Posts not getting much engagement and reach?
It could be because you aren’t optimizing your posts for your audience (and those pesky Facebook algorithms). Try these tips the next time you post to Facebook.
Does that 👆 sound familiar? It should. I literally wrote this post less than a year ago and it already needs to be updated.
(By updated, I mean added to. The tips from my first blog still apply. Phew!)
Here we go.
Use emojis if it works with your brand’s personality/voice. Five years ago, CSU would have never used an emoji. However, as 😍, 😂, and 🙌 became more relevant to everyday digital conversation among our fans, we realized we needed to also talk the talk.
Throwing in an emoji or two every once in a while makes your brand feel more human to your audience… ⚠ as long as you’re not overusing emojis, or using them in the complete wrong way. When in doubt, always find a 16-year-old to consult.
Pro tip: Download Chrome’s emoji extension. This way, emojis are always at your fingertips when you’re working on a computer.
(I could honestly write an entire blog on emojis. Mostly, I would just want to see how many emojis I could fit into one blog.)
Target your posts for specific audiences…sometimes
Facebook added a really neat feature allowing pages to ensure their posts reach specific audiences based on their audience’s interests/demographics.
CSU uses this tool typically when promoting events. (Unless you’re promoting a Beyonce concert or the Super Bowl, events can be hard to promote.)
Here’s an example. When we promote a non-televised basketball game on CSU’s Facebook page, we might use the targeted-reach function to reach audiences who only live in Fort Collins/northern Colorado. It’s doubtful our alumni from New York are going to make a day trip to good ol’ Fort Collins for some hoops 🏀, so it’s content they likely don’t care about.
However, we use this very sparingly; it’s definitely not an everyday tool for us. While we might target the basketball game event details to audiences who only live near Fort Collins, we definitely wouldn’t target the follow-up post about our Rams winning the basketball game. That’s something Rams near and far want to see.
P.S. You can find the target feature right next to the scheduling option on a post.
Get to know pop culture
If there’s one thing I’m proud of, it’s our social media team’s ability to get in on some pop-culture fun right before the topic becomes uncool (ahem, “the dress” nightmare of 2015).
Here’s the thing. If you can make a pop culture reference work for your brand without it looking like you’re trying too hard, and the idea hasn’t been duplicated a million, trillion times on Twitter already, GO for it. But remember, it has to be relevant to your brand to really engage your audience.
Link previews: Experiment, but pay attention
If you haven’t noticed, Facebook now allows pages to upload multiple pictures to a link preview.
We don’t use the carousel look, because we’ve found that one dominant picture on a link preview is more effective with our audiences. But, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be effective for other audiences, especially pages selling products. Try it out. See what happens. And go from there.
But, beware: If you edit the link preview’s title and description before uploading your photo, Facebook will automatically return the title/description to the original text. Always upload your photo before adjusting any link-preview text.
New ways to display photos
Facebook also changed the way pages can display photos, including creating a photo carousel and a slideshow. Again, CSU hasn’t found the carousel option to be very effective for us. We’ve tried out the slideshow option a few times and have had moderate success with it.
It’s always worth experimenting with!
It’s one thing to post a picture to Facebook. It’s another to engage with your audience in the comments thread…when appropriate.
OMG FINALLY, GIFS
Oh thank goodness. It’s been a long and painful wait, but Facebook finally heard our cries.
Yes, friends, we can finally post GIFs to Facebook. Take advantage of this. People love a well-timed GIF. But, use them sparingly. Your audience should feel like they’ve just found a unicorn more than like they’re passing another herd of cows on the side of the road.
(Disclaimer: If seeing a herd of cows on the side of the road seems magical to you, no judgment here.)
Facebook is always changing. (Probably because Facebook thinks it’s hilarious to make us all keep blogging about it all the time.) So, keep experimenting with new ways to reach your audiences. You never know when you might just strike gold.