Is your Facebook stagnating, or are you simply looking for more ways of improving your Facebook marketing results?
Getting results on Facebook is increasingly difficult, particularly organically – to help, here are three effective strategies for improving your Facebook reach and engagement.
Start using more hashtags
Although it’s been years since The Social Network introduced hashtags, they've failed to generate the same traction on Facebook as they have on other networks.
But, even so, it turns out that using hashtags on Facebook can, in fact, help you get more reach; and since it’s all cyclical, the more people you reach, the more engagement you'll likely see in return.
As Quicksprout put it, “when Facebook first started using hashtags, it didn’t work well”:
As you can see from above, the claim was not only that hashtags weren't helping, but that they could actually be reducing your reach.
Things have changed, however, and now, studies have found that using hashtags on Facebook can actually have a positive impact on your reach.
In a recent test conducted by the Social Media Lab, the tester used anywhere from 1 to 5 hashtags per post to see how it affected their reach and engagement. The results were quite impressive - posts with hashtags had a 4.4% higher reach than those without, but even more importantly, they saw 60.61% higher engagement, on average.
When posting new Facebook updates, try experimenting with different, relevant hashtags, then checking your analytics to see whether they're getting you better results, and to find the optimum number of hashtags per post for your updates.
Understand your audience
As much as you can get a social media education by listening to social media experts and top Facebook marketing aficionados, the best learning tool you have is directly at your disposal - Facebook Insights or any other kind of Facebook analytics.
There are plenty of generic rules that work across the board, more or less, however audiences are different, and Pages are different – which means that each audience has its own particularities, its own habits, interests, and passions.
They’re online at different hours – an audience of 18-year-old students will most likely be active at completely different times than, say, a 40-year-old exec working 10 hour days. They're interested in different types of updates, and the variations go on.
This is something that always needs to be taken into account when planning your strategy for Facebook marketing. Check your Insights to understand:
- Who forms your audience - Their gender, their country of origin, and so on
- What posts they prefer - Your Facebook Insights can clearly show you a list of all your posts, along with exact numbers for organic reach and engagement. This can give you a much better idea of what types of posts your audience prefers, so that you can optimize your overall Facebook marketing strategy - and the more you understand your audience, the better.
- When your fans are online - On your Insights page, go to Posts, to see exactly when your fans are online; hover your mouse over each day of the week to see at what times they're active on Facebook, then start posting more during those days and times in order to reach more people and get more engagement
- Post types - Which posts attract the most average reach and engagement? Does your audience prefer link posts, photos, videos, or live streaming? Your social media calendar should include all these different types of posts – but with a focus on the ones which resonate best with your audience
- What works for others - Another useful feature from Facebook Page Insights is that you can see the top posts from the Pages you watch. To do this, create a list of accounts similar to yours. You can then see which of their updates are attracting the most engagement. This doesn’t mean that you should copy their updates (never do that), but rather, it can help you understand more of what gets an audience similar to yours to engage with a Page:
Although you can learn a lot just by checking (and understanding) your Insights regularly, if you have the time and energy, it’s worth investing your time and effort into testing different types of updates, different times of posting, and different hashtags and photos – just to see how they affect your overall results.
Why so serious?
Let’s face it; in many cases, social media posts from business accounts are often quite… well, boring. However, social media generally tends to live on controversy, scandal, photos of food and cute animals, and on comedy.
This doesn’t mean that you should stop promoting your blog, or your businesses’ product and services, and so on. Rather, consider ways to include more funny, cute, and engaging updates in your overall Facebook content strategy:
- Inspirational stories, images, and videos - People love inspirational stories. Ideally, try to find an inspirational story from your own niche/industry - for example, the incredible story of the rise to success of an entrepreneur.
- Motivational quotes - In the same vein as inspirational stories and media, you could also consider motivational quotes. Despite there being so many in circulation online every day, they still generate engagement. Find some good quotes, and use a tool like Canva to post them over a beautiful image.
- Candid shots from around the office - This is a type of post works no matter the type of Page you have, probably because we all like getting a glimpse behind the scenes. Consider posting shots of company outings, live streaming the funniest moments from your team-building trips, and posting videos of office pranks. Basically, if something interesting happens around the office, you could consider posting it on Facebook - whether it’s a text update with a funny or interesting story, a photo from around the office, or a video.
- More food and more cute animals - If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed at all since the first days of (widespread) social media, it’s the passion people have for photos and videos of food and cute animals. Even if your Page has nothing to do with food or animals, there are still plenty of ways that you can introduce this type of media. Photos and videos of the office dog (or cat), of the food you’re having for lunch, of the company lunches and dinners, and so on.
Posting these types of updates can not only help you reach more people and generate more engagement, but it can also help humanize your brand – which can make people like you more and want to interact with you.
Getting results organically from Facebook is proving more and more difficult, as the platform continuously introduces new changes to their algorithm to cater to audience trends. However, there are plenty of tactics that still work and can help you achieve social media success – just be strategic about the content you post, and don’t be afraid to take your hat off every once in a while.