How to get the best from Facebook?
Facebook is the most-used social media platform in the world, so if you get it right you can reach the most people, in theory………………
How to get the best from Facebook? Being the most used it can be the hardest to get reach that audience and engage them. As so much is going on and there are many factors and tools built into Facebook’s user interface and the algorithm that decides who sees what.
Facebook is looking at allowing users to turn off the algorithm that controls what it thinks users wants to see, allowing a return to seeing more content but in a chronological feed as it previously used to show content on our Facebook newsfeeds.
Target audience knowledge
What you do need to know is information about your target audiences. Where they are, what they like and how to engage them.
The basis of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, which defines how far and wide your posts reach has 3 key elements:
Who posted it?
How often a user engages with a profile or person plays a role in determining reach and you getting the most from facebook. If you regularly like or comment on posts from a Page, you will be shown more of that content as the system knows you are interested in it. If you interact with particular people more than others when they share links, you again will or could be shown more of their content. So, you can see engagement in your content is critical.
When was it posted?
Understanding when your audience and followers are online is critical. Initial responses to your posts need to be quick to make sure the system continues to show the content to other followers and users. If no early engagement then the reach will die out very quickly. You must punch in and grab attention among the people who initially see it. Use the inbuilt Facebook insights for some basic insight or invest some decent external insight tools.
How likely each user will engage with it
Facebook is constantly analysing its users to see what they like and what their habits are. Facebook will also estimate how long it thinks users might watch a video for, or read an article, as further indicators of likely engagement. All these factors relate to how your content might get seen or in many cases not seen by your established audience or your new target audiences.
Trending news is now the most shared content type on Facebook. But posts that trigger an emotional response, prompting users to like, comment or share with their friends also do very well. Think about the language and the media content to trigger engagement. Call to actions (CTAs) can be simple as words.
Other content that works well is informing, how to, humour. But are any of these about what your organisation is about. Humour is a particularly hard one to pull off! What will get users engaging with your content? Probably the hardest one to crack and stay in lane at the same.
Content we know does well on social media.
- Cute animals,
- Practical Hacks,
- Inspirational content,
- Food and recipes,
- Music videos,
- Travel and Adventure.
Content posting guidelines
Shorter text descriptions are the way forward, no one will read long paragraphs of text, current best practice is only 25-60 characters! That is hard to work with. More than 80 characters on the mobile App generates the dreaded ‘See more’ which an exceptionally low percentage of users ever click. So, you must get your message over quick or at least try and entice them to click the see more to find out more.
Video is King
And old statement now but one that is true and becoming more so, particularly on Facebook. Facebook encourages you to post 3 min + videos as it is trying to win the online video battle with the likes of YouTube. It never will. But your audience is probably unlikely to watch your videos for that length. Top tip which currently works, place a holding image at the end of your shorter video when editing it and extend that holding image past the 3 min mark. It could be your CTA details, website link or similar.
When you compose a post on Facebook with a hyperlink it should auto generate a link preview. But if that preview is not what want you can delete it and add your media which will leave the hyperlink in place as just text. But do not post all your content as outwards from Facebook, Facebook wants users to stay on its system for as long as possible so if all your posts drive traffic outwards, it will start to display it to less people.
Hashtags on Facebook
Do they work, yes and no and time will tell. The system now recognises them but how well they return results is a bit hit and miss. But it is worth persisting with them for now as they bring enough value to justify the effort. Top tip place them at the end of your text as they are reference tools, for people to find your content, not click away and then you lose them. Plus, it makes the limited space for best text delivery 25-60 characters easier to write and on mobile will probably be hidden in the see more section. Not a problem as they are reference tools!
How often should you post content?
This depends on your audience, find that balance that one keeps the audience interested but does not annoy them with constant your brand in their newsfeeds, or they will switch you off and ignore. My advice on how to get the best from Facebook is 1=2 posts a day and if your audience is more active on certain days than others focus on those days.
Here to help you
Get in touch if you need any help with social media? Are you using it, are you putting a lot of time into and getting little back? Social media is there is help you raise awareness of your brand, drive website traffic, engage your potential audience, customers, and clients. But it is not as clear cut as just posting content occasionally and we can make all the difference: Learn about how we can help you here