8 Ideas for Producing Engaging Content for the New Facebook

No, “Facebook engagement” doesn’t mean changing your relationship status on your profile. It refers to how people interact with your brand on the social media platform. Yesterday, we posted about why it’s more important than ever for your brand to be engaging fans on Facebook (hint: It has to do with the new dual-news feeds and where your content shows up). Today, we’re going one step further and sharing some tips on how to achieve this. These 8 easy ideas will help keep your content front-and-center in the Top Stories news feed and out of the ticker, never to be seen by your fans again.

1. Connect Your Social Presences If you have great content on Facebook, but you’re just not getting the level of engagement you’re looking for, help could be as nearby as your Twitter feed or YouTube channel. If you’re having great engagement on another platform, send yourself some love! Let those Twitter followers know that you have some really cool content on your Facebook page and give them a link. Remember, your social media presences don’t have to only be social with your fans, they can also interact with each other—just don’t post the same content on every platform (more on this in tip #7). By the way, this works the other way around as well, so don’t forget to let your Facebook fans know how great your Twitter content is too.

2. Learn to Share No matter how great your video is, people are a lot more likely to watch it if their friend posted it than if you did. A video posted by their friend is also more likely to show up in their Top Stories. So don’t just make shareable content (no one wants to share boring content); give your fans an incentive to share your content with their friends! You can track how many times your content has been shared and who shared it, which means you can offer those who share your content, (or perhaps the nth person to share your content), some sort of incentive for doing so. It could be a coupon, a special offer or a giveaway, or it could just be access to information before anyone else gets it. Be creative, think about who your fans are and offer them something they want in exchange for sharing your content!

3. Value, Value, Value If you want fans to mark your stories as “important” in their news feed, make them important! Put yourself in the mindset of your fans and create content that is relevant and important to them, (even if it’s sometimes not directly related to your business). Give them an incentive to want to see your content. This can include things like contests and giveaways, but could also be as simple as warning your Chicago customers about a delay on the brown line during the morning commute or letting them know about an upcoming sale at your store. If your content provides no value to your fans, they’ll quickly start ignoring you.

4. Meet Expectations People have many reasons for ‘liking’ and following brands on social media, but the one most reported is the expectation of insider information, coupons or access to promotions; meet these expectations. This kind of content can be incorporated into many different content strategies, but they should be present in your content. This is not to say you have to give things away in every post or constantly post details of your upcoming sale, but users expect to benefit from their interaction with your brand and if you meet this expectation, they’ll keep their eyes on you in the future.

5. Make It Personal Social media has become progressively personal through the many developments over the years. Your content should reflect that, and we don’t just mean through creating more targeted display ads using the abundance of information now available through Facebook. While studies seem to show that a concrete call-to-action improves the incidence of engagement with fans, (as suggested in tip #8), this can be amplified by making your request more personal. One of the cornerstones of social media is people sharing their opinions about all sorts of things, so find your own place here and ask for some opinions. Take your call-to-action from, “Tell us what you think!” to “Do the Red Sox have what it takes to make it all the way? Tell us why!” When people are asked for their opinions, they tend to give it, so whenever possible, ask for them!

6. Ask the Why At Rise, we’re particularly passionate about data and using that data to back up our strategy. While there have certainly been many suggestions as to what makes engaging content and what doesn’t, there’s no precise formula for it. So we suggest learning by observation. You (probably) use Facebook in your personal life; what kinds of content do you find yourself reading, clicking through or otherwise engaging with? What are your competitors doing that seems to work for them? What are some of your favorite brands doing that you could learn from? Don’t get stuck inside your own head coming up with new ideas for engaging content. Take a look around you and apply successful strategies of other brands to your own when applicable. Social media is meant for sharing, after all!

7. Know Your Platform Once you start asking the why, you may find that there are some practices that work well on Twitter, but not so much on Facebook. Being restricted to 140-characters or less means Tweets should be more of an informative burst than Facebook posts, which allow for longer descriptions, greater view of associated media like pictures and videos, and more forms of interaction. Knowing what kind of content works best on each platform will allow you to get the most out of your posts and drive the most engagement per post.

8. Try Asking for Engagement This actually works. Tell your fans to “like” your status update or ask them to comment with their thoughts. Sometimes people just need to be told what to do. Simply asking a question might not generate the same level of response as asking a question and telling your fans to answer your question by leaving a comment. The more “likes” and comments your content receives, the more Facebook will deem it to be important and you can avoid the ticker and find your content front and center in your fans’ news feeds. Major League Baseball utilized this strategy by asking fans to respond with their personal opinion on what, for many sports fans, is a hot topic.

We’ve covered a lot here, but this is not an exhaustive list. Our hope is that this gives you some more concrete ideas of what you can do now to create engaging content that will keep your fans and followers hungry for more.

09/30/2011 at 04:21

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