If you’re like most social media users, your Facebook profile is your lifeline to the wider world. It might not be the only social media platform you use, or even the one you use most consistently, but there’s an excellent chance it’s the one you use to make and maintain personal connections with people you know (or know of) from “real life.”
This makes Facebook an immensely valuable resource for anyone seeking to engage with others online. Or, to put things in more crassly commercial terms: to boost online engagement with their personal and professional brands.
Transforming one’s Facebook profile into the hub of a lively digital presence is no small task. And doing so takes more than just a few incremental steps to increase traffic and engagement. It also takes a healthy dose of sense and a keen eye for potential pitfalls that could cause more issues than they solve.
Ready to take the first step toward a better, more engaging Facebook presence? Read on for six ideas to increase engagement with your Facebook profile and five things to avoid.
How to Increase Facebook Engagement the Proper Way
Use these six reliable, positive tactics to boost engagement with your Facebook page.
1. Limit Text-Only Posts to About 250 Words or Less
This is not an ironclad rule, to be sure, but it’s not exactly a secret that Facebook audiences are fickle. Shorter posts tend to perform better than long-winded ones. Figure you have four to five paragraphs, or about 250 words, to get your point across before readers lose interest.
2. Use a Colorful, Engaging Background Photo That Immediately Captures the Attention
Change up your background photo every so often. Colorful, engaging images that immediately draw page visitors’ attention and capture the essence of your brand are preferable. The stunning mountain landscape photo on the Facebook page for Paul Esterhuizen, a South African entrepreneur, is a good example.
3. Hold a Live Broadcast At Least Twice Per Month
Engage your followers with a live Facebook broadcast once per fortnight. Focus on a different topic of interest to your audience each time and advertise each event with several posts in the week prior.
4. Post a Short Video At Least Once Per Week
Post a short non-live video at least once per week. This can be as simple as a 30-second animated video or video slideshow with no narration or camera work, as long as it conveys information your audience wants to know.
5. Reply to High-Quality Comments and Feedback (Even When It’s Not What You Want to Hear)
When followers engage with your page in good faith, respond in kind. This holds even when followers bring unpleasant matters to your attention; you can do wonders for your brand by publicly offering to make things right.
6. Poll Your Followers At Least Once Per Month
Conduct a monthly Facebook poll asking your followers what they want to see more of from your page or taking your audience’s temperature on an issue relevant to your brand. Publicly display the results.
Stay Away From These Facebook Shortcuts and Pitfalls
These Facebook shortcuts and pitfalls tempt busy DIY marketers, but don’t fall prey. They’re liable to cause more trouble than they’re worth.
1. Buying Followers (Or Using Other Dodgy Means of Acquiring Traffic)
Tempting in the extreme, yes, but wholly inadvisable. Traffic acquired the old-fashioned way is likelier to hold up over time, and truly dodgy tactics could put you in hot water with Facebook’s administrators.
2. Using Others’ Photos Without Express Permission
Stock photos are fine. Photos grabbed from private websites or Facebook pages without permission could cause legal trouble.
3. Getting Into Arguments With Followers
Report and remove abusive comments, but don’t engage with trolls. Use common sense to distinguish good-faith interactions from other kinds.
4. Posting Spammy or Overly Sales-y Content
Your Facebook page is much more than a sales channel for your brand. Resist the temptation to make every post about you; your followers will appreciate a wider, more informative variety of content.
5. Messaging Every Influencer You Can Find
The “no spam” rule extends to private or public messages to influencers on Facebook. By all means, engage with pages as part of your outreach campaigns, but be thoughtful about it.
Facebook Is Too Important to Ignore
However you feel about Facebook, one thing isn’t up for debate: Facebook is too important to ignore. Odds are, it’s the biggest single source of traffic to your little corner of the web and the most visible element of your digital brand. This is true, by the way, even if you invest more time and effort in other social media platforms, like Twitter and LinkedIn.
Facebook demands attention. Fortunately, that attention needn’t monopolize your limited time. Follow the guidelines described above and you’ll be off to an excellent start, one that you’ll no doubt build upon in the years to come.