How to Get Facebook Voyeurs To Engage

Facebook touts that they have 850M+ fans, but how active are they? Facebook constitutes an “active” user by someone who logs in. But there are many people who log in and who are just voyeurs of other people’s content. They don’t engage, they don’t ‘Like’ anything and they rarely share. So how can  you get them to share, comment, or ‘Like’ your content?

Try these 5 steps out:

  1. Sponsored Stories. Take out a Facebook Sponsored Story Ad which will display to the voyeurs when someone in their network has engaged with your brand. This could be the incentive they needed and could solidify their trust in your brand.
  2. Respond to commenters. If you are lucky enough to get them to comment, then make sure you comment back and end your comment with a question to keep the conversation going. This will also increase your Facebook Page’s EdgeRank.
  3. Call-to-Action. Sometimes people read in a time crunch, so be sure to have a call-to-action (CTA). Without a CTA, they’ll blow right by your content.
  4. Reward and Recognize. Recognize your participants by highlighting a “fan of the week”, tag them in a post, or do a simple promotion. This may get them to share and open up.
  5. Short and sweet. According to a study by Buddy Media, posts where content is 80 characters or less had 27% higher engagement. (and you thought Twitter was tough).

People are voyeurs on Facebook for a lot of reasons:

  1. No one wants to be first. They don’t want to be the first one to comment. (Liking is much easier). Encourage employees to comment on posts and ‘Like’ posts and this will encourage the voyeurs to potentially share their thoughts when they are not the first to do so.
  2. They want to be anonymous. Facebook doesn’t allow you to be anonymous when “liking” or commenting on a post. It’s out there for all of their world to see. These people don’t interact with any brand on Facebook, so don’t take it personally. To them, their privacy is everything. They probably just joined to look at photos of their grandchildren.
  3. They don’t like confrontation. Some people are reluctant to comment because they think it may cause confrontation by other fans. This is where a call to action would be handy, or just asking them which side they are on.
  4. They don’t want to be publicly affiliated. Just because someone likes your brand doesn’t mean they want the whole world to know. They can hide that on their personal profile, but if they engage, they will expose a vulnerability. In this case, there is nothing you can do on a Facebook Page, however, if you had a Facebook Group that was closed or secret, then maybe you could encourage them.
  5. They aren’t really voyeurs. They ‘liked’ your brand due to a promotion and are too lazy to unlike your brand, so they just hide your posts in their news feed. This is where a Sponsored Story would pay off for you.
  6. They don’t feel loved. They scan down the comments on the page and notice that you never respond. Why engage with a brand if they don’t care about what their fans have to say. This is where commenting back to fans who comment is essential.
  7. They don’t want to click on links taking them out of Facebook.  Some people are super paranoid about clicking on links because they don’t want their data tracked or are afraid of downloading a virus. In spite of #5 Short and Sweet (above), since Facebook increased the size of its posts from 420 characters to 5,000 (to compete with Google+), on occasion, include the entire post – especially if it’s your own content. And don’t forget to give a CTA!
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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.