September 30, 2020

How to drive community engagement through boosted Facebook posts

Getting out and about is harder than ever thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic--and of necessity during a time of social distancing, we're also spending far more time online than seeing people in person. 

For professionals and businesses looking to grow their networks, what's more critical today is a tactical, digital approach to reaching relevant audiences with the tailored messages that will resonate with them the most. Whether you’re marketing an event, releasing a report, inviting people to a community meeting, or trying to recruit a new client or member, digital media remains one of the cheapest and most effective ways to get your content in front of people. 

Even with a small budget, an accurate social media campaign over Facebook has the capabilities of growing your following and spreading your message. The simplest way to do this is through boosted Facebook posts which drive engagement.

Engagement is an important social media metric because it determines who sees your future Facebook posts after your initial campaign has expired. Someone who likes or comments on your content is more likely to see future content, which is why one strategically boosted post can be effective for ongoing communication and future engagement. If executed properly, a purposefully boosted Facebook post can drive community engagement with little investment and positive results.

We’re offering our best practices for using a boosted post to drive community engagement. More specifically, to drive traffic to a website, have people Like your Page, or to simply gain more impressions.

Read on to learn more.

Check your Objective

When boosting a post on Facebook, the platform allows you to select an objective based on what you’d like the post (and the money behind it) to accomplish. Would you like people to send you messages, buy your product, visit your website, or sign up for a mailing list? Different objectives will change the design of your post and encourage users to interact with it in different ways. Aligning the objective of your boosted post to the brand and goals of your company’s Page will direct the community on how to engage with your content.

Know the Community

To authentically foster sound community engagement, the content being published must be relatable and relevant to the neighborhood. What events are happening in the community? What public policy discussions are happening at the local level? What is the town newspaper? The answer to these questions requires monitoring or listening to the community—either through a monitoring software or organic research. Understanding the dynamics and factors that drive the community will allow you to develop relevant content that will resonate with the town’s residents.

Visual Assets to Get Attention

It is not an exaggeration to stress that in the 21st century, a post designed to drive engagement must have a visual asset. Pictures, Infographics, Videos, Charts, or Quotos are some examples that enhance engagement. Any of these assets will grab the eye of the ever-scrolling reader and force them to slow down to fully consume the post. Ideally, it will inform them of something that is relevant to their community and your Page’s brand. Additionally, the visual helps the community remember your content and Page, planting the seeds for better engagement in the future.

Ask a Question

Asking a question or soliciting feedback from a boosted post is another way to drive community engagement. If you’ve been monitoring the community to understand it’s demographics and politics, then you can probably ask a thought-provoking question in a post to stir conversation. Something as simple as “What are your thoughts about the new _______ in town?”. Not only does this demonstrate an understanding of community dynamics, but it also invites people to share their opinion on your post. A person commenting will trigger additional comments, which will generate additional views and engagement. If conversations are unfolding in your comment section, you’re doing something right.

Answer the Community’s Question

If your post asks a question to solicit feedback, you should expect to answer questions from the community if anyone should ask. Two-way communication between a Facebook Page and an online community shows transparency and authenticity, which are two key factors for genuine (and positive) engagement. When answering a question from a member of the community, be aware of who is answering the post. Are you answering as an administrator who oversees the Page, or are you answering as the page? Our advice is to answer as the Page because this creates an extension of customer service as well as outreach marketing. Being professional and courteous online fosters a level of trust and encourages people to reach out with future inquiries. Additionally, agreeing upon company guidelines when responding allows a Page to retain its voice no matter who responds to questions from the community.

Learn more about Denterlein's digital and social capabilities.

by Alex Boonstra