Sahail Ashraf posted on 18 January 2017
Facebook is still considered to be one of the safest bets for any brand that wants to make an impact on social media. It’s well established and it has a huge reach. Work it hard enough, and you have an excellent marketing and advertising tool.
But recent months have seen it become even harder to gain true engagement on the platform. We thought we would go back to basics and take a look at some key ways to ensure that your client’s Facebook posts are up to scratch in the year 2017. There has been some amazing work on the platform in 2016, and it’s your client’s time to shine.
There are some golden rules that still hold true for Facebook posts, and we will tackle each of them methodically. However, there is one rule that was once assumed to be ‘golden’ for posting, which we think is due an overhaul. Take a look at the last point if you can’t wait to see which rule that is. Otherwise, sit back and start to plan out your work for clients on Facebook.
Facebook posts rely upon grabbing attention and then gaining instant engagement. This has always been the case, and we think that one of the very best ways to ensure you do both those things is to ask a question.
Questions get people’s attention like nothing else (what do you want to achieve in 2017? for example), and you can usually frame a question around your original post idea. This concept is well worth revisiting as often as possible without spamming people.
Questions (and check your metrics for this) do tend to deliver spikes in Facebook engagement. It is worth considering, and means that you can create fresh Facebook posts on a regular basis. If you haven’t used questions consistently on your client’s Facebook account, this year is the chance to try.
Facebook posts are too easily wounded right before they begin because of the wording. And one of the key crimes here is not giving readers a clear call to action. By this we mean ensuring that you ask for likes and ask for shares.
This still doesn’t happen for many brands, so it’s kind of your responsibility to make sure that your clients have Facebook posts that (not all the time, obviously, but regularly) ask people to do something at the end of them.
The easiest and most logical one is to ask people for likes. But while it may seem easy and obvious, not many brands do this. Think of your client and its bottom line, and create a clear call to action that tells people to do something rather than just surf off somewhere else.
This year make it your personal resolution that any links you provide in the posts your client has are good quality links. This means links to either even better sources of information or solid links to a high quality blog post that your agency created for the client.
You can even link out to another Facebook post if you like, but make sure there is always a link in your post. It is a golden opportunity to allow readers to become engaged and continue on a journey with you. A simple text post that has no links is basically neutered.
With so much around online at the moment, images and videos are becoming more than common. But now, and because of the existence of sites like Pinterest and Instagram, your images and videos need to be clear, sharp and incredibly attractive.
That’s a problem if you’ve got a low budget, so work hard with the client to make sure that all of the posts contain imagery of some kind. It has to be the best quality, though, and this is something that is non-negotiable.
Identify and ring-fence a budget for images and videos if you haven’t done already. It could be a good idea to make a fresh start this new year and make sure you have the money required to serve your audience well when it comes to visuals.
It’s been a long known concept: post when hardly anyone else is posting and you have more chance of being seen and engaged with. But at the same time, you have to post when your audience is awake and thinking of the problem you are there to solve. It’s a dilemma.
Here’s a newer slant on that dilemma. One way to deal with this problem is to make sure that you keep experimenting with post timing. Don’t be predictable. Check out your metrics and work out the best times for your post, but keep experimenting.
You may well find that there are even more ‘good times’ in the day to send out your latest missive. The more unpredictable your client is with their Facebook posting, the more exciting and disruptive they will be.
For years now, it has been pretty much-accepted wisdom to keep Facebook posts short and brief, because this brevity is what brought the best levels of reach. It is now known that longer posts may have much more clout on the platform.
So that’s pretty much turned conventional wisdom on its head. Some of the latest research on the matter shows that the length of a Facebook post that gets maximum possible reach is way up in the 55 word plus region.
If you’re looking for more reach with your Facebook posts, 2017 is the year to start experimenting and focusing on longer lengths. Test it, as always, with good use of metrics. But switch out your lengths and see which posts get that bigger reach.
We’re betting the longer ones will.
It’s pretty clear that Facebook will go through some more changes this year. 2016 had a fair few itself. But take a look at how you could keep ahead of the curve with the ideas in this post. Your client will thank you for it.
Metrics are important. And we do metrics like they’ve never been done before. For a free trial that lasts a whopping 14 days, go here now. It will change your social media work forever.