Search around even casually and it’s likely you will find lots of people talking about how to get more Facebook likes or how to add tabs and pages and apps that go bang.
However, as is the case with so many things in life, quality over quantity is an important concept. In the world of Facebook that means figuring out how to get more interaction with those the friend and subscribe is probably more important to your business objectives than figuring out how to get more people to like and run.
The benefit of Facebook over other forms of engagement is that if you gain a high level of engagement with fans you can enjoy the added benefit of exposure to their networks as well. The key, in my opinion is to spend what precious time I suspect you have for networking on Facebook focused on drawing conversation out of a smaller, but fully engaged group.
Below are five practices that can help you do that.
Focus on the wall – I’ve written about this on more than one occasion, but I think it bears repeating – most fans and friends don’t actually visit your page, they engage or read updates in their news feed. So, in many cases adding all kinds of tabs and pages can go for naught. Focus your time on interacting within your own news feed and adding content to your wall.
Enable public subscribers – A few months ago Facebook gave you the ability to post content on your personal profile and allow public subscribers to see it. I’ve seen a tremendous increase in engagement on my personal profile since enabling this feature. You find it in your account settings area. Many people use their personal profile for both business and personal use and this effectively lifts the 5.000 friend limit and gives you the ability to share some content with public subscribers that are not listed as friends.
Post direct – Facebook doesn’t show everything you post to everyone that follows you. They uses an algorithm call EdgeRank to determine what gets shown. There are many factors that come into play and engagement is one of them. For example if someone comments or shares your content that’s a pretty good signal for Facebook to use to determine that person want to see what you post. While nobody can give you the definitive answer on this one, there’s certainly substantial evidence that posting directly on your wall, rather than through some 3rd party apps gives your content a better chance of being seen as well. From personal experience I’ve seen posts to my business page through tools like Buffer get lots of engagement while Instagram image shares don’t fare well. (Maybe that will change with FB acquiring Instagram?)
Add photos direct – Most people will tell you that photos do very well in terms of engagement level. One tactic I’ve been experimenting with is to add my blog posts with a photo share. So, instead of simply posting the link, which would add the image from the post as a thumbnail, I add the image directly to Facebook and then add the link and description. So far these posts are getting better engagement through this method.
Build interest lists – Another recent addition is the ability to build lists that others can subscribe to. Think of like an RSS feed of a group of Facebook users. I like this tool because you can build some engaging lists around topics and draw people to subscribe, but you can also view the updates of only these list members like a news feed and easily interact with them. One of the well-worn tactics for getting more engagement on your own wall is to engage others authentically on their walls.
You find this feature currently at the bottom left below your news feed. It simply says interests. You click on “add interests” and start building your list. Facebook will also suggest people to add based on the topic.
Here’s an example of a list for small business marketing that I created.