As a Marketing Director, it’s important to have an understanding of the heart of successful Facebook marketing: content. While you may not be the one creating the content on a regular basis, by understanding the type of content which is most effective for Facebook, you can properly monitor your in-house team or agency for Facebook success.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the world for good reason. It helps people connect with friends, family and businesses like never before. Chances are you or someone you know spends several hours each week perusing your Facebook newsfeed catching up on all the things that are happening to the people you care about most.
With all the interpersonal relationships on Facebook it is great to see there are opportunities for brands of all sizes to get a piece of the audience’s attention. Unfortunately this type of highly regarded presence doesn’t come easy and brands have to work hard to stay in front of consumers who are constantly bombarded by advertisements.
Today we take a look at how your brand can develop a Facebook content strategy that addresses the wants and needs of your audience and helps you convert your posts into website traffic and ultimately sales. Without further ado, let’s look at some ways to create an awesome Facebook content strategy that can be your best tool for connecting with customers through social media.
Great Content Makes Engagement Easier
The most successful Facebook posts are ones that are clearly aligned with the wants, needs and desires of the audience they are placed in front of. While your brand can opt for the same type of post every single time, you know that variety is the spice of life and will help to keep things interesting for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the different content you can present to your fans that can help you to inform or educate your followers.
A Variety of Content to Choose from
When your goal is to keep your Facebook fans coming back for more, it pays to create the following types of content to get the job done:
- Pictures or Graphics
- Tips or FAQs
- Open-ended Questions
Videos: Videos are able to capture the attention of your audience for a long period of time. For this reason they work well for brands that are looking to get a lot of information to people who normally have very short attention spans. According to this post, videos that are uploaded directly to the Facebook newsfeed get 40 percent more engagement than videos that have a link to YouTube.
Pictures or Graphics: In addition to videos, pictures or graphics are also effective tools that are shown to increase engagement by as much as 65 percent over non-visual posts. We recommend using original, high-quality photographs or professionally-made graphics that help your visitors capture information very quickly.
Blogs: While we don’t recommend posting entire blogs on your Facebook newsfeed, we do recommend writing short blurbs about your blogs and linking to them. Facebook is used to compound the efforts of your blogs so each time you write a blog you should share it on your Facebook page – preferably with an original picture and a link to your website.
Tips or FAQs: Almost any brand can provide tips or address questions about their products or services. If you identify that your audience prefers specific information or commonly asks the same questions provide them with tips or answers to FAQs so that you can spur their interest.
Open-ended Questions: Open-ended questions can be a great way to get viewers to comment on your Facebook page. Try different variations of open-ended questions on your newsfeed such as “What do you like most about _______” or “How often should you _______” to see what kind of responses you can get from your fans. Keep in mind that questions can often spark conversation with your fans but are not often associated with significant increases of Likes or shares.
Facebook Posting Factoids for Killer Engagement
There are a lot of techniques you can use with Facebook to increase the engagement of your posts. Here is some information on three things that can help your Facebook posting technique. These include:
- Peak post times
- Post frequency
- Post length
Peak Post Times
The time of day that you post is an extremely important factor for generating engagement with your posts. Rather than posting randomly throughout the day a recent study by Sales Force indicated the best times to post are early morning (7 am EST), end of work day (5 pm EST), and late at night (11 pm EST). These peak post times, for most businesses, are beyond standard business hours. However, brands who posted outside of nine to five enjoyed 20 percent higher engagement rates than those who always posted while they were at work.
Days of the week to post were also evaluated in this study. The overall best days across all the industries surveyed showcased that Thursday and Fridays are the best days to post in terms of engagement although the bulk of the businesses involved in the research were posting on Mondays.
These findings may or may not true to your particular industry. We recommend taking a closer look at the study to see the best times and days for engagement for your industry as well as looking at your own Facebook Insights to learn about the best times and days to post for your brand specifically.
Have you ever “unfriended” someone on Facebook because their comments take up way too much of your newsfeed? Companies can be guilty of this too and the consequences are much more serious for them than the crazy aunt you blocked last week. On one hand your brand can be penalized by the Facebook algorithms for posting too much and on the other hand posting too frequently can hurt your interaction rates.
To ensure that you are not over posting, take into account research findings from the aforementioned survey about post frequency: posting one to two times a day but no more than seven times a week tends to provide the best interaction rates on Facebook. If your brand finds itself having to post more than once a day, try to take a day or two off at some point in the week so you don’t exceed the seven posts or less per week best interaction protocol.
We mentioned above that video and graphics are great for those viewers who have short attention spans. Because people are so used to consuming information in short bursts research finds that posts with 80 characters or fewer get as much as 27 percent more engagement than posts with more than 80 characters. Feel free to link to content that does appeal to viewers with longer attention spans (your blog for example) but keep in mind an 80 character length for maximum absorption.
Boosting Your Likes, Comments and Shares
Every business wants their posts to get more “Likes,” comments and shares but don’t necessarily know how. In short, the more users who engage with their posts the more it is compounded thus increasing the chances of others seeing it and adding to the message. Getting engagement up can be tricky but there is one way to boost engagement that works across all industries: asking. That’s right; every time you create a new post on Facebook simply ask your fans to take some sort of action that would stimulate a “Like,” comment or share.
Here are some words you can use to get more likes and comments:
- Tell Us
Just by adding a few action-oriented words to your posts you can spur some results and get more engagement than before.
Engagement is a really great thing in terms of branding and customer retention but your calls-to-action are really what can help you turn your content strategy into gold. When posting on Facebook it is important to try and encourage your viewers to take some sort of action that helps you bring them closer to your conversion goals (i.e. sale).
When applicable, use the following calls-to-action to let your viewers know there is a path that you’d like to them to follow:
- Follow the link
- Click here
- Contact us
- Call us
- Learn more
- Sign up
Although it should be fairly obvious you are a brand and your purpose is to sell products or services, don’t assume people know what to do when you present them with information regarding your business. A simple call-to-action will lead them on the path to success and can help to create more leads for your business than ever before.
An often overlooked but highly effective posting principle is what is called the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule suggests that your brand should post useful content 80 percent of the time and promotional content 20 percent of the time. Facebook fans don’t enjoy being bombed with salesy content and promotions all the time. If you want to gain their trust and be respected as an authority in your industry you have to provide them some sort of value 80 percent of the time so that when you do self-promote it looks more like something of value rather than another sales pitch from Widget Co. USA.
We typically boost this rule to 90/10, with 90% of our content being high value with no strings attached (like this post), then make sure to be incredibly intentional about that other 10%.
Picture Posting Best Practices
We have mentioned time and time again the importance of incorporating visuals into your Facebook feed. Pictures have been shown to get 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments, and 84 percent more click-throughs on links than text-based posts. Similarly, photo albums are said to get 180 percent more engagement, making a case for posting multiple images into an album at once.
Understanding the importance of pictures in your posts is only half the battle; the other half is how you are incorporating pictures. Here are a few tips to get the most engagement out of your pics:
Uploading VS Linking: Facebook gives you the opportunity to manually upload pictures to your posts or to simply let the site grab the picture from the link that you provide. While letting Facebook automatically grab the photo from your link is more convenient, research has shown that posts that have uploaded pictures get more engagement. The best practice would to upload your picture, post the link, and create a small call-to-action so that users know what you want them to do.
Repositioning: Picture uploads won’t always render the way you want them – sometimes the main point of focus will be off-center, valuable text will get cut-off, or the picture you uploaded doesn’t fully represent the image you want to portray. If you feel that your uploads aren’t being positioned properly use Facebook’s reposition option so that you can provide your viewers the best experience possible.
Linking: Posting original pictures is always great but connecting those pictures to a blog, webpage, or article is better. If you do this well the picture will still get the engagement that it deserves but you will also be calling attention to the link that serves to drive traffic to your website.
How to Measure Success
Determining how well your new Facebook content strategy is going doesn’t take a lot of work. Facebook’s Insights dashboard provides plenty of robust information on how all of the most important metrics are performing. Ideally, you want to take a look at this dashboard before you start implementing all of the above and then come back to it every two or four weeks to compare. A few things you may want to focus on are the following:
- Total Reach
You can also take a look at your website referral traffic (Google Analytics) to see how much traffic you are generating from Facebook each month. If you are doing things right, you should see an immediate uptick in the amount of likes, engagement, total reach and referral traffic you are getting.
Launching Your Facebook Content Strategy
Facebook users enjoy good content as much as anyone else. If you can provide an exceptional user experience on your Facebook page that focuses on useful content you will be well on your way to improving your social media presence. Test an assortment of different content varieties to see which types your audience identifies with most and pay attention to post metrics such as time of day, day of week, post frequency and post length. Use call-to-actions when appropriate and keep in mind pictures can help boost your engagement significantly.
To learn more about creating a winning Facebook Content Strategy or to get help creating one for your brand, contact Success Agency today.