There are 901 million Facebook users, and the average user creates 90 pieces of content each month, according to the company. Filtering through this mountain of content to get your message seen by Fans and their friends can be difficult.
Here are 10 Facebook posting strategies that can help increase visibility, improve engagement, and drive more traffic to your ecommerce website.
1. Post Outside of Normal Business Hours
A study by email marketing company ExactTarget found that 65 percent of Facebook users only access the site when they’re “not at work or school – typically meaning early morning or evening.” That makes sense due to the fact that many workplaces prohibit access to Facebook. Posting only during business hours may be missing a sizable portion of one’s target market.
Another study from social commerce company Buddy Media revealed that brands that posted outside of business hours — early morning, at the finish of the work day, and late at night — had engagement rates approximately 20 percent higher than average.
2. Tell Fans What You Want Them to Do
If you want Fans to “Like” your post, instruct them to do so. Similarly, if you want to encourage comments or shares, ask for them.
One company that makes excellent use of this technique is Facebook marketing company Lujure. Its Fan page contains posts with instructions such as “‘Click like’ if you’re stuck trying to create revenue from Facebook,” “We’re LIVE, teaching musicians how to become famous on Facebook and sell a lot of songs. Click below to join us,” or “Click ‘Share’ if you’d like to be here with us.”
3. Include Exclusive Offers and Discounts
Cater to your Fans by providing special offers, discount coupons, and other content exclusively for them.
Social commerce company VendorShop Social reported — in an April 2012 blog post — that 76 percent of businesses that were successful in using Facebook to increase sales launched a new product to their Facebook stores first or ran promotions exclusive to Facebook.
One easy way to do this is through a new form of advertising called Facebook Offers. Using Facebook Offers, businesses can share discounts with customers by posting an offer on their Facebook pages, which then appears in Fans’ news feeds, increasing the chance it will be seen.
One offer — from health and beauty ecommerce company Coastal, which gave fans a free pair of eyeglasses — received nearly 130,000 responses, more than 1,100 Likes, and 247 comments.
4. Pin Posts to the Top
Facebook provides a function where Fan page administrators can “pin” posts to the top so that they are more visibile over a longer period of time.
If you have a post that you really want Fans to see and react to, pinning is one way to achieve that goal.
5. Use Promoted Posts
Another new form of advertising is Promoted Posts.
My article “Facebook Promoted Posts: Getting Started” details how page administrators can turn any Timeline post into an ad that appears at the top of Fans’ news feeds. According to Facebook, Promoted Posts increase the potential reach of a given post so an even larger percentage of your audience and the friends of those interacting with your post will see it.
6. Ask Poll Questions
Facebook’s posting interface includes the ability for page administrators to create polls and ask questions. This type of post turns a broadcast message into an interactive dialogue with Fans, and is in keeping with Facebook’s true nature as a social network. Use poll questions to get feedback, recommendations, and learn from your Fans.
When asking poll questions, use words like “why,” “when,” “would,” and “should,” as those typically drive higher engagement.
7. Highlight Posts
The ability to highlight posts is another feature merchants can use. Facebook Timeline is divided into two columns. Highlighting a post causes it to span both columns. The increased space makes the post more prominent and gives it a greater sense of importance.
8. Use Videos and Images
Video is highly engaging and involves more of the senses than the written word. The same can be said of images.
Thanks to Pinterest, the use of images have become much more prevalent on social networks, including Facebook. In fact, more than 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook each day, according to Facebook statistics.
A blog post by AllFacebook.com reports that a study conducted by social commerce company Roost found that photos account for an average of 50 percent more impressions than any other post type, as well as 22 percent more interactions.
9. Share Posts by Other Pages
In the same way that Facebook users can “Like” pages, Fan page administrators can Like other pages, as well. Doing so gives them the ability to share content from those pages on their own Timeline.
Not only is this good public relations, the fact that you have shared the post is highlighted on the other page, which can lead to more traffic to your page and further increase the chance for engagement.
10. Use Sponsored Stories
Sponsored Stories are posts that you pay Facebook to highlight, increasing the chance others will see them.
See “How Facebook Changes Impact Ecommerce Merchants, Part 3: Sponsored Stories Ad Units,” my previous article, to learn more about using Sponsored Stories to increase engagement with your posts.