The Anatomy of a Winning Facebook Post
Ever wonder why some Facebook posts get a ton of interaction and shares while others leave you checking your stats to see if anyone even saw it? While the latter can happen to even the most savvy Facebooker, there are some “best practices” you can follow to increase the likelihood of engagement.
By using 5 key elements, you can make a Facebook post enticing to your audience and maybe even get it to go viral. Here's what you need to know.
Images — According to Search Engine Journal, there are 250 million photos uploaded daily to Facebook! Whether it’s the sheer number of photos uploaded daily or because people just really like pictures, image posts consistently outperform other posts when it comes to getting interaction.
Of course, they do take up a lot of space in the newsfeed and they’re attention grabbing. It’s hard to miss a photo when they’re four times the size of a text-only status update!
One image strategy I’ve seen work well is the “Caption this” type posts.
This is when you post an interesting-looking image and ask your audience to “Caption this.”
For example, if you have a page about Italian Travel, you can post a picture of table set for a meal in a beautiful setting and ask for a caption. Depending on the number of people on your page, you might get one or two or hundreds.
Try it if you haven’t done so. You can get some pretty entertaining responses. And what is Facebook about if not entertainment?
Ask for the Like — You have to ask for what you want in life, and Facebook is no different. Research shows asking people to do something increases the likelihood of them doing it — by as much as 216%, according to one source.
So, if you want more engagement, ask for the Like. You can ask for the share, too.
For example, if your client sells backpacking gear and you post an image of a hiker overlooking a beautiful mountain lake, you can say something like: “Like if you’d rather be here today.”
Asking for Likes and shares works on both personal and business pages.
Ask questions — Asking a question is a natural way to solicit engagement. The questions you ask don’t even have to be related to your business. For example, Social Media Examiner asked if people watched the Inauguration. They had at least 57 responses.
On that note, keep the questions simple. The above question could have been a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Of course, most people elaborated, but the question was easy to answer.
Bonus Tip: Ask for one or two-word responses if it makes sense. For example, if you’re selling laundry detergent (or washing machines/dryers), you could ask “What’s one word to describe doing laundry?” Remember, Facebook is about easy gratification for the user. If you keep things simple and light, you’ll increase interaction.
Fill in the blank: — Another good strategy can be the fill-in-the-blank type of post. In the laundry example above, you could take that a step further, “Fill in the blank: When doing laundry, you need ___________.”
Headlines — If you’re writing a Facebook Ad, it may seem obvious you’ll need a good headline. After all, the image + the headline + call-to-action will drive the clicks.
Try thinking in terms of headlines in your regular posts too. If you’re including a link to a story or blog post, you need something to entice people to click through. According to Nick Usborne in How to Make Money as a Social Media Expert — you need to write a short, catchy headline that’s a teaser for the main story.
Hopefully, the headline for the story/post is enticing, but what can you say about it to get people clicking? Intriguing headlines entice people to click and to share.
Why Does Interaction Matter?
Getting more interaction (engagement) is important not only to keep your page interesting, but to ensure your audience even sees your posts.
See, Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to determine who sees your posts. Like Google, Facebook wants to give people what they want. So the people who interact with your posts will see more of them. The people who ignore your posts will see them less often.
The other thing that happens when people engage is that their Facebook friends may see their engagement and decide to follow you, too.
If you’re using Facebook for business, it’s critical that you get engagement from your audience. Research shows photos and videos get the highest engagement, but it’s also important to include that ever-important call-to-action. Inviting people to Like or share and asking questions can all boost your engagement so your audience continues to see your posts and you can keep the trust building.
What about you? What types of posts do you enjoy?
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