Facebook is a beast. Small business owners who attempt to tackle the beast have the best intentions in mind, but the beast inevitably wins and the small business owner gets lazy. If this sounds familiar, we’ve got your cure to improving Facebook engagement by truly understanding your audience. You might think you know who your Fans are, but your engagement numbers are telling a different story. Let me walk you though a few simple tasks that we’ve learned at Linwright Design to get you back in the game.

#1 – Attract the Right Fans

increase engagementWith targeted FB Advertising through Facebook Power Editor, as well as Facebook integration onto your website and marketing materials, you can place your Facebook Page in front of those who are already interested in your brand. These are the Fans you want to Like your page. Consumers and potential consumers who have landed on your website or picked up one of your business cards are showing interest in your brand and will engage at a higher level with your page.

Facebook recently added an Invite Friends feature under the Build Audience tab on the Admin Panel. This new feature allows you to easily share your Facebook Page with your business contacts and email marketing lists. By importing your MailChimp lists, you can pull in Fans who have already double-opted-in to your email marketing campaigns, making them the perfect demographic to engage with your brand on Facebook.

 #2 – Review Your Insights

Head over to your Admin Panel and take a look at the Overview of your Facebook Insights. According to EdgeRank Checker, the average Virality Rate for Facebook pages was 1.86% as of March 4, 2013.  Facebook suggest to strive for one to two percent Virality Rate for your posts. How does your Virality Rate compare?

Take a look at those specific posts that show a higher than average Virality Rate, and do some digging. What topics seem to spark an interest in your Fans? What time of day are these posts receiving the highest engagement? What days of the week? Using tools such as EdgeRank Checker and Simply Measured can help you determine which of your Facebook posts are receiving high engagement. 

#3 – What Interests Your Audience?

If you’ve completed step number two, you’ll have a pretty good understanding of what brand-related topics your Fans respond to, and you can post according to those findings. But, if you want to dig a bit deeper into what interests your Fans have, try Facebook’s new Graph Search. With this tool, you can take a look at the all-around demographics of your Fans, giving you greater insight into a broader range of posts that will increase engagement.

For example, if we were to research the interests of Starbucks Fans on Facebook, we’d type “Fans of Starbucks” into the Graph Search bar. The results give you thousands (Stabucks has nearly 35,000,000 Facebook Fans) of profiles – a little overwhelming. But if you look to the top-right you’ll notice a pull-down menu. Drop this down and you’ll notice a variety of option to refine your search.

You can refine the search not only by gender, city and employer, but by movies they’ve Liked, Activities they enjoy, even other Pages they’ve Liked. This opens up a whole new array of possibilities to understand additional details of your Page’s demographics.

Interestingly, thousands of Stabucks Fans are also Fans of ‘Cheese.’ What interests and activities can you pull from your very own audience to increase engaging posts with?

Many small business owners, even Facebook marketers, often forget how important it is to fully understand their audience and Fans. By appreciating the interests of your audience, you can share your brand message while at the same time increase overall engagement.

(image: attract fans / shutterstock)