The BtoB Publisher’s Checklist for Facebook Engagement

August 1, 2014

You know that social media is valuable as part of your content marketing strategy. You know that certain social platforms engage your audience better than others. We’re going to guess that Facebook is one of your primary targets for social sharing because recent numbers suggest that Facebook should be part of any social media strategy.  Why?

That’s all well and good, but how do you know that Facebook is working for you?

  • The 10-year old platform has 1.32 billion active monthly users and 63% of them are on the site daily.
  • Even with recent changes that place more articles in personal newsfeeds, use continues to rise. And, people are increasingly engaged.
  • Facebook’s ad revenue is 67% higher than it was at the same time last year and a significant portion of that is from mobile.

First, you measure engagement.

Then, you find ways to increase engagement.

Really, you do these things at the same time.

Why is Measuring Engagement Important?

Engagement tells you many things about your content. It tells you about:

  • Your ability to capture the attention of your audience and new audience members.
  • How you can create a deeper connection with your audience (what is driving engagement).
  • What posts give you the biggest bang for your buck.
  • How many people actually see what you post.
  • If you are building brand awareness through your audience’s social feeds.
  • The quality of your audience.
  • What your audience is interested in.

How do you best measure engagement of Facebook users with your content?

It’s important to remind ourselves what options people have for interacting with our content:

A lot of us tend to emphasize ‘likes’ because they are easy to measure (and it shows right on our post), but they aren’t the best measure of engagement because they don’t require that much attention from readers and aren’t an accurate depiction of how deeply our readers are engaging.  Sure, ‘likes’ are important, particularly when measured with other activities. But let’s look at a quick checklist for truly measuring engagement:

  • Scroll past it/ignore it (not good, particularly because the FB algorithm will then start filtering that type of content off of their newsfeeds)
  • Like
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Click on a link included in the post
  • Determine a regular time for tracking engagement on Facebook. Once a month should suffice (every two weeks is good too). It’s as important to commit to tracking activities, as it is to post regularly.
  • Use Facebook Insights. Yes, it’s easy to go peek at a post on your page and see what’s happening with it, but it’s better to go into Insights and get a big picture view.
  • Use Reach as your overall measure. There are a few options for data from Insights, but Reach gives you a comprehensive view of what is going on with your page. Scrolling down the Reach page, you will see how likes, shares and comments play into your overall reach. This is what helps you to determine which metric you want to work on increasing.
  • Don’t try to compare yourself to your competition. What?!  For one, it’s really difficult, well nearly impossible to do.  But really, it doesn’t matter, because your only goal is to increase engagement, so doing a month-to-month comparison of your own content gives you the data you need. You are simply looking for improvement.
  • Adjust your strategy, based on your numbers.  Clearly, if there is a decline in engagement from the previous month, it is fruitful to look at two factors:

Was there a drop in the number of your posts over the last month? If so, increase your posts again.

Were there posts that received no attention and others that received healthy attention? Abandon the types of posts that don’t get any love and focus on creating more of the kind that do!

  • Do it again. We can’t emphasize this enough: be consistent in measuring and adapting! 

Struggling with how to increase engagement?

Revisit our posts on Social Media Success and Using Facebook to Generate Leads.

And remember:

  • Be consistent
  • Measure progress regularly (yes, we know we already said that)
  • Use trial and error
  • Post regularly
  • Vary your posts
  • Leverage video and images
  • Make content about your audience
  • Embrace UGC
  • Run Contests or provide appropriate incentives
  • Give users a call to action
  • Ask questions
  • Be personable
  • Respond to comments and messages
  • Be creative!

The Payoff

As you've read in the posts we mentioned earlier and from several success stories, a social media strategy is worth the effort:

  • Increase site visits
  • Improve KPI's incuding, pageviews and time on site
  • Extend your reach, every time a reader shares or likes your content
  • Build brand awareness and exposure to prospective customers/subscribers.  

Remember that these tactics apply as much to BtoB as BtoC publishers/businesses! 

What's not to like?