We all know that Facebook has a massive user base…
“One out of every five page views in the United States is on Facebook.
Let me say that again: ONE OUT OF EVERY FIVE PAGE VIEWS IN THE UNITED STATES IS ON FACEBOOK.”
– Gary Vaynerchuck, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
Clearly it should not be ignored.
The problem is, getting traffic to your Facebook page can be as much work as getting traffic to your website. If not more.
This is why the majority of Facebook page likes come from ads.
And even though it is the most familiar social network, most marketers just don’t understand it. This gives the rest of us an opportunity to do better.
So how can we use Facebook effectively? It all comes down to engagement.
Why Facebook Engagement Is Important
As Facebook continues to grow, the amount of information that gets shared daily has spun out of control. Facebook created their EdgeRank algorithm to deal with this reality.
Instead of cluttering our newsfeeds with thousands of boring updates, Facebook tries to show us only the information we’ll be interested in. They want us to have a pleasant experience so we’ll keep coming back.
But there’s another component to EdgeRank. In an effort to increase their ad revenue, Facebook has limited the number of people who see a brand page’s posts. We don’t know a lot about how Edgerank works, but we do know that a single brand page post is typically only served to 3-5% of its audience. This means that if you have 200 fans on Facebook, only 10 of those fans will see your updates.
However, when a page post generates a lot of engagement, Facebook will value it more highly, and it will show up in more newsfeeds.
Engagement is measured by the number of likes, comments, and shares a Facebook post receives. While click-throughs are great for making sales, they don’t factor in to Edgerank.
When you have an engaged audience, not only will more of your fans see your posts, but more of their friends will see your posts too.
How to Get More Engagement On Facebook
1. Make Your Post Visually Appealing
The only way to get noticed on Facebook is to use a great image. Images are more interesting and they stimulate more engagement. They’re also much more noticeable on a mobile device. Whenever possible, use an image.
Bonus tip: If you use images on your website, make sure they at least 1200×627 pixels. This way, when someone shares your link on Facebook, a large version of the image will show up on top of the link instead of a small thumbnail on the left.
2. Keep the Copy Short
Facebook users don’t want to read. Posts with long text don’t get much engagement. Keep your copy interesting and concise.
3. Use a Single Call to Action
Not only should copy be concise, but it should be obvious. Make sure there is only one call to action per post. Be clear on what you want your fans to do. Should they answer a question, share the post, or click on the link? Make this self-evident and never ask more than one question.
4. Don’t Make Your Fans Work
Links should always clickable (not in an image) and go to the correct webpage. If you’re talking about a specific product, don’t just link to your website, link to the page where that product can be purchased. You’d be amazed how many marketers screw this up. (I was shocked.)
5. Be Interesting
It goes without saying that your posts should be interesting–particularly to your target audience. If your post is interesting, it will stimulate engagement. Whether it’s an amazing photo, a witty comment, or a really useful link.
Know When to Sell On Social Media
“The key to great marketing is remembering that even though you’re all about your brand, your customer is not.”
-Gary Vaynerchuck, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
Not every post should be a sales pitch. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook also means Give, Give, Give, Ask. The more you give up front, the easier it will be to ask for the sale down the road.
By being a source of entertainment and value, you will position your brand as a trustworthy authority. When the time comes to make a sale, your community will be glad to help you out.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. Gary learned all of this from years of testing, and experimentation. The majority of marketers don’t keep up with changes to social media. If you pay attention and keep trying new things, you’ll be miles ahead of the pack.
Gary’s latest book goes on sale today and I highly recommend it to anyone who uses social media for business–whether you’re an expert or you’re just starting out. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is packed with case studies and actionable advice for for all the big social networks. Plus you’ll be learning from the best in business.
It’s the kind of book you’ll want to keep on your desk and reference often.
PS. Do you use Facebook for your business? I would love to learn from your experience. Tell me about it in the comments below!