Encouraging Audience Engagement on Facebook

By Stephanie Diamond, John Haydon

The change to Facebook’s algorithm means that you need to work even harder to engage your audience. As you work on your marketing plan, keep in mind the following tactics to help you achieve your goals.

Creating a rich, customer-centric experience on Facebook

In addition to incentives, the fierce competition to get your audience’s attention requires you to offer an outstanding customer experience. If it’s mediocre, you’ll lose out to your competition.

Here are some ways you can stand out on Facebook:

  • Customer support: Responsive support is the key to developing a loyal customer. Many businesses on Facebook do a mediocre job of helping their customers find information they want and build a relationship. You can set up interactive tools that let you have private one-on-one conversations with users to satisfy their needs. Suggested tools are the following:
    • Facebook Messenger: Messenger allows you to send/receive private messages directly from Facebook. In addition, you can offer mobile support to show customers that you want to communicate with them in the way they find most convenient.
    • Messenger chatbots: Setting up chatbots help customers serve themselves to get the answers they are looking for.
    • Community development: Setting up a Facebook Group for your community allows you to see what your customers are talking about and how you can serve them better. A tool you might try is Facebook Groups. Even though Facebook Groups can take some work to maintain, they help you and your members connect with others to build relationships and share information.
  • Live streaming: One of the creative ways to interact with fans on Facebook is to provide live broadcasts that teach, entertain, and let your viewers get to know you better. Ask for their opinions and get them actively engaged. A good tool for this purpose is Facebook Live. You can broadcast directly from your desktop or mobile device to your user, who can watch from either venue (device or computer). Speak directly to your users and show them interviews, events, daily activities, and so on.
  • Quality content: You know that if your content is subpar, you won’t get users to give you a second look. You need to create great videos, articles, and other content that will cause them to share and respond. A tool you might consider is Instagram Stories, which are easy to set up and use for spontaneous happenings. These stories can get your audience talking with you and each other.

    Facebook also has a Stories section that is displayed on the upper right of your Facebook profile or Page. Currently, this tool hasn’t garnered as much interaction as Instagram Stories. Experiment to see whether your audience is interested in finding you on Facebook Stories.

  • Website integration: Any way that you can help visitors to your website communicate with you is a great step toward increasing their engagement with your brand. If they enjoy using Facebook, you are making it easier for them to talk to you. Consider using Facebook Social Plugins. Plug-ins allow you to integrate your website activity with your Facebook Page. You can also use these tools to track usage data.

Appreciating your fans and growing your base on Facebook

Customers want to feel as though they’re receiving special treatment on Facebook. They want to know that their support is important to you and that their concerns are heard. They want something in return for their attention and loyalty. Facebook members love free stuff, special discounts, and promotions. But they want to be sincerely appreciated as well, and you might even argue that sincere appreciation is more valuable than free stuff. Offering both is the best approach!

It’s not surprising that Facebook members are looking for real value in the form of informative and engaging content from marketers on Facebook. Much as in Google Search, in which users are farther down the intent-to-purchase road by the very nature of their searches, Facebook users aren’t necessarily looking for specific products and services to purchase. That’s why marketers need to grab their attention through special offers.

People can find special incentive offers throughout Facebook on Facebook Pages. StarKist gives visitors a chance to get discounts and special offers by signing up on its Facebook Page.

StarKist Facebook
StarKist gives fans the opportunity to get free merchandise and special offers.

Although discounts and promotions serve as good incentives for some people, savvy marketers want to provide value in different ways that reinforce their proposition value. The Hallmark Channel’s Kitten Bowl Facebook Page allows its fans to support an animal shelter with its Kitten Bowl events. This sort of promotion creates long-term affinity among fans.

Kitten Bowl Facebook
The Hallmark Channel has Kitten Bowl.