Posting to your Facebook Page for the purpose of engagement is an art. Encouraging engagement is a good thing, I’ll go so far to say it’s a necessity.
EdgeRank. It’s the algorithm Facebook uses to determine which posts of yours (if any) show in any given news feed. EdgeRank is made up of a few factors. Affinity and Weight are the two factors to be concerned about here.
Affinity is the relationship between you and the post author, comment author, like author, or sharer. The more you and that person have engaged in the same items in the past the higher the Affinity Score.
Weight is akin to popularity. The more people are commenting, liking, and sharing a particular post the higher the weight.
The third factor making up EdgeRank is Time. There’s a natural time decay built into the algorithm. Not much you can do about that unless you have a time machine.
So increasing your posts Affinity and Weight is critical to being seen in the newsfeed. But, depending on how you do it – it may come off as genuine or quite the opposite. Have you seen posts stating something similar to…
“If we get 100 like’s here, we’ll post our super secret to making millions on Facebook”
“Share this with your friends and we’ll pick a winner of the new iPad”
Obvious that the Page is pleading for EdgeRank, right? Come’s off as kind of slimey.
Here’s a few hints on doing it better.
1. NEVER AUTOPOST. Automation kills engagement. You are not a robot and neither are your readers. Instead, if you want to share something on your Page, do it manually. It takes a few more seconds to create a post that people want to naturally like, share or comment on.
2. PHOTOS RULE. We like pictures. If at all possible include a picture in your post. Posts with photos have a much much higher instance of being shared than just text based posts. Much.
3. POST QUALITY. Don’t just post stuff to post stuff. If you have nothing of value to post just hold off until you do. Want to know the optimal amount of times a day to post? Don’t listen to me – I don’t have the answer. If I did, I would be wrong. The right answer depends on your audience. Nobody can answer that question but you.
4. DO IT YOURSELF. Only you know your business. That means don’t hire someone to post on your Page because you think you don’t have time. If you do, chances are they’ll end up posting non engaging material just to earn their paycheck. Do they really know your business? Are you paying them to reply to comments as well? Wow! Can I work for you? Of course I’m referring to these ‘social media marketing snake oil salespeople’. It’s ok to have Your Team working your page. Your Team knows the business, they know you, and they know how to reply. Team = OK. Don’t buy Snake Oil. Do it yourself.
5. PLAY TENNIS. Picture someone who liked your page months ago. They’ve been thinking about using your services but just haven’t pulled the trigger (yet). They might even have a friend that needs your services. They’ve been quietly reading your posts for a while. Finally after months and months they actually post their first comment on your Page. It’s just a little “Thanks for posting this, thanks”. Seemingly a small and insignificant comment – hardly worth a reply (you think). You didn’t know it but that small comment required tremendous courage on their part. Ignore the comment and chances are it’s the end of that relationship (even before it started). Reply with a simple “Thanks!” and you keep that door open. Reply correctly and you also encourage even more engagement.
I describe this as playing tennis. By replying to your comment I might also ask you a question as well. Instead of a simple “Thanks!” I might add “Thanks! What was your favorite part of the play?”
See what I did there? I put the ball back in your court. I’m playing tennis. It’s nothing new, we’ve been doing it as humans for as long as time. It’s just a part of conversation. I’m going to do it naturally and honestly. It’s an honest form of discussion and in the process I’m encouraging your continued replies. Guess what, when you do, I have an increased chance of getting my post seen by someone I don’t know – your friends.
So that’s it. Five things to improve your post engagement. The balls in your court. What are you going to do?
BONUS: Here’s a great article on EdgeRank