2018 was a year of great turmoil and changes for Facebook™. We still see the aftershocks of the Cambridge Analytica scandal – and this precise event led to the many changes made by the Facebook™ team. One of the key changes refers to the algorithm used for determining the visibility of posts.
The key factor announced by Mark Zuckerberg himself is engagement. In the new algorithm, engagement is based less on likes and shares and more on the conversations created around a post. Also, engagement refers to posts shared in Messenger and creating new conversations and further shares there.
Facebook™ Page Engagement – the New Holy Grail of Marketing
Years ago, it was all about the page likes. You must still remember the Wild West of social media, when pages bought thousands of likes for a few dollars. This damaging trend was closely followed by the click farms and their negative impact on social media advertising.
Now, it is practically impossible to cheat the system because organic reach is for the greatest part insignificant for Facebook™ business pages. This does not mean that business pages no longer matter and it’s all about who has the biggest advertising budget.
Engagement on business pages bring followers and keep them loyal. It is the first step in the sales funnel, reaching out to cold leads and getting them warmer little by little. A page with good engagement will complement advertising efforts and help your business find more customers.
So, how do you increase engagement on your Facebook™ page in 2019?
1. No Post without a CTA
Calls to action are a must have for ads and landing pages. But you should extend this best practice to your social media posts, as well. A Facebook™ post must never become a static monologue. It must be an invitation to conversation, sharing and taking action.
It can be something as simple as asking your followers to tag a friend who may be interested in what you posted. Or, you can openly ask for their opinion on the blog bost/curated content you shared. This is all it takes to start a conversation on the social media.
2. Create a Group for Your Page
Business pages are not very interactive from the followers’ point of view. Depending on the policies enforced by page administrators (according to brand image rules), followers may only comment with plain text, not with emojis or GIFs.
Things are different in groups. Each member may initiate a conversation by posting a photo or a video, asking a question or creating a poll. Of course, a group managed by a Facebook™ business account must still be subject to moderation in order to prevent bullying and other unacceptable behaviours. But you should consider starting a group for your page, nonetheless. There will be extra work, but also extra rewards in the form of increased engagement and more in-depth information about what your followers expect from your business.
3. Keep Your Posts Short
According to statistical data shared by Facebook™, the average user spends 1.7 seconds per post on the mobile phone and 2.5 seconds on the computer. This means that you have, on the average, 2 seconds to convey your message to a Facebook™ user and capture their attention.
For this reason, 2019 is the year for short and punchy posts, with a few appropriate hashtags and with an increased focus on visuals – photos and videos. Once you have your followers’ attention, you can elaborate in comments and replies to your original status.
4. Make Comment Replies a Priority
Speaking of comments and replies, these are the lifeblood of engagement on Facebook™. And you must always find the time to reply to your followers’ comments. Apart from common courtesy, people see the social media as a new form of customer service.
In many cases, they address their queries, complaints and requests for information not to the company email address, but on their Facebook™ pages or in Messenger. And, since this is the social media, they expect a fast reply. How fast? According to Sprout Social, 4 hours after posting the comment on a Facebook™ post.
5. Focus on Meaningful Questions, Polls and Quizzes
Questions, polls and quizzes remain popular as types of posts with a high engagement level. However, please note that we specified “meaningful” ones. This is because many of the previously acceptable engagement tactics used by Facebook™ pages are now considered spammy and engagement bait.
One classic example is the contest where users must Like a page, comment on the contest post and then share it to their own profile for a chance to win the prize. Any request to tag, comment, share, vote or react to a post that has no real consideration or value for the users is considered engagement bait and will result in the downranking of your posts.