If you have heard me speak on the joys of the Facebook algorithm, then you will know that one of the biggest metrics to gain the most exposure is “communitive posts”. If your posts gain long tail comments then this fuels the algorithm and those posts are shown to more people.
What do I mean by “long tail comments?”
Facebook is clever enough to know when people are getting users to comment for comment's sake. Facebook will see these types of posts as a way of you trying to manipulate the algorithm and you will be penalised. Short tail comments are frowned upon, so try to avoid asking questions that ask your audience to answer in one word. Do not ask closed questions or ask them to pick between A or B, etc.
Long tail comments are encouraged. Facebook see value in a discussion. If you have people commenting with multiple words then this will set your post on fire! Here is a post that Green Umbrella sent to our page that evoked “long tail comments” This post had 58 long tail comments and the reach went crazy!
Thinking of creative ideas to get your audience involved in your community and brand can be a challenge. Here are three ways to evoke engagement
#1 – Keep an eye on Trending Content
Unfortunately, trending content on Facebook was removed a few weeks ago, but you can still see what is popular in the world by:-
- Checking Twitter moments
- Checking Twitter trending hashtags
- Typing your keyword / topic into Google > click news > tools > recent > sort by the last 24 hours
- BBC News is always a reliable source (Do not trust the Daily Mail!).
- Set up Google alerts
Topical events are always a great source of content for your Facebook page, especially if you are asking for opinions on the latest news, or perhaps you are offering your own opinion that will evoke people to agree or disagree with you. Being controversial is a highly effective strategy, but proceed with caution. You can see that Social Media Examiner are always ahead of the game when it comes to social media breaking news (see post below).
#2 – Ask for engagement – If you don't ask, you don't get!
There are numerous posts you can create that will automatically generate interaction and engagement. Remember, this is Facebook and people like to give their opinion.
- Use the “polls” feature to get people to vote on a topic. We find that using GIFs with the polls has a much better conversion rate than images or text only polls.
- Fill in the blank…. these are still going strong. As long as you are not asking people to “fill in the blank” every week then these work really well.
- Caption this…. another oldie but goodie!
Another way to ask for engagement is to ask people to select from a list below. This particular post was very successful on the Green Umbrella Page where we had a debate in the office about how a good cup of tea should be made. We posted a photo online and it was quite amusing to see where the conversation went. I think Yorkshire Tea won hands down!
#3 – Live video rocks!
If you want comments on your posts then go live! It is not for everyone, but if you are comfortable in front of a camera then go for it. When you are live you can encourage people to ask you questions by commenting below. Here are my top tips for getting better engagement on a Facebook live broadcast:-
- Only go live if you have something to say. If you have nothing to say, then don't do it!
- Embrace Imperfection – people buy from people. Be authentic and your real self and people will get involved.
- Facebook live works best if you are producing a regular show at the same time each week. Consistency will bring back your followers, and they will bring their friends.
- Let your audience drive the action. Don't fret if the content goes a bit off topic. Just go with the flow and read your audience.
- Be different and talk about something that your audience has never seen before.
- Interview someone – this works wonders, as your interviewee will also share the live broadcast with their audience. Double bubble!
- Remember to plan your live broadcast. Unless you are Martin Lewis, it is difficult to get an ongoing audience with live videos unless you have promoted the event.
Take a look at your last ten posts on Facebook. What is your engagement like? If you would like a quick summary of your Facebook page then check out the free tool called “LikeAlyzer”
Ideally, you are looking for a Likerank score of 75 or more, and an engagement rate of at least 5%. If your figures are below this (and we are certainly not perfect) then Likealyzer will give you some prompts as to how you can improve your score.
I hope these tips help. See you on Facebook!