One of the most discouraging things that small business owners face is when they post something really valuable on their Facebook pages, but the sad thing is that they don’t get any likes, shares or comments.
While these metrics aren’t as important as conversions for large businesses, for a small business, they are the only way to get your content go viral in front of other potential followers.
You try your best. You create quality content. You try to craft your status update as much as your copywriting skills allow you, but NO LUCK!
If you get back to the very basics of why people initially like content on Facebook, then you’ll easily spot why your content isn’t liked. Most people go to Facebook in their spare time (not like us) just to communicate with their friends and family.
If you post a link back to a 2000+ words post on your blog and include a call to action, then the fans who will see it and click through will forget to like it before they reach the 500 words mark.
If you want instant likes, shares and comments, then you need to instantly engage them inside Facebook. If you give them a link so they go outside their Facebook profiles, then what you’re doing is actually decreasing the chances of your stuff getting shared.
Obviously, I’m not suggesting that you don’t share your valuable content on Facebook here, as you’ll be missing the whole point of it. What I’m saying is to diversify your content as much as you can. If your intention is to get more likes, comments and shares, then you might need to avoid posting links to an external source (links have probably the lowest engagement rates and they will only convert your existing following) and stick only with content that can be consumed inside Facebook (because that’s the type of content that grows your audience). If what you’re looking for is clicks back to your posts, products or services, then that’s the best time to post a link on your Facebook page. Got it?
So what type of status updates I can post to get more likes, comments and shares?
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1- Visual always ROCKS!
There have been a gazillion of studies which clearly show how photos outperform any type of content on Facebook in terms of likes, comments and shares. If you’re not convinced yet, than step back and think for a while. Why would Facebook purchase Instagram?
If you’re still hesitant, then let me give you another clue. How on earth could a new social network like Pinterest accomplish this tremendous success and join the giant social networks in such a small time?
Let me simplify thing furthermore. In the online social world, visual content rules!
The reason behind photos being the most engaging content on Facebook (and on other networks as well) is that they are the easiest content to consume. You look at an image, you understand it in 5 seconds max (not your complex blog post that takes at least 20 minutes to get digested) and then you laugh, get inspired or get mad, and you know what happens after this instant emotional response? Yes you got that right, likes, shares and comments!
When I say visual content, I don’t only refer to images. Video are also the second most engaging content on the web, so try to make use of videos as well. You don’t have to link to external sources, as people can see your videos inside Facebook (so they take instant action) without having to leave their profiles.
You know what comes after visual content when it comes to engagement? Yes quotes ROCK!
Although quotes have high engagement rates on Facebook, they are a little bit trickier to use.
The reason behind people liking, sharing and commenting on quotes is that they are one of the best ways to trigger an emotional response (inspiration) inside your fans. When I personally see a really inspirational quote by a person who I admire a lot, I can’t really help it besides clicking on that like button and sharing the quote. What about you?
The trick with using quotes is that you need to know who are the most influential/inspirational people in your field (although there are many great people whom their quotes can be posted in almost any industry). If you don’t really have a good picture, you can experience with the hit and miss approach. The quotes that get the maximum engagement (you can tell this from Facebook insights) will give you a very good idea of the people that your audience is inspired by, and in the same time the type of content that can inspire them as well.
A great thing you can do which I do with most of my clients is to incorporate visual content with quotes. You can post images that contain quotes and if possible the photo of the person behind the quote. In a matter of fact, if you don’t find these (you mostly won’t), I can tell you that they will take no more than 5 minutes in Photoshop or any other image editing software.
With no doubt, questions are probably the best way to get higher engagement rates, especially comments. The type of questions that get the most response is probably open ended ones. Your main goal here is to get people talking, and if you do, then you’ve successfully got them out of their comfort zone with your brand.
The type of questions that will make a difference in your engagement rates and which I don’t really see many people do it is the “Fill in the Blank” ones.
If you’re in the fitness market, ask something like “the best morning exercise is __________?”. If you’re in the real estate investing market “the best deal-getting strategy is ___________?”. If you’re in the entertainment market “My best TV show is ___________?”. You can also post general stuff that are suitable for any market or niche like “my favorite day of the year is ___________?”
This type of “Fill in the Blank” questions will get people talking because you’ve given them the opportunity to share things they like and enjoy. People love listeners right?
With this type of content, you’re going to deepen the trust between you and your fans because you’re now listening to them and interacting with them in the comments as well.
You know what’s the easiest way to get people doing what you like them to do? Yes it’s just asking them!
Whenever you post any type of content on Facebook, make sure you include a call to action at the end of it whether it is a photo, quote, video, question or link. If you want likes then make sure you put a likeable content at first. Then just tell them “click like if you’ve enjoyed this picture” Or “click like if you agree with me on this“…etc.
If your main goal is to get comments, then simply state “let me know what you think of this quote” OR “tell me if you think something is missing here”…etc.
If you want your content to be shared, then simply state “please share this content if you’ve found it to be helpful” Or “Please share this photo if you’ve laughed at it”…etc.
The key to getting more likes, shares and comments on every status update you put there is to understand what your audience are reacting to. After a while from doing this, you’ll form a pretty good idea about the things that get your fans attention, and you’ll never have to worry about likes and shares anymore. Also, try to experiment with and mix the status updates that I mentioned above to get maximum benefit.
So tell me, have you ever experimented with a type of content on Facebook and found that it really increased your engagement rates. Tell us in the comment section bellow. Good luck!
Image Credit: andreasivarsson