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06/26/14

Facebook Business Tips: How to Engage Your Fans

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credit: business2community

While Facebook may be known as a social networking giant, its role in marketing and business development has become increasingly prominent. Facebook has proved invaluable for those who utilize the site as a marketing platform.

53% of marketing executives in a study conducted by The Creative Group stated that Facebook will see a substantial increase in business use for growth. Simply having a Facebook page is not enough, either–content strategy, marketing, and promotion are extremely important. When using Facebook to increase brand awareness, your business needs to have a marketing strategy in place that includes developing ways to increase fan engagement. Here are a few key ways to increase fan engagement:

1. Find and understand your fan base.

First, do everything you can to increase your fan base. Invite your subscribers via e-mail, cross promote your Facebook page on your other media platforms, and consider investing in promoting yourself across Facebook. This is important, because if you want to engage with your Facebook fans, you need to have Facebook fans. It also helps boost your reputation and make you appear more credible.

Fan engagement dictates things like visibility in the news feed. In order to increase your visibility on the site, understand your fans and what will make them “like” and “share” your posts. Work to understand your fans’ interests, hobbies, attitudes, and lifestyles.  This does not mean compromising the message that your company is trying to promote. It simply means learning how to market your content in a way that will appeal to more people.

2. Don’t just want your fans to engage with you, engage with your fans.

If fans take the time to comment on your Facebook status, respond! Keep the dialogue going, Make your fans feel like they’ve been heard and that their opinions matter.   There is no right way to engage with fans. Get creative! Ask questions, have fans fill in the blank, hold contests, offer surveys, or host quizzes! Don’t be afraid to mix it up. Here’s a tip: 35% of Facebook fans “like” a page for the opportunity to participate in contests. Another tip? “Fill in the blank” status updates receive 9 times more responses. If you want even more engagement, ask questions! Posts that engage fans by asking a specific question see a 100% increase in engagement. Give your fans a voice, by sharing content they will want to engage with.

3. Use photos, quotes, and videos!

Using large, high quality photos is a great way to draw readers in. Users that use photos as a part of their Facebook marketing plan see an average of over 25% more likes and almost 20% more shares.

Don’t forget to post videos, either. This underutilized genre of content can give you a serious boost in Facebook engagement.

4. Schedule your status updates.

It’s important to know how your fan base operates day-to-day. Know when they’re more likely to be online and schedule your posts accordingly. Engagement is almost 20% higher towards the end of the workweek, so get your posts in on Thursday and Friday. In order to be even more effective, schedule status updates to post even if you’re out of the office, as engagement is over 30% higher on the weekends.

Studies show that Facebook business pages should not post more than once or twice daily. Their number of posts per week should not exceed 7. It’s important to understand the line between being visible in a Facebook user’s news feed and crowding their news feed. Stay relevant and interesting without annoying your fans.

Companies see the most shares around 1 pm and the most clicks around 3 pm. However, studies show that 65% of Facebook users are only accessing the site when not at work or school. This means that 65% of users are more likely to see early morning and evening posts. This is something to keep in mind when planning your posts.

5. Keep it short and sweet.

Posts that are short and to the point are more likely to engage fans. Most people don’t have time to sit there and scroll through a long status update. Status updates that are 80 characters or less see a 66% higher rate of fan engagement, compared to longer posts.

The key to using Facebook as a tool for marketing is recognizing that it really just comes down to understanding the tricks behind fan engagement. Being active on Facebook and having quality and engaging content will help to convert potential fans and increase click-through rates.

Facebook was built on the idea of creating a space of community. It’s no wonder that the most successful Facebook pages are the ones that implement those same ideals!

Check out our free Facebook guide to find out additional ways you can increase brand awareness and fan engagement!