How to boost Facebook page engagement

Olga Tsubiks Analytics, Tableau Leave a Comment

Are you managing a large number of Facebook pages for your clients? Curating, posting, crafting and scheduling content, listening to and engaging with fans, measuring and analyzing your effort…it can be time-consuming and laborious. And it can be hard to grasp the preferences of fans for each page. In order to help you cut through the noise, we’ve created a system that will show you how to boost Facebook page engagement.

How to get more likes, shares and comments

We have all heard about holding contests and giveaways to boost Facebook page performance. Sometimes these work, and create desirable outcomes – but the results are temporary. Most of the time people will like your page and share your content just to get the prize. It is not uncommon to see a huge rise in the number of unlikes after the giveaway is over.

The only way to be truly successful on Facebook is to resonate with your Facebook audience. There are a lot of very successful Facebook pages that do this well. Read this blog post by HubSpot. You’ve probably heard of the fan pages for Starbucks, Nutella and NHL. They are popular because they have found exactly what works, and what doesn’t, with their Facebook audience. But what if you’re not selling a recognized brand, or don’t have an existing pool of supporters like NHL does? You can still learn from big brand success. But replicating it may not work for you, because your Facebook fans are different from theirs.

So learn from your competitors instead. Select a few pages within your industry, and start learning from the success of your peers and competitors. Learning from your own industry is smart, because you can discover strategies and tricks that are more likely to resonate with your fans. Especially if you are just starting out and haven’t found your voice yet.

How to boost Facebook page engagement

Step 1

Identify companies and brands in your industry that are doing well on Facebook. You have probably already done this by adding Pages to Watch on Facebook Insights. If you haven’t, go to the Facebook Insights Overview tab and click Add Pages. Facebook may recommend some pages to you that you might miss if you just focus on your direct competitors – whose names you already know.

Start with 3 – 5 pages. You can always add more later. Focus on the page performance. Select pages that are growing (i.e., number of page likes is increasing) and which are particularly engaging (i.e., number of people engaged vs number of posts).

Step 2

Find content that has been performing well over a long period of time. The best content engages a lot of people by getting a lot of likes, shares and comments. Create a spreadsheet and put all the top performing posts by every page, in one place. Posts that generated a lot of likes and shares a year ago are as insightful as posts that were published yesterday. Aim for at least a few dozen posts.

Step 3

Analyze the top performing posts and discover what’s working, so you can implement similar strategies on your own page. Look at the different aspects of each post:

Post type. Image, link, video, status update? What resonates best in your industry?

Post content. How long are these posts? What are some of the most commonly used words? What is the tone and style? Are there strong emotions in the post messages? Does the page ask questions?

Post attributes. Do they include links? Do they use hashtags? If so, how many? Which hashtags? Do they mention other pages? If so, what pages? And how often?

Post time. What is the best time to engage your fans? What days of the week work best?

 

Step 4

Now we have a better view of a few top performing pages in the industry. Analyze the posts of each of the pages as a whole to create a profile.

 

Step 5

Take some common strategies and tactics that you’ve found and put them to work for your pages. Schedule future posts with these insights in mind. Remember to test each of the tactics to see if they work for your page.

Streamlining the process with Analytics Canvas

If you are very busy or have a particularly large number of pages to manage, here is a very efficient way to maximize your time.

If you haven’t already, download a free trial version of Analytics Canvas. In Analytics Canvas, import the Facebook data that you’ve downloaded into CSV, Text, or Excel.  Key columns to include are:

Page ID
Page Name
Post ID
Post Date Created
Post Likes
Post Comments
Post Shares
Post Message
Link
Post Link
Post Type

If we add a calculation block, we can add the following:

Day of the week when the post was created (Use function: DayOfWeek()

Post length in characters (Use function: LEN()

Is there a question addressed to the page fans? (Use function: CONTAINS([Original.PostMessage],”?”)

Does the post express emotions using exclamation marks? (Use function:  CONTAINS([Original.PostMessage],”!”)

Does the post contain hashtags? (Use function: (CONTAINS([Original.PostMessage],”#”)

Does the post mention a person or another page? (Use function: (CONTAINS([Original.PostMessage], “@”)

 

Use functions SUBSTITUTE and SPLIT to remove frequent stop words and punctuation, and break the sentences into individual words. Add LOWER function to make sure that the words “Like” and “like” are not counted as two different words.

Now we are ready to export this data to Excel, Tableau or other software tools for further analysis and visualization. Here is what our data looks like in Tableau. You can dive in by clicking on a brand name, month or even day of week and hour. Comparing the performance of different brands can reveal what creates a drop in engagement, and what increases engagement.

Final notes

You don’t have to spend weeks figuring out what works for each and every Facebook page that you manage. To get great results, just follow the tips and tricks listed above. Download Analytics Canvas and give it a try, to learn from the industry, and build up Facebook pages that are very effective in generating leads and driving traffic.

How do you improve Facebook page performance?

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