Like many organisations you might have found that you have been using the same content strategy for Facebook for a number of years and up until now you have achieved good results. But recently your engagement has started to dry up leaving you wondering WHY this has happened and WHAT you can do to combat it.
To help answer these questions, we invited social media guru and awesome cartoonist Helen Reynolds (@HelReynolds on Twitter) to join us on a webinar. Hel shared some of the social media content strategies she works on with organisations to start engaging their audiences again, as well as practical tips and tricks. It was great to see so many familiar faces join the webinar (and lots of new ones, hello!) but we know that not all of our readers will have been able to join us yesterday, so we wanted to share the key take-aways with you in today’s blog!
So WHY do organisations sometimes struggle to drive engagement on Facebook
As Hel confirmed this drop in engagement is likely due to changes in the Facebook algorithm that restricts how many of your fans and followers see your content. This is Facebook’s way of testing your content on a sample of your audience. The algorithm then monitors how engaged that sample audience is with your content. If you receive lots of likes, shares, and comments then Facebook will categorise your content as relevant and tailored to your audience and show it to more and more of your audience.
Simply put — Facebook rewards organisations who create relevant, tailored, and creative content!
So, how can you ensure that your content is relevant and WHAT content will resonate well with the public?
Hel highlighted three tactics that work particularly well for public sector organisations but could equally be applied to just about any organisation. At the heart of it these three tactics are all about stimulating an emotion and keeping your audience in mind at all times.
There are now 32.3 million Brits on Facebook and it’s fair to say that they have not joined the platform to keep up to date with broadcasts from organisations — they are looking to build relationships and have conversations about topics they’re interested in and care about.
Tactic 1: Nostalgic Content
As the title suggests this first tactic is all about evoking memories and a sense of pride or fondness for yester year. We loved the examples of this in practice that Hel mentioned, so we’ve included them again here.
TOP TIP — getting involved in #ThrowbackThursday each week or every other week is a great way to start to test this tactic out. Simply find a nice old photo of colleagues with flares and platform shoes, or perhaps a shot of your local area in Victorian times and share it with the hashtag on a Thursday — it’s as simple as that!
Tactic 2: Wow and WTF!? Content
These are moments where you might think, that’s outrageous, hilarious, or awe-inspiring. Consider the fact that if you think it’s crazy or incredible your audiences probably will too.
I think the first example from West Midlands Police that Hel talked us through demonstrates this perfectly:
Here’s what we found when we were called to a burglary in progress today. https://t.co/2546WlYOLE pic.twitter.com/QvdXTj8Nuv
‚Äî West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) 2 November 2017
But on a serious note, this kind of content creates a fantastic talking point, even if people just want to share their disbelief! It’s important to remember that Facebook users generally visit the site when they’re looking for a distraction or entertainment and so don’t be afraid to meet that need. If you have a serious message to convey, it’s in the comments and through conversation threads that you can plant these seeds. The key is to grab attention in the first place to build a captive audience for these messages.
Tactic 3: Awwww Content
Finally, tactic three is all about the cute stuff. Whether it’s adorable kids, animals, or heart-warming interactions, it’s hard to ignore content that is just lovely and connects with us on a human level.
Again, as it’s clear from Hel’s examples, amateur footage or pictures that are authentic are always best for this. Don’t hire professionals as it’s simply not necessary and will only turn your audiences off as it doesn’t feel real.
Those are our key learnings from the webinar and a big thank you again to Hel Reynolds for taking the time to share her insights with us! We’ve had such positive feedback from this session that we’re already in the process of planning our second webinar with Hel so watch this space! We’ll be sharing updates and invites very soon.
As always, we love hearing your thoughts so please get in touch @SoCrowd to share your feedback or just to say hi!