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So let's talk some more about engagement...Facebook rates every post that you put up for how well it engages your page fans. (Remember that engagement is likes, comments, and shares.) If you post a bunch of stuff that nobody engages with, FB's ratings system sees that, and says"well, this account posts stuff that nobody wants to see. So we're not going to show its other posts either." So if you post the most amazing thing you've ever seen, it might not be shown to your fans if the ten posts before it were garbage.
That's why you need to pay attention to what kinds of posts are interesting to your readers. If you see what people like, you can post more of that and get more engagement, which will then make Facebook show your other posts to more people. And if you've run some targeted ads like I outlined before, those posts will be shown to your actual customers, not to a bunch of people who will never buy your cakes.
I've seen a bunch of cake pages that basically post nothing but memes and pictures of witty sayings and slogans. But guess what? Those are the things that people are liking and sharing on that page. Those posts have lots of comments and shares, but when the page posts a link to a blog post, their likes and comments go WAY down. It could be that those memes are the only thing that keeps their blog posts from being totally ignored by Facebook's algorithm. If they didn't post the memes, which drive engagement, their blog posts would likely not be shown to people at all.
I'm not saying to go post only memes, but it does explain why people post so many of them. I did an experiment once where I posted a picture of two pies and asked which flavor people preferred. Here's the photo:
Okay...Want to guess if this photo got a lot of attention or not? Yes, it did! So it increased my engagement, and Facebook increased the probability that my other posts would be shown to more people as a result. And all because cake ladies like pie. A LOT.
My point is that there are ways that you can manipulate the system so that the posts that you actually WANT your customers to see, get seen. Check your analytics to see what's popular, post more of that even if you think it's not completely business-relevant, and then when you do have something that you want people to see it will be more likely to be included in their feeds. Don't go meme-crazy, but you get the point.
What should you post?
Start with cake photos and photos of work-in-progress. Sneak peeks, finished wedding cakes set up at the venue, people cutting the cake, kids with their birthday cakes, etc. Make sure to tag people in the posts if you can, because that will lure people to your page to see where they were mentioned.
You can share other people's photos, tutorials, etc. Go through the business pages that you follow by clicking on the "see pages feed" buttons on your personal page and your business page and save posts for later sharing. To save a post, click on the little down arrow at the top right of the post and click on "save post." Your saved posts will show up on your personal page's home page on the left side under "saved." Posts that are share-able will have the share button on them, and you can click that and choose which page to share it to. Make sure to share it to your business page!
Rumor has it that Facebook loves it when you use the word "facebook" in posts and will show it to a lot more people than usual, but I haven't found that to be 100% true. If you want to try it out, be my guest.
Facebook seems to love video, but put it directly into the post, don't link off-site (more below on that).
You can post a question (add a photo to it) to get people to interact. Make sure it's not just a yes or no question, and something that's slightly controversial will usually get people talking! But on that note...
What should you NOT post?
Posting controversial topics is okay BUT you need to make sure that you keep it on the clean and less-than-hideously-controversial side. Remember that your page is for your customers, not for you! Posting about politics, religion, or anything that will cause a fight at the dinner table is probably better left off of your business page. Ask whether people think that internet dress is blue or white, but don't talk about this election (oy...).
Don't post things that lecture customers about why cake decorators need to earn a lot of money. That meme that goes around occasionally about why a cake isn't "just flour and eggs" and has a long list of how long each part of making a cake takes comes to mind. Don't berate your customers. And don't complain about customers on your business page, that's rude, and you're not going to get a lot of likes from people for that kind of thing.
Facebook tends to downgrade links that take people outside of Facebook. If I link to a youtube video directly so that it takes people off of Facebook when they click the link, FB will show that to fewer people than it would if I embeddded the video on my page. They want to keep you on FB so you can see more ads. Leaving will make them lose ad money and Facebook doesn't like that. So try to avoid outside links. One way to get around this is to post the link directly under the post, in the first comment area.
Facebook also tends to dislike posts that have only text in them. Try to use a photo with every post.
Next week: When should you be posting?
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com