Running a Facebook business page has always been about engagement – in other words, getting your followers to react, comment, click through and share your posts – but now it’s more important than ever before. The pages I run both for my social media and blogging business, and for my travel blog, have continued to have good engagement over the years despite the doom and gloom headlines about the end of free Facebook reach, and I’m going to help you figure out some ways to do the same with your own page.
But first …
Why doesn’t Facebook show my posts to everyone who’s liked my page?
This is a common question I get and to answer it, you need to know something about the Facebook algorithm.
When Facebook started, there weren’t many people on it. There weren’t any business pages at all. You’d log on and see everything your Facebook friends had posted in reverse chronological order – that is, with the most recently posted items first. And you’d have a quick look and all was good.
But now a decade or so later, you probably have a whole lot more friends on Facebook, you follow a bunch of Facebook pages, you may be a member of a few Facebook groups, and there’s advertising (sponsored posts) too. Basically that means that when you log on now, there are potentially hundreds of new posts that Facebook could show you.
Facebook is all about keeping people on Facebook as long as possible, and to do that it wants to show you the stuff that it figures is of most interest to you. (Plus a few ads of course. It’s a business, after all.) So Facebook keeps track of how you engage with posts – which friends’ posts you always comment on, which business pages you interact with, etc, along with which posts lots of people seem to think a post is useful or entertaining – and then when you log in, it shows you first what it thinks you’ll be most interested in. For most people these will tend to include posts from their friends more often than posts from business pages, because people log on to Facebook to see what their friends are up to. That’s the Facebook algorithm at work, and that’s why if your posts on your business page aren’t really engaging, nobody will see them!
So how do I write an engaging Facebook post?
The most important thing to bear in mind is this: most people come to Facebook to interact with their friends. I bet you’re the same!
So as a business page, you have to fit into this – you need to be both interesting to your followers and interested in your followers. You need to be conversational and non-salesy and generally good enough to fit into the mould of a friend.
How do I write a business post that sounds like I’m a friend?
Well, this is easier for some businesses than others. I find it hard to believe that Coles or Woolworths wants to be my friend. I can, however, feel like a small business owner or blogger or writer whose business page I follow is a real person and I want to interact with them. That’s one of the reasons I love working with small businesses and solo business people, and authors and artists and the like, because Facebook can be amazing for you! So how? Well, basically:
You need to be authentic, honest, open and friendly. You shouldn’t talk all about what you’re selling too often. You should write in a way that encourages people to talk back to you. And you should be so inspiring or so educational and useful that people always want to read your next post, too.
This is much easier said than done, and I think the best way is to give some examples from my own pages. The “voice” I write in is very much me, it’s how I speak to my clients when they’re in front of me, and I very much have my clients in mind when I’m writing them. (This is partly because I know my target market extremely well, but even that is something that takes time to develop, so don’t stress.)
Examples of Facebook posts that are really engaging
Personal, behind-the-scenes and relatable:
I know that many of my clients are also parents and small business owners, so they understand this juggle. Also, note that the text is extremely conversational. Who needs full sentences? Not your friends on Facebook!
Imperfect and relatable:
I know from experience that many of my clients feel similarly about LinkedIn to me, and I thought I’d tell them I feel the same and get a few of us together (virtually) to re-do our LinkedIn Profiles.
Promotional, but still friendly (and funny)
Of course, sometimes you need to promote your business directly. Well, sort-of-directly. This post is ostensibly about my library of books for mastermind clients, but I still manage to make it clear about the available spots in my mastermind groups. And I try to be funny too – I got a few comments about chocolate as an overdue fine!
So how can I really make my Facebook pages engaging too?
There is no secret formula to creating the perfect Facebook post for your business page: rather, there is a lot of practice to get your real voice out onto the screen in a way that really matches your target audience. You should also pay really close attention to the Facebook posts that you always stop to read, and figure out what about them is making you feel compelled to stop.
When you’re speaking to your customers or clients, listen to yourself. What kind of phrases do you use? How do you put them at ease? What kind of topics do you chat about when you’re veering off the main business at hand?
And how can you put all of this into your Facebook page?
It’s not easy, at first. It becomes easy: don’t tell anyone, but I write my Facebook posts without giving them much thought at all. I just have something I want to tell my audience, and I tell them. I know them well, and I know myself well, and I know well how to communicate with them, because I’ve been doing it for a long time. I can’t speed up the long time for you, but I hope something I’ve written here connects with you and gets you thinking more about how you can make your Facebook posts more engaging and real. Good luck!
Great info Amanda, thank you.
Marlane Ainsworth says
Thanks, Amanda. After reading this article I think my Facebook posts with a link to my latest blog are too heavy. The subjects are usually serious, but I can lighten up in my posts.