How to Brand Yourself and Build Engagement on Facebook

Written By: YTravelBlog

If there’s one travel blog that really stands out on Facebook, it’s yTravel Blog.

We have been fans of the way that Craig and Caz run their fan page and asked them if they would be interested in writing a post for us about how they have become so successful on Facebook.

How to Brand Yourself and Build Engagement with a Facebook Page

Show Them the Real You

Social media is REAL. It’s life. And Facebook is the ultimate platform to be yourself and brand yourself to show the world the real you.

Sure, link to your latest blog posts. But that’s what everyone is doing. So don’t just stop there. Why not show them you’re a real person by posting lot’s of photos, various updates, and ask lots of questions about things youíre passionate about, both within your topic, and off topic.

Facebook is an Extension of Your Brand

My Facebook page swiftly became a standard extension to our blog’s brand and message.

I intended it to become a highly effective form of engagement with our target market and build a community around our brand.

We made the intention to build an engaged community by starting conversations. We wanted to create a place where those within our travel community can meet for some socializing and fun, not just to get travel information.

And you do that by being yourself and being authentic. One of the best compliments you can receive is that you are just the same offline as you are on.

If you focus on making your fan page your homepage for the social web, you can create a page that serves as your mini-hub. Then use it as your platform to connect on a deeper level.

How to Introduce Yourself on a Business Page

Introduce yourself on Facebook with a Welcome Page.

One of the best ways to show people who you are and to help your page stand out from the noise of over 800 million users on facebook is to create a custom tab with a short video that will give you an attractive “Welcome Page” that explains:

  • exactly what your fan page is about
  • who it ís for
  • and why they should become members.

A custom welcome page can increase your conversion rate from visitors to “Likes” or fans. Without it, new visitors will be taken straight to your wall, which can be messy and doesn’t really tell people exactly what you do.

We used Custom Fan Page Designs to create our welcome page which we are currently updating.

Today’s Currency is Engagement

engagement on facebook

Being social isn’t about talking. It’s more about listening. It’s very important that you’re actively engaging with your followers and they are engaging with you. By being engaged with your fan page members and becoming a trusted resource they will help you grow your community.

Word of mouth marketing has always been the best form of marketing. One of our favorite mentors Gary Vaynerchuk says…

“Word of mouth is the currency. And now we have the infrastructure for word of mouth to be on steroids. Our engagements are being spread like never before. It’s an eyeballs and ears business. Companies have the opportunity to take themselves from a non-human element to a human element”

So don’t forget the “social” part of social media. Thatís how you build strong and rewarding relationships.

Why It Pays To Engage

Facebook rewards you for building relationships. Engagement is not only important to us, but it’s important to Facebook.

Just as Google has it’s own Page Rank, Facebook has an algorithm called EdgeRank. In a nut shell, EdgeRank determines who sees what. Basically, it determines what updates (i.e. photos, posts, videos, links) you will see in your news feed.

Understanding EdgeRank is important. A high EdgeRank leads to visibility in the news feed, while a low EdgeRank leads to obscurity. The more comments and likes you get on an update, the more viral visibility and free marketing youíll create by appearing in your fans news feed.

Why Is a Strong EdgeRank Important?

Statistics show that 90% of the people who “Like” your fanpage never return to your actual page. They are much more likely to interact with your page through their news feed.

Think about your own behavior on facebook. How often do you type in a fan page URL? So the more you can get your status updates into the news feed, the more engagement you are likely to receive.

Ways to Build Engagement on Facebook

Ask Questions

Asking a question is the simplest way to get a response from someone.

Dale Carnegie said it best when he said…To be interesting, you must be interested.

It’s true. People really do like to talk about themselves, so let them. Donít make the conversation all about you, what youíre doing, and your opinion. Ask questions as a way to get your fans to share, to stimulate conversation, and to give advice.

Ask Smart Questions.

With so much noise in the news feed, people’s attention span is very short. So ask questions and post updates that make it easy for people to “answer”, “Like”, and “share”. If you ask a question that requires a three paragraph answer, you’re not likely to get much response.

Examples of easy questions to Ask on Facebook…

YES or NO questions…

Fill in the Blank…

One word answers…

True or False questions…

Then every so often, ask more engagement type questions…

Travel Tip questions…

Feedback questions…

Quick Tips…

  • Put the question at the beginning OR end of the update.
  • Ask other questions later in the thread to create continuity.
  • @tag people in the comments to get them coming back.
  • Comment yourself to get the ball rolling. However, donít step in too soon.
  • Don’t use the facebook questions tab. I have found much more engagement by manually posting the question.

Include a Call to Action

Remind your fans to “Like” and “Share” your updates. Facebook has some easy ready-made sharing buttons with which people can promote your updates to their friends.

Take Note: Facebook recently changed the way users interact with content on fan pages – you now don’t have to “Like” a page and become a fan before you can post on fan page walls and like/comment/share fan page content.

Ask for a “share”…

Ask for a “Like”…

The bottom line is to let your fans know exactly what you want them to do.

Top Tips for Status Updates on Facebook

Say it with photos

Photos are number 1 when it comes to what people look at on facebook. Did you know that using photos to stand out in the Facebook news feed carries more weight than text updates when it comes to your EdgeRank Score?

Photos have always gotten a slightly higher EdgeRank score, which means better visibility in the News Feed. Think about times you’ve spotted a thumbnail-size photo from a friend in your feed and clicked to see it full-size. Facebook likes clicks, and photos deliver them.

Pictures really do tell a thousand words. Being in the travel industry, thereís no better way to inspire others and stir emotion than through travel photos.

Add a question to your photos…

I don’t just post photos of landmarks or lanscapes on our wall, but lots of photos with us in the picture as well, whether it be a travel photo or at an event. We do this because photos are also GREAT for branding and tying your face to your text. It creates a deeper connection between you and your fan (reader).

Encourage your fans to upload photos

Each time your fans upload a photo, the thumbnail goes onto their profile wall and out into the news feeds of their friends. Make sure your settings allow fans to post content.

Get Fans to Tag Photos

If you host any live events, be sure to take plenty of photos and load the photos to your fan page and tag people. This pushes them out into their wall and their friendsí News Feeds, providing valuable (free) exposure.

Use Short Videos

Another great way for you to reach out and let your community members meet the real you is via short video updates. For example, we use video to announce the winners of any promotions we have running.

Keep the Narrative Short

A study by Buddy Media showed that posts 80 characters or less in length receive higher engagement rates. Once again, consider how much content fills the news feed and how quickly. It makes sense that a shorter post will catch Facebook usersí attention quicker.

You want to stand out in the news feed which is busy, so use something catchy, or start with a question. The easier it is for your fans to read, the more likely they are to engage.

Change the Way You Post Your Blog Links

One handy tip I learn’t recently was how to get 18 Times More Likes on a Facebook Update. Don’t simply just add a link to the status update box so that it pulls in the thumbnail image from the post, the title of the post, and the first line or two.

Instead, upload your best photo from the post and then write something about the post (including the link). Better still, turn the update into a question that compels people to leave answers.

Example…

Share Valuable Tips

Don’t forget to share useful tips regarding your niche. One thing I love to do is eat, and I like to learn about good options for where to eat from other travel bloggers.

Mix it Up

You don’t have to always stay on topic. In fact, the highest engagement I have ever received was from an off-topic update. Also, when updating your status, use a combination of text, photos, videos, links to blog posts, and share others posts.

Don’t Automate Anything

I manually post all updates to my fan page and NEVER use automated services such as RSS Graffiti or through twitter. And I definitely get a better response manually posting.

Facebook needs eyeballs to earn revenue, so naturally you will be rewarded for being present on the site and posting in REAL time. If you constantly automate everything, your EdgeRank and engagement will suffer.

Post During High-Traffic Windows

Get to know when your fans are most responsive. There is some trial and error here and it can take some time. Think about which part of the world the majority of your fans are based?

I personally tend to get the best response posting late at night Oz time 10-12pm which hits the North American market early in the morning 6am-8am. OR, vice versa. In general, I seem to get better engagement outside of the typical 9-5pm business hours, irrespective of the country.

And I’m not the only one. Companies that post content on their Facebook pages outside normal business hours see engagement rates that are 20% higher than average.

Interact and Respond promptly

Do your best to respond to fan questions and comments as promptly as possible.

If you find you have trouble managing this, considering using a great free app called Hyper Alerts. We have it set so that we receive an email once per day alerting us to all our comments on our threads.

You’ve Got to Earn It

Building your brand and engagement is about taking action.

A well-executed strategy takes time and effort. More than anything, it’s really about showing up daily and taking a genuine interest in the likes, interests and opinions of your community members.

It’s not a case of build it and they will come. Always remember the rule for engagement is to make it about your fans and not about you. Provide value, become a trusted resource, and share the love…

Don’t just create a fan page, create an experience. Get this right, and your brand and community will naturally grow.

How much of a community are you building around your brand on Facebook?

Read Next

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • World Nomads - Digital Nomads or Frequent Travelers.
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  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About YTravelBlog

Bio: Craig Makepeace has been traveling and living around the world since 2002, first with his wife Caz, and now with his two daughters Kalyra and Savannah. He co-founded his travel blog in 2010 and uses it to inform and inspire others to travel.
Follow Caz and Craig at YTravelBlog / Facebook / Twitter

Leave a Comment

44 thoughts on “How to Brand Yourself and Build Engagement on Facebook”

  1. One of the biggest secrets to success being demonstrated right here by Craig Makepeace as he replies personally to most of the comments … Truly engaged passion is magnetic and attracts people to our businesses. Nice article, lots of great tips. Of course they need to be adapted to the kind of business someone is running … cheers 🙂

    Reply
  2. Nice Post, Building facebook engagement is not easy task for the promoters. It’s a channel of communication with your audience or customers. This post nicely elaborated the ways of engagement how they are performing. The important factor of facebook engagement is sharing and listen your audience.

    Reply
  3. Excellent information facebook is the great source of enhancing your fan club and you did right thing here its I really appreciate your work.

    Reply
  4. Very impressed with the sharing of such amazing tips! Am setting a couple into action on my new FB page, and am bookmarking this post! Thanks a million!

    Reply
  5. Here’s to taking advice from the pros :). Really, really useful post for so many people, myself included. We’ve been exploring so many of these concepts on our own, so it is helpful to hear some validation and confirmation on the trends we are realizing. Thanks again for all the great things you two do to help all of us like-minded people in your community. – Jim

    Reply
    • Great to hear that you are on the right track Jim. Sharing ideas is definitely what we think helps our community grow and learn together. Big thanks to Caz and Craig for sharing their expertise too!

      Reply
  6. Awesome, useful advice! It’s one of my goals to do more with my Facebook page in 2012, and this post has given me a lot of great ideas!

    Reply
  7. All the tips are extremely useful…You made it quite intuitive by attaching screenshots…yTravel is a really leveraging it the fullest….Thanks for posting valuable article….

    Reply
    • I agree, the screenshots are a great addition. YTravel Blog is definitely setting the bar for making facebook work, their strong and likeable personalities really make them a stand out.

      Reply
  8. This is a definite bookmark page! Thanks so much for this. So helpful. Thanks to yTravel for sharing this information with everyone and to theplanetd for posting it:)

    Reply
  9. Wow – this is the most useful blog post I think I have ever read. I thought the advice would end after the first few paragraphs but it just kept on going and going. I will be implementing your suggestions on all three of the FB pages I manage. Thank you!!

    Reply
  10. This is really one of the most comprehensive guides on FB fan pages ever! I just love all the screen shot examples. I’m a fan of the yTravelblog FB page too and it’s one of the best for sure! Very inspiring to get out there and take ours to the next level!

    Reply
  11. Great tips Caz! I have been looking at posting a picture with an article instead of just the link. I am going to do some testing now and see how it goes. We find we get the least interaction from just an article link. It will be interesting to see how it goes.

    Reply
    • Hi Anthony,

      That’s generally what we find also that an article link gets lower engagement than just a general update. But, posting those article links can lead to fans heading to your blog to read your content, so it’s important.

      Reply
  12. Great tips! I recently listened to an informative podcast about Facebook engagement and the biggest surprise for me was that it’s good to post about things that don’t have anything to do with your blog or business. I always felt weird about going off topic, but it shows people that you are a real person.

    Reply
    • Absolutely. We go off topic fairly regularly and it generally gets a good response. In fact, our biggest response ever was an off topic update.

      A facebook expert I follow closely said recently that people aren’t on facebook to be sold to or to buy from you, they want to be entertained.

      Reply
  13. Wow great tips… as usual! Can’t wait to start implementing some of these! Now I just need to know how I can add a couple hours to the day!

    Reply
  14. I was just thinking how I need to spend more time on my FB page & figure out how to use it better, so this was an amazing post to read. Thanks for all the great advice!

    Reply
  15. This is awesome advice! Craig & Caz definitely rule on Facebook so it’s nice to get some tips on how they do it. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  16. This is great advice for FB… I love engaging with my fans on FB. I have learned that photos do result in way more interaction then a regular update. I try and update with a photo as often as possible. I had no clue about the sharing a photo on the wall. I tried that just now for the 1s ttime… lets see if any of my fans will submit a RAIN photo. Do you have one maybe y’all can be my 1st…lol!!!

    Thanks for this post.

    Reply
    • Hey Jamie,

      Engaging to us comes naturally. Just be yourself and keep it simple. Not sure if we have a rain photo. Let me think about that and will upload if I come across one.

      Reply
  17. I agree that yTravel Blog is one of the most interactive and interesting FB Pages I have seen. I appreciate sharing tips in so much detail. I learned a lot!

    Reply
  18. The masters strike again! We have tried to create our own facebook page on how you guys run yours because it seriously rocks. Always jealous of how many comments/likes etc you get. Then again when we only have 99 followers it is hard to get it kicked off. What is the easiest way you have found that actually gets readers to “LIKE” the page in the first place? Cheers Cole

    Reply
    • Hey Cole,

      We found the tipping point to be around 500 fans before we really started getting decent interaction, and then saw much bigger engagement once we hit 1000.

      Stick with it. It takes time like everything. Really engage with your current followers as they help to spread the word. As I mentioned ask questions, use photos, and provide value. Make sure you have the facebook Like Box widget above the fold on your site, have your URL link in your email signature, e-newsletter, on your biz cards, on your FB personal profile etc.

      Use the “Invite Friends” link on the top right of your fan page. Running a contest on your blog asking entrants to “Like” your page as part of the process works well. Of course writing quality posts that you post on your wall that people want to share helps.

      All of our “Likes” have been organic but we are looking to do Facebook Ads early in the new year. Just starting to learn about them now.

      Reply
  19. Great tips! I’d never heard of ‘edge rank’ before. I guess that means there’s a whole new tactical toolbox to start filling!

    I always find that the posts which engage people most are the ones where I offer food. If my status update says: I have pie. Would you like a slice of pie? Then I get a much more enthusiastic response. But then, I only have two friends and they’re both bloaters. Maybe that has something to do with it?
    :0)
    Tony

    Reply
    • Hey Tony,

      Same with us in regards to food. We always get a pretty good response. I mean it’s one of the great things about traveling the world so always an interesting and fun topic.

      Reply
  20. This was a wonderful article guys. Really enjoyed it.

    I’ve taken a lot of inspiration about how I run my own site’s Facebook fan page from the way you two go about your business. Keep it up!

    Reply
  21. Caz and Craig are DEFINITELY getting it right on Facebook! Everytime I see one of their updates it genuinely engages me and I often comment or ‘like’ – what’s lovely is that you always get a reply or a ‘like’ on your comment so you know they’ve seen it and value it 🙂

    I’m definitely going to try and use some of these on my page, thanks!

    Reply
    • G’day Beverley,

      We always appreciate you and others engaging on our page. Looking forward to hearing you put some of these tips into practice. Rock on 🙂

      Reply
  22. It’s true – no one works Facebook quite as good as these two! Some awesome tips here that I had never thought of before, thanks for this great post!

    Reply