asking questions only about your business (that will come across as selfish), rather keep the conversation fresh by asking people questions on what they are likely to be interested in. The result will be increased engagement; the more questions you ask, the more engagement you will receive. If you make this into a fun daily activity that your followers enjoy, you will have increased engagement and people will regularly come back to interact with you on Facebook.
However, don’t just ask questions. Encourage your followers on Facebook to ask you questions that they want answered. They can post their queries regarding your product or any other question in general for you to answer. This does not lead to dissemination of content from a single direction and opens the gates to a conversation instead.
Asking questions make it easy for your followers to connect and interact with you. You can even touch on sensitive topics, but instead of giving your opinion your could simply put forward a question and invite your followers to weigh in on the issue.
Questions also ensure your followers that their answers are being read and opinions heard. This is also a way for you to gain some insight from your customers. So make sure that your questions are interesting, fun, relevant and useful to your followers. All questions do not have to fall in all the aforementioned categories, but they should fall in at least one.
2. Photos and Videos
The key to engagement is producing and sharing good content. Though the written word still has its place in the world, on social media photos and videos have taken the lead. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words. Sharing content in the form of photos and videos makes it easier for the followers on-the-go to consume. It also brings something novel and fresh to the table.
Use images and videos that put the message of your brand in front of your audience. Visuals help a lot in creating awareness about a brand and also in spreading its message. People tend to remember images associated with a brand more than the catchphrase or tagline of the brand. The former helps implant the latter into the minds of the audience. Hence, visuals should be paid attention to and you should produce content that has aesthetically pleasing visuals.
As stated above, visuals will help you in receiving the kind of engagement you desire. There are several apps and tools available for you to create the kind of graphics help you with your marketing needs. You can use applications like InstaQuote, PicMonkey, Canva and Word Swag to produce visually appealing content for your audience. You can put a fact, a quote or even an inspirational message on this pictures for your followers.
You can create a short video answering a question put forward by your followers. This not only solves the problem/answers the query, it also accomplishes it in a different and engaging format. You can also make videos with members of your team answering questions regarding your business, brand and product.
Photos and videos make sharing information about your brand fun and easy. They invite engagement and allow people to be connected with the brand effortlessly.
3. Hold a Contest/Game or Offer a Deal/Promotion
From the activity to the fun prizes, people love everything about contests. They are not only about giving away free prizes, but are about building your presence among your followers and creating a community of like-minded people who enjoy similar things in life.
You should have a goal in mind for every contest that you hold. Once you have that goal in mind, you should design the contest accordingly. If you want to increase your following, you could, for instance, ask your followers to get a friend to like your page and tag them. Then you could choose a winner from all the participants. You should make a note to specify and publish the rules of the contest before starting it.
The increased participation in the contests leads to gaining more fans, increased brand visibility and more traffic to your website. The buzz that is generated through this contest or game will help you in marketing your brand.
4. Inside Scoop
Give your followers a chance to see the internal workings of your business. Use the features available on Facebook to engage your audience. Sharing employee stories with the followers humanises your brand. Employees have been writing blogs about upcoming events or technologies and answering queries for a long time now. With social media, however, they can interact with your followers through different medium.
People want to know more about your business – the office, the employees and even the cafeteria. Share pictures and videos with your employees. You can even use Facebook Live to interact with your audience. Ever since Facebook launched its Facebook Live feature, Live chats have been very popular. Invite your followers to watch or join in a conversation. It could be about your brand or even a topical issue. Keep the content relevant, interesting and moving – make sure that the conversation does not stagnate and keep it clean. Ask your followers to comment on your live chat and use those comments to keep the conversation going. Mentioning your followers by name is a nice thing to do as it personalises the conversation.
While giving an inside scoop about your company, provide your followers with an interesting, dynamic and honest content. It will resonate with your target audience immensely.
5. Followers as Brand Ambassadors
A fiscally smart way of increasing visibility and engagement is by converting your ardent followers into your brand ambassadors. You followers promote your brand out of the goodness of their heart and because of the love they have for you. You must encourage this. You could do so by sharing their posts about your brand on your Facebook timeline and tagging them. You should thank them for the confidence they show in you and your products, and engage with them publically.
You could share the posts, photos or videos they publish on their timelines. You could also give them a freebee for being vocal about your brand and being a public supporter. This will not only improve your relations with that follower and lock them down as a customer for foreseeable future, but will also improve the visibility and image of your business.
You could even reward your fans with a visit to your office to meet your staff and yourself. This opportunity, however, should be reserved for your most loyal fans. The image sharing social media website, Imgur, frequently gives its die-hard users a tour of its San Francisco office and a chance to meet the staff.
6. Content from Other Sources
You don’t always have to produce original content. Sometimes you can share on your Facebook Page a blog written by someone else. Always remember to tag the source and the writer. By sharing other people’s content, you give your followers a different perspective or something new to read. By tagging the source and writer, you allow yourself to be discovered by a different audience.
While sharing other’s content, try to pick our those blogs or posts that are relevant to your brand. You can also choose a post which not related to your brand or a post contemporary issues, but keep those to a minimum. Mostly stick to your niche and try to choose from writers or influencers belonging to your niche.
Another way to go about this is asking someone to write a guest post for you. You could partner with a blogger or an influencer, and invite them to write a post exclusively for you. You could also find experts or colleagues in your niche and see if they want to cross-promote or collaborate with you. A guest post will not only provide interesting new content for your Page, but will also lend credibility to your brand. A newer brand might want to partner with an established brand to gain credibility due to the latter’s goodwill and relevance.
7. Ask for Engagement
The end game of the process of increasing engagement is to convert followers into customers. The last step in this game is to simply ask for it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you don’t seek engagement, you won’t get it. Be bold about it. Ask your Facebook followers to comment, like and share your posts.
People generally respond to call to action which generates the highest likelihood for engagement. You should therefore use call to action prompts in your posts like:
- Like if you…
- Comment below…
- Click the link…
- Tag your friends…
- Let us know what you think…
There is no perfect, foolproof strategy for increasing engagement with the audience. Each business is unique with its own set of followers. Content that may appeal to one set of audience may not appeal to another at all. There is a lot of trial and error involved in finding a strategy that works best for you. Pick up two things at a time and work on them simultaneously. Keep rejecting the ones that do not work for your until you find the ones that do. Social media is a very dynamic place – things are always in a state of flux. Strategies that may work today will certainly not work tomorrow. So keep experimenting with new ideas and keep exploring your options.
You can manage your Facebook and other social accounts using SmatSocial. You can save time and resources by scheduling your posts ahead of time, engaging with your followers, and measuring your social performance from a single dashboard. Try it free today.