9 Tips to Maximize Engagement on Facebook

social network


With all of the social media tools available, it’s often difficult for a small business to justify the time and resources needed to manage them all. As a result, many focus efforts on the top three most well-known channels: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

However, according to a recent study, 34% said they interact with a brand on Facebook, while only 4% follow brands on Twitter and only 1% follow companies on LinkedIn.

Of those who like a brand on Facebook, 56% said they are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan. Fifty-one percent said they’re more likely to buy a product since becoming a fan of a brand.

Though Facebook seems to be the top channel a business should devote resources to, many businesses don’t understand the science behind Facebook engagement. They walk into it aimlessly because they’re told they should.

Well, we don’t want you to be that business. That’s why we’re giving you the top 9 tips to maximizing engagement on Facebook.

Tip 1:  Know your Audience

What do Pepsi, Starbucks and Starburst have in common? For one, they know their audiences. Take a look at their Facebook pages and how they communicate with their customers. This type of engagement is what you should aim to do with your business page.

Ask yourself, what’s important to your customers? What is their online behavior like? What do you think they like or would like your page for? What do they do in their spare time? What are their perspectives on life? What beliefs do they hold? All of these questions will help you identify who your audience is so you can deliver content that piques their interest.

Tip 2:    Be Conversational

Regardless of industry, social media is always conversational.  For most people, it’s a place where they can connect and be entertained. Yet some businesses still feel the need to put on a suit and tie when adding content to social media sites and quite frankly, it turns customers off. Do your best to embrace a conversational style. Talk how your customers talk (keeping in mind that you’re still a business) and they’ll feel that much more comfortable with you.

Tip 3:     Post at the Best Times

Believe it or not, there are “best times” to post to social media channels. When you’re using Facebook, consider the following schedule:

  • The best timeframe to post daily is between 1- 4 a.m.
  • Wednesday at 4 a.m. is the best time of the week to post
  • Posts after 8 p.m. and before 8 a.m. see the worst engagement

Tip 4:     Don’t Shamelessly Self-Promote

Too many businesses fall victim to social media shame when they incessantly promote themselves. If your Facebook content is always about your business, there’s a problem.

Rather, think of social media as being all about your fans. Rather than telling them to check out the great new book you wrote, tell them that you decided to write a book that you feel will resonate with them and ask that they let you know their thoughts on it. Rather than telling your fans they should buy tickets to a conference you’re speaking at before they’re sold out, offer limited tickets to your most loyal customers and make sure to thank them for the support.

Also, don’t focus exclusively on your business but provide your audience with other useful information. For example, if you are a recipe developer and your target audience consists of stay-at-home moms, ask yourself what content they enjoy and provide this content to them.

Sure, they love your recipes but they might also enjoy hearing about fun adventures to enjoy with their children around town, or tips to hosting the perfect birthday party, or where to get discounted tickets for the new Disney movie that’s out in theaters, etc.

Tip 5:     Always Reply to Comments When Possible

When you ask a brand a question or post a comment on Facebook, do you expect them to respond? What if they didn’t respond at all or were very slow to respond? That would be a slap in the face in my eyes and result in an immediate “unlike.”

Yet many businesses have been show to be slow to respond to customers on Facebook, if they respond at all. We consider this one of the most detrimental behaviors a business manages to conduct (or not conduct) on social media. If you do your best to respond to questions, address comments and show your appreciation as much as possible, it will go a long way towards creating a mutually beneficial relationship between your business and your customers.

Tip 6:      Be Transparent

We’ve seen many cases and heard many horror stories of brands deleting customer comments that are undesirable, or deleting their own posts if they fail to resonate with fans. What a mistake that is.

Though circumstances vary, unless someone is consistently bullying others through your page or causing unnecessary turmoil, you should refrain from deleting posts. Why?

In the age of social media, it’s most important to remain transparent and maintain an open dialogue with your customers. Think of social media as a mode of two-way communication and an opportunity to talk directly with your customers in a way you couldn’t before social media.

If someone gives you a negative review, thank them for the opinion and let them know you’ll work to improve their negative experience. If you post something that, for whatever reason, upsets some of your fans, own up to the mistake and apologize. People will appreciate your candor more than they’ll appreciate deceit and dishonesty.

Tip 7:      Be Cautious with Automated Tools

Countless brands are using social media management tools such as Hootsuite and Tweet Deck to sync their social media accounts so they can do their due diligence with social media and still have time on their hands for other things. Smart, right? Maybe not.

Those customers who are familiar with automated tools are more likely to be turned off knowing that you don’t have the time to engage directly with them. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you should take pride in engaging with your fans directly.

Tip 8:      Localize your Content

Say you’re a small business owner who sells products worldwide but you’re running a promotion for a particular region. If you posted that promotion to your entire fan base, you’ll more than likely get some backlash from ostracized consumers.

Make sure that when it makes sense, geo-target your Facebook content to match the right audience with the right information. Consider these tips for using geo-targeting to your advantage.

Tip 9:    Be Creative With Posts

The most successful Facebook posts are those that directly engage your fans. There are countless ways to do this, such as pairing photos with status updates, posting fill-in-the-blank updates, asking a question, giving a tip or posting a photo and letting your fans create a caption.

Get creative with your status updates and you’ll definitely see a spark in engagement. Then, once you have that engagement level up, work to keep your customers in conversation with your brand.

It’s Not About You, It’s About Them

To be successful on Facebook requires that you put yourself in the shoes of the customers. If you engage with customers through their perspectives, they’ll more than likely begin to see you as a trusted partner rather than a self-interested business. Remember, social media should be seen as an opportunity for dialogue, not an outlet for self-promotion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns FreelanceMom.com, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.