These two words describe what most pet professionals experience after posting a photo or a status update on Facebook.
That’s right. Absolutely nothing happens. And it’s infuriating, isn’t it?
Facebook is supposed to be a good way to promote your pet products and services, but why is so hard to get seen by your Facebook Fans?
It’s because of a guy called Mark Zuckerberg and his vision. You might have heard of him – he is the founder of Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg says:
‘My vision is to create the perfect personalized newspaper for every person in the world. There is more competition for what they (users) see, so only the highest quality content is actually going to get through and get shown to those people.’
This means that Facebook is focused on the fan experience – not your pet business.
The good news for you as a pet business owner is that this is a major clue to what sort of content you should be putting out on Facebook in order to be seen.
That’s right – you need to come up with content that will be relevant and significantly useful to your fans. Stuff that makes them take action and engage with your content.
But more on that later. Let’s talk a little bit more about Facebook’s reach first.
Organic reach, and why you should care
Because of Zuckerman’s vision, less of your posts get pushed out into your followers newsfeeds. You may have heard that organic reach on Facebook is down, and you’ve probably experienced this already on your pet business Facebook page.
This means that as little as 15% of your free Facebook posts actually get seen by your fans in the newsfeed after you press publish.
Facebook suggests that you can improve this number by boosting your posts for a small fee, but the good news is that there are other things you can do to to improve this number, for free.
The answer is to build more engagement on your page.
What, exactly, is Engagement?
In Facebook speak, engagement means getting your fans to take one or more of the following four actions.
- Clicking the like button for a specific post
- Leaving a comment for a specific post
- Sharing a post with their friends
- Clicking on a link in a post
The more action they take – the more your Facebook updates get pushed out in your followers’ newsfeeds.
The formula is easy.
The more engaging content you give your FB fans the more your News Feed Visibility will increase.
It is just like training a puppy.
The more consistent you are, and the more cookies you give the puppy – the more likely you’ll end up with a well trained pup.
So how do we go about training the Facebook puppy?
Here are my Seven Top Tips for Increasing Engagement
1. Get inside the head of your pet parents – and give them what they want
Imagine your best customer. Perhaps it’s the woman with the snappy Pekinese, or that guy with the ball crazy labrador. You know who they are!
Then take a moment to think about what sort of images, videos and status updates might make them smile. What would make them click the like button, leave a comment or share your updates?
What would genuinely help them with the care of their pet? Now you’re onto the sort of content you should be sharing on your Facebook wall.
2. Write like you’re writing to a friend
Social media was not built for corporate speak, so write your status updates like you would write to a friend. Here’s an example from my dog blog’s Facebook page which I write in the voice of my dog – as you can tell it works for my FB crowd (it’s just a little bit of fun!).
Your business is obviously completely different and you need to develop your own ‘tone of voice’. A good way to start is to pretend that you write each post directly to your best customer or a good friend. That way you avoid sounding too salesy, pushy or downright boring.
3. Use lots of photos and graphics
Facebook posts with photos will see a higher engagement – so go on and get snapping. Great examples include before and after photos for dog groomers, and snapshots from today’s dog walk for dog walkers. You can add text using an app for your smartphone, or go to Canva.com for a range of fun templates. You could also check out my range of ‘done for you’ social media images for the pet industry, which will save you a whole lot of time.
And a word of caution – don’t just post an image and run. Always take the time to explain what the image is about and why you wanted to share it (after all – you wouldn’t send an empty post card to a friend would you?).
4. Share videos
Videos get some of the highest rates of engagement on Facebook at the moment. So use your smartphone and get recording! Don’t worry, you don’t have to create epic videos – pet parents will love to see videos of their fur babies having fun on the beach, or in the bath. Then upload your video straight to Facebook and watch those likes and comments come pouring in.
5. Share behind the scenes type of stories
People love to get to know what’s going on behind the scenes, so go ahead and share your dog walking stories (what exactly did Fido find on the beach?), and coffee break adventures (what’s that great new cafe on your street like?).
6. Ask fun questions about their pets
Pet parents love talking about their fur babies so asking fun questions about their pets is an almost guaranteed way to get some engagement going on your page. I have created a bundle of ‘done for you’ Facebook images with lots of fun and engaging pet related questions, you can check out the image bundle here.
7. Share stuff that makes them look good
Studies have shown that people will share your post if it puts them in a good light. That’s why things like inspirational quotes, and fun facts get shared so much on Facebook – because it makes them feel inspirational and smart!
So if you want to get more shares on your Facebook page, then go ahead and give your followers something that will help them look good!
Time to take action: Choose one or two of the examples in this post and try it out on your Facebook page this coming week, then come back and tell me about it in the comments below.