Engaging your audience on Facebook is an important marketing strategy in today’s online marketing world. Engagement on Facebook can lead to an increase in organic reach, drive traffic to your website and create an audience that you can continue to reach out to, either organically or through purchased advertising.
Research conducted by The Creative Group found that more than 50 percent of marketing executives say they expect to increase their investment in Facebook marketing this year. And why not, with over 2.19 billion Facebook users?
This can be quite a challenge now that the Facebook algorithm prioritizes posts by friends and family over other types of public content (including schools.) Surviving the latest Facebook algorithm updates mean updating your strategy in order to bolster your organic reach.
Here are 16 ways to increase engagement on Facebook.
Here are some types of questions that work well on social media. (These are examples only.)
- Favorite: “What is a favorite song that would be suitable for our school’s Spring music event?”
- Yes or No: “Is the Spring music event your favorite school event?”
- Timely: “Next week is the Spring music event, will your student be participating?”
- Edgy: “Do you think hip hop dance is appropriate for the school Spring music event?”
- Photo: “What do you think of this photo of last night’s Spring music event?”
- True or False: “True or false? The Spring music event falls on the second Thursday in April every year.”
- Direct: “Why do you think people love to attend the Spring music event?”
- Preference: “Do you prefer a seat on the auditorium floor, loge or balcony level for the Spring music event?”
- Fun: “If you had to choose one music piece for the Spring music event, which one would it be?”
- Events: “Who will be attending our Spring music event?”
- Experience: “What was your favorite moment from last night’s Spring music event?”
- Human: “Have you ever seen anyone fall asleep during a Spring music event?”
- Tips: “What is your favorite tip for parents to be prepared for the Spring music event next week?”
- Mad Lib: “If (fill in the name of a musical piece) was on the concert program, I would not miss it for the world.”
Share valuable content
What does valuable content look like?
It is helpful.
It is rooted in specific, tangible and real problems they are experiencing.
It delivers on its promise.
It is actionable.
You are proud to share it.
Timing is extremely important when it comes to posting on social networks because it impacts whether or not the post will be seen. In general, it is best not to post when people are sleeping or at work. It is better to post right before work, during lunch break or in the evening. Some social media experts say that the best times to post are at noon or at 7:00 pm. I’m a big fan of Buffer. Buffer can help you increase Facebook engagement because it will post your content at the best time for your audience.
Videos are HOT! One great way to build trust and credibility is through “quick-win videos.” These are short videos that showcase very practical, proven tips.
- 3 things to look for when selecting a kindergarten program for your child
- 4 creative and healthy brown bag lunch ideas
- How to choose an afterschool program for your school-age child
Share a picture of your school during school time
People – especially parents – love to see “behind the scenes stuff” so bring your camera and start shooting! (Be sure to get permission slips signed by parents so you can share pics of their students.)
Crowdsource for answers
This is a good way to include teachers, admin and support staff.
Find out what questions parents are asking from teaching, admin and support staff and ask them on social media. This is a great way to crowdsource tips and suggestions from your fanbase, which in turn helps other parents out. Watch how engaging your fanbase can be when your school presents them with something they can relate well with.
Cute things kids say
Who doesn’t love to read cute things kids say? This would be even better with a picture of the child. And it’s another great way to engage your staff with social media. Just make sure you have permission from parents to share what their child or youth have said and their picture, of course.
Call to action
People tend to respond better if they know what you want them to do next. Do you want them to comment? Click the Like button? Share something with their friends? Let them know! You might be surprised at how many people actually will respond!
The frequency of posting has also been shown to have an effect on Facebook engagement. According to research by Buddy Media, pages that post one or two times per day receive 40 percent higher engagement than pages that post more. This demonstrates that it’s not the quantity of the times you post, but the quality of what you post that matters the most.
A challenge can be a great way to bring your fans together, get them engaged and help them feel less alone. Post a simple challenge – something strategic they can do to solve a problem or overcome a hurdle.
Here is an example.
7 Day Challenge for Parents
- Ask your child: “What is one thing we can do together this month?”
- Laugh with your child today.
- Leave a sweet note for each of your children.
- Teach your child one thing he or she can do on their own.
- Do not criticize your child today.
- Calculate how may weekends are left until your child graduates from high school.
- Ask your child’s opinion today.
Visuals enhance your content and help it stand out. It is human nature to love visuals. Use images, graphics and, of course, videos. Adding images to your content is a good way to get more engagement.
Keep it short and sweet
One study by Express Writers found that posts with 40 characters or less enjoy 86 percent more engagement than longer posts, and the second-best performing post length on Facebook is 80 characters or less. Test various lengths and see what works best for your audience, but in general you want to keep it short.
Have your made your fans laugh lately? Funny content typically performs well and is a light-hearted way to diversify your posts.
Analyze your most popular posts
Take the time to look back at your insights and determine what types of post are performing the best. Keep a pulse on your best content and try to recreate the same social magic again.
Prioritize comments and replies
If someone takes the time to comment on your Page, you should definitely respond to them. People want to interact with the school their young person attends or might attend, and most of the time they expect you to respond within a few hours.
Drive traffic to your Facebook Page from other sources
Find ways to direct people that engage with you offline and on other platforms to your Facebook Page. You can link to your Page on your email subscription thank you page, link in the profiles of other channels and, of course, use social plug-ins on your website and share buttons on your blog. You can also include a link to your Facebook page in your email signature.
I hope you find these tips helpful in increasing your Facebook engagement significantly.
What type of Facebook posts work best for your school? Please share with the rest of the school marketing community by leaving a comment below.
Also published on Medium.