The January Facebook News Feed overhaul sent social media marketers into a panic. The update, which is set to prioritize content from personal network and only those posts from brands and publishers that spark meaningful engagement, left many thinking the days of organic reach on Facebook may be over. But while it might be a bit more challenging now to organically surface in the News Feed, it's surely not impossible - you just need to know how to start a relevant conversation with your audience.
The dependence of organic reach on engagement has a long history on Facebook. Prior to the January algorithm update, marketers have been going out of their way to maximize their interactions, which would push their content to the top of the News Feed. This time, however, it's no longer about likes or shares, but about a very specific type of engagement - meaningful comments.
How do brands encourage their audience to post more Facebook comments?
There's a reason why companies resort to engagement baits. First of all, they're really effective. While only around 5% of posts published by the most engaging brands on Facebook were engagement baits, they generated 27% of brands' total comments. Second, using different CTAs helps to direct users' responses and receive more diversified engagement.
To prevent that from happening, Facebook marketers need to tackle one of their biggest challenges and learn how to ignite relevant conversations on the platform.
How to get more Facebook comments and show up in the News Feed
So how can Facebook marketers break through this trend? How can they get more Facebook comments that would be more evenly distributed across posts? The answer lies in getting to know your audience on a detailed personal level.
How to better understand your Facebook audience
It goes without saying that such strategy is useless. If you want to start a meaningful discussion on Facebook, you first have to invest time in getting to know your audience. Here's what you need to know about your followers:
- What are their demographics?
- What are their interests?
- How can I accurately define my audience personas?
- Which topics resonate best with my audience?
- Which Facebook pages does my audience like?
This information is a roadmap detailing the type of posts your community is most likely to respond to. You can use it to craft relevant and personalized content that will grasp your followers' attention, encourage them to add more comments, and spark discussion.
What else can you do to spark Facebook conversations?
- Be a thought leader - publish fresh, trendsetting content that will encourage your audiences to share their own views on the topic.
- Be bold and thought-provoking - taking a strong stance and having clear opinions is a proven way to start a dynamic discussion.
- Be timely and join the popular conversations - join the bigger conversations that are generating a lot of buzz and steal some of it for yourself.
- Appeal to emotions - emotional posts allow users to relate to your content and express their own feelings in the comments.
- Ask for your audience's opinion - it's perfectly fine to ask your audience to say what they think - just make sure you don't sound spammy!
- Interact with your audience in the comment section - don't leave the commenters hanging! Replying to your audience will show them that their opinions are heard and valued.
- Publish regularly - publishing regularly means putting more content out. More content, in turn, equals more comments and a higher chance of appearing in the News Feed organically.
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