“We have a Facebook page but we don’t get a lot of engagement on it.”
I’ve heard this sentiment time and time again while helping CCR&Rs and providers with their social media marketing strategy. Each time I hear that, I ask the following questions:
- How often do you post on it?
- Do you have a content schedule?
- What’s been your most engaging post in the last few months?
Most often the answers I get are:
- “Not often.”
- “I don’t know.”
If that’s what you’d answer, that’s okay! Here are three steps you can can take toward getting a more engaging page on Facebook.
Idea #1: Commit to Posting on a Regular Basis
The biggest problem that I run across while helping agencies with their Facebook presence is that they aren’t posting regularly. I go to check out their page and the last post is from two months ago when it looks like they posted four updates in a row. Consistency is a key aspect to maintaining your social media page.
Now, you don’t need to post multiple times a day for your page to be engaging. There’s no need to put stress on your team to post everyday either. In fact, there is no ideal number of times a day that you should be posting on Facebook. What is important, however, is that you create a goal and stick with it. Identify how many staff members will be posting on Facebook. How often can they commit to checking comments, replying to messages, and posting new content? If that’s only 1-2 times a week, that’s fine; if you can manage to post twice daily, that’s great too! Do what makes the most sense with your resources.
Once you know how much you can commit to posting, stick with it. Imagine if you’re a family new to the area looking for help with child care. You do a quick search on social media and find two organizations with similar names that might be able to help you find care. The first one has an active social media page with fun photos, videos, and posts from the last couple months. The other has only posted once during a severe weather alert. The active Facebook page is much more likely going to be the one that the parent calls first. You probably won’t see an increase in engagement after just one or two weeks of posting regularly. But, over time, your posts will get more views, more engagements, and your organization will look more creditable on social media.
Idea #2: Create a Content Schedule
You know that posting regular updates is key, but how do you come up with enough content on your page? A content calendar will help you remember to post and will help you post different kinds of content rather than the same thing all the time.
One thing I’ve found helpful is to come up with a different internal theme for each day of the week. I wouldn’t write the name of the theme in the social media post itself—rather, think of the theme as a guide to help you brainstorm what kinds of content to share. Keep your audience in mind as you come up with the themes as well. Are you trying to reach mostly families or providers? What’s the geographic region you’re hoping to talk to?
Here’s an example theme that I created for an agency that wants to post daily and whose audience consisted of families and providers:
- Motivation Monday - Use a free design site (like Canva or Adobe Spark) to create little graphics with quotes on them.
- Training Tuesdays - Share an upcoming training or resource that you’re hosting for the child care providers in your region.
- Working Wednesday - Post a photo and do a mini interview of different members of your agency. You could also interview different families or providers in your region and ask them to tell their story. Ask your interviewees to share the post on their Facebook pages to increase your reach.
- Thoughtful Thursday - Share a blog post, news article, or post from other organizations and add your thoughts on the topic. Ask your audience to chime in with their comments.
- Family Friday - post a fun tip or idea to engage with families about high-quality child care. (Bonus: we have a ton of ideas and pre-made social posts here!)
Again, the idea is not that you must stick with the theme each day, but it can help you brainstorm different types of content that your audience may be interested in. For example, you may have a ton of trainings that you want to share. Post your event info on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but try to also share something non-training related on Friday. Make your content schedule work for you.
Once you know the kinds of content, you can schedule many of your posts in advance. Some social media managers write out all their posts for a month in Word and then write and schedule them in Facebook to go over the next few weeks. This can help cut down on the time you spend daily posting new content—just don’t forget to keep checking your page to respond to messages and comments!
Finally, don’t stress about creating brand new content each day. If you’re committing to posting three times a week and can’t think of two updates related to your agency, it’s great to share content from other organization’s Facebook pages (like ours) as long as their posts are relevant to your audience as well.
Idea #3: Pay Attention to What Works
One great thing to using a “themed” approach to your content calendar is that you might be able to see more easily what kinds of content is more engaging to your audience. I once managed a group and noticed that none of our weekly posts asking people to share jobs seemed to get attention. I polled the group and asked what else they wanted to see instead.
Keep track not only of what kinds of content performs well, but also the types of posts. In other words, do people tend click more blog posts from other organizations or from your organization? Do they engage more with photo posts or word posts? Are they more likely to engage with videos or albums? These are all things you can look at by using the “Insights” tab on Facebook. You’ll be able to look at your recent posts’ reach and engagement (number of likes and comments).
You can also choose to “boost” your Facebook posts on this tab, which essentially allows you to pay to show your post to more people. Check out my last post on different types of paid advertising if you want to learn more about Facebook ads.
Bonus: Try New Things
I hope that none of my tips above make you feel limited in when, how often, and what you post. The steps above should be only be used as guidelines. I believe that some of the most successful pages on social media are ones where the admins have fun and play around with the content they post.
Facebook is always introducing new functionalities that are definitely worth trying. Some of my favorites include:
- Facebook Live (do an interview or give a tour of your building)
- Create a group (for families or providers)
- Ask for recommendations
- Create events
To recap, you need consistent, creative content written with your specific audience in mind. Don’t be afraid to take some risks with your posts. And most of all—have fun! Social media marketing is a great way to show off your organization’s personality and share how awesome your agency is at the same time!
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