Do You Know the Real Secret to Facebook Engagement? | Social Joey
It seems logical—when you’re posting on social media for your business, you want to post about your business. But in reality, that approach may be costing you when it comes to engagement!
There are many reasons for that, but the biggest is that Facebook has overhauled the way that it handles business posting in the last few years. They’ve changed their approach to content overall and what we see on our newsfeeds, and as a result, what they want from businesses has also changed.
It’s complicated and a common source of confusion, which is why our Social Joey team wants to share some insight into the real secret behind Facebook engagement.
Understanding What’s Changed
First things first, let’s talk about what exactly has changed. In short, it’s a change to the algorithm on Facebook—the complicated formula they use to decide what posts show up in your newsfeed.
“The biggest changes in the Facebook algorithm over the last several years has been a refocusing on content that is most relevant,” says Mike McDowell, Director of Operations at Social Joey. “Facebook has to sort through thousands of posts that they could show you each day, and they narrow that down to the content they feel you are most likely to care about and engage with.”
That has meant a refocusing, which you’ve probably noticed in the type of posts you see most on your own Facebook newsfeed. In most cases, you are far more likely today to see posts from those on your Friends list, rather than businesses.
That means your business has to refocus, too—with a new approach to what you’re posting.
“Typically Facebook will prioritize posts from your friends and family, but Facebook also rewards businesses that post content people care about like local news stories, community events and other helpful information that relates to those people,” McDowell says. “If all your business does is post links back to your own blog or website, it is much less likely that Facebook is going to show your posts to people. Brands that focus locally, and on high-quality, engaging content, are the ones who can still succeed.”
“This is a common misunderstanding amongst Facebook users, particularly those who own businesses,” adds Katie Rae Kugler, Director of Accounts at Social Joey. “Social Joey posts content that is valuable, educational and that fits within the Facebook algorithm, but may naturally not get as much engagement as a photo that a client may post of a cute puppy at their pet resort, a surprise birthday party for the business owner or a celebrity who stopped by their office.”
How to Hit the Mark for Facebook Engagement
While it’s more challenging for businesses these days to ensure their posts are being seen, it isn’t an impossible task. There are some best practices that can help boost your engagement:
The first key is to ensure you are posting on a regular basis. That means determining a frequency—we recommend posting at least on every business day—and sticking to it.
You want your audience to come to expect and rely on the fact that you will be consistently providing them with resources and insight. Over time, posting each day helps them come to know and trust your business, and you will become their go-to resource when they are in need of the services or product you provide.
“Our goal is to get in front of a larger average number of daily users, which we’re doing by posting these sometimes seemingly insignificant articles to third party resources, but doing it consistently,” Kugler says. “It just takes time to let the algorithm do what it does to see this change take effect.”
Include a Variety of Content
This is an important tip! It’s important to recognize that what resonates with one person may not mean anything to another part of your audience. In this case, variety really is the “spice of life” and of Facebook.
“Facebook is in a unique position to be all things to all interests,” says Jack Monson, Chief Revenue Officer at Social Joey. “If you want all links to articles, go to Twitter. If you want all pics, go to Pinterest or Instagram. If you want all videos, go to YouTube. If you want all paid ads, stay on Google. But Facebook is the one place where all types of media and all types of people can come together and share content.”
Capitalize on that fact by mixing things up in your posting strategy! Aim for a good blend of helpful articles, videos, images, infographics and other content types.
Limit Self-Promotional Content
Repeat after us: Limit self-promotional content. Why? It’s pretty simple.
“Facebook hates self-promotional content that is not an ad,” McDowell says. “Don’t take my word for it—they literally posted it on their site.”
There’s no way around it, really. The powers-that-be at Facebook see all! And they will ding you if they see promotional content.
“Facebook understands the content that you post,” McDowell adds. “They know if it goes to your site or your blog. When they see this, your content immediately gets pushed to the bottom of the bucket.”
Not only will the algorithm block your content, but even if people do find their way to what you’re posting, it’s unlikely they’ll engage much with promo pieces.
“Facebook sees the drain on attention from the newsfeed that we all see—small businesses or large brands who only push salesy messages are tiresome and not helpful,” Monson says. “No one wants to see 100% promotional content!”
Make Posts Informational and Meaningful
Those words above aren’t ours—they’re Facebook’s own! They want businesses to provide content that’s actually useful and relevant to people on Facebook.
In other words, your content needs to be meaningful and something that can be used in daily life. When creating any content, including social media posts, first consider whether it is useful, helpful and relevant for your readers. If not, scrap it.
Not sure what that even looks like? It will vary quite a bit depending on what business you’re in—and who your target audience is. But Facebook has given us some examples: Posts about current events, local news, entertaining videos or even recipes all make the cut.
Make It Hyperlocal
This is a point we cannot emphasize enough! Local content is where it’s at.
You’ll notice that two of the examples Facebook gave of “meaningful” content are related to local content. It really is that important.
“Facebook has shared with us that it wants local businesses to share local content from local real news sources,” Monson says.
“Right now, Facebook is in love with local content,” McDowell says. “That kid at your local elementary school that won the regional science fair…the hometown hero who saved a drowning dog…the local strawberry festival kicking off this weekend. This content consistently outperforms any other type of content you can post because Facebook shows it to more people.”
While that’s reason enough to post local content, it’s also important to note that local content truly is the secret to engagement—because it’s what people want to see. That may sometimes mean posting items about your community that don’t necessarily feel completely connected with your business.
“People care about what is happening around them, so they engage with local content more than any other type,” McDowell adds. “Facebook is looking for clicks, likes, shares, comments, and when they see those things on content, that is what gets rewarded.”
Love this secret to engagement success? We’ve got a few more secrets up our sleeves, too! Let us go to work for you.