Are your Facebook posts met with crickets? I’m talking no comments, no shares…nothing.
It’s a common problem, and often the result of common mistakes.
In this article, I’ll point out of a few of them and how you can avoid them.
Facebook engagement was always a challenge for brands, and over the past few months it’s proved more challenging than ever.
Why? Let’s take a look.
Number One Culprit: The Facebook Algorithm
When it comes to Facebook, one thing is perfectly clear: organic reach for business pages has been consistently on the decline.
In the beginning days of Facebook, Pages didn’t have to fight so hard for their spot in the spotlight. Virtually anyone who liked their page would see their posts.
And without reach, you can say goodbye to engagement.
So why the major decline?
To find out, let’s look at some numbers.
Worldwide, there are over 2.20 billion monthly active Facebook users (that’s a 13 percent increase year over year).
Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded.
Clearly, there’s a massive amount of users on Facebook. That also means there’s a massive amount of information out there competing for their attention.
To cut through the noise and provide as pleasant an experience as possible, Facebook’s algorithm works to filter out the mediocre and provide only the best, most relevant content to its users.
This isn’t great news for brands. The silver lining, if you really want to see it, is that if you’ve suffered from a significant loss in engagement, it’s isn’t necessarily something you’ve done wrong.
It’s just a side effect of Facebook’s algorithm updates.
There are, however, marketing strategies to beat the algorithm changes and stay on top of the news feed.
So if you’re doing any of the following, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
You’re Not Posting Consistently
This one is a standing Facebook faux pas.
As mentioned above, there’s steep competition on Facebook, and hundreds of thousands of updates are posted every minute.
If you’re not updating consistently, you can’t expect to be heard. Facebook algorithms tend to favor and give more Page Authority to Pages with regular updates.
My advice? Create a posting schedule and stick to it.
With the help of scheduling tools like Meet Edgar, Buffer, or Hootsuite. it’s easier than ever to keep your posts consistent and cut the amount of time you spend updating your social profiles to a doable 30-45 minutes per week.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of MeetEdgar. Using it, you can assign each update a category of your choosing. For those inevitable days or weeks when you find yourself behind on your posting calendar, MeetEdgar will automatically start recycling older posts based on category.
You’re Not Posting Videos
Here’s a (not so secret) secret: the Facebook algorithm favors posts almost entirely based on engagement.
The more engagement your Page receives, the more likely it is your posts will appear in users news feeds.
And if you want engagement on Facebook, video’s the way to go.
Video is the number one type of content to drive engagement. In fact, Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
If video isn’t part of your strategy, your engagement will suffer for it. But it will suffer even more if you’re not using Live videos.
You’re Not Posting Live Videos
Video’s great. Got it.
But Live video? Even better.
Facebook Live videos are watched 3x longer than videos that aren’t live, and users comment on live videos at 10x the rate of regular videos.
They’re a fan favorite, they’re a Facebook algorithm favorite, and due to the possibility of drastically increasing your engagement rates, they’re becoming a business favorite as well.
The problem with Live videos, of course, is that not every business is prepared to produce live videos on a daily or weekly basis.
So let me make it easier. For starters, all you need is a mobile device to get started. Beyond that, you should never begin a video campaign without a clear strategy in place.
So evaluate your brand and your target audience. Look at your value proposition; what’s unique about your business, and how can you capture it in a video?
Think about going behind-the-scenes, hosting commentary on any new industry news or updates, live-streaming industry events, video tutorials how-to’s, tips and tricks, Q&As, AMAs…and the list goes on.
With a little creativity, any brand can capitalize on Facebook Live.
You’re Posting “Engagement Bait” Facebook Posts
Remember the good old days when posts like “tag a friend!” and “share for a chance to win!” were like a free pass to engagement?
Those days are over.
Facebook has cracked down on what they call “engagement bait” – any post that “seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach.”
Specifically, vote baiting, react baiting, share baiting, tag baiting, and comment baiting will result in a demotion in the news feed for any Page that partakes.
The reasoning behind the engagement bait update is that it goads users into reacting or commenting in ways that don’t genuinely reflect their feelings.
Additionally, by asking people to share or comment on a post simply to win a contest or a prize means that they won’t necessarily be sharing engaging, quality content.
That’s exactly the kind of content Facebook doesn’t want floating around in news feeds, so if you’re strategy included any of the above tactics, it’s time to rethink it.
For more information on what does and doesn’t count as engagement bait, take a look at Facebook’s official announcement.
You’re Uploading Your Facebook Posts at the Wrong Time
How well have you done your homework?
If you’ve put in the study time, you likely know that certain days and times see more engagement than others.
If you haven’t, you probably wasting quality posts by promoting them at the wrong time.
Studies show that on average, the best time to post on Facebook for maximum exposure is:
- Saturday and Sunday between 12 and 1 PM
- Thursday and Friday between 1 and 4 PM
- Wednesday at 3 PM
And In general, the best times to post on Facebook are:
- 1 PM
- 3 PM
- 9 AM
Now, keep in mind that these numbers change all the time, and will vary depending on your industry and target audience.
To make sure you’re on the right track, try a monitoring tool like Fanpage Karma to monitor your engagement per hour, day, etc. and find the sweet spot.
Or, use your own judgment with Facebook Analytics to see what posts are garnering the most engagement and monitor the timing of those posts.
You Aren’t Using Facebook Audience Optimization
When in doubt, go straight to the source.
Facebook’s optimization tools consists of three parts: Preferred Audience, Audience Restrictions, and Audience Insights.
The Preferred Audience will likely be most helpful here. Using it, you can add tags to each of your posts that describe the interests of those most likely to enjoy your post. These tags will help prioritize your post in news feeds to reach the people likely to engage with the post.
Similarly, you can use Audience Restrictions to limit your reach to specific demographics. That way, you can exclude any demographics you know will be unlikely to engage.
While these tools are handy and can give you a boost, it’s important not to rely on them too much.
And using them correctly will depend almost entirely on an accurate and intimate knowledge of your target audience.
Your Facebook Posts Contain the Wrong Content
This one ultimately comes down the same thing as the above: a complete knowledge of who you’re talking to (ie your target audience).
Remember, the Facebook algorithm is all about meaningful conversations and interactions, so everything you write should be posted with that in mind.
That means it’s not about you, your brand, or your latest product release. It’s about your audience – why your brand matters to them and what benefits they’ll get from you.
You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule. It states that 80% of your content should be audience-based, and 20% can be promotional.
But here’s the thing: 80% doesn’t quite cut it anymore. Instead, you have to find a way to promote your brand while still placing the emphasis on your audience.
So before you post, ask yourself this: is this really meaningful or helpful to my audience? Is it authentic enough to start a real conversation?
Formats like livestreaming work so well because they’re raw. They take away any brand barriers and present a real face, talking to real people, telling real stories.
It’s a real connection. How can you make one with your content?
Over to You…Time to Get Engagement With Your Facebook Posts
I won’t lie to you.
Reaching your audience on Facebook is harder than ever, and doing so may require a complete overhaul of your current strategy.
But remember this: Facebook remains one of the biggest players in the social media marketing game, and a large, loyal following can easily translate to loyal customers.
Build that loyalty through meaningful posts and authentic formats, and the results will show in your engagements.