From auto-publishing to social share buttons, 30+ marketers weigh in with their favorite social media plugins.
| Apr 13
Jessica Malnik on April 1, 2021 (last modified on March 30, 2021) • 18 minute read
Spend 30 minutes with any social media manager, and the conversation will inevitably turn to Facebook engagement within an hour — specifically the importance of increasing engagement.
However, what exactly is Facebook engagement? The concept of increasing engagement is similar to buzzwords, like a paradigm shift. No one really knows what it means, but by now, most of us are too afraid to ask. 😉
For some businesses, engagement metrics are fundamentally tied to business growth. For others, it is merely a vanity metric.
So, how do you know if it is worth tracking engagement in your business?
In this post, we’re putting Facebook engagement metrics under the microscope:
Simply put, Facebook engagement is defined as any action that someone takes on one of your posts or comments in your ads, groups, or pages. This includes any reactions, comments, shares, as well as link clicks.
Facebook tracks engagement at the individual post level as well as for your group and page as a whole.
To maximize Facebook page engagement, nearly 50% of the marketers we surveyed recommend posting 2-3 times per week.
The majority of the people surveyed worked in agencies.
Checking engagement on Facebook is simple.
If you are a page admin, you can view engagement metrics right on your page under Post Insights.
This will allow you to see and compare your engagement on a per-post basis as well as holistically at the page level.
You can also measure Facebook engagement on your own.
Just use this simple formula.
Number of engaged users divided by total page reach multiplied by 100.
This formula works both on the per-post and per-page level.
For example, if your Facebook post got 3 comments, 6 likes, and 1 share and had a total reach of 1,000 people, then your post engagement rate would be 1%.
According to the people we surveyed, the average engagement rate these days is between 2-3%.
Most marketers say that shares are the most valuable type of engagement on Facebook.
Now that you know how to measure Facebook engagement, here are some tips for how to increase it.
You know the saying, “Be interested, not just interesting.” It turns out that advice also works well to increase engagement on Facebook.
“My favorite way to increase engagement on Facebook is to ask a question,” says James Pollard of The Advisor Coach LLC. “For example, if I run a Facebook ad about different ways people can increase their productivity, I will end with a question like this: “”What’s your favorite way to increase your productivity?”
People love to answer questions and it serves as a natural segue for people to engage by leaving their thoughts.”
Jack Paxton of Hyax adds, “You can ask simple questions like, “What’s your favorite app” or “Name one person you would love to interview.” For better results, it’s recommended that you create a fancy social media graphic that features your question so it will catch the user’s eye.
Social media polls are fun and require minimal effort from a Facebook user to vote. Again, add images to your polls to ensure users engage with your posts.
Create these posts weekly to consistently grow engagement on your page.”
In fact, many times the replies to the questions you ask can uncover new post ideas – be it for your Facebook page or blog.
After all, people like to engage with humans not robots.
Melissa Kelly of Virtual Team Building says, “An easy way to increase your engagement rate is to post more personal content. People go on Facebook to see what their friends are doing, and so if your business only ever shows stuff you have for sale, or shares testimonials, then you won’t get much interaction. Instead, share the kind of information that you might from your personal account.
For example, you might post about how you are feeling, or about how your business is celebrating its birthday. The result will be more engagement via likes, comments and shares.”
Csilla Borsos of Creatopy adds,”Promote content that many people can relate to, or even feel better about themselves. The overall atmosphere of a social media ad or post is a big first impression.
We don’t want to be too intrusive as our goal is not touching sensitive topics, but come up with a solution for the customer’s existent problem.
Don’t forget to reply to your audience, ask them for feedback, and of course, stay relevant and consistent with your posts. Motivate your audience with CTAs so that they know what is awaiting them.
Last but not least, let’s keep it short – people would most probably have less than 2 seconds to consume your post while scrolling. In the end, you should not forget about posting consistently and at the right times (Page Insights can help you with this analysis).”
Replying to comments will not only increase engagement, but it is also just the right thing to do.
“Increased participation requires meaningful interaction,” says Brian Stewart of ProsperoWeb, LLC. “When people ask questions, provide responses and advice, and thank them when they compliment your brand. Set aside a fixed amount of time per day to spend on social media. A solid hour or even a half-hour a day will make a big difference in handling social interactions for a small company.”
Know where your audience is based and when they tend to be on Facebook. Then, find ways to post during those times.
For example, Leo G Dickson says, “We used to think that the best time to post on Facebook was in the early afternoon. But that is no longer the case. We’ve come to the conclusion that each brand has its own ideal posting time(s). This is due to the fact that the best time to post is determined by several factors unique to each brand: What type of business do you operate in? What is the geographical location of your target audience? What time of day do your Facebook fans log on?
Examining your own data is a scientific way to figure out when is the best time to post. You can find information about when your Facebook Page fans are online for each day of the week in your Facebook Page Insights, under the Post tab.”
It is easy to over-complicate it.
Stephane Gringer of Chameleon Collective recommends, “The simplest way is to get back to the basics of engagement. Ask a question. Don’t try to overthink or trick people into a reaction. Honest dialogue starters are what drives discord on any piece of content.”
If you have a smaller audience on Facebook, one commonly-used tactic is to spend a little money on Facebook ads to seed some initial traction.
“Promote your videos,” says Shana Haynie of Hearst Bay Area. “You can set up an extremely low-cost video view campaign to distribute your video content and drive up your engagement rates. The best part about this strategy is being able to build your retargeting list at the same time. Anyone who watches more than 3 seconds of your video can be retargeted, and these video views count towards your engagement rate. It’s a win-win if you are investing in video content.”
Another way to generate interest early on is to be an active member on any popular related Facebook groups.
“One of the best (and simplest) ways to increase your engagement rate on Facebook is to begin engaging with and sharing content your audience is already interacting with,” says Jackie Kossoff. “This could be sharing or commenting on posts from other Facebook pages you know they follow. This could also be interacting in Facebook Groups where you know your ideal consumers are hanging out.”
The only way to consistently create engaging content is to know your audience.
Jeff Cooper of Messagely says, “Focus on fan-centric content. When it comes to material, many companies make the error of placing themselves in a box.
Let’s pretend you’re the owner of a sandwich shop with a Facebook profile. Is it appropriate for you to just post material about sandwiches? Obviously not. For instance, there’s just so much that can be said about the brand or product regularly. Your viewers can tap out as soon as your material becomes boring or outdated.
Here’s something to consider: your Facebook material isn’t just about you. It’s all about the audience. They may like you, but that doesn’t mean they want to listen to you every day. Increasing Facebook engagement becomes even more practical if you start integrating the theory into your plan.”
One of the biggest mistakes that social media managers make is trying to get too clever. If you see some initial traction, keep doing that thing until it no longer works.
“Looking inward may also be the secret to increasing Facebook interaction,” says Julian Goldie of Goldie Agency. “Let’s presume you’ve written a post that’s a knockout. There were a lot of favorites and saves, as well as a lot of support in the comments section. Rather than dismissing the article as an outlier, you should take action to duplicate the same social magic. Perhaps it was a bizarre meme. Maybe it was a huge case study. Instead of wondering, you should have a pulse on your top-performing material in any case. The activity of your followers is crucial in determining whether to publish. Take a close look at the Facebook stats to see what content is getting the most attention. You may be surprised by the response.”
Nikola Roza agrees, “No need to try and reinvent the wheel when you could be giving them exactly what they want.
So, dive into your Facebook analytics and see which posts got the most clicks, shares, likes, comments. Then deconstruct those postings and see what made them tick. And then, make more of them.
Yes, it’s a lot of work, but the insights you get can will transform your Facebook marketing strategy going forward. Transform it for the better.”
Did you know that Facebook’s algorithm favors live videos?
“One way to increase your engagement rate on Facebook is to go live often,” says Daniel Foley of HomeTree. “Going live with your videos takes them to the next stage. Your video will appear at the top of your followers’ Facebook news feeds once you go live.
Furthermore, users who have recently or regularly interacted with your page will receive a message letting them know that you’re live! The increase in the news feed, along with the updates, is a recipe for increased engagement. The recording of your live broadcast will appear on your Facebook page after it ends.”
Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging recommends, “Involve your Facebook followers. Social media followers love interactive activities. For instance, go live on Facebook. There is something electric about watching people live and people get engrossed. During the Facebook Live, sound relatable, like you can relate to a problem they have. Then, explain how they can solve the problem. Keep the Live short. Give people a Call to Action in the Live. For instance, if you want them to take an action like buying, commenting, or sharing, tell them. Many people who go live ask for audience participation by asking viewers to post emojis. Then, they see each other’s emojis and are further engaged. There are so many ways to engage with a Facebook Live video.”
It doesn’t matter whether you are going live or posting a text status update. Most people are on Facebook to be entertained.
“Relevant and UGC-feeling content is the name of the game – and tests we’ve run for clients have shown that not only does it send engagement rate and CTR up and up, it’s also dramatically improved CPAs,” says Kayli Westergard of IMM. “One of our clients created a TikTok-style dance video showcasing what they’re doing to keep their customers safe during COVID – they made it educational and also purely entertaining to watch, which drove a lot of comments, shares, and people tagging their friends.”
This lesser-known hack works great for smaller business.
“One little-known way that companies don’t take advantage of when trying to increase their engagement rate on Facebook is to create specific engagement-only content and use the Facebook background,” says Crissy Conner of Crissy Conner Creates LLC. “If I’ve learned anything over my years of utilizing Facebook it’s that Facebook loves Facebook products. It’s simple, use their backgrounds they provide you and the content gets shown to so many more people, they don’t feel it’s salesy and they respond.”
Another way for smaller businesses to get engagement is to ask friends and family to “like” or “share” the post. (Just don’t overdo!)
Timothy Woods of Carnivore Style says, “I’ve found that directly sending your Facebook post link to a small tight-knit group of family and friends via email, and then asking them to like and comment on any post you really want a boost on, helps give the post a small initial visibility boost that allows it to get a handful more likes from people who may not normally even get to see your content. The algorithm seems to favor posts that have a small number of initial positive responses and then shows those posts to more people.”
Whether you commit to posting once a day or once a week, stick to your publishing cadence. You can even batch create your content for a week on one day, and then use a tool like Buffer to schedule all of your posts.
“One way to increase your engagement rate on Facebook is consistency,” says Lily Ugbaja of Finding Balance Mom. “Yes, you always have to show up, be in their faces regularly, that way even though visitors do not convert the first or second time, eventually they would get interested and become leads. Also, don’t forget to optimize with lots of catchy graphics and short copywriting ads.
Lastly, throw in offers at intervals. This could be freebies of some sort. It would definitely pique their interest and who knows how that would help your conversion rate.”
This is another example related to knowing your audience.
Stacey Kane of EasyMerchant says, “It’s crucial for campaigns to be packed with relevant information as this elevates the value of the content tenfold. It helps audiences perceive the business as a principled entity — an organization that cares beyond the profits, but also of the consumers and society as a whole. Relevance helps keep the brand stand out as it indicates that the business has a stance, and it helps increase the reach of the campaign and improve brand awareness.
Moreover, well-informed relevant content cultivates a brand that encourages its audience to be more expressive and enlightened. Delivering purposeful and useful content materials are directly evocative and striking which is what captures the audience’s attention on a large scale. Consumers are smart and they make sure that their business only goes to brands that align with their values. This helps them feel assured their patronage is worthwhile and is why brands must send a message that offers true value. A sponsored Facebook post from our company has 50% engagement.”
Ajay Pondicherry of Block Party shares his opinion on using Facebook’s newer products, “So if you are utilizing these features, there’s a good chance, you may get an artificial boost in exposure from the Facebook’s algorithm.
For example, when Facebook was launching a lot of new video features to compete with YouTube, videos were noticeably more common than text and image content. Similar to when Instagram launched Reels, the search section was heavily promoting Reels’ content. So, keep an eye out for the new features on the platform and experiment to see if utilizing these features gives you a boost in engagement. Even if not, it’s good to learn about the new capabilities so you can incorporate them when there’s a genuine need.”
Another useful tactic is to post higher-quality photos and videos.
“Increasing the quality of photos or videos is a great way to increase your engagement rate,” says Travis Blanchard of Splash Bytes. “Visual content is extremely important to Facebook users as they make up the majority of the content on the platform. Don’t just rely on stock photos, instead make the effort to create your own photos and let your brand’s personality shine through!”
Adam Chase of Music Minds adds, “Start using professional photos. If you’re not using photos on your Facebook page, you’re absolutely missing out on engagement, as Facebook buries text-only posts. But just using stock images won’t cut it in a competitive environment, so it’s a great idea to hire a professional photographer.”
Connor Hewson of Assured Marketing agrees, “Using attractive and attention-grabbing graphics are the best starting point with doing this. If an image or video immediately grabs the users attention then they will stop scrolling to see what’s going on.
Then ensuring that the caption includes an engagement based call to action (i.e. like if you’ve ever, share when you find, click to find out) will mean that the already mentally engaged user will translate that into actually engaging with the post in the way that you want.”
Another useful strategy is to experiment with different post formats and content styles.
“I recommend starting with content diversification to find out what works best for your audience,” says Joe Terrell of Drifted. “Don’t simply rely on the trends sacrificing simple text posts to replace them with talking head videos, remember that different users have different preferences and knowing what works for your audience will help you find a better approach to them and increase the engagement. Leading a drifting media outlet, by trials and testing we discovered that visual content works best for us, so giving our users what they want: more photos and videos from racing helps us to keep the engagements on a high level.”
Infographics can be an effective way to repurpose some of your longform content on Facebook.
For example, Simon Read of PPS Advisory says, “For us, infographics are one of the best ways to increase the engagement rate on Facebook. It helps spread the word about our services and lets people know what we do!”
You can also experiment with running giveaways and contests to grow your following.
“One way to increase your engagement rate on Facebook is by offering giveaways to your audience,” says Stephanie Gutierrez of Online Optimism. “Encourage them to engage with your post to enter and win by commenting, sharing, and tagging their friends. The higher engagement rate the post gets the more Facebook will recognize your content as valuable and is more likely to share your posts before others.”
Finally, it is critical to measure how your engagement strategy is working.
If you are looking to measure engagement in a Facebook group, this Facebook Groups Insight Dashboard will give you insights about membership growth.
Or, if you are looking to keep tabs on engagement on your Facebook page, you can use this Facebook pages dashboard to analyze your top-performing posts.
In sum, while finding ways to increase engagement on Facebook can be beneficial, it is important to measure it regularly. You want to make sure this engagement strategy isn’t just vanity metrics. Instead, it is helping to drive real business results
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