Facebook is the place to be, or where most of your target audience are. With 5.3 million Nigerians on the social network and brand already crossing and closing on the 1 million fan mark, anybody talking sales and marketing must not overlook the Facebook crowd.

I’ve covered how to build and engage with your online community in the past, and so I have decided to be more specific and delve into Facebook and share 10 tips on how to go about having quality and effective engagement.

Again, the formula for calculating Engagement Rate (ER) is:

ER = (No. Of Likes + No. Of Shares + No. Of Comments) / No. Of Post

This can be calculated per post (where No. Of Post = 1) or per day.

Alternatively, you can just compare your No. Of Fans to the No. Of People Talking About your page. If you can maintain 10% or more, then it’s thumbs up to you. As you can see from below, the Social Media Week Lagos page is on 16.4% ER:

So if your page has 1,000 fans, you must aim to have at least 100 people talking about it. Yes, this is very possible as I’ve seen up to 40% of fans on a page been engaged.

Here are the 5 of 10 tips:

  1. Post Everyday

    There is always a group of people who will be online to see your post. However, you can study the pattern (if you don’t want a software to help with that) or even ask your community, when they are most active online to post in these times. With all things equal, I’d recommend 3 posts per day – morning, afternoon, and early evening. Specific times can vary based on how much engagement is noticed, as well as the type of fans or what the page is about. For example a page for an online news paper will have as many posts as many stories are published.

  2. Post Around Current Trends and Happenings

    Here is where you get to give a variation in terms of style of posting. You don’t just want to share URLs from your blog, website, and other sources, you want to keep an eye out on what’s trending in the news, and finding a way to build content – text, blog post, photo, video, around it and then use to engage your fans. A good example is Nigeria winning the AFCON, and then Konga, DealDey, and even Stanbic IBTC creating art for their Facebook page around the line of Proudly Nigerian brands. A perfect example is news-jacking where Oreo put out a Facebook post with art and tag line ‘You can still dunk in the dark’ when there was a power outage at the last Superbowl game.

  3. Post Beautiful Catchy Photos That ‘Go With or Carry’ Messages

    Facebook updates with photos causes 33% more in engagement (photo albums even more), as compared to just text. So try to put out as much photos as you can, but make them resonate with fan and brand psychology as you don’t want your photos turning off engagement. You want to be funny, and easy to relate to – even though some quizzers may help from time to time. You can also share photos of behind-the-scenes, showing people contributing to the Facebook page and the brand as a whole, as that makes you human and sociable.

  4. Ask Questions – Polls

    Using the Comment, Like, and Share button as a means of measuring engagement is good, but it could get boring for the fans, especially if they can’t measure how many share the same opinions with them. That’s where Polls come in. Ask question and use the poll format for people to respond. This way, it’s easier for you to see fan’s thinking distribution, and for the fans to see what other fans think about a subject. In fact you can use this in making decisions. For example, you want to launch and e-magazine or e-tutorial. You may ask how many will be interested, or will recommend it to friends, or will be ready to pay a token for these resource.

  5. Announce Milestones

    Milestones are great when it comes to shared-success, and is quite rewarding for fans when you publicize them. It shows you appreciate your fans as whole community. Milestones can include crossing a 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 fan mark; hitting a level high engagement rate, spotlighting fans, etc For the brand, it could be used to unveil new features, new additions to the team, or board, etc. All of these allows you carry the fans along the journey.

It’s half time, and the second set of 5 tips on Facebook Engagement will be out at the end of the Social Media Week. Till then, be social, and attend as many events as you can – see schedule here.

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