While Facebook continues to be the largest social network, how brands engage and grow audiences has changed significantly over the years. The most important thing to know about Facebook is that it is ruled by an ever-changing algorithm. The algorithm is designed to serve up content relevant to audience engagement patterns within and sometimes off of the platform. Social Media professionals are charged with navigating these changes in an effort to serve up engaging and high-quality content that is able to compete in this space.
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Having frequent and engaging content is key to a successful Facebook strategy. Posting once to twice a day is ideal and plays an important role in sustaining algorithm support in gaining long-term reach across all content. Being dormant on Facebook often results in a long term loss in reach and engagement.
Creating a content calendar based on your strategic goals is helpful when planning your content cadence and managing the aesthetics of your timeline.
Facebook is a great platform to promote your events. Since Facebook’s, “coming together” announcement, groups and events have become more relevant and highly favored by the algorithm. This means events receive more reach than traditional posts.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Is your event free and open to the public or will it be limited and or ticketed? Page managers are advised to provide clarity on this upfront and have systems in place to make sure the right audience is at the event.
- Always name your event and provide a clear and engaging description. In addition, always upload a cover image that will attract users.
- Allow the public to post on your event wall and be ready to jump in and answer questions.
- Anyone who has expressed interest in your event is a captive audience. Facebook will send a notification each time you post. This is a great opportunity to share related details and content before and after an event.
In your post copy always strive to show impact, while also summarizing the moral of the story.
Facebook, as with all of social media, is a visually dominated space. Strong, quality images and videos automatically receive a higher level of engagement and reach.
Sharing links continues to be a popular way to share content and drive attention and traffic to digital properties on the web. When doing so, please remember that there are two ways to share a link:
- For optimal display. Links which have taken advantage of open graph tags/metadata will provide a clickable card that features an image, title and the source of the link.
- If a link is not generating open graph tags, your next option is to simply share the featured image and the shortened url as a photo post.
It’s important to know how your content is performing in order to evolve your Facebook strategy and understand how your audience engages with your content. You have two levels of data to review.
- The Overview/Page Summary allows you to assess the overall health of your Facebook page.
- Page managers are also able to review post reach and engagement. Note that you are able to view and compare the type of content as well as reach and engagement, which are key in understanding content performance.
- The more engaging your content, the more reach Facebook allows you access to. If you have underperforming content, this could influence the overall reach of all content posted. The key to success is understanding what types of content your audience is interested in and their preferences on how it should be served to them.
- Facebook’s insights also allow you to track your performance against your peers and aspirational pages. What pages should you watch? This depends on your goals and your audience. If your hope, for example, is to match engagement to a direct peer (Business School to Business School) you will watch business school pages within your peer set. Another way to look at this would be to measure against aspirational pages that represent the level of engagement you are striving for.
- Long URLs on any social media platform take away from aesthetic and because of this, engagement will likely be impacted in a negative way. WashU social has a Bitly account to generate short and clean urls.