by Stephen Paul
If you keep up with social media marketing news, you already know that if Facebook were a country, its 800 million users would make it the third most populous nation in the world. And, besides being the largest social network in the world (by far), it’s now the most popular website in the U.S., consistently beating out Google for the top spot.
However, just because Facebook is the country’s stickiest site doesn’t necessarily mean that your Facebook page has any “stick” to it at all. How do you connect with your customers on Facebook, get them to engage and keep them coming back for more? Here are five social media marketing tips for increasing user engagement on your Facebook page.
To find out what the 5 Social Media Marketing Tips are…
Social Media Marketing Tip #1: Pick the low-hanging fruit first
Whenever you’re trying to improve your social media marketing, consider starting with the low-hanging fruit – the changes that you can make right away that offer a big return. When it comes to increasing user engagement on your Facebook page, the low-hanging fruit includes:
- Respond to questions and comments right away
- Post regularly
- Run a poll, a quiz, a contest
- Change your Facebook URL to something easy to remember (i.e., don’t allow your URL to stay as “http://Facebook.com/My-Company-Name/String-of-impossibly-long-numbers/”)
Social Media Marketing Tip #2: Time your posts to reach more users
We’ve found that big brands who post Facebook content outside of business hours have 20% more user engagement than brands who only post during the work day. And there are a number of social media marketing studies that concur with this.
Facebook user engagement for big brands peaks at three points each day: 7am EST, 5pm EST, and 11pm EST. In other words, user engagement peaks before people go to work, after they get off work, and just before bed time. If you post during the work day, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on your social media marketing user engagement windows.
However, different markets peak at different times. The entertainment industry peaks over the weekend – times when people might check out a movie or a concert. For the media industry, Mondays are weak, but the other weekdays are strong. Auto and retail brands see the most engagement on Sundays; healthcare, beauty, travel/hospitality, and fashion all peak on Thursday; and the business and finance industries peak on Wednesdays and Thursdays. If your business falls into one of these industries, post your content on days when user engagement is already naturally high.
Social Media Marketing Tip #3: Short ‘n sweet (except for URLs)
Posts of 80 characters or less – shorter than a long Twitter post – generate the most user engagement. However, when you include a full-length URL, as opposed to a bit.ly or tinyurl, people are three times more likely to click on it.
Along the same lines, if you want a post to generate more user engagement, ask them to respond to a simple question at the end of the post, such as “What new widget would you like XYZ Company to produce?” Do not put the question at the beginning of the post or buried somewhere in the middle – it is far less likely to be seen.
Social Media Marketing Tip #4: Get out of sell mode
Too many businesses still don’t understand that Facebook is about interaction; a Facebook page is not a newspaper advertisement and it’s not even a company website. If all your posts are sales-oriented — “Check out our sale!”, “Look at our new products!”, “Did you know we just got our fall items in?!” — very few people are going to comment on it, like it, or share it.
From a business perspective, Facebook is less like a sales meeting with a prospective new client and more like a networking meeting where you have a chance to meet contacts and build relationships. To be effective at social media marketing, instead of constantly talking about your products, throw in an occasional picture of a colleague’s new puppy or a bit of industry news from a website that’s not your own.
Social Media Marketing Tip #5: Ask for content in a compelling way
You might remember what poor Domino’s went through a few years ago when a couple of not-thinking-straight employees posted a video on YouTube demonstrating how to cough on, sneeze on, and otherwise molest an innocent pizza before shipping it out to the customer. The video went viral, but Domino’s handled it well. One of their innovative responses was to fight fire with fire: They encouraged customers to send in photos and videos of the delicious pizzas they had received from Domino’s. The best entries would win $500 gift certificates. Dominoes leveraged social media marketing skillfully.
In the same way, consider following Domino’s lead and holding a video contest or photo contest on your Facebook page. Make the contest prize something worth competing for, then watch the content and social engagement pour in.
These are just five social media marketing tips to get your creative juices flowing when it comes to increasing user engagement on your Facebook page.