How to Strategically Dominate the Facebook News Feed

Getting someone to click “Like” on your Facebook Page is only the first step toward building a thriving community—because few (if any) of your fans will return to your Page by typing in its URL. Instead, it’s up to you to engage them with timely and consistent updates that appear in their News Feeds. But this is exactly where most brands fail. They grow their fan numbers, but engagement is low—which means fewer clicks, countless lost leads and zero marketing momentum.

High engagement, on the other hand, is the secret sauce for Facebook marketing. It’s how big brands stay top-of-mind with prospects. And when people start interacting with your Page daily, you amplify your reach through the real-time Ticker. Every time a fan interacts with your Post, all of their friends see that activity in their Tickers, too.

Each time your fans engage with your Page, you get exposure in the Ticker. The more exposure, the better! (The Ticker can be found on your Home Tab in the upper or middle right column.)


But the opposite is also true. Posting too little (or in a way that discourages interaction) combined with already-low engagement leads to—you guessed it—even lower engagement. On Facebook, if you write a post and no one comments, likes or shares it, in effect, it disappears.

To drive continuous engagement, you need to make regular and compelling appearances in your fans’ News Feeds. Here are 3 ways to get the ball rolling:

Strategy #1: Post 2-5 times a day—consistency is key.

Anyone can handle this posting schedule for a week or two, but the real winners on Facebook are the companies that keep it up—every single day (or at the very least, Monday through Friday). Consistency always wins on Facebook. Since your fans visit Facebook at different times of the day, one post a day simply isn’t enough—most fans won’t even see it.

Instead, post several different types of content throughout the day; these can include short videos, quick tips, links and questions, to name a few. Stagger your posts at different times to reach more fans. And never forget to include a call-to-action—words like “comment” and “like” DO increase engagement.

Plus, the more you post, the more feedback you’ll get on what kinds of posts work best—and use this information to post more of what your audience really wants.

One extra tip: For maximum engagement, keep your posts around 80 characters or less. A study by Buddy Media showed that posts with 80 characters or less received 27 percent higher engagement rates. That’s big!

Strategy #2: Include a (good) photo with your update.

Photos are the #1 type of content people look at and engage with on Facebook, hands down. In fact, two separate studies—one by Web Liquid, and one by Momentus Media (see the data here)—both found that brand Page posts with photos got higher engagement than any other status update type, even those with videos!

What’s more, Momentus found that if the status update contained the word “like” or “comment,” it also received higher engagement. What does this mean for you? Post more photos, and openly encourage your fans to leave a comment!

BIG timesaving tip: Source photos in advance. It took me longer than I care to admit to find interesting, fun and engaging photos to pair with my posts.  When you link to an article outside of Facebook, a photo is pulled from that URL; but when you post your own tip, quote, thought or idea, you have to add your own photo.

Here’s what I did to make it easier: first, I made a list of the 10 topics I talk about most on Facebook. Then, I went to several royalty-free photo sites and downloaded pictures that worked with any or most of my topics. This saves me 15-20 minutes every time I post.

After you write your own topic list, here are some royalty-free photo sites to check out:

Strategy #3: Use Facebook ads to promote your latest post. 

Here’s an idea I bet you haven’t tried yet: run an ad promoting a post to your existing Facebook fans. This is a no-fail way to re-engage the fans you already have—and get your posts (and therefore your brand) back into their News Feeds again.

Few of us think to use advertising to reach our existing customers, but in reality, the people already on your Facebook Page are also the ones most likely to engage, comment, share and buy—because they’ve already given you a vote of confidence by liking your Page. So why not invest your ad dollars in them?

Here are step-by-step instructions to create an ad:

  1. Craft a SHORT yet engaging post on your Facebook Page with a very simple image (or if you link to something, an image might get pulled from that webpage).  If your post is too long, it will get cut off when you turn your post into an ad; and if the picture is very busy, it won’t stand out.  (Look at your own News Feed to see how small those images really are!) You are going to use this post as an ad – move on to step 2 below to learn how to do this!
  2. Go into your Facebook Ads Manager.
  3. Choose “Create An Ad.”
  4. Choose your Facebook Page as the “Destination” of your ad.
  5. Choose “Facebook Ads.”
  6. Choose “Page Post.”
  7. From the drop down menu under “Page Post Selection” choose your status update you just posted on your Page.
  8. Finally, under “Connections” target EXISTING FANS of your Facebook Page.

When deciding on a post for your ad campaign, choose a status update that stands out when turned into a Facebook ad.

Targeting your existing fans with Facebook ads can increase your Page engagement and get your non-active fans re-engaged.

The best part about investing time, and maybe a little bit of money, into fan engagement is this: having a thriving, engaged community is the best way to grow your Page—and it’s also the best way to turn existing fans into diehard Super Fans who advocate for you, buy from you, and ultimately play an important role in bringing even more qualified leads your way.

That’s when Facebook will start to work for you, and you’ll see results you didn’t think you were capable of.

Now it’s your turn. Have any of these strategies worked for you? I’d love to hear your tips and questions. Leave a comment below!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hi, Jon. I really like your idea of breathing new life into some of your older content. SO smart! Thanks for sharing! -Amy

  • http://jonloomer.com/ Jon Loomer

    We’re all learning something new every day and finding our way. Glad I found you here and on Facebook. Always great to have another perspective. 

    Keep bringin’ the good stuff.

  • http://frontierbushcraft.com/ Paul

    Hey Amy,

    Consistent (quality) posting is certainly working for us.  Engagement has increased significantly over the past couple of weeks.

    I’ve started using Hootsuite to help keep up the consistency.

    I’ve yet to run a featured post ad but will no doubt try this at some point. 

    As the owner of a small business who has to wear a lot of different hats, your advice has been very helpful so far.

    As you’ve recommended elsewhere, we’ve also implemented a custom welcome tab.  This took me a little while to figure out but I managed to do it myself rather than employ a developer.  This kept the cost down.  I’m running an ad campaign now and the welcome tab is definitely converting to ‘likes’ very well.

    You can check it out here:

    http://www.facebook.com/FrontierBushcraft

    That’s all for now but I’ll keep you posted.

    All the best,

    Paul

  • ellynambrose

    Hi Ryan, I think what Amy meant is “quality quantity” – not just quantity…at least that was my interpretation. 

  • ellynambrose

    Hi Maggie, I found a program on the Web that enables you to write all of your posts at one time and then schedule them to go out at specific times throughout the day.  Am sure there are many of them.  (Haven’t bought one yet but am still looking.)

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    I love action takers like you! Way to go. Great page – I just liked it :-)

  • http://www.amtmconsulting.com/ Ana Quillinan

    Susan,

    THAT’S how I did it!! Thank you so much for the great tip!

    -Ana

  • http://www.VivaVisibilityBlog.com/ Nancy Marmolejo

    Amy, I used your strategy for the Facebook Ad this weekend and pulled in $1500 for a $47 investment!! I was a little nervous about the ads as we’ve run them before to mixed results, but this was definitely worth it. Thank you so much for sharing that tip!!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    That is AMAZING, Nancy. Wow! Thank you for sharing your success with me – I really love to hear great success stories like yours!

  • http://www.Yireh-Enterprises.com Yireh Enterprises, Inc

    Wow!  I never thought about posting an ad to our current FB Page fans.  Thanks for the tip!

  • http://twitter.com/tibayintl Latifah

    Hey Ellynambrose, Hootsuite will do what you’re describing; it’s free.

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    So glad you like it!

  • http://www.thetampabaysaver.com The Tampa Bay Saver

    Thanks Amy! Other Amy from Blogging with Amy linked back to you, great tips!

  • http://twitter.com/Keys2BSocial Shirley Wilson

    This post is full of great ideas! Thanks Amy!

  • http://www.elirose.com/ Liz

    I’ve started to do that, too, and I’ve found it to be a great approach to status updates.

  • http://www.ivblogger.com/ Sheyi

    Yeah, I so much love facebook ads and I am doing an experiment on it soonest. It pays better and i’m kinda seeing some ads approved with $0.01 yup, you read that right.

    Sheyi

  • http://twitter.com/crystalsymk Crystal Watts

    Thank You Thank You Thank You for posting this. I wish I saw it months ago!  I can’t to put it to work!

  • http://twitter.com/bhadrashis Ashis B.

    Great strategies, Amy. Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sissysanfrancisco Mark Daniel Snyder

    I’ve seen other studies suggesting organizations should only post 1-3 times per week now to get maximum views. How to know what’s true…

  • SiftingPoint

    Amy didn’t you say in one of your seminars to use promoted posts? Or are you saying an ad is better? If you do promoted posts do you send to friends of fans as well? If so do you risk being marked a ]s SPAM and then FB decreases your reach? I have seen my promoted posts reach dramatically fall from the 2 week in January to the 3rd week in Jan.

    Thanks Amy!

    Geoff

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hi! I see Promoted Posts as “facebook ads” and I think all ads are valuable – you just want to make sure you choose the right ad for your goal. I no longer send Promoted Posts to “friends of fans” since I’ve seen too much spam from it. So that’s a new change I’ve implemented.

  • http://twitter.com/mohssine_ait mohssine ait

    Posting mulitple times a day is great, but only if you have multiple things to post.

    http://www.tech-fans.com/

  • cindy

    I am enjoying this very much. my head is spinning from all the information since it is all very new to me!

  • K Barta

    Strategy #3 is a Catch 22. Say I advertise to friends and friends of friends to keep the cost of the ad on the low side. But if I only have a few friends, my reach will be very low and based on the law of large numbers, new Likes coming in from this circle will be zero or close to zero. I am speaking from experience, I have tried this avenue. So the cost of the ad was low, but still, I threw the money out of the window as the ad did not reach its purpose. How do I get a massive number of ‘friends’ first before getting banned by Facebook? No Facebook guru ever wants to talk about that. So my question is: How do I get my first 5000 friends to actually have some traction among them without getting banned by Facebook?

  • Julie Go

    This strategies are really great Amy. Thanks for sharing especially the royalty free photo sites. I am also struggling on looking for great photos to use in my page. I will definitely be checking your other post to get more ideas. Have a blessed Monday!

    Julie Go

    http://www.diamondcutminds.com

  • J Paul

    You can increase engagement and therefore Edgerank by simply promoting a post. But only promote posts that can either generate leads or create sales. This improves Edgerank.

  • sakshi

    hey its the old setting tips… but it did help.. if u will show the setting with new setting with face book that will help a lot.

  • Fatima Lora

    Great post, Amy. Thanks for offering your tips. I’m planning to amp up our company’s social strategy this week and these are VERY helpful for FB.

  • Agi

    Great information Amy!