Let’s face it: Facebook organic reach was extremely low for a while. Now, the network dropped another bomb on business owners by announcing that it’s going to focus on friends’ posts instead of pages’ posts which will further suppress organic reach of the latter.
What to do to increase organic engagement and why is it so important? Facebook pays attention to engagement rates on business pages as a predictor of how qualified this content is to be pushed out into more newsfeeds. If 20 percent of people engage with a specific piece of content, then it has to be super interesting and worth to be seen by more eyeballs, right?
It then follows that low organic reach drags organic engagement down, which, in turn, lowers organic reach even further. It's a vicious cycle. If you’re still not convinced that you want to pay for Facebook advertising, what do you do?
1. The ultime tactic is engaging content.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but before posting anything, consider how engaging a given piece of content really is. Is it breaking news? Is it a little-known fact about your industry?
Ask yourself this question: why would anyone want to share it with their networks? After all, people engage with content they want to be associated with. Is it cool and hip? Is it educational? Is it funny?
It’s not difficult to click the “Like” button, but what is the value of it for both you and your followers? Taken a step further, will they want their networks to see this?
Facebook finds shares to be the most valuable type of engagement, followed by comments and then likes. The reason for it is the amount of time and effort it takes to perform of each of these tasks.
2. Ask a question.
Going back to the value of each engagement, comments are pretty valuable. What is the best way to increase comment count? Ask industry-related questions, inquire about your customers’ pain points, or simply ask for feedback. Not only will this tactic increase engagement, it will also give you a useful insight into your followers’ minds. You can even ask some personal questions occasionally, along the lines of “What are you plans for Christmas?” or “Where are you travelling this summer?”
3. Create a poll.
A poll works sort of like asking a question, yet it has a hidden benefit if your audience is not very engaged. If you ask an open-ended question, chances are some people wouldn’t bother to come up with an answer and then type it out. Yet, if you ask a question and furnish it with a few pre-made answers, you make the task so much easier and completion of it so much likelier.
You get comments, you get insight, and you can now see how your followers feel about different topics. Besides, if you use these questions to truly gain some market data, then it is easier to quantify answers instead of trying to categorize the differing responses.
4. Beautiful imagery.
Since our newsfeeds are getting longer, richer and more content-diverse, the most effective way to grab attention is to stand out with beautiful visuals. A striking picture makes an eye stop and examine it. So, find colorful images to go with your post. It’s even better if you can communicate your ideas in a visual way.
Multimedia is on the peak of popularity. If people can watch a 3-minute video instead of reading a 500-word blog post, they will. Find entertaining videos, how-to tutorials, or even “talking head” videos.
If you’re feeling confident, create your own videos by repurposing old blog posts. You can literally ask one of your camera-comfortable employees to follow the script of an older post or talk about the benefits of your offerings.
Infographics present information in an accessible, visual way. Create educational, fun, yet not too-in-depth graphics to post on all social media outlets. There is a great possibility people will find it useful and will want to save it for later or share it with their friends. If you find a few striking, unexpected statistics – more power to you, as it will increase chances of people sharing the data.
7. Trending topics.
Trending topics is a great tool for marketers. Of course, it is probably not something you can take advantage of every day, because you don’t want to spam your followers with irrelevant updates.
Yet, once in a while when related topics make headlines, take advantage of it. I have seen organic reach triple – if not quadruple – as a result of good timing. So, keep an eye on trending topics list when you log in to your Facebook in the morning.
Humor is one of the primary mechanisms of bonding. When people share a laugh and have good times together, it makes them more open to each other.
By ensuring your joke or comment is not offensive, you set up an organic engagement mechanism in place. People will scroll down their newsfeed and have a good laugh with your post. They also might want to share it with their friends if the joke is that good.
Even if they don’t do any of the above, your post might evoke a smile on their face and they will mentally give you a point for the future.
Although Facebook now prohibits “likegating,” (a situation where people have to like a page to enter a contest or giveaway), these types of posts remain a great way for boosting engagement. Do not require anyone to like anything to enter, instead make it as simple as uploading their photo, captioning an image, or anything along those lines. Your page will receive tons of comments and likes, and possibly even a few shares.
You don’t have to create a massive contest with expensive prizes; even $10 off coupon or a keychain for the correct answer to a simple trivia will do the trick.
10. Previews / teasers.
People love to solve a little puzzle and get in on a little a mystery. Create a little suspense with teasers of new products or previews before an official launch. The feeling of being in-the-know, the feeling of exclusivity will also give them a reason to follow you on social media.
When it comes to increasing organic engagement, you have to think outside the box so your posts can truly shine. They can stand out by providing value, entertaining, or simply connecting with your followers on a human level. Before posting another post think what value it brings to your followers.