Publishers look to Facebook to increase audience engagement

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 2.45.34 PM.pngBy Friday morning last week 30,389 people had been talking about Dabira, a magazine that has been in existence only a short time. How is it possible that so many people were talking about a Nigerian Christian magazine? Dabira Editor Lara Odebiyi discovered long ago how a Facebook page for her magazine could impact and influence current and potential readers of her magazine. With nearly 6,000 likes, Dabira’s Facebook page has the potential to engage tens of thousands of people.

Publishers have come to recognize the value of Facebook engagement in reaching and responding to their current and potential readers. Facebook defines the engagement rate as the percentage of people who saw a post and reacted to it, sharing, clicking, or commenting on it. Page administrators can view the engagement rate for each post and to see certain limited demographic statistics on those who “like” the page.

In order to reach more people and to increase engagement, Facebook suggests using Page Insights to learn how the audience is engaging with the posts. The Post Types section will allow you to see the kinds of posts that have the highest average reach and engagement.. You can use this information to create more of the types of posts that your audience wants to see

You can also increase engagement by:

* Offering useful content, rather than simply filling up the columns with your own advertising and promotions.

* Asking questions your readers would want to answer. Get a conversation going to increase response.

* Host contests. Use Facebook’s Events Page feature for an attractive and efficient way to organize your contest and receive feedback.

* Offering conference registration. If your magazine is planning a conference, make it possible for people to link to your registration form from Facebook.

* Posting on the days and at the times when your users are on Facebook looking for content. This information is available in your Page Insights.

* Using Facebook apps to add extra features to your page, including RSS feeds,; quizzes, and contact forms.

* Posting videos. Videos get more attention than any other type of post. They can be quite short and don’t have to be professional quality. Interview authors, record readers’ comments about the magazine or topics covered by the magazine. Share appropriate videos from other Facebook users.

* Using pictures with your written posts to grab readers’ attention.

When you’re busy producing a magazine, keeping up a Facebook page can seem like simply another burdensome job. Yet a magazine, with its rich content and articulate authors, has more resources to work with than most other businesses and is ideal for generating Facebook engagement.

Dabira and many other magazines have already discovered the value of Facebook and are using it to their advantage. If your magazine hasn’t yet set goals for your Facebook page and generated a plan for increasing your engagement, it may be time to take a new look at this potentially important tool in your tool box.

Fresh out of ideas for Facebook posts? Check out thisĀ  blog post on for a list of suggestions.

You can hold posters accountable for what they say on your site

Posted by Pd: “How can [insert name] say he is a Christian? He is going to hell and is taking anyone stupid enough to believe what he says with him.” Would Pd be expressing himself (or herself) so viciously if his name was attached to his comments? How helpful is this comment, anyway? Those are questions being asked by some editors about the comments attached to the articles they publish on line. While they want to encourage feedback, they feel some comments serve only to infuriate later posters and lead to futile arguments. Is there a way to get posters to stand openly behind the comments they make?

Some publications have discovered a way to do just that. It is now possible to convert your commenting system to Facebook. As a result, readers who wish to comment must do so through their Facebook account. One big advantage to publications is that Facebook requires users to use their real names. Those names show up in the comments section on your Website. This should encourage better quality, more thoughtful comments. It is also easier for Facebook users to share articles and comments with their own contacts. And for those who “live” in Facebook, the system seems natural and comfortable.

The disadvantage, of course, is that your readers must be logged into Facebook in order to make a comment. While this isn’t a problem for those who stay logged in all the time, amazing as it may seem, there are those who rarely use Facebook or (gasp!) don’t even have a Facebook account. Those readers who aren’t on Facebook must either get an account or hold their peace.

The Facebook Phenomenon takes India by storm

India is the second largest user of Facebook after the U.S., according to a blurb on the MTI-in-India Facebook page >< quoting statistics announced by In the last 12 months, the use of Facebook grew exponentially from some 17 million to 43.5 million users. Third is Indonesia, which until this year was the second largest user of Facebook. Fourth largest user is Brazil, whose growth was even more dramatic, as the country’s Facebook population grew from 13.5 million users to 38 million.

What does this mean for magazine publishers? If they are not already on Facebook, they need to get on fast! An enormous and growing population is cruising through Facebook, looking for friends and company’s to “like.”