Facebook remains the most popular social network on the web. With the highest number of users, an impressive IPO value and a reputation as a brand marketer’s favorite tool, it isn’t likely to be going anywhere.
The problem is that they regularly change their policies and the way they run their network. Most recently, the Facebook made it harder for many pages to be seen on a user’s feed. It has caused some tension for businesses or pages that spend less on advertising – and so bring in fewer views – than those large corporations.
You may have been wondering as you see these changes how you can possibly cope with them. Should you switch networks and start focusing on another? Well, that is an option, but not the preferable one if you have already gathered a following. Generally speaking, followers aren’t willing to transfer to another network, even if they really like that page.
A better option may be boosting the visibility of your Facebook options by making them stand out more to the user.
One Word: Engagement
First, you need to rethink your Facebook strategy. Your aim is not just to share content, or to convert views to sales/traffic. Sure, you want those things. But the most successful Facebook pages are the ones who engage their followers on a deeper level.
If you keep this in mind every time you post, you will be making the first step towards posts that stand out. Now, incorporate these tips to that principle:
Take Timeline Seriously
When it was first introduced, Timeline was a bit of a controversial tool. It has since become a regular part of Facebook, and most brands discovered early on how to make it work for them. You should do that, too. Don’t just put any image on your Timeline cover, or use any profile image. Make sure the two both enforce your brand, enhance your page, catch the eyes of your followers, and entertain.
Watch That Link Photo
Every time you post a link you will get an image along with it. This image is not always the one directly related to the link itself. That can be quite distracting, as well as unprofessional. Take a moment to ensure it has grabbed the right photo, and if not use the arrows on the image to find the right one.
Find Really Awesome Content to Share
Focus on quality.
Yes, somewhat obvious but actually the fundamental rule of standing out. Share at least several EPIC updates a week. Here’s one great example from PakWired.com. Sharing ultimate resources like this will drive your engagement through the roof!
Keep Long Text On Your Blog
Because it provides more characters that most social networks, people tend to post very long statuses and posts on their Facebook page. This is a tactic that actually works well with Google Plus, which is designed to act as much as a microblog as anything else, and is very niche oriented in connecting people on a professional level. But Facebook has a different function, and one much more casual than G+. Long posts with a lot of text have been found in numerous studies of social interaction to be ignored by followers. Some users may even be prompted to unsubscribe from your page, or opt out of seeing your posts on their feed. Keep your statuses short.
Track Those Analytics
Every Facebook page has an analytics feature that monitors the engagement of every selected post. Using this tool you can get a look at who is looking at every post, who is sharing it, and who is commenting. The higher the engagement and reach, the more likely similar posts are to catch the attention of followers in the future. This is a fantastic way to narrow your strategy on Facebook, and so better establish a posting rate and type. For a deeper look, try using a tool like Hootsuite, Sprout Social or Moz. They will give you cross-platform monitoring to better tailor your entire social media strategy.
Resign Yourself To Paid Ads
For awhile there have been claims by marketers who say you can improve engagement by several hundred percent without spending a penny. Well, sure, you can do that. But it is going to take tireless work and effort, and we all know time is money… that kind of process is far from free, when you get right down to it. Resign yourself now to paying for advertising, because it is going to be what brings in most of your users. Luckily, they allow you to set a maximum daily budget, and you only pay per reach. So it is easy to budget out ads on Facebook. How effective they are over time depends a great deal on how much you spend, versus how much cultivation goes into the administration of your page.
Pin Important Posts To The Top
You can pin a post to the top of your page and keep it there despite continued posts. This is great if something important needs to be seen long term, and you don’t want to keep sharing it through the day over and over again. Just click on the little arrow in the corner right of your post, and select to pin it.
Keep Away From Hashtags
Yes, hashtags are now available on Facebook. Yes, people initially went nuts with using them. But it has become clear very quickly that they didn’t take off the way they had hoped. You can still use them, but it is more tacky than effective, and it doesn’t attract followers as much as it would on a site like Twitter, or even Google+.
Properly Schedule Your Posts
While some other sites (such as Twitter) have a tool to help you see when your followers are most active, Facebook doesn’t currently have an equivalent. This is likely due to the fact that most profiles are encouraged to be private, making analytics a bit more difficult in that way. But you can still estimate when the best times to post tend to be. MediaBistro did an interesting infographic on the topic. Not online at the best times for posting? No problem, just schedule either through your page, or use a tool like Buffer or CoSchedule.
Making your updates, and profile in general, stand out on Facebook is crucial to using it successfully. While it might be a little more difficult than on other platforms due to the changes they have made, it isn’t impossible. Just use the tips above.
Have some advice on making Facebook updates pop? Let us know in the comments.
Posted in Social Networking.
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