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How to make your Facebook Business Page more engaging

Every day, more and more organizations across several different industries are encouraging and even requiring their employees to engage with customers via social media. For non-marketers, starting a Facebook Business Page and connecting with your customers on social media can at first seem daunting.
As part of the Hearsay Social Customer Success team, I work full-time on coaching corporate teams to help their employees achieve higher conversions and brand loyalty through social media. When new users start going social, they often ask, “How do I get more ‘likes’ to my Facebook Business Page?” While likes are great for increasing your reach and the number of people able to see your content, the real million dollar question you want to ask is, “How do I get more engagement on my Facebook Business Page?” Likes are not as powerful if those fans are not liking, posting comments, and sharing your content with others.
Here are my top five suggestions for making your Facebook Business Page more engaging:

1. The social media rule of thirds

If your foot doctor had a Facebook business page (and they probably do), would you want him/her to publish Facebook posts about foot fungus and cracked heels every day? Probably not. It’s not fun to hear and it’s not relevant to your everyday interests. This is a pretty extreme example, but we can apply this same logic to insurance agents, real estate agents, car dealers and more. When deciding on what to post to Facebook day in and day out, keep your business talk in check by following the social media rule of thirds:

  • One third of the time, post about your business or brand. This includes your own blog posts and press releases, announcements about your upcoming events and speaking engagements, and other similarly self-promotional content.
  • One third of the time, post about topics or info directly related to your business, but using material from a third-party source. This includes news items from your favorite publications, graphs of analyst data visualizations, and other outside materials.
  • One third of the time, just show off your personality. This includes posting photos of the team hard at work (or at play!), friendly well wishes over holidays, and anything else that reminds your fans that behind the logo are real people.

2. Photos Please!

In case you aren’t familiar with EdgeRank, it’s Facebook’s algorithm that determines who sees what. Basically it determines what social media content, like posts, photos, and videos, you will see in your Facebook News Feed.
There are three criteria that make up EdgeRank: affinity, weight and recency. The part that most significantly impacts content engagement is the weight which corresponds to the type of post selected by the user. Some content types are considered more important than others and will have a higher probability of showing up in your fans’ News Feeds.
Here is the order of weight in EdgeRank:

a. Photos
b. Videos
c. Web Links
d. Messages (just text)

Make sure many of your posts have a picture or a video to secure a higher probably of having the post land in your fans’ Facebook News Feeds. The more frequently your photos appear there, the higher the chance that they will comment on it. In addition, photos are the most engaging type of content, which is why it is weighted higher in Facebook’s algorithm.

3. Short and Sweet

One of the many factors that has made Twitter successful is their 140 character limit. It forces people to be succinct. Even when posting on Facebook, where there is virtually no character limit, you should still write brief messages to be the most effective. Your fans want to quickly scan their News Feed to see what’s happening in the lives of their fans and friends. Make it easy on your fans by keeping your messages to less than 2-3 sentences (and remember that photo!). If they can read and understand your point quickly, they will have be more motivated to like and comment on your post.

4. Ask Questions

If you want engagement, why not ask them to engage? The easiest way to do that is to ask a simple question. When people know the answer or have an opinion, they feel the need to share. Example questions:

  • I’m planning my next vacation. What do you recommend?
  • I can’t believe it’s my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary! What’s the best restaurant for a group dinner?
  • What’s your life motto?

5. Schedule Posts for the Weekend

Believe it or not, Americans are not always outside playing in the yard on the weekends (and if they are, they have their mobile devices with them). Even on weekends and holidays, lots of people are checking their Facebook feeds and engaging with content there. In fact, businesses get 32% more consumer engagement on the weekends than on weekdays, according to Socialfresh. By the way, vacation isn’t an excuse for not posting on the weekends. Just login to Hearsay Social and schedule your posts in advance.
Hopefully you found these tips useful and can apply them next time you post from Facebook or Hearsay Social!

Anatomy of a Facebook Business Page

Many marketers still measure the value of their social media pages by a count: either a count of fans or a count of engagements (likes, comments, etc.). Unfortunately, the insights provided by these measurements are nominal. If you want to know the true value of your fans or how your social media communities are contributing to real ROI and sales results, then these basic counts should be a start, not an end.
We have already learned that not all fans should be valued equally and that local fans can be worth as much as 40x that of corporate fans. There are additional ways to analyze a page – one of which is by viewing the composition of its fan graph as a network.
Below is an image representing Hearsay Social’s Facebook business page. The data used to create this visualization is all of the public posts, likes, and comments over a one-year period. Each point on the graph represents a fan and the edges (curved lines) between them represent shared interests as determined by common stories they interacted with.

It’s not just a pretty graph. After analyzing the image, here are a few important takeaways our data team has come up with:

  1. Your entire fan base is actually made up of many smaller groupings.
    At the time of this writing, our Facebook page has nearly 5,000 fans. You can see from the image above that those fans make up a number of smaller clusters – about 20 by my count. Each of these sub-groupings has a distinct personality, set of interests, and motivation for interacting with your page. Understanding more about your own Facebook page’s sub-groups will let you better segment and target your messaging to increase its effectiveness. This is a very common practice in email marketing but it has not yet seen widespread application in social media outside of some very basic geographical targeting.When thinking about your business, you can probably think of a few sub-groups of customers. Are each of those present on social media? Are some more prevalent than others?
  2. You have power fans and influencers — each with their own personality.
    Below is the same graph above, filtered by the most active fans of Hearsay Social. You can see that while there are a dozen or so power fans, they do not all share exactly the same interest. Much like the sub-groupings, each power fan has their own reason for interacting with your content. Many of these power fans are in fact strong representatives of a sub-group. Identifying these people can help you better understand how to effectively communicate with the sub-groups they share the most in common with.
    Have you identified your power fans? Do you know which sub-groups they represent? 
  3. Clusters of fans that have interacted with the same content can help us infer social graph connections and use Facebook’s EdgeRank to our advantage.
    Below is a magnified image of a single sub-group. Digging deeper, I traced down the common interest that these fans share: a blog post about Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz visiting the Hearsay Social office.  Most of them aren’t common ‘likers’ of content which makes us suspect that their having seen the content – and thus liking – was in part caused by Facebook’s EdgeRank. (Facebook doesn’t show every post a page makes to all of its fans but tends to show it more to people who’s friends have interacted with that content.)


    I’m not certain that anyone in this sub-group are Facebook friends with each other, but I suspect a few might be. In this case, we only have a few data points for this particular sub-group; the more data we have, the more accurate our predictions will be. (By the way, if anyone listed below happens to be reading this, leave a comment below to let us know if my hypothesis is correct!)

In conclusion, thinking about your social media connections as merely a number greatly limits your ability to understand them. The more complex your analysis model, the better your understanding will be. Social media is all about connections and networks, so one of the best ways to analyze and learn about your fans is by viewing them as an interconnected network graph.
Do you notice anything else interesting in the images? I’d love to hear your observations.