If you're on social media for business, you’re one of many voices. It’s hard to stand out and cultivate an audience of people who want to hear from you…let alone look eagerly for your content.
Wouldn’t that be great?
That type of interest is essential if you're hoping to get a return on the investment of your time. Yet this is one of the hardest things businesspeople face on social media. Many businesses feel like they’re posting into the wind with no response.
Nobody has time for that and so they stop doing it. Then they’ve created a self-fulfilling prophecy, “social media doesn’t work for my business.”
If you’re in this position, it’s understandable that you’d feel that way. You need your time to count and you need engagement to show for it. Here are a few proven techniques you can use to get more engagement with your Facebook posts.
Most engaging Facebook posts have:
- a strong image: this will “stop the scroll”
- a personality: show your personality or the company’s personality/brand
- a point: have a reason behind the post such as inspiration, education, or entertainment
- an invitation: this doesn’t have to be a strict call to action, but your post should end with a written or unwritten invitation to get to know you better
You want to keep these things in mind when you're creating your posts. The other thing to remember is the 80/20 rule. Roughly 80% of your content should be about other things (things your audience is interested in), while 20% can be about you or your offers.
Now let's get to the techniques that will help you engage your audience.
Aim for Conversation
If you located the best conversationalist in the world and you asked them how to become a better conversationalist, they would probably suggest engaging the other person in questions. Find out what they like to talk about and then ask them about that topic.
Facebook is no different. We all want to post about what we’re doing, especially for a business page. But this turns people off, if that’s all you do.
You can post what you're doing but do it in a way that engages people. For instance, instead of just sharing your vacation pictures, post a picture and ask if anybody knows where you are. Or tell them where you are and ask if anyone else has been there. These kinds of posts will inspire people to answer you, which is what you want.
Keep It Positive
This isn't just a comment about the current political environment, it's general good advice for your business. I was listening to a podcast today where a business owner was lamenting about how Amazon had unfairly enacted a rule against (just) her. To most people that sounds comical, but she spent several minutes talking about how that is the story of her life and that things always go a different way for her then they do everyone else. She sounded put upon and a bit ridiculous and I immediately unsubscribed from her podcast.
I’ll never know if she had good advice to offer because I was turned off by her rant. If she believed she was singled out for bad things to happen to her, I questioned her ability to give good advice.
Don't let the same happen to you. People have enough disheartening information in their lives right now. Be a center of good feelings or a safe harbor for them. Let them know through your posts, not by directly saying it, that they can always come to you for inspiration and good news.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't share the bad things that happen. But you should share them from a place of understanding or thankfulness and not one of whining and hurling insults at whatever caused--or in your mind caused--the problem.
Share Things That Are Important and Unique
Suggesting you share things about your personal life makes a lot of people uncomfortable but there's no better way to connect with someone. And it's connections that create loyal customers.
Share things about your life that others can identify with like your pets doing silly things, a funny story or an amusing coincidence, or your intense love or hatred of a particular rarely thought of food like candy corn. These types of things make you unique yet help people identify with you at the same time. This helps build relationships.
These Facebook tips may seem basic but they’re the most common things that people neglect to do. When posting for business, people are often hesitant to share their quirks. They want to keep it all business.
If you want to build a connection with your audience, you need to engage them in the same way you would do in person. Make them feel important and talk about things they are interested in.
Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots.