6 Actionable Tips to Improve Facebook Post Performance
With 1.09 billion daily active users on average (as of March 2016), Facebook is a valuable website for hospital marketers wanting to create meaningful connections with current and potential patients. To be successful on the platform, you have to be tactical about how you set up content and posts to cut through the clutter of a notoriously noisy news feed. Here are the top six things you can do quickly to encourage engagement and grow your target audience for more effective messaging:
Pin Important Updates
If you’ve invested a lot of time in creating a really strong piece of content or have an important announcement to make, you’ll want your post to get as much visibility as possible. Facebook does a really great job of streamlining your page by only showing updates it finds interesting for visitors, but that also means some posts get hidden. (Don’t worry! Hidden posts are not gone for good, that’s just an algorithm doing its job by filtering content personalized to the users interests.) Pinning posts expands their lifecycle – they become the first thing visitors see and always remain prominent regardless of how long they have been posted or how many things have been posted subsequently. Since pinned posts get more visibility for being featured, they also perform better in the long run. Try it for yourself!
Add Captions to Your Videos
More than half of Facebook users access the service only on mobile. Think of your own experiences with the app. More than likely, you’ve checked up on friends while waiting in line for lunch or even in a meeting (we won’t tell!). Since sound is likely to be off during this type of scroll, videos without captions become useless and are usually skipped. To get around this, add captions to your current videos or add text overlay to new videos. You have just a few seconds to capture someone’s attention; make sure your efforts count.
Use Language-Targeting Features
An often overlooked piece of information found on Facebook Insights is basic demographics, specifically language preference. Facebook now allows marketers to tailor and deliver posts that are language-specific (70 languages to be exact), making it easier to engage with followers in a way that matters. In early tests working with a CPG national brand, Spanish-dominant and Bilingual targets increased overall engagement by 40%!
Bonus: If you’re feeling a little extra ambitious, practice targeting based on geo-location as well. Address the actual name of the physical city or community you want to reach out to in your text and set up Audience Restrictions. In a few days, compare engagement of a standard post to a targeted one to see which resonated the most.
Boost Your Posts
Pay-for-play is the new reality of social media and Facebook is no different. Even though reach is potentially greater on Facebook, messages only get to about 2-6% of your audience because of the way the News Feed works. Spending a little extra money on boosted posts (not to be confused with ads) helps to promote organic content beyond existing followers, thus creating more impressions. While ads take a bit longer to set up and manage, boosted posts can be a short-term, effective effective solution that’s as easy as the click of a button. Actually, you can’t miss it – the button appears on the lower right corner on each of your recent posts when they are published!
Schedule Your Posts in Advance
Timing can have a significant impact on the performance of your Facebook posts. If you publish posts when your audience is online you have a better chance of getting likes, comments and shares. When posts are highly engaging, Facebook rewards you for producing “good content” and pushes it onto more News Feeds. There are expensive tools out there that can publish posts for you during peak times or you can keep an eye on it yourself easily by peaking at Insights data every so often. Surprisingly, a lot of businesses are finding weekend posts to be most effective as people are perusing social media on their own time.
Show Off Your Greatest Assets
The single best way to increase performance on your posts is to leverage the loyalty of your existing audience. Facebook still is, in its purest form, a truly social network. Give meaning to your marketing goals by creating unique storylines that feature your biggest brand advocates. It’s a sure fire way to get a post shared by those directly mentioned, thus generating buzz in their micro-networks. From shout-outs to candid moments, people love to see pictures of other people – especially of people they know. This is especially important when you consider that 90% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations.
Christine is a Social Media Strategist at BPD. She’s spent the last decade working on creative healthcare marketing and communications strategies that not only impact the bottom-line, but better engage each stage of the patient journey. Christine holds a B.S. degree in Health Services Administration from Florida International University and is currently in the process of completing a Master’s program focused on Health Communication at Boston University.