How To Get Lots of (Real) Facebook Likes And Engagement
Have you ever posted something on Facebook and no one looked at it? Or perhaps you can see that a lot of people looked at it and deliberately decided they didn’t like it and didn’t want to comment? If you’re guilty of having lonely little posts that are unloved by Facebook “friends” then this guide will help.
Get your work out there in the world where it belongs! Although it seems you might only have a small network of people connected to you on Facebook, there are many thousands more that you could connect with and lots of them are interested in what you have to say. You just have to find the right places to publish it.
10 Reasons Why People You Know Won’t “Like” Your Post
- It’s boring.
- They’re too busy.
- They never like anything.
- It’s not a topic which appeals.
- They’re fussy about liking.
- They’re logged out all the time.
- You don’t have many friends.
- You posted it at 4am and no one saw it.
- What you are offering is useless to them.
- You’re marketing too hard or too often and they think it’s spam.
Posting to Your Existing Facebook Friends
Consider the fact that the Facebook friends you know can be very fussy people. They might be a combination of real-life friends, family and online mates. Not everyone comments or likes as much as some of us, hence even if you were to post the most compelling content in the world, some of them probably still wouldn’t part with a measly “like” because they’re just not that sort of person.
Another reason could be that Facebook friends hate being marketed at, even when you think it is a subtle thing. Or the topic is not something they’re interested in.
Alternatively, maybe you aren’t liking and commenting on their posts enough, or maybe they’re one of those Facebook friend superstars, with 30 status updates a day, 500 friends and not enough time to pay attention to you.
Whatever the reason, posting links to your Facebook circle is probably not going to result in viral hits unless you are a bit of a superstar yourself or posting amazing stuff (in which case you probably wouldn’t need to read this anyway).
One thing you can do to improve your standing within your Facebook network is to intersperse posts about your content with funny jokes, status updates and fantastic stuff that you can share from other people. I know a mother who does this really well—she posts lots of witty stuff about her kids during the day and I like reading her status updates so much that when she posted about having an Etsy shop, I was keen to check it out because she was so entertaining to me.
Post your own content to your family and friends as an afterthought to your general Facebook timeline existence—and make sure you only post things that might be of interest to them. Any social push in this group is just a teeny tiny bit of icing on the cake compared to what you really can do with Facebook to get social media traction.
What Makes Good Social Media Content?
- It has great pictures.
- It is funny, interesting, weird or has general appeal.
- It has compelling text.
- The design is suited to an audience with a short attention span.
- If it is informational, it is offering something new or unique and should be specifically marketed at the right people.
- It is written for the unwashed masses, in simple English.
- It is upbeat and positive, not depressing.
- It looks respectable—the language is good English and there are no errant white spaces.
- It does not pressure sell, or ask for anything initially from the audience.
Choosing Content That’s Right For Social Media
There are lots of ways to market content successfully on Facebook, and the best way to do it is to selectively choose the correct content in the first place. No one I know would click on “How To Cure A Boil On Your Foot” or “How To Make Your Content Go SEO Spastic In 10 Easy Steps” unless they actually have boils on their feet or are SEO fanatics that haven’t had a gutful of those articles already.
Ask yourself if the content is funny, interesting, unusual or attractive. What is appealing about it? Does it appeal generally to the public or to a specific group of people? For example, an article on “How To Make Funny Balloon Animals” is probably going to have appeal to a wider range of people than “Myrtleford Button Exhibition 2014”.
Remember that people on Facebook have short attention spans. If they open up your link to see a wall of text or standard, boring pictures, they will bounce away pretty quickly. Make sure that you grab them in the most compelling manner possible with the appearance of the page and the way in which it is written.
Creating Compelling Content
“Compelling” in this instance does not mean having any sentence that involves CAPITAL LETTERS or multiple exclamation marks (!!!) or uses sales copy in brilliant Web 2.0 fonts. Keep the fonts looking as normal as possible.
Compelling is when you subtly invite attraction, such as asking a question, teasing the reader with what’s coming next, giving interesting information about what the content is about, or making a unique dramatic statement. An example of an interesting introduction can be found on this page.
Pair the great text with an inviting photo, which is an amazing masterpiece of what you are talking about or is really funny and will make people look twice. It can be hard to find good social-type photos for free on the internet, so consider investing in stock photos or making your own original and unique images to attract people.
Lastly, remember that content that does well on social media is not anally retentive. That is, it is meant for a happy and relaxed reading experience that keeps the reader fascinated. Ditch any depressive diary entries, long informational articles full of gobbledegook that do not have wide appeal or articles that are heavy on pressure selling. No one wants to read this stuff in their spare time.
All of these non-social articles are better off having SEO applied to them to attract organic search engine traffic, because the audience was already searching for what you are writing about anyway, and are primed to buy/interact with the information you give them.
Getting Your Work Out There
OK, so now you have selected some social content and it’s time to post. You can post it to 20,000 general people, but you’ll gain the most social engagement from readers who are already primed to read about your topic. Hence, it is a good idea to find company and community pages that are in line with the subject matter you’ve created.
When I wrote a article about Succulent Gardens For Small Spaces, I got about 5 likes and 2 comments from family and friends (which was a colossal effort on their part, judging from how many likes I usually get). I found some communities on Facebook by typing synonyms of succulents into the top search bar (eg, I typed “succulents”, then tried “cacti”, then “gardening”, etc).
I chose communities/companies with a sizeable audience (no point in posting to 10 people) who also had pages worth looking at without spam on them. They also had to have posts that showed their readers were interested in the same sort of stuff I was producing.
Also, it’s very important that you check what type of posts they are doing before you post yours. If they are posting all their own original content and there is nothing from other people at all, then they are probably unlikely to promote your stuff. Looking for a sharing, caring page or a page that could use your content. After all, you’re more likely to have your link featured if the admin is desperate for good content to feed a hungry audience.
Handy Tip For Posting On Companies & Communities
A neat trick if a company / community / club posts your content on their timeline, is to click “share” on your post on their timeline and share it back to your own timeline. This can be beneficial in milking a few more likes from family and friends, because they can see that someone else with authority thinks it’s good and likes it. Over time, you might possibly impress a few of them.
When I found a community to post to, I made sure to “like” the community page first, then I posted my article onto their page with a message like this:
"Hi there! I love your page and thought your readers might be interested in my article. I’m a cacti gardener because I am hopeless at growing other plants, but succulents seem to thrive with me, especially in harsh conditions. I also don’t have much space as I’m in a rental and I thought others might be interested in this too."
(post link to article, which ideally allows a picture too)
This kind of message tells the community/company owner that you are interested in them and their page and that you’re offering something of value to readers. There’s nothing more annoying to a Facebook page administrator than a “post my article, even though it’s totally unrelated” type of message.
It’s important to post sparingly on company and community pages so that you don’t end up with them all putting your article live on the same day and getting into hissy fits over it and with you. Post to one company/community in that niche per week. If they like it, they will publish it on their timeline, for all their fans to see.
Keep an eye on the page and see if they post your link. Sometimes, you will need to respond to comments on it for a few days. It is also very good etiquette to like some other stuff on their page too—it shows you are a bit more genuine.
Another Handy Tip
If you have suitable material, club, organisation and association pages can be good places to post. Often, the lone and desperate volunteer Facebook administrator is keen for new content and will happily leap on your offering and promote it far and wide. Just make sure that your content is specifically in line with the topic of the page.
Open Groups Vs Closed Groups
Depending on what type of content you have, groups can be a useful way to get some interest in your content. If it is a busy group, you’ll find that your link slips quickly down the feed and may only be liked a few times, however you’ll have a hungry audience. If it’s a quiet group, you might stay up the top of the page a bit longer, but there’s less people seeing it. The key is to find a group with a reasonable audience who seem to like interacting a lot with each other.
I like to think that posting content to groups works best if it is absolutely compelling and not just a little bit compelling. If it is very specifically related to the topic of the group, then it’s worth a try. If it offers something new and useful or is simply amazing or outstandingly funny it’s also worth it. But if it’s just repeating the same old stuff found online already, you would be wasting your time.
Groups are a good way to get shares as well as comments, because people want to chat instead of just reading, plus they’re looking for interesting stuff to share on their timeline with similar friends. There is some time involved in joining groups, as sometimes an admin has to approve you to join. Then, once you get accepted, there’s no guarantee that anyone’s talking about what the group topic says they’re talking about.
I once checked out a singles group for fun but once inside, all I found was rude men posting demeaning jokes about females, while 500 women sat on the sidelines and didn’t interact at all because they didn’t like what was going on.
I had to ask myself why anyone would stay a member of this group and hope to interact properly with singletons. As you can guess, it would have been a horrible place to post a link as it would have invited too many idiotic comments from the dolts in there and the women probably wouldn’t have liked it since they were in hiding. However, I have seen a number of fantastic art and writing groups where people are heavily involved in supporting each other’s work.
When you post to groups, write a short teaser with the link to attract people and don’t just do a link and dash out the door. Interact with the group. People will know not to bother with fly-by-nighters. The idea is to pick groups you wouldn’t mind interacting with occasionally, preferably groups which are suited to your hobbies and interests, which you have (hopefully) created content for, because you are interested in the subject matter.
Two More Tips For Virality
- If you have excellent feedback on your content and everyone seems to like it, consider doing a campaign on it to assist it going viral if you run out of places to post it. Put $5 on a Facebook ad for clicks (not impressions) to your content URL and set your own manual limit, so you don’t pay too much per click. Make the ad an amazing, compelling ad with the best photo and interesting text. On non-sales topics, this should end up very cheap, but in saturated niches it can be very expensive. You’ll have to see what the average bid per click is.
- Are you producing a lot of content on the same subject? Consider starting up your own Facebook community. Create a beautiful looking page, garner some initial likes (usually by inviting, bribing or forcing family and friends), post a variety of interesting items and then run some campaigns through Facebook ads to promote the community. It might seem silly to do all of this work (and it should be viewed as fun, not work if you’re doing this) but I have seen many people being able to post their own stuff with their own audience of 5,000 people who love it and like it and share it with everyone they know. I wouldn’t start a community with only a couple of articles in the niche, but if you have loads of them, it would be worth a small time commitment and some money to grow it properly and get your stuff going viral over the longer term.
How often do you visit Facebook?
Getting content lots of likes and engagement on Facebook depends on a number of factors, including how great the content really is, whether people are generally amenable to it, where you post it and to how many people.
If you try just about everything in this article and it’s not working, then it’s just not meant to be with that particular piece of content. Stop stressing, let it go and practice creating a fresh piece of social content that is better looking, a better topic and better reading than the last one. Or change tactics and go for organic Google search instead.
Search engines (and Google in particular) are paying a lot more attention these days to social engagement when they’re ranking pages, so if you can “do” social media, you’ll enjoy a lot more success with only a bit of effort. It helps if you genuinely enjoy social media too, and believe me, it comes across as obvious if you don’t.
Ultimately social media is just another way to get visitors to your page and make it pay off for you, so pick whichever method floats your boat. If you are not a social media person, keep doing what you are doing. If you haven’t tried social media before and would like to, I hope these tips show you how to get your work out there and appreciated properly!
© 2014 Suzanne Day