There is an art and a science to maintaining an engaging and exciting Facebook page. I'm going to share some tips to dramatically improve your Facebook page with easy to implement strategies. Using the tools that Facebook provides, your brain power, and a smart mix of content, you can have a fantastic Facebook page in no time.
699 million people log into Facebook daily, so it's apparently a network that deserves your attention and tweaking the way that you post on Facebook can make a huge difference. You don't need to spend more money; you need to create interesting content in the way that will interest your Facebook audience and appease Facebook's Edgerank. It's totally doable.
From Rebekah Radice, the keys to creating a memorable Facebook brand are:
- Share your story in a real and authentic way, allowing prospective clients an intimate look into who you are and why they would want to work with you.
- Create content that caters to your fans particular by crafting content that speaks to their wants, needs, and desires.
- Discuss what matters most to anyone in need of your product or service. Avoid ever using Facebook to discuss immaterial, vapid or otherwise irrelevant topics
The Art of Facebook
The art of Facebook is mixing your media. Facebook allows four different types of posts:
- Text only
- Photo posts (with or without text)
- Embedded link
Posts with text only get the most engagement while posts with questions get 100% more comments. Text posts perform better with less than 80 characters, but I vary the amount of text that I post. The key is to post a variety of different post styles to keep your page fresh and interesting. This also appeals to Facebook's Edgerank which I'll discuss in a bit.
UPDATE January 25, 2014: Facebook recently updated its algorithm, and it appears that they may now be favoring posts with an embedded link. You can now change the photo on a post with an embedded link which is new with this update. From Facebook “the latest update to News Feed ranking treats text status updates from Pages as a different category to text status updates from friends. We are learning that posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends and we are working to improve our ranking algorithms so that we do a better job of differentiating between the two types. This will help us show people more content they want to see. Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.”
There are three types of ways that people can interact with your post on Facebook:
Likes are the lowest hanging fruit, shares would be second regarding the appeal, and starting a conversation in the comments is the goal on Facebook. So, while it's great to get a lot of likes, more comments will lead to your content getting more views on Facebook. When you create a post, it has the possibility to stay in the Newsfeed for 24 hours. It goes back into the Newsfeed each time someone likes, shares, or comments on it. This is why engagement on your posts is so important; it helps recirculate your post.
Use great images in the proper size and format.
I realize this seems like common sense but have you looked at Facebook recently? A lot of Facebook pages are getting this wrong. To get a perfect photo, you have the following Facebook's size guidelines.
1. Facebook images should be in the 1:1 aspect ratio for a timeline photo preview that isn't distorted. I load square pictures at 1000 x 1000 pixels, and this scales perfectly on the page.
2. Cover photos are 851 pixels by 315 pixels. When you post a new cover photo add text including a link to your website in the photo description to maximize the spin through the Facebook newsfeed.
If you have weak design skills or don't have time, please use a professional designer to create your images. If you only take one piece of advice from my article, use great images in the proper format.
Resource: How to Set Up Your Facebook Page Like a Pro
[pullquote position=”right”]People want to be entertained. Use the art of visual storytelling to grow your Facebook page.[/pullquote]
The Science of Facebook
What is Edgerank? Edgerank is the science behind Facebook success. “An Edge is everything that “happens” in Facebook. Examples of Edges would be status updates, comments, likes, and shares.”
Look at Edgerank as Facebook's formula for popularity. If your post does well, more people will see your future posts. The more popular you are, the more popular you can become. How can you sit at the cool kid's table? Just like high school, you need to conform a bit. Sorry, it's just a fact of life on Facebook.
The formula is affinity, weight, and time decay.
1. Affinity = the relationship you have on Facebook. “Affinity is built by repeat interactions with a Brand's Edges. Actions such as Commenting, Liking, Sharing, Clicking, and even Messaging can influence a User's Affinity.”
To do well in the Affinity section, post great content that keeps people coming back for more. Use witty text and great photos with questions to pull people in and invite them to comment on your page.
If you're looking for great content to share on your Facebook page, sign up for the HASO email list that Guy Kawasaki and I started. It's our raw curated content sent out in a daily email digest.
2. Weight = “Weight is a value system created by Facebook to increase/decrease the value of certain actions within Facebook. Commenting is more involved and therefore deemed more valuable than a Like.”
Create a conversation on your Facebook page with interesting quotes, asking questions, and posting content that gives people the opportunity to state their view or opinion. This is where asking questions to engage people comes into play.
If you're stuck on how to post differently, check out Post Planner to get some ideas for ways to vary your text.
3. Time Decay = How long has your post been live on Facebook? “Time Decay refers to how long the Edge has been alive; the older it is, the less valuable it is.”
The timing of your posts is important. Check your best posts to see when you posted them and use the analytics in Facebook insights or Buffer.
Here is the caveat, if you mess up your Facebook Edgerank, it takes time to build it back up. You could give up your seat popular kids table, and people will not see your posts in their timeline if you tank your Edgerank. The good news is that you can build your Edgerank back up so make sure that you experiment wisely and monitor your Facebook insights.
A great way to see how your Facebook page is doing using the LikeAlyzer tool. It's a fantastic free tool. “LikeAlyzer helps you to measure and analyze the potential and effectiveness of your Facebook Pages. It allows you to monitor, compare and explore all the possibilities of your Facebook Page by evaluating your activity to ensure your success.”
Experiment with your Facebook content.
- Mix up your posting times to test your audience
- Stay relevant to the topic of your page, so you don't confuse people
- Add variety to your posts
- Be interesting or forget about posting at all
- Post consistently and space your posts apart, so you don't clog your fans newsfeed
- Use Facebook Insights to see what content works well and do more of that
Use calls to action (CTAs) on your posts to encourage conversation or activity.
It's essential to keep calls to action in the voice and style of the page. You can simply ask people to LIKE the Facebook page and SHARE a post if they like it. This works on many Facebook pages, but I don't use it very often since it doesn't seem a natural fit with the content I share. Examples of CTAs:
- Ask questions as a text-only post
- Post a quote and ask a question
- Post a promotion and ask your followers to take action by clicking the link
- Pin it for later with a link to a Pinterest pin
Resource: 7 Types of Facebook Questions to Ask to Build Engagement on Facebook
[pullquote position=”right”]Mix art and science to create your perfect formula and boost your Facebook page activity.[/pullquote]Use These guidelines to help you build a fantastic Facebook presence. The most important thing is to gauge what your Facebook fans like and give them more of that while providing some surprises and variety. I'm sure that you can apply the art and science of Facebook and dramatically improve your Facebook page too. Please consider this a guideline and experiment to see what works best for you on your Facebook brand page. I look forward to hearing about your results!
What works for you on your Facebook page? Do you have any favorite Facebook pages that you like to follow? I'd love to hear what you like about them and how they engage you with their content.
If you liked this article, please share with your favorite social networks and pin it to your Pinterest boards to save for future reference. I appreciate your support.
Thanks for sharing great ideas to boost engagement and grow an audience on Facebook. I like Seventh Generation’s Facebook Page because their managers have it right. They ask engaging questions and post helpful resources. But what’s even better is they put a cause before their company. The theme of their Page focuses on ways to keep the environment clean and make the world a better place. Their products support this and sometimes they talk about their products, but not very often.
Jodee Weiland says
Great ideas about making Facebook better, but I especially like the information on how it works. When it comes to Facebook, I need help. I do what I can, but it’s hard for me to make it work well because there’s so much I still need to learn about when it comes to my blog Facebook page. This post helped me a lot. Thanks!
Great Tips!! In some of the circles and chats I go in, people are predicting the downfall of Facebook. And while some say it will go the way of MySpace, I do see the real possibility of it having less relevancy than it once did, especially in comparison to Google+. I like these tips because even if Facebook “falls 10 pts on the relevancy meter” it is still so high up that it can’t be ignored. But what do you think? Is it worth the work to build up a profile and followers if it is a dying breed?
rojasconsultingjax I think if you already have a page on Facebook that you shouldn’t ignore it. There’s still a lot of people who choose it as their #1 platform. I love Google+ too but I never abandoned Facebook or Twitter. I work them all in at this point.
Jodee Weiland Hi Jodee! I’m glad that you found this helpful. There really is a mystery behind how it works but this is the science behind it so give it a try. 🙂
maryiannotti I’ll have to check out 7th Generation – sounds like they’re doing a great job! Brands need to talk about their products some of the time but it seems like they may have a good mix.
Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com says
Hi Peg! Thank you for your great ideas….I’m trying out the first one as we speak and it seems to be doing well. I think one of the biggest problems is that FB keeps changing and if we want to do well with it we have to keep changing too…so I ALWAYS appreciate new ways to look at it. Thanks again…~Kathy
Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com Hi Kathy – Yes, Facebook and all the social sites like to keep us on our toes. 🙂
Jaana Nystrom says
I manage several FB pages with different content.
I’ve done all of the above.
Without paying there is very little visibility, and that’s a fact. Even if you hire a pro.
Especially if you live in Finland and want both Finnish & foreign likes… 🙂
Starting small, you’d need a huge amount of comments for any post to be showed to more people, but it’s impossible because if you don’t already have a large following, you are shouting at the walls.
If your friends are not interested in your topic, how can you break the cocoon?
The search sucks, people haven’t started using hashtags or searching for them.
Facebook is a closed garden unless you pay. Or have tens of thousands of followers / are a major brand / celebrity. Preferably in the US or UK.
Waste of time, sorry. And so frustrating.
Or can you tell me what I’m doing wrong:
All is very different on Google+, the interaction is tenfold compared o FB…
Jaana Nystrom Hi Jaana! I’ll look at all your pages when I’m home, I’m traveling until Friday. I agree that Facebook can be a challenge to get people interested but it still drives traffic.
I manage multiple Facebook pages and this one has a lot of followers but not a lot of likes per post however Facebook continues to be a driving force for traffic to the website: https://www.facebook.com/12Most
Jaana Nystrom I’m a expat living in Espoo so I also live in Finland and understand your concerns. I took a quick look at your pages and have some comments. I’ve sent a PM so Travel Pro Tips with more details. I will say here that most people have expectations that are always too high. Projects, businesses, anything usually take more time, more effort and more money than initially planned because we go into these ventures very optimistic and excited. We soon learn that the world does not feel the same…nor do many of our family and friends. Have fun, keep testing and have fun. Yes, if the fun goes away then don’t hesitate to take a new route.
Hi Peg! I immediately pinned this when I saw it because you have SUCH great info here! Actually, I created a new “Facebook for Business” board specifically for this blog of yours 🙂
There is one thing that surprised me: Text only posts get the most engagement? I rarely see text only posts any more so had no idea… Maybe that’s why… because they stand out more?
I love how you call it the “Art & Science of Facebook” because you’re so right about there being a technical science to it that can’t be ignored… but then of course an art to creating interesting posts that will generate engagement 🙂
As always, an incredibly helpful and informative blog! Happy Friday 🙂
Cam to your article via HASO, which I’ve been reading now for a good 3 weeks. I have to say that I agree with all your tips, but I also believe that the biggest reason businesses are disappointed with the results of their social places, Facebook included, is because they are unsure as to what role they play in their overall business plan.
I work as a Brand Manager and given we don’t sell our products direct but through retailers, we’ve clearly outlined the role of our social media sites as tools to build fans, advocates and hopefully influencers and we target out content to meet those needs. Previously the team were measuring success on page likes, followers or fans alone, which while important, doesn’t necessarily show an increase in real engaged fans or advocates. Now we focus our importance on comments and shares as it shows we are connecting into the important subjects of our consumers, building a connection with them and down the line, aiming to turn them into advocates who promote and spread good will about our brand which should drive increased preference for our brand and sales.
I will keep reading your blog form here on out. My interest is in experience based strategies, and social plays a very key role in this for the future.
Kirstyband I agree that managing a Facebook page is very complicated and can be frustrating, I manage pages as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I’m glad you’re enjoying HASO.