Many content marketers have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. With Facebook reach sliding, brands are wondering if Facebook marketing is still worth the effort.
I believe it is. In terms of potential reach and ubiquity, Facebook remains the social network to be.
The good news: Facebook is actively introducing new tools and features to help marketers succeed. If you’re looking to step up your game on Facebook, here are 5 fresh (and mostly under-utilized) tactics that can increase your reach and engagement:
1. Optimize your Open Graph meta-data.
To make your content become more shareable, optimizing it for Facebook is critical. If people don’t see an attractive image or an enticing title and description when they want to share your content, they may not share it at all.
Familiarize yourself with Open Graph. Simply put, Open Graph is a meta data that allows you to control the image, description and title that renders on people’s Facebook newsfeeds when they share your content. Optimize Open Graph meta-data is easy (especially on WordPress), so take the time to do this—and make sure you do it for every blog post, landing page and other web assets.
2. Upload videos directly to your Facebook page.
If you’re already creating videos as part of your content marketing strategy, you can’t ignore Facebook. According to a recent Mashable article, Facebook videos are about to take over.
“Major media companies have started publishing video directly to Facebook and are reaping the rewards of dramatically greater views and engagement,” says the article. BuzzFeed, Upworthy and ESPN are also seeing great results from Facebook videos.
One of the main benefits of uploading directly to Facebook is that the video auto-plays. While some users find auto-play irritating, stats show it increases engagement. You can also see stats about your video—including when people actually dropped off—directly from Facebook Insights. Finally (and I think this is the most crucial), I suspect Facebook’s algorithm actually favours its own native player. Videos in general are more engaging on social media, but since this is Facebook’s own product, I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets more organic reach than YouTube videos.
3. Use Facebook’s CTA button.
To the delight of many marketers, Facebook introduced CTA buttons for Facebook pages last year. (If you’re outside of the US, Facebook promised that this feature will be available for everyone this year.) There are seven calls to action available for Facebook pages: Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up and Watch Video.
This feature is not necessarily a game changer for social media commerce, but it’s free to add so you should do it. Facebook’s own research shows that CTA buttons on Facebook pages could boost customer acquisition efforts. Adding the CTA buttons to your Facebook page is fairly easy, so take the time to do it.
4. Post on weekends and at nights.
Just because you work Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, doesn’t mean those are the best times to post on your Facebook page. According to TrackMaven, Facebook engagement tends to skyrocket on weekends. “Posts published on Sundays have the greatest interactions per post,” reveals TrackMaven’s 2014 report.
You should also test posting at night. “Posts published between 12-1AM are most effective,” says the report.
TrackMaven has some interesting stats on when to best post to Facebook, but I suggest experimenting. Try a few posts on Sundays and at nights and see how they do. Do they get more engagement compared to your other posts? Every Facebook community is different, so you should validate TrackMaven’s recommendations with your own page.
5. Promote your best content.
Set aside a part of your social media budget to advertise on Facebook. You don’t have to promote everything: just promote the ones that are most critical to your content marketing strategy. Sometimes it’s also a great idea to promote content that are already organically getting some traction. You can’t plan to go viral, but you could use Facebook ads to increase brand awareness and put some horsepower behind your most important content.
As long as Facebook remains the biggest social network, marketers can’t afford to ignore it. We need to keep experimenting on this platform if we don’t want to lose the interest of our fans. The tips I provided here should be a good place to start.
What other fresh Facebook marketing tactics have you found to be effective recently? Let other marketers know–please leave a comment below!