Engagement is Facebook's magic word

Posted by Hedley Swann on 24 February, 2014 in Facebook , Social Media , Small Business Strategy

Engagement is Facebook's magic word

Did you know that Facebook has made some changes on how it chooses what content to deliver to Page fans? So, what does this mean for your social media posts? Keep reading to learn how you can maximise the number of people who see your page's posts.

What Facebook Sees as Engagement

The success of your Facebook efforts is all based on engagement. Facebook defines engagement as the level of interaction your fans have with your page. The key actions a fan can perform are:

  • Like: A fan clicks the “Like” button at the base of your post.
  • Comment: A fan has clicked the “Comment” button on your post and left a comment.
  • Share: A fan clicks the “Share” button on your post and shares it with their network of Facebook friends.
  • Follow: When a fan follows your Facebook Page, they will see updates from your Page on their News Feed.
  • Like: The “Like” button is a feature that allows Facebook users to show their support for various pictures, comments, posts, status updates or fan pages
  • Recommend: Facebook's "Like" button and "Recommend" button are the same in how they work. However, "Recommend" works for businesses as an alternative that users can choose when creating the "Like" button for their page.

Other actions count towards engagement, such as RSVPing an event on your page, or following a posted link, but these six make up the bulk of the picture. By the way, each of these actions is not equal in value. Sharing is the most valuable action a fan can perform, followed by commenting and then liking or recommending to boost their engagement level with your content.

Why Should You Care About Engagement If Your Fans Can Still See Your Content?

Here’s the simple answer: If they are not engaged fans, Facebook will not show potential followers your content. All things being equal, about 16 percent of your fans will display your content in their news feed. Before you curse Mark Zuckerberg and his determination to destroy your small business, there is good news. Facebook does it all for a good reason because it will help your business create a higher quality audience.

The most surefire way to get your content in front of as many of your fans as possible is to publish useful, engaging content your fans will find valuable. It should be so engaging and helpful; they’ll want to share it with others, too. So, to put it another way, just publish the informational stuff and leave the memes on your personal Facebook profile.

The Do's and Don'ts of Engagement

So you know you need to publish high-quality content on your small business Facebook Page consistently. Here are the “Do’s first:

  • Do post timely and relevant content. Has there been a new development in your industry that everyone’s talking about lately? Tell your Facebook Fans.
  • Do post relevant images with supporting text. People are visual creatures, so give them something to look at and even share. Making sure it’s relevant and useful. Provide a bit of supporting text in the post, as well to give it context.
  • Do post lots of videos. Facebook loves video and so do your fans. Were you out on the job and ran into something your fans might enjoy? Next time, be sure to take a short video and post it to your page.
  • Do respond to your fan’s comments. Social media is about being social. Every comment is an opportunity for a conversation. Strike one up with your fans, ask questions and keep it moving. Facebook will love it and your fans will, too.

Here are the “Don’ts” of Facebook engagement:

  • Don’t ask for likes, comments or shares. It doesn’t say much about how valuable you think your content is. Facebook is also smart enough to detect this type of post and will put you in the naughty corner for it.
  • Don’t post silly memes of cats or Sean Bean. The saying goes like this: “One does not simply gain engagement by spamming memes.” If you didn’t get that, it’s good, because you likely don’t have a meme problem on your business page.

In tweaking the what, when and how of the content you display in your news feeds, Facebook asked their users the following questions about the posts they saw:

  • Is it timely, relevant content?
  • Is this content from a source you trust?
  • Would you share this content with friends or recommend it to others?
  • Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it just trying to gain News Feed distribution?
  • Would you call this a low-quality post or meme?
  • Would you complain about seeing this content on your News Feed?

Think about the things you like, comment on, and share when you’re using Facebook. The chances are strong that if it’s timely, relevant, trustworthy, genuinely interesting and not annoying, you’ll be far more likely to engage with it. So, when you’re posting content on your business Facebook Page, ask yourself these questions on behalf of your fans, and you’ll be on the right track.

Engagement doesn’t mean posting flashy memes or asking for a certain number of Likes. If you want people to visit your Facebook page, post content that provides value to them. Offer a solution to a problem or an answer to a common question in your industry. Respond to messages in a timely, informative and friendly manner. After all, it may be your Facebook business page, but it is still on social media, so it should be inviting to your visitors.