Facebook has algorithms that determine which posts show up in a person’s newsfeed—criteria which have made it harder and harder for businesses to show up organically. One way you can boost your exposure is by getting engagement on your posts. For years, Facebook “likes” were social media gold. Now it’s all about comments.
The problem with that is, while likes aren’t worth much to businesses, most people are happy to click the like button and move on, especially now that they can express feelings like love, anger or sadness with the like button. Asking followers to comment and share your post won’t do much good, either. Facebook penalizes posts that explicitly ask for likes and comments. So what can you do?
Ask for Engagement
There’s a fine line between asking for comments and asking for engagement. Some post types where it’s okay to ask for engagement include caption contests, multiple choice questions and fill-in-the-blank posts. These posts don’t directly request comments, but the very nature of the post means followers have to comment to join in.
Caption Contests – You don’t have to offer a prize or make it an official contest to have fun. Just post a funny picture and ask your followers to come up with captions. The Cincinnati Zoo’s Facebook page has some great examples of caption contests that have invoked a lot of comments.
Multiple Choice – There’s more than one way to make a decision. Instead of making all the choices yourself, ask your followers to get involved. For example, if you decide you want to host a fundraiser or drive to support your community, let your followers decide if you should collect A. School Supplies, B. Canned Food, or C. Coats.
Fill in the Blanks – People like to share their opinions. Post interesting, funny or edgy sentences and let your followers fill in the blank. These could be anything from “______ has the best wings in town” to “If I could have any house, I’d make sure it had a ______.”
It is difficult not to answer a question. The mere presence of a question is often enough to get followers to slow down and take a look. Then it’s up to you to make sure your questions are interesting enough to spark engagement. You can make your questions interesting by making them easy to answer, open-ended and timely.
Easy to Answer – Don’t ask questions that would require an advanced understanding of thermodynamics to get right. Instead, focus on questions that elicit an impulsive or emotional response.
Open-Ended – Open-ended questions are those that don’t have a right and wrong answer; they’re all about opinion. As such, open-ended questions have a lot of potential to spark conversation instead of just a quick one- or two-word response.
Timely – Questions involving current trends and hot topics can often generate comments. Some of the hottest topics to hit social media over the past few years were the debate over the Laurel/Yanni recording, trying to figure out what color “the dress” was, and people getting swept up in the latest internet challenge.
Coming up with a good question to ask seems easy, but you can lose interest or even potential business if you post the wrong question. Loaded questions where you try to lead answers to a certain point of view can ostracize your followers. So can political, religious, philosophical and even rhetorical questions.
A lot of work goes into a good social media strategy. Homes.com’s team of social media experts can help. Ask how we can create and post relevant, regional content to your social channels, as well as create and run your business’ Facebook Ads.
Patty McNease is director of Marketing for Homes.com. For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.
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