In July 2019, Instagram (IG) totally changed the way its 9 million Aussie users engage with content by hiding the number of post likes. Now in October, social media juggernaut Facebook (FB) has followed suit with its 11 million Aussie users.
The bold move is being welcomed as a positive step by many users on both channels, in part due to the potential negative impact on its younger audiences. From metrics to meaning, focus has shifted to the posts themselves rather than other people’s reactions to them. Before what felt like a popularity contest is shifting to a hosting place for purposeful content. And we applaud it.
For us down under, the hiding of likes has been called ‘temporary’ currently under a trial period, but speculations suggest the changes are here to stay. Interestingly, you can still view likes on both FB and IG when logging in via desktop, for now anyway. So, for your business, how does this change the way your followers and customers interact with you? The short answer – it changes everything.
Consumers are seeking authentic value more than ever, therefore your content is king. In order to lead with credibility and stay front of mind, you need to be strategic in your social media marketing planning and produce high quality, engaging content. Below we have compiled our best tips to drive higher engagement on both FB and IG.
On average, FB users take 1.7 seconds to consume one piece of content. To stop the scroll, capture attention quickly by:
- Using punchy captions
- Encourage conversations with your captions
- Tailor your caption to FB specifically (include links, tag relevant accounts, check in, express how you’re feeling)
- Post only high-quality images and videos on your page
- Use FB stories as an informal way of sharing content (people’s quality expectations are lower with stories, so you can be more in-the-moment). It’s a great way to build your brand with your followers and stay front of mind with regular updates
To help your page and posts gain higher organic visibility:
- Choose a category for your page that best describes your business
- Add the address of your physical business location (if you have one)
- Add other elements such as opening hours, website URL, profile photo and cover photo/video
- Turn on recommendations so your customers can leave you a review
- Respond to comments with a comment, simply liking a comment is not enough
- Avoid engagement bait as this will rank poorly with the FB’s algorithm (e.g. like this post if…)
- FB has also recently announced the grey verification badges, introduced in 2015 to help people find authentic pages, will be removed. FB believe the badges are more confusing than helpful. This won’t impact the way your page appears, but following our tips above will help with page visibility and follower engagement
The more engagement in the first hour after posting will boost visibility. We recommend trying out these tips to increase engagement:
- Interacting with relevant hashtags and accounts before and after uploading
- Like and comment back on your post asap, ideally within 30 minutes if possible. If you’re posting something, ideally schedule a little time straight afterwards to interact with comments / follower engagement. If you don’t get many, use it as time to interact with other businesses / pages
- Be intentional and use relevant hashtags on posts and in stories. Use as many hashtags as you feel necessary, but make sure they’re not spammy (e.g. #likeforlike)
- Add a location to your post if applicable
- Tag other relevant accounts in posts and stories
- Reply to all direct messages (DMs)
- Encourage conversations by using interactive stickers on stores (e.g. poll, question, quiz, voting)
- Follow accounts and hashtags relevant to your brand (yes, you can follow hashtags!)
- Share recently uploaded posts to your story to encourage followers to view it
A new visitor to your profile will judge it on the most recent 9 to 12 posts – many won’t bother to scroll down much further, so to improve your grid:
- Whatever filter you use, stick with the same one for consistency
- Create a mood board of how you want your feed to look. Don’t look at posts in isolation – also consider how they’ll look next to other posts
- Leverage IG carousels
While social media marketing tools like Hootsuite are great for managing your content across various channels, be aware that it is easy to set and forget. You need to continuously interact with your feed and by that we mean every single day. So schedule a little time each day to interact, respond and be proactive on your socials. Your brand engagement will thank you!
Do you have questions about how to improve your business' social media marketing? Contact us to have a chat on (03) 5975 3742 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.