Let's keep it simple… There are 5 things you should be doing on your Facebook Page to help ensure you grow your fan count, engage your fan base, and ensure that those fans see your posts in their Facebook News Feed.
People love tips and helpful information. Give them useful nuggets and give them timely information. As well, be sure to engage users by asking questions when you post on your Facebook Page. Once fans respond, keep them talking by asking related types of questions to drive conversation deeper. The more they engage, the better your Facebook Page reach extends going forward with that fan.
TIP: If you need to post a news source that everyone else is posting, try to personalize your message and deliver it differently, not simply a share (regurgitation) of someone else's information but add your own take and insight on the third-party article and post with your own image!
#2. BE RESPONSIVEWatch your Page and answer posts fans make!
There is simply no reason for not responding in a timely manner to posts and comments. There are all sorts of monitoring tools and 3rd party tools to alert you to comments and messages that can send you e-mail alerts. Use these and respond! The more timely your response, the more fans will comment and return in the future!
Care = Loyalty. A study by the team at ExactTarget identified that the average response time by a Page Admin to a comment was 7 hours, and that 51% of the time another fan jumped in to respond faster than the brand. Do not let this happen to you. Respond to comments and Like's on your Page in a timely manner.
Acknowledging the individual is a way to connect with them.
#3. POST AT BEST TIMES FOR YOUR AUDIENCE
This is where your Facebook Insights comes into play. Your “best times to post” are going to be driven by your industry (when your fan base is most likely to be on Facebook and most likely to engage) and more specifically by your audience (when are your fans on Facebook?). Facebook Insights allows you to see interaction patterns for your Page over time.
General page post studies by larger companies such as Buddy Media have shown those posting outside of business hours had a 20% greater engagement rate than those only posting in the 9-5 daily work hour times.
As well, a more recent bitly study in May 2012, showed that traffic on Facebook begins to pickup at 9 a.m. daily locally, and begins to fade somewhat after 4 p.m. They noted that 11 a.m. can be a good time, in general, to reach people (11 a.m. for the user) in terms of visibility, but noted that engagement by users (taking a action to interact with your post such as Like, Comment, or Share) happened best between 1-4 p.m.
While some of these reports can seem to have conflicting data and even polar opposite tips, the reality comes back to your industry and most importantly, your very own Page Insights.
When are your Facebook fans engaging with your posts? Your answer to these questions guides your Facebook Page posting strategy:
When are you getting the most reach to your posts?
What type of posts (status, image, link, video) are getting the most engagement?
#4. POSTS WITH IMAGES DRIVE MORE ENGAGEMENT
We've all heard the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? On Facebook, a picture is worth much more than that! Images are the #1 driver of engagement on a Page since Timeline launched.
Images drive engagement more than links (which are the most used format of a post), more than video, and more than text only status updates. According to an internal Facebook study, “posts including a photo album or picture can generate 2X more engagement than other post types.”
Images, both on a PC and on mobile, now show prominently in a Facebook Users News Feed. So take your content from your blogs and learn to express it visually in images you can post on Facebook! See our step-by-step best practice guide for posting images to Facebook News Feed.
#5. USE TAB APPS TO DRIVE ENGAGEMENT
Last, but definitely not least, use custom tabs that offer something of value to your fans and that have social sharing built-in capabilities! People like deals. Deals invite users to come and become fans.
According to this RocketMedia infographic, 40% of Facebook Page fans say they “Like” a Business on Facebook in order to get promotions and discounts.
One important consideration for tab apps is to use apps where users not only opt-in to a e-mail list but that require some type of social sharing. By adding a element of social sharing, fans then extend the reach of the promotion to their network, thereby adding a viral and significant growth element to promotion that enables it to reach far more users. So, in this day, incentives work!
Here's the cycle visualized:
Text Detail Version:-> Post offer to Facebook Page News Feed with image, text less than 80 characters, andSmart URLto tab app on page. -> Attract user to “Like” your Page with a Like Gate on tab app -> Offer Contest / Sweepstakes / Coupon on the tab -> With offer tab, capture e-mail for future marketing -> Enable easy sharing by fans on tab to friends to extend reach -> REPEAT posting process next day at different key time!
Services like TabSite offer robust tools to empower Page Admins to easily create and manage these types of Facebook approved incentives on custom tabs.
Here are a few extra tips to help your Facebook Page create more engagement:
Pin posts you want people to see for a while – Pinning post allows you to keep your more important message at the top of your Facebook page for seven days.
Highlight your best posts– Highlighting posts give you the opportunity to make certain things stand out more than others on your Facebook page.
Promote posts that need to reach the masses – Promoting posts with Facebook's Promote Post Ad tool gives businesses the opportunity to reach a much larger portion of their Facebook fan base. You can often get a 25-60% boost in increase with this for-pay Facebook tool.
Anything missing from your experience that you would add? Here's the Infographic version. Feel free to socially share this!