Facebook announced a change in its algorithm that significantly impacts brands’ Facebook marketing strategies in 2018. Emphasis has returned to user satisfaction, which is most enhanced through interactions of mutual interest. This means that feeds will be filled by friends’ and families’ photos and less infiltrated by advertisements and fake news stories.
The algorithm shift isn’t something to take likely – it’s a serious call to re-evaluate and redesign your Facebook marketing strategy.
Let’s take a look at the many ways the social marketing platform still invites brands to make the most of engagement through its many features and functions.
How to Increase Facebook Engagement in 2018:
Work with influencers
Facebook’s new algorithm is quickly paving the path the influencer stardom. That’s dramatic, but really – influencer content is going to have a much farther reach that brands and advertiser reach this year. Sharing influencer content can help get your name in front of consumers who are interested in that influencer’s voice. Working with an influencer who can share conversation commentary on your brand is even more powerful. But be mindful in your influencer partnering efforts – it’s not as transactional as paying influencers to post about your brand. Facebook is diligently syncing consumers’ interests with authentic content from people they already follow. Your best approach is to find influencers who share your brand mission, and creatively build content together from there.
Nurture a community
The world is living at least part of its life online. The highways for global communication have been paved and billions of people are actively operating on the invisible digital system. Concentrate efforts on fostering a community online, in the same way, you build one in person. Invite like-mind people (peers, fellow industry leaders, consumers, etc.) to join your community and provide stimulating conversation and content every day. Join existing communities, too, to practice being an active participant in your field of expertise or the fields of your target audience’s interests.
Experiment with length in posts and video
Allow yourself to experiment with posts – written content, photo, video, etc. To follow through, be diligent with data collection. Analyze content engagement – views, likes, shares, and comments – to determine which breadth of content is best suited for your audience.
Drive traffic via other sources
Drive traffic to your Facebook through other sources – bloggers, influencers, website, your own website, your own blog posts, your other social channels. Consumers have lost a bit of faith in the authenticity of their social feeds. Give them a reason to come back to Facebook; in particular, give them a reason to care about your presence on the social platform.
Running contests still hasn’t gone out of style, and reasonably so. When something sweet is up for grabs, it’s pretty near impossible to resist. Contests can spread the word about your brand if submission instructions include requirements to share or follow brand and affiliate content. When consumers submit publicly, online friends are encouraged to join the conversation and contest, too!
Share user photos
As often as possible, and especially when the quality is high, share your users’ photos. Reposting follower content is an incredibly effective way to increase engagement, to foster brand community and to encourage users to continue using your hashtags or tagging your handle in photos.
Share content that your users want to see
Before you create brand content, turn to your data to determine what consumers want to watch, read and learn about. Use these results to inform your content creation.
Ask your audience for brand answers
When you are looking for ways to enrich your brand, turn to your consumers, they’re full of the insight you will otherwise spend countless hours and marketing dollars on to discover. Asking the audience for answers also gives consumers an opportunity to feel heard, appreciated and part of your brand family and company success.
Include a call to action
In every post, include a call to action. What do you want your reader to do after watching a compelling video short? Do you want them to donate to a cause? To shop on your online store? To share the video? To enter a contest? Be explicit about your intentions and directions in every post. There is so much content inundating users every day, a call-to-action breaks thru the clutter and brings your followers one step closer to becoming your consumers.
Continue to run ads as a supplement to your Facebook marketing efforts. Although advertisers are taking a backseat to friends and family 2018, ad spots are a still critical component of a cohesive marketing strategy on Facebook.
Two components are critical in the advisement to post consistently. First, consistency is comforting. It is one of the few ways a brand can establish reliability online. In the past, brands proved reliable by having inventory in stock, willingly allowing returns, honoring working hours, etc. Now, many brands live online and the ways in which they can prove their reliability to consumers are few. It sounds light, but posting consistently can be one of the ways to establish stability amongst followers. Determine ahead of time how often you will post during the week, during the day and at what times and stick to the plan (at least until research tells you otherwise).
Second, consistency should be based on consumer preferences. Research when consumers are the most active, when they’re open to reading about current events when they need a 15-minute shopping break during the day, when they’re likely to watch a game recap, etc. Use your target audience’s timing to pre-determine your schedule for consistency.
Facebook is evolving with the consumer, who has recently spoken through behavioral habits about missing the person-to-person interaction that the social platform once provided. To make the most of your Facebook presence in 2018, optimize your strategy with the engagement tips above.
If you are interested in working with an expert digital marketing team to bring your brand to its online potential, give us a shout at Executive Digital and get started with a free digital marketing consultation.