Some businesses may question marketing on Facebook in the light of recent media attention regarding data privacy and practices. The data that Facebook collects is what allows marketers to target their customers so effectively, landing your ads in front of people that need your service or product.

You may have tried to utilize Facebook Boosted Posts previously, and have not seen the desired results. Often you need to delve deeper into the Facebook ads manager to fully harness the power of the demographic information Facebook has collected from its billions of users. Your ads need to be created to appeal to your target audience with a call to action to increase engagement.

If this all seems complex and overwhelming to you as a business owner struggling with your online marketing, you are not alone. Here are 10 simple tips on how to increase your engagement.

Identify your top 3 attributes

Defining your brand attributes is crucial to creating a genuine voice that reaches potential customers in your community. Brand attributes are a list of words your brand always has to express no matter the communication channel. Without knowing your brand attributes, your messaging will seem inconsistent and confusing to consumers. A consistent brand message will be recognizable across an organization, both at the national and local level.

As you create your brand attributes and list of “always” and “never” you will find your business’s voice and personality.

Show your personality

Social media is just that — social! This is an opportunity to develop an affinity with your audience on Facebook by showcasing your company’s personality.

Do you know your company’s personality? Think of the “voice” of your company. Using the following methods, try to define your company’s voice.

Identify what are on your ‘Always’ and ‘Never’ list

■ Always respectful, never cold

■ Always welcoming, never rejecting

■ Always authentic, never fake

A simple checklist of “always” and “never” really helps you stay on message. These are things your voice as a company always needs to be and never should be — and it’s no more complicated than that.

Identify your target audience

I cannot stress this enough, as it appears in every article and presentation by the Sentinel Digital Agency on effective marketing. You need to identify and understand your target audience so you can choose the most effective messaging and medium to reach them. Your goal is to try to understand what people’s needs are.

Ask questions

Asking your followers questions and using survey posts are some of the easiest ways to get people to engage with your posts. When trying to increase engagement, likes and comments from your page’s followers, try to get your audience talking by posting a survey or a fill-in-the-blank question.

Here are a few suggestions that might work well on your fan page today:

■ When it’s over 100 degrees, I stay cool by _________?

■ My favorite patio in Grand Junction is ____________?

■ The best hike in western Colorado is (use survey)?

Use images or videos

Images or video capture the feel of your company and are a fantastic way to highlight your company culture. You can effectively tell your story in a quick and powerful manner. Posts with video have the highest engagement in the news feed, with picture posts a close second. Consistent branding of your photos and videos with your company logo will let your followers know it’s coming from your business.

Provide an inside look at your company

One great thing about using Facebook as a marketing tool is the way it lets you show off your business without appearing overly promotional.

One way to do this is to post photos of employees, customers and the town where your business is based. Charitable events, community involvement, staff picnics and holiday parties are opportunities to show off your company culture with less formality.

Stay specific

Utilize Facebook analytics to see what types of content your fans respond to and what posting times tend to get more comments, Likes, and shares. It is recommended to post more often to maintain your spot in your customer’s news feed as long as your engagement is holding steady or increasing. Facebook’s algorithm ties organic reach to how much engagement your posts get. So the more likes, shares, and comments you get on your posts, the more followers will see your future posts. This is key: To get more engagement from your fans, your posts need to be short, simple and clickable.

Use your followers’ content

I don’t know about you, but it is thrilling for me to have a post of mine shared by a company I admire. Sharing is how we build relationships with followers and influencers in our community, as well as how you get news about your company out to your consumers. An excellent strategy is to share relevant, useful content from other businesses who post in your niche.

A quick search on Google will help you find content from your favorite Facebook pages, blogs and feeds.

Keep posts simple

Sometimes a simple status update without a photo or video will generate a lot of attention!

According to data from Hubspot, text-only updates consistently generate more engagement than posts with photos, links and videos.

It’s all about knowing your customer and your analytics to generate posts most relevant to them.

Be persistent

This all about posting useful content with a consistent voice that your community knows. Some businesses will post once a month, where successful businesses post daily. With the Facebook algorithm pushing content for pages with greater engagement, your followers are more likely to see and engage with your posts when they see them in their newsfeed. Some easy ideas for posting regularly are:

■ Ask questions

■ Post fill-in-the-blanks

■ Post photos

■ Talk about the news

■ Ask for likes

■ Target different fans

■ Talk about Facebook

■ Celebrate today

Love your followers

There’s nothing like some love to get your community talking! Thank your customers and clients. Share their posts. Recognize your fans by sharing their content and highlighting their contributions.

Have fun!

While posting relevant content, call to actions, offers and driving traffic to your website is key, there are times you just have to post some fun content.

Post a funny meme. Ask those random questions. Put up a silly survey. Sometimes these are the posts that get the best response and are often shared. Consumers don’t always want to hear just about you. Let’s bring the social back to social media.

Nathan Watchman is a digital brand specialist with Sentinel Digital Agency, a sister company of The Daily Sentinel that provides marketing services to businesses across the Grand Valley. To submit a question for our experts to answer, email us at digitalagency@gjsentinel.com or give us a call at 970-256-4387.

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