It’s not fun nor beneficial for a business to publish a post that gets 2 likes and 0 comments. But fear not, you’ll learn how to drive Facebook post engagement right here, right now.
I’ve worked with plenty of small business owners to take the initial steps to build their online presence. And logically one of the first moves is to set up their Facebook page.
Facebook is a giant who is closing in on 2 billion users—meaning anyone’s and everyone’s customers are on this app.
What happens is we set them up with a polished Facebook page, including a beautiful profile picture and cover image. But for the business owners who say they’ll post themselves or have their niece do it, the engagement and results plummet. (That’s not the case for the small businesses that let illumen run their social media.)
Even the mid-size businesses we’ve worked with who have had a Facebook page for years still struggle to get engagement.
To be clear, engagement is a like, comment, or share on your Facebook page. That’s it—nothing else. Even if they click a link in your post and visit your site, that’s technically engagement but it’s not Facebook engagement (remember: Facebook like, comment, or share).
And the reason high engagement is critical is for a couple of reasons:
- The more people connecting with your brand means the more people who are likely to buy from you
- When your fans share your post or comment a friend’s name, your brand gets introduced to new customers—who also are more likely to buy now
- The people who interact with your Facebook page often become lifelong customers that support and spread the word for decades
Bottom line, your company builds brand equity that it can cash in on during the present and the future thanks to a thriving Facebook page. That’s why this matters.
(Pro tip: While this is a Facebook-specific article, many of these tips transfer over to Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms. You’re welcome!)
Let’s get into it.
11 Proven Post Ideas To Drive Facebook Engagement
1. Like for (Option 1), Share for (Option 2)
This first method is a social media classic.
Getting people to like or share between two different options is a win-win for your engagement.
The key is to create a choice people feel strongly about and identify with—such as if they like chocolate or vanilla ice cream, have a stronger addiction to chocolate or cheese, and if their favorite superhero is Batman or Superman. I’d include an image split between the two choices for maximum engagement.
And you get bonus points if you can find a way to tie what your company offers into the choices.
For example, a restaurant should compare their two most popular desserts instead of chocolate or vanilla. A clothing retailer should make the two options their hottest selling swimsuits in the summer.
You get the point after seeing this rue21 example below:
And if you have an idea of the choice people are more likely to choose, make that the share option to spread your page to new people. Strategy matters in everything!
2. “Like” if you (insert description)
See a theme here? You can get a strong number of likes and engagement when your posts focus on your audience and identify with them.
It also feels good for your audience when they know that you understand them and are “one of them” by expressing the same attitudes or opinions about topics.
To give you an idea of how this is executed, check out these examples:
- Nightclub example: “Like” if the worst part of the night is your walk home in heels
- Restaurant example: “Like” if you’d eat our baby back ribs for breakfast
- Gym example: “Like” if getting a sweat on is your drug of choice
- Car dealership example: “Like” if you find yourself sniffing to get more of that new car smell
Again, each caption should include a picture, GIF, or video for maximum engagement.
These audience-focused posts do much better than the self-promotional posts. Keep that in mind when posting on any social media platform.
3. “Caption this”
The best speakers and comedians know one trick to keep people’s attention: get their audience involved. When your Facebook page encourages user participation, it will be on the right track.
It’s for this reason the “Caption this” method works every time. It’s another classic.
Because all people have opinions (often too many opinions), and love to share them publicly.
When you offer up a softball request to “Caption this” picture, they’ll be more likely to like, comment, and tag a friend on your post. That’s winning!
The image below shows a bald eagle giving a salute. The Birds and Blooms magazine, which has a goal to market and sell more magazines, accomplishes their goal without being salesy and pushy. You can do the same.
4. How-to videos
Whenever you have the opportunity to build your product or service up to show expertise, capitalize on it. A powerful solution to do just that is a how-to video.
Don’t be surprised that these educational videos are also a perfect avenue to communicate with your audience. Your fans will likely watch the video to say thanks, ask a follow up question, or recommend the next video you should cover.
And when they trust you with the product or service, they’ll likely buy from you (not every time, but a good amount of the time). A short video has the power to attract lifetime visitors and referrals to your business.
Tastemade shows how this is done:
5. Happy (insert holiday name) Day!
This type of post is appropriate for all the big holidays you know: Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.
But then there’s a whole slew of random holidays, don’t get offended when I say “unnecessary, made up” holidays.
With the kind of holidays listed below, you can find plenty that relate to your product or service (go here to find more):
- Hot Sauce Day – January 22
- Single Tasking Day – February 22
- Dentist’s Day – March 6
- Bourbon Day – June 14
- World Kissing Day – July 6
- National Cheesecake Day – July 30
- Dog Appreciation Day – August 26
- Eat an Extra Dessert Day – September 4
- Go For A Ride Day – November 22
- Free Shipping Day – December 16
This is one of the few posts where it’d be a good idea to go for the engagement and link to your website for a sale. Celebrate this holiday with a special promotion or discount.
If they’re going to come up with ridiculous holiday names, you might as well get some extra marketing from them! It can’t hurt.
6. “Tag them here”
Your audience will exponentially grow when other people are your brand ambassadors to spread the word about your company. How’s this done?
There are a lot of ways, but the best is “tag them here.” The other person will get a notification from their friend that they’ll click and then land at your post.
This is free advertising 101. But think deeper about it. Is this just free advertising? It gets even better.
The friend recommending the other person means this is a trusted referral who is more likely to think positive thoughts about your brand.
Whole Foods, who just got bought for more than $13 billion from Amazon, does a nice job with the text and picture post below.
Because Rose is at the top of many people’s list and it’s cool to like wine, 817 people engaged—not bad.
And the finer details show that Whole Foods didn’t even link to their own website. This is all about giving value to the community and having some fun.
7. Nostalgic posts
I don’t know why, maybe you can tell me, but people glorify the past like nothing else. Once they’re out of school, history becomes their favorite subject. (That’s another whole discussion for another time and another article.)
That’s why if you go to a bar you’ll hear, “Those were the glory days,” or, “College was the best time of my life.”
What’s the point? Add some nostalgia to your posts for your advantage.
- “Remember when these shoes were hot?”
- “Remember when this is what was trendy in 1996?”
- “Remember when lawn mowers used to look like this?”
- “Remember when retainers were built like this?”
Stephen King isn’t exactly a mid-size business, but he’s an author in the business of selling books (and movies). You can do a similar post to his below to boost impressions and interactions.
8. Ask thoughtful questions
Just like a question is often the best conversation starter in real life, this concept also applies to your Facebook page.
Get in the habit of asking thoughtful questions, seemingly related or unrelated to your brand’s mission, and engagement will rise from my experience and research.
To give you a sample of interesting questions to ask your Facebook audience, I came up with this list:
- How are you going to celebrate the Super Bowl?
- Where’s your number one vacation spot?
- What do you think of Taylor Swift’s outfit?
- Who is your biggest role model?
- What’s your favorite late night snack?
It’s not that difficult to come up with your own questions. And the key is to remember that people are very opinionated when it comes to favorites and bests, so that’s a good starting point.
Be smart and let your questions double as customer research—there’s a 2 for 1 special.
9. Run a contest
Contests aren’t the most creative method on the planet, but that’s because they work. People and businesses know this so the giveaway is often done all the time.
It gets high engagement. Spreads the word about your business. And, if executed right, brings in more money to the business than the cost of the giveaway.
The devil is in the details though, and for contents it’s all about giving clear instructions that incentivize your fans to like or comment on your post to win.
Caribbean Cool shows how this is done to a tee:
You can also run contests to drive engagement on Instagram and other apps.
Lastly, follow the Facebook Guidelines so you don’t break the terms of service.
10. Use video (live video)
Americans love to watch things on video. It’s why reality show characters with no talent become stars (think about the show Jersey Shore). And it’s hard to argue that the top movie celebrities aren’t the biggest celebrities of all.
If you’re thinking you could use video to market your business, you guessed it. Video, and even better live video, is a workhorse for community engagement.
For example, data shows users are 10 times more likely to comment on a video than another form of content.
Ideas for live video include an office or shop tour, having your employees answer why they enjoy working at your company, and showing viewers behind the scenes access to something interesting. Then make a call to action to like, comment, and share the video if they found it interesting.
If you’re wondering how do you go live video from your Facebook page, I got your back.
- Open up your Facebook page from your phone
- In the status window there will be an option to Go Live
- Allow Facebook access to your mic and camera
- Make a video description
- Click start
11. Purchase location-specific Facebook ads
This one is cheating when it comes to engagement, so I saved it for last, but it works the best.
Putting money into Facebook ads is a surefire way to get your page in front of hundreds to thousands of new faces. By the sheer number of quantity your page will get more likes, comments, and shares.
Run location-specific ads and mention the town or city your business is in to get higher engagement.
Say you’re a plumber in Mason, OH. You could run a funny ad saying, “I’ve been cleaning dirty pipes in Mason for 20 years and seen it all. If you want me to flush your pipes, give me a call at 1-800-555-PIPE.”
If you have the budget for Facebook ads, I strongly encourage you to experiment with them. Because once you know what you’re doing, your business can explode from this single source.