You post something on social media in hopes that it will reach a large audience, right? How’s that working out for you so far?
For most startups, Facebook posts become dead content due to having no likes, comments or shares. Which means, nobody is really showing much interest in their messages. And the less attention their content gets, the lesser Facebook’s algorithm is likely to send it to the news feeds of their target audience.
Facebook’s algorithm understands posting as: the more people share a post, the more other people would want to see it. This is what makes a Facebook post viral, which is why shares have more weight among other audience interaction.
The tips below will guide you on how to craft your Facebook posts to catch your audience’s attention and encourage more shares.
1. Understand Why Users Share Content
You can’t trick people into sharing your content. It’s because whatever they share on their walls reflects on them personally, which needs to agree with the image they want to portray.
A study by New York Times Consumer Insight Group identifies five motivations for people to share content online as follows:
· To entertain and enrich the lives of others: over 90% of people share content to impact the lives of their friends and followers.
· To define themselves: most people will share content to show their interests, likes, values and hobbies.
· Relationship building: sharing what they are currently doing or interested in helps them stay connected to their networks and people with similar interests.
· To be part of something: people share content that makes them feel like they are part of a group or an event relevant to their interests.
· To promote a cause: people often share content that highlights and promotes what they like and believe in, be it a non-profit advocacy or their favorite brand.
Whenever you create content for your Facebook page, ask yourself how it satisfies, at least, one of these motivators. Create well-informed, articulate content that is useful and could make users feel good by sharing it.
2. Evoke Emotions
Emotional posts receive more interaction than any other posts on Facebook. A study by Fanpage Karma proves this, showing a significant fall in engagement when posts don’t trigger a reaction.
Use particular words to elicit a response from your audience. For example, using the word “boost” will make readers think of their current situation and of those in their networks, and how what you are promoting might help them improve it.
Emoticons can improve the effectiveness of your posts because it conveys meaning in any communication through the use of digital facial expressions. Posts with emoticons get shared 33% more than posts without them. Moreover, they also get 57% more shares and 33% more comments.
3. Ask for Shares
People need direction. As Zig Ziglar said, “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem.” According to comScore data, people are spending an average of 20 minutes daily on Facebook liking, commenting and scrolling through their timeline. They are already online sharing content, so directing them to yours surely won’t hurt.
Asking your followers to share your content acts like a call-to-action that tells people what to do. Dan Zarella of Hubspot did a study on the effect of call-to-actions on Facebook posts and found that posts with “share requests” get more shares, likes and comments.
Be careful not to come off as begging or pushy when you ask for shares. Manipulating users’ feeling for them to share your content is the biggest mistake you could ever make, e.g. writing “Share to spread the message about cancer” in a post. This could make your audience feel guilty if they don’t do it, and they might not come back to your page again to avoid feeling that way.
4. Use Pictures
Kissmetrics say that Facebook posts with photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs than those with only texts. This is because pictures immediately capture anyone’s attention and process it quickly, hence adding some to your posts can help strengthen your message.
To make this technique more effective, use pictures that match your content and satisfy at least one of the motivators mentioned above for sharing. Pictures should have a unique story about your content. So, avoid generic stock pictures that would make it difficult for users to gauge your message.
5. Share Videos
Facebook revealed that more than 50% of users watch at least one video every day, and 76% of their users say they discover the video they watch mostly on Facebook. Videos are obviously attracting crowds on Facebook, so the likelihood of your video getting shared is high.
Share videos that inspire, educate or entertain viewers, rather than just sending out continual sales messages. People are likely to share videos like these because they feel it offers something of value that their friends and followers should also benefit from.
Facebook’s autoplay function makes videos even more attention grabbing each time they appear in a user’s timeline. This draws in users to watch the video, giving a high chance of shares. Maximize this feature by uploading short, creative videos to hook people from the first frame.
Shares play, perhaps, the largest role in boosting traffic to your Facebook page. They expand your post’s reach beyond your followers, which not only sends your content to more people but also raises the awareness of your page. A whooping 2.46 million posts are shared every minute on Facebook, so customize your content to stand out, catch the users’ interest and inspire people to share it.