The Facebook winning formula in 12 dos and don’ts
In the last quarter of 2017, the number of Facebook users decreased on a daily basis for the first time since the launch of the platform. It is mainly youngsters who are increasingly turning their backs on Facebook. No doubt the ongoing rumours about the impact of Facebook on the American presidential elections have something to do with it, but Facebook’s ‘cool’ factor definitely has a role to play too. The number of users in the 50 to 64 age group is rising and, as a trendy teenager, you can’t possibly be expected to use a channel your parents use too, right?
To counter this downward trend, Facebook is rapidly introducing change after change. Earlier this year, posts by friends and family were boosted to the detriment of those on pages you follow. ‘Real’ interactions are now more important than provoked reactions. As a result, a post asking you to tag someone will rank lower than a post in which you tag someone of your own accord.
So what are the dos and don’ts on Facebook? Here’s an overview to make sure you see the forest for the trees!
- Content that keeps users on social media for longer will be pushed, such as videos, Facebook live and polls, so try to include those in your posts, but don’t go over the top, because you can have too much of a good thing.
- When drawing up your posts, consider your target audience: what are their needs, motivations and interests, would you achieve more with long or short posts etc.? This approach ensures that more followers will read and react to your posts.
- Strike up a conversation with your followers to increase your chances of getting more likes, shares and comments. This is an excellent way to boost your visibility. Also use videos and follow trends to attract more reactions.
- Gear your posts to your users. Some of them prefer videos, while others prefer photos. Posts that allow for little interaction are less popular and therefore rank lower.
- Make sure your page is as complete as possible to boost your visibility.
- Share user posts about your brand. A positive user post will result in other users perceiving your brand as more reliable. On average, they also boost interactions seven-fold.
- Use sponsored posts to tap into a new audience. You can efficiently target your target group even with a limited budget.
- Limit the use of links. In its effort to keep users hooked, Facebook will penalise the use of links.
- Do not beg for likes, tags, reactions or shares.
- Clickbait and like-bait don’t work, on the contrary, they lower your ranking.
- Do not publish the same post repeatedly, because Facebook sees this as spam.
- Do not use Facebook for direct marketing. Urging your followers to buy a product or app will often result in decreased visibility. Adopt a subtler approach to ensure your followers actually see your post.
Since posts by friends and family are set to become more important than page posts, it will be more difficult for companies to hold users’ attention on Facebook. However, your followers can choose to continue seeing your content. Don’t be afraid to ask them to change their preferences, just make sure you do it in an original way, to guarantee your posts will keep appearing on their news feeds. How about a short instructional video like this one?