So, here is the truth. Yes, it’s getting harder and harder to get traffic from Facebook. Yes, organic traffic has declined, making community engagement more difficult. And yes, Facebook does limit your reach because:
- they want people to stay longer on Facebook and not to be redirected to your website or blog;
- they want you to pay to boost your posts;
- they prioritise “meaningful interactions” from friends and family over content from brands in the News Feed.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still generate traffic from Facebook. It remains an important marketing channel and offers unique opportunities in terms of engagement if you manage your Facebook marketing efforts wisely.
Concretely, once you’ve written your content, how do you make it stand out from all the noise on Facebook? To help you with this task, we’ve brought together 7 tips coming from our own experience and from top professionals like Neil Patel and Noah Kagan.
1. Use visuals
Use visuals in your articles to get more social shares. BuzzSumo analysed over 100 million articles and concluded that, on average, twice as many people share posts that contain at least one image.
Images are great to tell stories quickly: include images in your article to describe your content. That’s what Qualifio use to do with our inspiration articles (articles giving campaign ideas based on a certain theme). Our articles over Christmas, Fashion Week or back-to-school are the most clicked articles and the ones with the biggest reach on Facebook. They have one thing in common: lots of pictures and interactive examples. We will come back to this point later.
2. Lists, infographics, “How to…” articles and videos
The format of your article means a lot. Our inspiration articles are not the only one with a big reach and number of shares. Next to them lie:
- Our articles structured as lists (such as “Top 10 key components to a successful marketing campaign”);
- “How to…” articles (“How to successfully promote your event marketing”).
They are valued because they are easy to scan. That’s the secret: remember to write short, easy to read paragraphs with subheadings and bullet points.
Another format that works pretty well on Facebook is the video format, in particular Facebook native videos (and not YouTube video for example). Remember: Facebook wants people to stay on its platform. With Facebook’s autoplay feature, videos are the perfect way to catch your audience’s attention and even redirect them to your article. It’s visual, efficient and quick.
Of course, beyond the format, the value of the content in itself will also count for your readers. Is it really useful for your audience? Are your providing them with concrete advice? etc.
3. Interact with your audiences
Wherever possible, we interact with our audience inside our article. How? We simply integrate a short quiz, a personality test or a poll, asking our readers to give their opinion about a certain topic, to test their knowledge or find out what their data maturity level is, for example.
Facebook is prioritising content that generates interactions between users. The top 3 of the most shared content on Facebook in 2017 were music videos, breaking news and viral quizzes.
Whatever your business activity is, quizzes and personality tests are an excellent opportunity to increase engagement. People share quizzes and personality tests, and even more their quiz results because it fuels their identity and ego. But also because it helps them identify who they are and to show their network what they value.
In our inspiration articles, we also use to display one or more interactive campaign example(s), so our readers can try our product (interactive marketing campaigns) but also have a good time.
4. Not too short, not too long
Despite what we may think, the shortest articles aren’t necessarily the most shared. The studies of BuzzSumo and Neil Patel show that long articles actually get shared more often. Specifically, articles with around 5,000 and 10,000 words get the most shares. The tip they give is to write at least an article with 2,000 words.
Same for the headline of your article. Don’t make it as short as possible, because you won’t really be able to explain what your article is about with just 4 or 5 words. Use between 7 and 9 words to make your headlines rather descriptive.
5. Select the best posting times
When it comes to the best times to publish content, we’ve read a lot of different opinions. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… But one thing is certain, picking the days where your audience spends the most time online has a positive impact on how much your content gets shared.
You can first also consult the insights of your Facebook page to see at what time of the day your audience is most likely to interact with your brand. After several tests, we use to share our article on Facebook on Mondays or Tuesdays.
But according to Neil Patel, who analysed 5,860,631,392 articles from 64 countries, the best day to release an article and go viral on Facebook would be Tuesday. He gives also an hour to publish your content on Facebook. You have two possibilities:
- Between 11 am and 1 pm, a.k.a just before or after the lunch break
- At 6 pm, a.k.a after people finished their work
Given the complexity and the continuous change of algorithms’ functioning, it’s getting hard to find the perfect timing. It will also depend on each brand. But, those data are a good start to help you increase engagement.
6. Sponsor your posts & run ads
Sponsored posts and Facebook Ads are simple ways to increase impressions on your content outside of your online community and to get more Facebook engagement. In order to target profiles you haven’t already acquired, but similar to your Custom Audience, you can use a Facebook feature called the “Lookalike Audiences”.
Target your audience based on a number of different characteristics (job title, age, interests, location, connections, etc.) and don’t forget to re-promote your old articles on a regular basis after it’s been published.
Want to know how to define your target? Have a look at our tips here.
7. Find diffusion partners
Find at least one relevant diffusion partner that will publish your article on their website or an influencer that will share your article.
For a bigger reach, you can also quote influential people’s studies or articles and tag them in your Facebook post while sharing your article. They will be more likely to notice, and perhaps return the favour! Also, you can ask influential people to contribute to your article to significantly increase your sharing. It can be a simple quote, an interview, or a whole article based on professionals insights, like we did during the summer 😉
One last tip to help you increase engagement with your content on Facebook: try all Facebook features and learn from your tests. Publish your content, assess its performance, look at the data. Then, try again by optimising your content based on what works best for your audience.