A ‘Like’ Is Not ‘Engagement’ On Facebook

by Mack Collier

Over the past few months I’ve been spending a lot more time on Facebook, actually I’ve been spending more time there than on Twitter.  As a result, I’ve seen how a lot of different brands and organizations are attempting to build engagement with the people that are following their page.

Typically, brands are trying to get people to Like or Share their posts.  An example of what I’m talking about might be a brand sharing a picture of someone lying on the beach and then saying ‘Its Friday!  Like this if you are ready for the weekend!’

Folks, that is not engagement.  How much effort is involved for me to see that in my News Feed, click Like, and move on?  It takes one mouse click.  That’s all the ‘engagement’ that picture earned you for your brand.

And yes, I understand the impact Likes and Shares can have on your page’s EdgeRank.  But wouldn’t it make more sense to actually create engaging content?  Because engaging content not only engages people, it gets Likes and Shares!

The good news is, it’s a lot easier to create engaging content on Facebook than you might realize, it just requires that you think a bit about how to be more engaging.

For example, how often have you seen a brand or page post a picture of a cute puppy and then ask you to Like if you think this puppy is just impossibly cute.  Seriously, it happens all the time, right?

But check out how a slight tweak in this approach can work wonders:

Aw….impossibly cute puppy alert!!!  But notice what they did, they didn’t simply ask you to Like the picture, they asked you to share a story with others about your dog!  And when you do share your story, you’ll also read all the other stories that other dog owners are sharing in the comments.  You’ll probably laugh, have a few ‘my dog does the same thing!’ moments, and who knows, you might even make a new friend just from interacting via the comments!   And you’ll also have a deeper affinity for this page, because they found a way to actually engage you.

Now, let’s say you are tasked with building engagement on a page about a TV show that hasn’t been on the air in 27 years.  That’s right, you need to build engagement around a TV show that most Facebook users have probably never seen.

So how do you do it?  By appealing to their fans, of course!  Check out how TVLand engages fans of 70s Sitcom classic M*A*S*H:

Every day TVLand posts a picture from one of the episodes of M*A*S*H that it’s airing that night, and asks fans a trivia question about that episode.  I am a huge fan of the series, so I freaking love these.  In the above episode, Frank is wearing a pair of hunting socks, which are heated.  Which is a big deal, because everyone else is freezing and there’s no heat!

So what happens is everyone leaves a comment answering that Frank has hunting socks.  But then something happens, people start answering the question by repeating lines from the episode.  Such as:

1 – Radar tells Colonel Blake “They’re hunting socks, sir!” and Blake replies “At this hour?”

2 – Or when Klinger says they are socks that get warm, and then adds “I have a bra like that!”

And before you know it, we are all laughing and remembering what a hilarious episode this is!  Which means we will probably remember how funny this episode was, and decide to watch it that night on TVLand.  But that happened because TVLand is smart enough to engage its fans, and to create a way for them to interact with each other.  The M*A*S*H updates from TVLand are honestly a highlight of my day on Facebook, and I often Like the update, comment on it, plus Like comments from other fans.

So when you are trying to build engagement on Facebook, think of ways to actually build engagement.  Creating a way for people to share stories, as you see in these two examples, is an incredibly powerful way to build engagement.

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