Worldwide, there are over 2.23 billion monthly active Facebook users and 1.47 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily (Source: Facebook 07/25/18). Statistically speaking, Facebook is too big to ignore but when it comes to social media marketing, is it actually delivering the results you’d hope to see?
Over 80 million businesses have a presence on the social network which makes it a crowded and competitive landscape. And at a time when organic Facebook Reach is estimated to currently be as low as 1–3%, succeeding on the platform is more difficult than ever.
If you’re struggling to make an impact on Facebook, then this article is for you. In it, I will share some best practice tips to help you increase your organic reach and boost engagement.
So let’s get started with Tip #1
1. Grab attention with a compelling visual
Study after study confirms that how you create and share content matters — with visual content leading the way.
According to research by Kissmetrics, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts. Facebook recommends each post you create should include some type of creative, like images, GIFs or videos.
Make sure these creative assets are of high quality. Avoid using blurry images or videos or creative that doesn’t accurately reflect your brand or message. If you post any pictures of your patients, be sure to obtain their permission.
Pro Tip: You can easily create your own images with drag-and-drop tools, like Canva and Ribbet. They will also automatically create the right sizes for your Facebook page, so you don’t need to worry about it.
2. Keep things simple
Facebook advises that “simple posts with clean creative are best at capturing an audience’s attention” and recommends the following tips:
· Keep your color scheme clean and consistent
· Include images that are recognizable
· Use minimal, concise and impactful text
3. Share a behind-the-scenes photo of your office
People love to see behind the scenes of your practice – so bring your camera to your next staff meeting, lunch or event. Sharing pictures of your employees (with their permission, of course) makes your practice so much more relatable.
4. Post about cause awareness events
Whether it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month or Healthy Weight Week, there is a cause awareness month you can write about at least once a month.
5. Create holiday-themed posts
Christmas, Hanukah, Thanksgiving — they all provide an opportunity to share holiday themed advice or send best wishes to your followers. You could also join in fun holidays like National Donut Day. Check out this calendar to keep you right up to date with ideas.
6. Post news and updates from your practice
Are you rolling out a new program, product or service? Have you acquired a new piece of equipment that affords better care? Let your followers know about it. Patients will appreciate you keeping them informed.
7. Share videos
Video has become the predominant way we consume information. The average video post generates 135% greater organic reach when compared to photo posts according to research from Social Bakers.
Here are some tips to use video more effectively on Facebook
- When sharing video, upload it directly to Facebook. Don’t link out to YouTube. Videos uploaded onto Facebook have, on average, 110 percent higher engagement rate and 478 percent higher share rate than YouTube links, according to a quintly study of six million Facebook posts.
- Experiment with square videos. Buffer found that square videos received higher average views, engagement, and completion rate than landscape videos, especially on mobile devices.
- Add captions: When studying over 500 Facebook Pages and 12,000 Facebook videos, Locowise found that 93 percent of video views happened without sound.
- Keep it short. Facebook’s own advice is to keep your videos short: “This is a best practice in digital to capture attention. Remember that 6 and 15 seconds are the new digital standards for video.”
8. Go Live
Facebook Live videos get three times the engagement of traditional videos shared on the platform and it draws 10 times as many comments as regular video. Facebook actively prioritizes live video by placing it at the top of the News Feed, as well as sending notifications to potentially interested audience members. Additionally, Facebook Live videos are archived on Facebook and can be viewed and shared after the live broadcast.
Tips for going live (via AAP News)
- Consider making a regular time for your show if you plan on frequent live videos.
- Choose topics that will engage your audience and provide valuable education.
- Tell viewers ahead of time when you are going live.
- Greet your viewers and respond to their questions and comments by name.
- Promote your live video on multiple social media platforms to increase engagement.
- Be prepared. Create an outline of key points and questions.
- Make sure you have a strong internet connection and no institutional firewall blocking your broadcast.
9. Create Facebook Stories
Facebook Stories — user-generated slideshows and video collections — are short (around 20-seconds) pieces of content created on your smartphone and available for up to 24 hours. After this time your story automatically deletes itself, although there is an option to save your content.
10. Post When Your Followers Are Online
To optimize your engagement and reach, you want to share content when your audience is online. If you search for optimal posting times, you will find many guides online. You can follow these recommendations as a starting point, but it’s best to do your own testing to see which days and times work best for your own audience.
Facebook makes it easy to find out your optimal posting times by navigating to the Insights Tab and selecting Posts. Here you will get data about when your Facebook Page fans are online for each day of the week. Once you’ve determined your optimal posting times, make use of Facebook’s post scheduling feature to post at just the right time.
To Wrap Up
While I have focussed on increasing organic reach on Facebook, the reality is that Facebook is a pay-to-play environment now. You will need to include paid strategies for a successful Facebook marketing plan. Use organic content to analyze and test to see what works best with your audience. You can then use these insights for paid ads. Your top-performing posts are proven content. With the right ad targeting, these posts can continue to reach and engage more people.