Want more traffic to your website? That’s one thing that a Facebook page can do for you!
But how do you maximize your reach and engagement and get more eyeballs on your actual Facebook posts? Because, if you can get more eyes on the posts, that can turn into more traffic to your site.
Yes, there’s always the paid Ad option, and I cover that, but I’m going to outline the FREE options as well! There are some basic practices that will increase attention and engagement from users if you follow them. You may want to consider what content you post from your blog, or tailor the content to meet the following recommendations.
1. Your Post Should Contain a Link
This seems obvious. Posts that are merely text or images, with no possibilities for click-through will be glanced over and skimmed. They won’t drive traffic to your site. You want to get users to take a click action, even if it’s your own page.
Get users to access more of your content by dangling hooks such as special offers, educational articles, or just plain entertainment with links to content you host.
The big question is, should a post be a link post or should it contain a link? A link post is a URL pasted into Facebook. A post with an embedded link may be a text or a photo post where part of the copy includes a link.
Link posts get clicked more often than embedded links but:
2. Photos Get More Engagement
Photo posts receive 120% more engagement (likes, shares, comments) than text alone. And if you really want to do it right, post multiple pictures in a series, complete with text (possibly excerpts from your blog entry) and links attached to each photo. This has the potential of multiplying your engagement by up to 180% over text. It also has the advantage of being able to include more messages, offers, links, and calls to action than just one photo.
Your photos should be high-resolution, high-contrast and detailed. The larger the photos are, the more screen area they will take up if people click on them (600 x 600 pixels or greater). Think Life magazine or National Geographic; great photos engage viewers—boring photos send the message that you’re boring.
Tip: If you have a Pinterest page, share your Photos there as well, with links to your company’s posts or page.
One other idea… ask viewers to come up with captions for your photo. This can really increase engagement. In fact, “Caption This Photo” calls to action can result in 5.5 times more comments than a photo with no call to action.
3. Request Interaction with Calls to Action
It’s critical to get viewers to do more than just look at your post. You want them to like it, (likes represent 87% of all Facebook Post interactions), share it (8%), or ideally, comment (5%). Commenting is most desirable because you can engage people one-on-one. Call out their comments. Respond to them with comments of your own. The more you get people “talking” about your post, the more your content starts to acquire a viral “buzz.”
One technique you can use is to use Likes & Shares as a method of voting—likes for one opinion, shares for another (Walmart has seen a great response to this concept). You simply have to be smart in doing this though, so that you are not deemed as spam. Again, it comes back to posts that are relevant and interesting to your audience.
4. Other Post Types
Although photos can be particularly effective, you should vary your post types, so viewers stay engaged.
Video is HUGE right now on Facebook! It’s grown by leaps and bounds and is driving a lot of engagement for Pages. The key is video that you upload to Facebook itself. This a “Native” Facebook video.
Native Facebook video “auto-plays” when it becomes visible on a user’s screen. This is great for visibility and views, and when loaded to Facebook via your computer, there is a way to add a “Call-to-Action” in the video itself. This is a great way to drive more traffic.
YouTube or Vimeo links will take a viewer away from Facebook and to your video channel. You can host content, as well as links to your site, offers, ads, etc. on your video channel if you want to go this route, just note that these posts are getting less traction on Facebook.
Slideshows can present photo album type content in a controlled way. Passive viewers like slide shows because they don’t have to interact with each photo; they can sit back and watch. Facebook apps can add sound, to produce more engagement. There are mobile apps that can help you create quick slideshows from images like Flipagram.
Although it doesn’t have the multimedia appeal of some other post types, text still can be engaging, depending on what you say and how it’s written.
Stick to 3 lines of text or less. It may be a teaser for an entry from your blog. Research shows that text under 40 characters performs up to 86% better than text over 40 characters.
On the other end of the spectrum, unusually long content may also be read, if only because of its novelty (how many posts do you see over 1000 words?).
Use exclamation points for 2.7 times more engagement. Ask questions for 23% more.
Some other tips when using text for Posts are:
- Avoid using first person voice
- Don’t hard sell; instead write content that people want to read; helpful tips and resources are good
- Don’t forget a Call to Action
5. Different Content Types
If using straight text, then mix it up! The 5 most popular content types, in order of popularity, are:
1. Lists (the best performing content type overall)
Lists are about one particular topic and give some examples along with a piece of intro or concluding text or both. Bullet points work best. Viewers can “skim” the content quickly this way.
2. “Why” Posts (the second best performing overall)
Why Posts go into depth regarding purposes or reasons viewers might reach a certain conclusion about a topic (likely related to your content).
3. Video Clips
An entertaining or touching video.
4. How-To Articles
How-To Posts describe how to fix a problem or solve an issue, usually going step by step and tackling common challenges.
5. “What” Posts (the riskiest content type, as they have the greatest range between high and low response)
“What” Posts are informational, providing content through additional links, blog posts, or curated content that help explain a subject related to your content.
6. Different Content Subjects
These are the top performing content subjects, listed by popularity:
Keep these in mind as you look for related content to share. Why related content? Because your Facebook page cannot continually just be about your products. People will get bored with this. Think broader to attraction content and engaging content and weave in ways it’s relevant to your audience and Page. See how you can use these subjects above as they relate to your products and services.
7. Three Factors That Determine a Post’s Visibility
The 3 measurements that get Facebook posts pushed into the news feed even more are: affinity (likes and shares), content weight (comments, which are weighted heavily by Facebook’s algorithms), and timeliness.
Timeliness is how many people look at your Post and how long they look at your post. This is affected by how many other people are posting at the same time. The time you post can be almost (or more) critical than the content you’re posting.
Studies have shown that off-peak posting (especially after work, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. weekdays and on weekends) is particularly effective. You’ll have a captive audience and won’t be competing with prime-time posters (who tend to post during business hours, particularly at lunchtime).
Plan your posting schedule in advance, but leave some room for spontaneous posts, and for slight variations in your schedule. If you’re too rigid people will know what to expect, and this can lead to attention decay.
Studies have shown that when it comes to seasonality, late Summer and Fall have the best performing months as far as user engagement.
8. Use Promoted Posts
Use Facebook’s Promoted Posts to keep your content visible. And if you’re paying, use content that makes it worthwhile, by including offers, links, exclusive content such as news or event announcements, and strong calls to action.
Pin your promoted post to the top of your company’s Facebook page using the pin feature. You can target your posts by language or location. Pay only for as much promotion as you want (you can pause your promotion at any time). Do some experimenting and see what days and hours produce the most results.
9. Measure Your Results
Measure all your posts. It’s done for your in Facebook Insights, you simply have to check it out! Track and analyze by post type, day and time of post, phrasing of the post, word count, and total likes, shares, and comments. Compare organic to promoted posts. Pick winners, and then copy their attributes for future posts and continue to evolve. In this way, you can constantly grow your engagement.
Remember that what works for other companies (even direct competitors) may not work for you. Instead of trying to copy the methods of others, generate your own unique style of delivery and content. Then be sure to watch your Insights to learn what is working and make adjustments going forward!