9 tips for being seen and heard through the noise of Facebook

by Sarah Evans on Sep 21, 2012

Facebook reachFacebook is constantly iterating so it can be tough to stay on top of trends. That’s why resources like Social Fresh are essential to anyone in a social marketing role.

Between nuances like, and knowing when they combine recent and top news, it can be overwhelming.

At least one thing remains the same, bad content remains just that, bad. The challenge is that there really is a lot of good content being posted on a regular basis.

So, how do you make sure you’re seen and heard?

Here are my favorite tips I’m only sharing with the Social Fresh crew:

1. Decide which content is best

Sometimes a photo will do and others its all about the written word. How do you know what format is best for Facebook? Here are the types of content you can choose to share (in a print-friendly format):

I’ve found that natively shared (i.e. content shared not from a third-party app or link) images get the most engagement. That means I typically think visual (not written or video) first, written status update second.

The secret to an engaging status update? Write content thats get a response, like:

  • Questions
  • Controversial topics
  • Feel Good
  • Has an emotional trigger (e.g. laugh, cry)
TIP: If you want to make sure more people (as opposed to less) see your content, make sure the “public” option is selected before you post.

2. Tag your content

When you post ANYTHING on Facebook that mentions a person, place or thing with a Facebook page, tag them. It’s part of Facebook’s magic sauce that makes your content more likely to be seen. This applies to status updates as well as photos, videos and location check-ins.

(CAVEAT: If you share junk, no matter how you tag it, it will not get interaction.)

3. Schedule, when appropriate

The lifespan of a Facebook post is near 23 hours (compared to Twitter which is less than hour). But, depending on user behaviors, Facebook’s algorithm might make your post less visible to certain would-be evangelists.

So, take care to maximize the amount of eyeballs that will see your content. Using a combination of tools like Buffer, HootSuite or the native schedule option for pages within Facebook schedule posts when you’re likely to have the most engagement.

4. Collaborate with your team

Two virtual heads are better than one, so collaborate to produce the most engaging content possible. This could be my next bumper sticker:

I use social collaboration platform Tracky (because I work with them and I really like them) to produce our social media editorial calendar and participate in exercises to make our brand messaging stronger. Whenever I submit something to a team member for input, the result is always something better than I began with.

5. Sometimes you have no idea what will go “viral”

If you’re over thinking your content, it’s not worth your time. Take, George Takei, who you may remember as Mr. Sulu on Star Trek. The guy created a massive Facebook following and consistently has something like 99% engagement rate.

What does that look like for an individual post? In about an hour he had more than 11 thousand likes, 517 comments and 2,677 comments on the post below.

6. Get your team on board to share that link

This isn’t permission to create your own personal Spamalot, but when multiple people share a link it creates a related news feed, thus increasing your chances to be seen.

The clients I work with who do it well never force their employees to share. They typically send an email with celebrating a particular news item and remind employees that if they’re excited about it too, they can share on social networks, like Facebook.

Many times we’ll draft status updates they can easily copy and paste if they’re short on time.

7. Promote your post

Want more views?

Or, don’t yet have the actively engaged audience you dreamed of when joining Facebook?

There’s still hope.

Facebook allows public pages to promote posts. Yes, you can actually promote a status update to ensure more people will see it and that could result in more likes, shares and comments.

TIP: Target your audience. If you’re a Power Editor, you can now use Facebook’s custom audience targeting available. It allows users to target ads by email, phone number or user ID.

8. Remember the two things people want most

There are really only two reasons most people “like” brand pages:

  1. They are already a fan of in real life and want to show their affiliation; or
  2. To get deals and discounts.

If you’re struggling to attract people to your content, perhaps you don’t have a strong enough connection yet or you’re not giving the people what they want.

9. Plan a realtime, live event

One of the great ways to engage your audience is to create content that has a longer life in your stream than a standard post. Using a tool like Watchitoo you can host a live streaming webcast in your Facebook stream.

The engagement from users can be off the chart and because users stay on the post longer, they tend to like and comment way more than on normal posts. Find a celeb who wants to lend some spice to your stream and you can really see the engagement get crazy – but crazy fun!

There we have it, 9 tips for the Social Fresh crew. Now it is your turn? What tricks do you use to get your page’s content seen on Facebook?

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Post Author

Sarah is the chief evangelist at the social collaboration platform Tracky and author of [RE]FRAME: Little Inspirations For A Larger Purpose (SlimBooks). She regularly blogs about her fave social media tips and tech gadgets at Sarah’s Faves...

  • nickcicero

    Awesome tips, thanks Sarah!

  • http://twitter.com/prsarahevans Sarah Evans

    Thanks, Nick! :)

  • http://twitter.com/ChadWittman Chad Wittman

    I like the piece, but was curious where you got the Facebook Post Lifespan is 23 hours stat?

  • http://twitter.com/LeftofLeftField David Farrell

    Great article. ( Recommended by @kathikruse ) You’re being a little generous allotting Tweets a lifespan of an hour, though, aren’t you?

  • http://twitter.com/prsarahevans Sarah Evans

    Hi Chad. I’ve read mixed reviews on this, but the original stat was found here: http://allfacebook.com/facebook-post_b61377.

  • http://twitter.com/prsarahevans Sarah Evans

    @twitter-783251522:disqus I don’t know about generous, I like to think I’m pretty nice. ;) ;) The hour stat is an average and, at least from personal experience, accurate.