Create engagement on your Facebook business page without ads
If you’re a community or social media manager, you know that managing a Facebook business page is not as simple as it used to be. Facebook is getting crowded, and their user base isn’t growing at the pace it once was (in fact in some of its biggest markets Facebook is actually losing users).
In about early December, Facebook released a major change to the way they push content posted by business pages to followers. Without going into all the details, the end result is that far less of your followers are seeing your content in their news feeds. Facebook’s solution? Pay for ads.
While running ad campaigns can certainly be successful (especially when targeting for post engagement from followers rather than general ads to all of Facebook) the ad system on Facebook is still new and users aren’t all reacting well to it. When managing a business page brand reputation is everything, and running ads can sometimes have a very negative effect on that. While I do recommend that you try out some ads (I suggest targeting for page post engagement first) there are also ways to make up for the loss in engagement without ads.
Take the budget you would have spent on ads and buy some low cost giveaways. Brand them with your company logo/slogan, and leverage them in weekly contests for your followers. I’ve personally seen tremendous engagement from contests that are run on a set time schedule. It can be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, but set it up in a way that your users can easily expect (and plan for) them.
It doesn’t need to be the same contest each week, mix it up a bit. Have a trivia contest one week, photo contest another, general feedback and “best feedback wins” and other such contests.
Ask Questions (no images, no links, no CTA)
Since the recent change in December I’ve experienced that texts posts are receiving the highest engagement. Ask your followers about your brand, how you can improve, what new features they want. You don’t need to have your post include an image, link, or call to action – it’s a great way to double/triple your post engagement.
You don’t need to totally lose out on the promotion or links to your site/product either, reply in the comments with links and make sure to reply with a link to the “top comment”
Rather than smaller weekly contests, also engage your users with larger and more seasonal events. Tie it to your brand to make it better (rather than a generic event), and have a nice top prize (the newest expensive gadget or something related to your industry).
If you manage a business page and have found other ways to boost engagement after the recent changes, I’d love to hear about it!