If you’re running a social enterprise, it’s safe bet you’re already investing a fair amount of time in social media marketing.
In particular, Facebook should be of primary focus for social entrepreneurs who are looking to further their message and reach as wide an audience as possible.
But how do you attract attention on a social network that has billions of users? How do you shout louder than everyone else?
This post doesn’t delve into Facebook advertising (which is admittedly very effective), but instead considers how to elicit as much engagement as possible from your existing followers and their friends by simply posting updates.
You can make a louder noise than you might think…
A Facebook update is just a headline
When stripped back, a Facebook status update is nothing more than a headline – it’s that simple.
To prove this, a recent survey by Buzzsumo investigated 100 million article headlines to find what worked – and what didn’t.
They discovered the most engaging headlines included the phrase “will make you”, while the least relied on the common ‘click-baiting’ tactics of phrases such as “what happened next” and “shocked to see”.
However, rather than focus on using specific phrases, it’s far more important that you follow some tried-and-tested rules to make your Facebook updates stand out.
We’ve picked four of our favourites.
1. Don’t just post text
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional text-only Facebook update, but people who frequent the platform want far more than that.
Video, audio and images work incredibly well on social networks – particularly if you’re willing to have a bit of fun (see tip 3). With that in mind, you should always try and find a piece of engaging, eye-catching content that helps you express the message with more than just words.
If it’s self-produced – fab. If you need to hunt through stock libraries to find something suitable, don’t settle for stuff you’ve seen a million times before on other feeds!
2. Try memes
Sticking with the image theme, ‘memes’ are a great way to attract attention on Facebook.
A meme is simply an image (usually of a famous individual or animal) accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek caption. They’re intended to make people laugh and tempt them to share the image with friends, and the best can go viral incredibly quickly.
Websites like imgflip offer great, simple ways to create your own, original memes (again, rather than using something everyone else has already shared countless times).
3. Don’t be afraid to have some fun
Facebook should be an inherently fun place to be. Unfortunately, plenty of users spoil that for the vast majority, but that shouldn’t dampen your spirits.
No matter the field in which you operate, Facebook represents the perfect opportunity to let your hair down a bit and have some fun (within reason, of course) with your updates.
Crack a joke, weigh in on a political debate or poke fun at yourself; your social enterprise will get noticed if it knows how to have a laugh and speak its mind online.
4. Encourage conversation
If you treat your Facebook posts as questions, you’ll tempt people to get involved.
Let’s say you’ve conducted a piece of research recently with some perplexing findings. Offering a key statistic and asking if people agree will likely result in a few replies and the odd share, too.
The great thing about Facebook is the domino effect that often results from a single reply. The friends of the person replying may spot their engagement with the post and weigh in, too. That means your post can effortlessly scale, and all you had to do was publish it in the first place.
Facebook often gets a fairly bad rap, but there’s no escaping the simply colossal, ready-made audience that exists for social-savvy enterprises.
The best tip we can finish with? Experiment! Don’t be afraid to try new ideas on Facebook. Providing you steer clear of being insulting or damaging the reputation of others, the more experimental you are on this social network, the more likely you are to get noticed.