By Andrew Eberting, Senior Marketing Manager
As seen in Mile 62 eMagazine.
Keeping pace with social media can feel exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Why does it seem like some posts get a lot of responses from people, and others not so much?
Trying to figure out the levers that generate these higher levels of engagement from your followers doesn’t need to feel like learning a foreign language; especially if you know how the in ands outs of how Facebook ranks your posts.
Show Don’t Tell
Facebook favors certain types of posts over others. Specifically, Facebook wants you to show it content vs. talking at it.
When you post something on Facebook it typically falls into one of three buckets:
- Photos and videos
- Status Updates
Facebook wants you to post more videos and pictures over everything else. Why? Videos and photos are more captivating which leads to encouraging your friends/family/followers to actively engage with your posts vs. passively engage (more on this later.)
Think of posting on Facebook like telling a story; in order to tell a great story, you need to capture the imagination of those in the audience. The quickest way to accomplishing this goal is with pictures and videos.
Interactions 101: Active Engagement vs. Passive Engagement
Facebook has two categories for the types of engagement any post can fall into: Active or Passive Engagement. Active engagement is where a person takes an action with a given post and can be potentially seen by the people in their network. Passive engagement is where a person takes an action with a post, but their followers won’t be knowledgeable of or be able to see it.
Finding the Sweet Spot
One of the things we’re all guilty of is checking ‘how many likes’ or ‘shares’ something received. Fun fact: Facebook is also waiting to see how many times people actively engage with your content. When one of your content-rich (photos/videos) posts receives a lot of active engagement, Facebook interprets that post as being important and possibly interesting for your follower’s followers.
The more your direct followers engage, the more Facebook prioritizes or ‘rewards’ your post as being important, thus exposing it to the networks of your followers, and their followers, etc.
Be Genuine: Tell Stories and Share Insights, Not Engagement Bait
Now that you know how to stack-rank your content in Facebook for your posts, don’t set yourself backwards by creating engagement bait.
What is engagement bait? These types of posts are where you, a Facebook page, or someone else, in an attempt to get posts viewed by more people, either askes to have people tagged in or comment with a specific keyword (yes, being the most commonly used one) to said post.
Facebook strongly dislikes these types of posts. Why? Because the type of engagement it generates is viewed as being artificial, or disingenuous. When Facebook identifies these types of posts in newsfeeds, the person or page posting can see a demotion in all of their future posts.