by Diane Bertolin
Many businesses try to compete with one another on the size of their Facebook followings. Everyone knows, though, that competing on numbers isn’t as important as competing on quality. A business with a small but engaged following almost always has it better than a business that has a large, but uncaring one. The more your Facebook followers interact with you, the more likely they are to convert.
Followers who don’t care enough to interact are usually unlikely to cross the line and actually buy.
Increasing your Facebook engagement is important for another reason – Facebook’s new EdgeRank algorithm only shows Facebook members the kind of posts that they are most likely to want to see. If a follower has commented on one of your posts before, EdgeRank assumes that you are important to them. People who never comment on your posts will likely have EdgeRank block your posts from their Newsfeed.
Rather than simply measuring your Facebook success by how many followers you have, you could measure how well each of your posts manages to get user engagement. Measuring user interaction is a very useful way to see how well you’re doing on Facebook.
The question is, though, how do you get your following to engage more?
Try to truly understand your followers
If you don’t really know why your followers like what they like, you don’t understand them well enough. You need to do whatever it takes to understand your audience – take psychology classes if you have to. A more palatable way would be to simply conduct polls or ask lots of thoughtful questions on Facebook to help gain some understanding.
What does a thoughtful question look like? If your company sells stationery online, for instance, you could ask your followers about what item of stationery they really coveted when they were little children – was it a special pen or high quality paper? People love talking about their childhood.
Research indicates that short posts do much better than long ones. Different research reports come up with different numbers. Most of them, though, place the most popular length at around 80 characters. Extremely short posts have people thinking that they can quickly come in, make comment and head out.
One important reason why people respond better to short Facebook posts is that they often look at them on their phones. Since reading on tiny phone screens is hard, they give up if they see a long post. There’s another way to engage your mobile customers – you could use plenty of pictures. Pictures are a great way to get people to post comments. It’s easy to take in the gist of a picture and to say something. When you have to read something to comment, it takes a lot more brain work.
Diane Bertolin is a certified Social Media Specialist. She works with companies of all sizes to improve their online presence and ranking with search engines. She takes a holistic approach to your Social Media Management by recognizing that your company’s search optimization, public relations and branding strategy are all part of your social media management strategy. Find her online at Collective Publishing Company, Inc.