1. Keep it short: Shehata explained that Facebook isn’t a place to be long winded. Marketers can add links to longer blog posts on their websites or to news content marketing articles. By keeping posts under 250 characters, he suggests businesses see a 60 percent increase in interactions.
2. Ask open-ended questions: Asking questions is a great way to generate comments – and comments can really help boost visibility via EdgeRank.
3. Share stories with photos: ABC stories where journalists shared links to content, and included images in the Facebook post saw 65 percent more Likes and 50 percent more comments.
4. Post plain photos: Photos in and of themselves are key to Facebook engagement. (WebLiquid data shows photos on Facebook increase interaction rates.)
5. Post videos: In addition to Facebook data indicating that video posts boost engagement for brands by 100 percent, Shehata says even including the word video in the share will help companies garner attention.
6. Tweak headlines: Many people don’t take advantage of the option to change headlines for shared links to site content, but Shehata advises updating headlines to make them shorter and optimize them for social searches.
7. Make sure to include clear calls to action: He advised adding simple CTA phrases within the first 90 characters, and referenced a study showing that simple directives have better results. (Brafton covered the full findings of the study last year.)
8. Share exclusive content: People Like pages because they think there’s something in it for them, so provide exlusive offers and insider information.
9. Use contests: The majority of social followers are in it because they expect to get something out of the relationship!
10. Make sure contests are related to your business: Relevancy is essential to sustainable engagement! “If you’re in the food industry, your social contest shouldn’t give away a car. Keep it relevant,” Shehata said.
11. Interact with fans: By responding to fans, you show they are valued and you fuel further conversations for more interactions – and more affinity points in EdgeRank.
12. Incorporate current events: Capitalize on trending social topics with news content marketing. It shows that your company is up to speed with the latest happenings.
13. Address controversial topics: While good news generates Likes, bad news (treated appropriately) generates more Facebook comments – and comments carry EdgeRank weight.
14. Talk about Facebook on Facebook: It sounds simple, but Facebook users will want to keep up with Facebook happenings. Shehata even suggests asking, “What do you think of Timeline?” to get some interaction.
15. Post follow-ups: Keep your page looking up to date and keep the conversation going.
16. Highlight fans and reward engagement: Go beyond interacting through responding to comments. Shehata highlighted how Oreo showcases active fans on their birthdays by including them in the brand’s profile pic, making them mini celebrities (and brand advocates).
17. Instead of automating updates, schedule updates: Shehata encourages using Hootsuite to schedule updates.
18. Cross-promote: Find other businesses (non-competitors) who will share your content and be willing to do the same.
19. Geotarget: By sharing local content, marketers can highlight how they are relevant to nearby users.
20. Be relevant: Know if our audience wants hard news or entertaining content, and plan your social (and overall) content marketing campaign accordingly.
21. Don’t overwhelm your fans: Shehata shared data from the ExactTarget study that showed the No. 1 reason brands unLike companies is because they share too many posts. Brafton has reported the same study shows repetitive content and content that lacks substantive information are other top reasons consumers unLike brand pages.
Bringing a content marketing gameplan to social campaigns should be a top priority for many companies this year. As Brafton has reported, half of companies with a social presence lack a social marketing strategy.