Facebook user engagement continues to stay high.
Despite shifts in the user demographics and occasional skepticism from the media, Facebook’s users remain committed to the platform. And with over 1 billion users around the world, it’s impossible for any business to ignore this social network’s monetization potential.
For marketers, there are a couple issues when it comes to user engagement and their bottom lines: understanding it and increasing it.
This article will explain how Facebook defines engagement and what you can do to increase it.
Understanding Facebook User Engagement
User engagement has become the biggest buzzword in the past year or two. But despite its overuse, it pays to understand what it means and how you can apply this understanding to your bottom line.
Facebook defines engagement by interactions:
- Clicking through
These four essential interactions are what Facebook itself uses to define engagement. While you may consider passive interactions – such as reading a post or viewing an image – as engagement, Facebook does not.
When it comes to your own marketing agenda, you will have to decide for yourself how to measure user engagement. It makes sense that Facebook would measure engagement from an interaction perspective.
After all, as a marketer, your job is to provide a stimulus and elicit a response. If you don’t elicit a response, are your users really engaged?
This matter is certainly up for debate, so it’s best for you to establish and track metrics that reflect your marketing department’s view of user engagement.
Increasing Facebook User Engagement
A major problem with Facebook user engagement is the decrease in organic Facebook page reach. Facebook claims its top priority is the user experience. The decrease in organic page rank, claims the social network, is a result of lower user engagement.
Some maintain that Facebook is deliberately fostering an environment where businesses will be forced to pay for exposure via ads. However, there may be some truth to Facebook’s assertions.
There may be a number of reasons for poor Facebook user engagement:
- Marketers aren’t keeping up with the times. Videos and photos are critical to engagement. People love both, and social posts that don’t have them suffer.
- Businesses have turned their marketing into a one-trick pony. Content must be informative and engaging. Spamming a page feed with photo after photo won’t cut it –while photos do capture attention, value garners interaction…and engagement.
- They aren’t paying attention to their users. Analytics are meant to be used. If user engagement is poor, then organic reach will suffer as a result.
- Posts are too promotional. Businesses are allowed to promote themselves, of course. But overly promotional content rarely adds value. A decrease in engagement is the result. Facebook has gone so far as to discourage certain types of promotional behavior.
So what approach should businesses take in order to remedy these issues?
How to Increase Facebook User Engagement
Content marketing relies on organic engagement. And, in the case of Facebook, organic Page reach. To boost both, follow a few best practices:
- Focus on what works now, then increase, improve, and optimize. Examine what your engagement data tells you: find out what content earns the most interactions, then refocus on that. Also, listen to what your fans are saying, then use that to inform your organic content.
- Don’t be overly promotional. In order to promote yourself effectively, you have to earn trust and loyalty. In other words, you have to earn the right to self-promote. Once you have an engaged fan base and content that matters, you can experiment. Find the right ratio of self-promotion to organic, valuable content.
- Incite interactions. This means finding out what types of created and curated content will stimulate a response. In general, social media users hate being marketed to – they are on-site to socialize, so engage them socially.
- Be personal and personable. Brands shouldn’t be distant, aloof, or faceless. Consider using named representatives. When you speak to your customers, don’t be formal and stiff. Today, business casual is best, so talk to customers as if you are talking to friends.
- Mix up your strategies and your content. Predictable content will eventually bore and disengage fans. Include enough variety to keep things interesting, while staying within the scope of your business services and your content strategy. Mix content formats, strategies, and campaigns.
Any business that wants to increase their Facebook user engagement should regularly consult Facebook Insights. This data should be combined with external analytics to offer a holistic picture of the audience and what they are looking for.
It’s important to remember that Facebook user engagement also depends on a variety of external factors. The value of posted content is certainly critical, but it’s only part of the picture. A marketer’s primary concern should be overall, multi-channel customer engagement. Facebook user engagement is simply one piece of the bigger puzzle.