Remember the phrase in high school, “It’s not a popularity contest”? Well, when it comes to marketing your product on social media, it actually is. Brand awareness and brand loyalty have a strong positive association with purchase intention. In fact, 53% of Americans who follow 12 or more brands on social media tend to stay more loyal to those brands. Therefore, getting more likes on Facebook correlates to your customer acquisition and retention.
And here’s the kicker—it’s not just about getting likes on your Facebook page. You also want to increase likes on what you’re posting to that page. Because unfortunately, having someone like your page, doesn’t mean they’ll see all of your posts (or any for that matter).
Getting more likes on your posts actually increases the number of people who will see them. Facebook’s “popularity contest” is known as its Edgerank Algorithm. The algorithm factors in 3 different rating systems—an affinity score, edge weight and time decay.
- Affinity score measures how connected someone is to your page—in other words, how often are they interacting with your page and the content you post.
- Edge weight is how popular the specific post is overall (measured off of the aggregate amount of likes, comments and shares).
- Time decay is based on how old the post is.
Basically, all of this means that Facebook is using an individual’s previous likes, the total likes on the post, and the age of the post, to determine what shows up in someone’s News Feed.
So, how can you beat out the competition in Facebook’s “popularity contest” and get more likes? Here are our top 5 tips.
1. Create Amazing Content
What’s the best way to get likes on Facebook? Create insightful, unique and compelling content that people want to like and share. Simple, right? Of course not. It’s not easy to guess what will resonate with the masses. But, a good way to get started is by really defining your brand’s social media strategy. What do you stand for? What’s your brand’s personality? By staying true to those principals, you’ll have a solid starting point for creating compelling and amazing content.
For example, take Nutella. Nutella consistently posts tantalizing, high quality, bright images of their product in action on their Facebook page. These pictures, however, do more than just look good—they feature interesting recipes and uses for their product.
Also make sure you’re giving your website visitors the ability to Like your content on your site as well by adding the Facebook Like Button. Adding the Facebook Like Button to your website is a great way to encourage your visitors to Like your content, which in turn can help drive more engagement with your brand or product on Facebook.
2. Engage Your Audience
Have you ever been on a date with someone who spent the entire time talking about how great they are? They probably didn’t get a second date. When running your social media, think about behaving as you would on a date. Your goal is to engage your audience. You want them to respond, so start conversations that others will enjoy participating in. Don’t self-promote the entire time. To help structure your social media strategy, many community managers break what they post into three buckets, commonly referred to as the “Social Media Rule of Thirds.”
- ⅓ of your content promotes you and your business with conversions in mind
- ⅓ of your content covers industry tips and trends from thought-leaders or relevant resources
- ⅓ of your content is based on interactions with your customers, users, or community members
One great way to encourage engagement is to ask questions. According to Kissmetrics, “question” posts receive 100% more comments than non-question posts. Ask a trivia question or use a fill-in-the-blank technique. Here’s a list of questions to get you started.
3. Show, Don’t Tell
Let’s face it – we all have a short attention span. According to Chartbeat, most readers only scroll to about the 50% mark (or the 1,000th pixel) in an article. On social media, it’s even less. Kissmetrics found that posts with 80 characters or less get 66% more engagement. So, moral of the story, keep those posts short.
However, if you really want to ensure increased engagement on your posts, start using images and graphics. Photos are the most engaging type of content used on Facebook. In fact, eMarketer puts the average engagement rate of photo content at 87%. That’s 83% higher than any other content type!
But what photos should you be posting? Remember first and foremost what Facebook is used for—connecting with people you know. If you can share photos of real people, and they tag themselves in it, you’re going to get higher engagement. Chinese Laundry uses this tactic by tagging people wearing their product. In addition to tagging real people, you should stay positive. Facebook actually found that users become less engaged when content on their feed becomes more negative. Sharing uplifting images will help increase your engagement rate.
4. Experiment with Timing
Timing is everything. If your audience is mostly asleep when you post, you’re not going to get good engagement. We found that the most popular time for people to share content to Facebook is on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9pm-10pm ET. Experiment with your posting time to see what gets most engagement. However, you should shy away from posting too many times a day. Buffer recommends you post no more than 2 times a day, with a sweet spot of five to 10 posts total for the week. To determine what works best for your audience, try scheduling all posts for a week or two at the same time of day, or experiment with post frequency. Then, you’ll be able to see via Facebook insights if your engagement rate increased or decreased.
5. Give Posts a Boost
So, you’ve followed tips 1-4: Your content is engaging, you have an amazing photo to compliment the post, and you know the exact time to post it. In that case, don’t be afraid to “boost your post”. Boosting a post incrementally expands your reach. Dave Kerpen of Likeable Local explains, “Boosting your posts, even just for a few dollars, to a targeted audience is the first thing you should be doing to get your businesses’ Facebook posts off to a strong start for increased engagement.”
There are a few rules to keep in mind when boosting your post:
- You’ll need to choose an audience and your budget
- Not all posts can be boosted
- You can’t boost a post that is too old or that contains an expired offer or past event
- You can’t boost a photo that is more than 20% text
To find out more about criteria and regulations for boosting posts, visit Facebook’s Help Page.
By encouraging likes on your page and on your content, you’ll be able to reach more followers. And, in today’s connected economy, more followers equal more customers.
Lastly, if you need any more help in coming up with ways to get more likes on Facebook, The Oatmeal offers some great tongue-in-check advice (or at the very least, a couple of laughs).
Get started by adding the Facebook Like Button to your website today.