I met someone last week who wondered if I still ran Spiderworking.com. The reason? She ‘Liked’ my Facebook page but hadn’t seen any updates from me in months. Since Facebook made it’s latest changes to the newsfeed at the end of last year reports have been coming in of page updates not appearing in the stream. Page owners also saw a significant drop in their page and post views and a new statistic appeared on our pages ‘talking about’. All of this combined means that if we really want users to see our updates we need to encourage interaction, the ‘talking about’ stat has become the most important insight on our page.
So how can you encourage more interaction on your Facebook page? I’ve been experimenting and here’s what I’ve found works so far.
Always look for feedback
Whenever I post something to Facebook I ask for feedback, instead of posting a link and saying what it’s about, I think about why I’m sharing it and add my thoughts and ask others for their opinions. I try to end most posts with a question mark. This has been a valuable tool for me and has helped me gather ideas and content for blog posts amongst other things.
Other effective tricks I’ve seen other pages use for getting feedback are posts with a missing word (see below), or asking for ‘three words to describe’. Giving likers something simple to do will encourage more engagement than asking for a long opinion.
Share on Twitter
If your posts are no longer appearing on the newsfeeds of all your fans you need to be reaching them elsewhere. Posting links to Facebook posts on Twitter and asking for feedback is an effective way of widening the conversation beyond those who pick up your stories on Facebook. Facebook users no longer need to like a page to comment on it so you may find you will get more interaction from new users this way.
I try and post one Facebook discussion a day to Twitter and have found it effective for getting new comments, all of these are hugely valuable not just for encouraging sharing but again for garnering opinion on topics that I can translate into blog posts or content in the future.
Use a variety of content
It’s widely agreed that images and videos have better edgerank than other types of content. Images and video are also more visually attractive to users, they will catch your eye the way a status update or a simple link won’t. When I’m posting a status update I try and find an image that illustrates my point and add it to the update. It’s important to include a variety of content types on your page and I wouldn’t recommend using the image trick for every update. People get tired of the same content and you will discover that video and links will reach different users than images and status updates.
Run a competition
Running a competition on Facebook will get lots of people talking about your page. Use an app like ShortStack that allows you to configure sharing, this way people who enter will be prompted to tell their friends. If you have an active user base running a photo contest that is judged by Facebook users will encourage competition entrants to share your page with all of their friends.
example from Country Hounds
This should really have been my first point. Creating compelling content that people will want to share will always encourage interaction and shares. I always recommend creating a content schedule for Facebook, you can download a blank schedule word document here. Think about when you are going to post and what sort of content you are going to post on each day. This will make it easier for you to find content to share and encourage consistent posting.
Carry a camera and a notebook with you everywhere and look out for photo opportunities that will work on your page. I find the voice memo device on my phone invaluable and am always recording snippets of ideas when I have them.
What have I left out? How do you encourage engagement on your Facebook page? Let me know… leave a comment.