But here’s the thing: what you find entertaining or inspiring is not always relevant.
When you’re seeking engagement, it’s the wants and needs of your audience that matter.
And it’s tricky to understand what those wants and needs are unless you really understand who your audience is.
Facebook Page Insights provides a ton of useful information about your audience. Study this information carefully, and look for any unexpected details that could help you create a more meaningful connection with fans.
3. Keep it short
The vast majority of people use Facebook on their mobile devices—a whopping 98.3 percent of users.
Two sentences and a photo are all that this Vancouver music venue needed for their post. Keep your post short and sweet to capture attention quickly and entice users to stop scrolling and engage.
Thanks Amazon Music and Canadian Live Music Association for celebrating the love of live music with us! Check out the…
Quality doesn’t have to be complicated, or expensive. In fact, Facebook recommends keeping things simple with a consistent color scheme and recognizable images.
5. Be relatable and human
Whether it’s sharing some behind-the-scenes content, presenting some honest and vulnerable emotions, standing up for your values or sharing a funny meme that acknowledges relatable experience, audiences are hungry for authenticity.
The UEFA football organization doesn’t just post about the excitement of the game or hot pics of soccer players: it celebrates the real volunteers working outside of the spotlight to help make their tournaments happen.
👏 𝗩𝗼𝗹𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁. 👏We're immensely proud of our team of volunteers across the 11 UEFA EURO 2020 host…
You don’t need a fancy camera or photography equipment—your mobile phone is all you need to get started. This guide to taking better Instagram photos has tips that are just as applicable to Facebook.
If you’re not confident in your photography skills, or you’d simply like to use photos taken by professionals, stock photography is a great option. Check out our list of free stock photo sites to find some great photo resources for your next post.
Even a short, atmospheric video like this one from Glossier can catch the eye of a rampant scroller.
Facebook Live videos see the highest engagement of all, so incorporate a real-team broadcast (ideally with dogs involved, like this Helping Hounds Dog Rescue example) into your social strategy every once in a while.
Keep in mind that vertical video gives you the most screen real estate on mobile devices.
Importantly, Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes native videos, so you’ll get the best results when you upload your vids directly to the site, instead of sharing a link.
8. Ask a question
An interesting question is a great way to kick off an active comments thread. Here are some ideas to get you started.
How do you [complete this action]?
Why do you [like this event or brand]?
Do you agree with [a notable statement, event, person, etc.]?
What’s your favorite [fill in the blank]?
Burger King asked fans to help name its sourdough starter in a caption to this video. (Still waiting for them to choose an answer but we like “Glen.”)
You could also ask fans for information about what kind of content they want to see from you. Then, give them what they ask for. This targeted content will inspire even more engagement.
9. Respond to fans
If someone takes the time to comment on one of your posts, make sure to reply. No one likes being ignored, and fans who engage with your posts want you to engage in return.
Make sure you have a team in place to monitor and respond to all comments. Sometimes a simple comment back is all that’s needed. Sometimes more action is required. If someone posts a question that requires a customer service response, direct them to your CS channels or have an appropriate person follow up. ModCloth is always on the ball.
10. Test and measure everything
You know how the saying goes about what happens when you assume. On Facebook, there are tons of opportunities to learn what your fans like, and what they don’t.
The statistics say that video posts get the most engagement, but that might not be true for your particular brand. Or maybe your followers just can’t get enough 360-degree video.
Testing is such an important part of refining any marketing strategy that we’ve created a whole guide to show you how to do it right. Check out our step-by-step instructions on how to use social media for A/B testing.
Since the Facebook News Feed is based on an algorithm, your fans will not necessarily see your content the moment it’s posted. Still, “when was this posted” is one of the signals for the Facebook algorithm. And Facebook itself says that you’re more likely to see engagement if you post when your fans are online.
To find out the best times to post on Facebook, learn when your audience is active using Page Insights:
From your Facebook Page, click Insights at the top of the screen
In the left column, click Posts
Click When Your fans Are Online
Times are shown in your local time zone. If your fans all seem to be active in the middle of the night, they’re likely in a different time zone from you. To confirm, click People in the left column, then scroll down to see the countries and cities in which your fans and followers live.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to get up in the middle of the night to post on Facebook. This is a great reason to schedule Facebook posts using a social media management tool.
The most important thing is to post consistently, so your audience comes to expect to see content from you regularly. Testing will help you determine how often you should post to get the best response from fans, but social media experts recommend posting at least two or three times per week.
12. Drive traffic from other sources
People who are already interacting with you on other channels are a great source of potential engagement. Make sure they know where to find you on Facebook.
Try adding a link to your Page on other social networks. Link to Facebook from your website and email signature — many companies (like The Cut) do this at the bottom of their website, or on their “About” page.
Include a Facebook plugin on your blog to highlight your latest posts, or embed a Facebook post directly in a blog post.
Don’t forget about offline materials. Include your Facebook Page URL on your business cards, posters at events and packing slips.
13. Get active in Facebook groups
Creating a Facebook group is a great way to get fans involved and engaged. More than 1.8 billion people use Facebook groups. And those meaningful interactions in groups can create brand loyalty and lead to increased engagement on your Facebook Page.
Mixed Makeup has a private group for fans to share skincare tips and ask beauty questions — with over 64,000 members, it’s a great example of community building.
Joining other relevant Facebook groups is also a great way to connect with fellow entrepreneurs and thought leaders in your industry.
This informal way of sharing content allows you to post as often as you like, without worrying about overwhelming your fans’ News Feeds. And since people expect production quality to be lower on Stories, you can be more personal and in-the-moment to build a stronger personal connection with followers.
Eye Buy Direct, for instance, has a “Shop Now” button to drive traffic for its slick specs.
Your CTA button can ask viewers to:
Book an appointment
Contact you (including through Facebook Messenger)
Watch a video
Click through to your website
Shop your products or see your offers
Download your app or play your game
Visit and join your Facebook group
16. Get verified
People want to know who they’re talking to online. This applies to brands, too. A verified badge shows visitors that you’re the real deal and they can feel safe engaging with your posts.
We can trust that anything this Showtime account, for example, is coming directly from the network. (Thank goodness! No lies about Ziwe over here!)
After all, no one wants to be the one to like or share a post from a fake Page misrepresenting a brand.
17. Avoid engagement bait
When you’re hoping for likes and shares, it might be tempting to ask for likes and shares. Don’t do it! Facebook considers this engagement bait and will penalize you by downranking your posts in the Facebook algorithm.
As mentioned above, it’s fine to ask a genuine question, or ask your followers for their opinion or feedback. You cross the line when you ask for a comment that doesn’t indicate any real thought or consideration.
React baiting, comment baiting, share baiting, tag baiting and vote baiting are all considered faux pas.
20. Get a little help from your friends (or employees, or influencers)
When people share your content, that’s a hint to Facebook that this is the good stuff. So encouraging your team, family or friends to share your posts with their own network doesn’t just get you in front of their followers: it helps boost you in the newsfeed for everyone.
That being said, Facebook does have some regulations around contests on its site (and your region or country might, too!) so make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules before you start handing out the grand prizes.
Want to win one of five $100 The Body Shop e-gift cards? Head on over to our Instagram account…
Setting up a stream in your Hootsuite dashboard to monitor industry Pages or search for industry hashtags or topics is a great way to keep yourself in the loop about what competitors are up to.
23. Repackage successful content
If a post worked well, don’t just pat yourself on the back and call it a day… start brainstorming about how you can repackage that winning content and get a bit more out of it.
For instance, if a how-to video is a hit, can you spin a blog post out of that? Or repost a link with a brand new photo and a compelling question?
Of course, you’ll want to spread those posts out — maybe by a few weeks — so it’s not obvious you’re repeating yourself.
How to calculate your Facebook engagement rate
Use the calculator below to find out your Facebook engagement rate by post.
Note: If you’re calculating your account’s total engagement, include information about all your posts (e.g total number of posts published, total number of likes, and so on). If you’re calculating the engagement rate of a specific campaign, only include the details of the posts that were part of the campaign.
Engagement rate calculator
If you’re looking for more detailed data or you want to calculate different kinds of engagement (like engagement rate by reach or engagement rate by impressions), download our free spreadsheet calculator that will do the math for you.
Or, better yet, start a free 30-day Hootsuite trial to easily track the performance of all your social channels in one place (so you can replicate what works and get more engagement). Hootsuite Analytics collects your stats from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok.
With Hootsuite Analytics, you can also:
Find out when your audience is online
Get personalized recommendations for your best times to post for each of your accounts
Easily view industry benchmarks and see how you compare to competitors
At its core, the engagement rate formula is pretty simple. Divide the total number of likes and comments on a post by your follower count (or post impressions, or reach) and then multiply by 100.
Engagement rate = (Interactions / Audience) x 100
Manage your Facebook presence alongside your other social media channels using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule posts, share video, engage your audience, and measure the impact of your efforts. Try it free today.