Unless your name is Jennifer Aniston, social media will always require a “slow and steady wins the race” approach to engagement, and this goes double for Facebook (unless you’re Cristiano Ronaldo, of course).

As the world’s most popular social network, Facebook has more than 2.41 billion monthly active users and accounts for more than 45 percent of monthly social media visits. However, despite the numbers, the average Facebook business page only sees a miniscule change in likes month over month — 0.13 percent to be exact — according to HootSuite’s 2019 state of digital report.

If you’re relying on your brand’s growing number of followers and engaged fans to rationalize pushing for new products or features, asking for a raise, or requesting an increase in marketing spend, this slow growth can be frustrating and demoralizing.

But don’t throw in the towel just yet. There are plenty of tactics you can work into your Facebook marketing strategy to help drive engagement and increase page likes while you’re at it.

1. Use More of What’s Working

Take a deep dive into your Facebook page insights to see which types of content are performing best and which are missing the mark to create a data-driven content strategy. With hard numbers in hand, you can create repeatable wins to increase your page engagement.

For example, if you look at your page’s insights for the past month and discover that posts with video aren’t receiving much engagement but posts with images are receiving lots of reactions, shares, and comments, then work more of that type of content into your monthly content calendar. But don’t go crazy and only post a single type of content; keep a healthy balance of video, images, and text-based posts. And make sure to post your Facebook video at the right time!

Then, check your data and analytics regularly to review how your content efforts are working. If you see your fans engaging with specific types of posts differently (seasonality is real), adjust your content calendar accordingly.

Remember: Data is your friend, and the more you can leverage the facts to create repeatable results, the more engagement you’ll see and the easier your job will be in the long run.

2. Ask For What You Want

This tactic might seem uncomfortable or counterintuitive, but here’s the reality: Consumers know that brands want them to become customers, and they assume that all posts and interactions online have that sole goal in mind. However, what they likely don’t know is that sometimes, you just want them to engage with a post without any long-term commitment or strings attached.

So if you want them to comment or share something, just ask them! After all, if your fans believe in your company — and as long as you’re posting valuable and meaningful content — they’ll be more than happy to respond with likes, comments, shares, and more.

3. Make Your Fans the Stars

It’s a widely accepted fact that people ultimately trust other people’s opinions more than they trust businesses when making buying decisions (it’s nothing against you, it’s just how people are). For brands, this is where user-generated content (UGC) can be a major game changer.

According to a Stackla report, consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view UGC as authentic and trustworthy when compared to brand-created content. When you post in-house content alongside posts from your fans — whether testimonial videos, product images, or something else that’s relevant to what you do and who you are — you’re providing your followers with exactly what they want.

Brands from Coca-Cola to Starbucks to Warby Parker are leveraging user-generated content to increase trust, connect with fans, boost engagement, and grow sales. In fact, when businesses use Facebook ads featuring UGC, they experience a 300 percent higher click-through rate and 50 percent lower cost per click and cost per acquisition than those created with brand creative.

On top of the power of UGC for building authenticity and trust, the more you share UGC, the more your fans will post their own content and tag your brand, which means you’ll have a treasure trove of posts to work into your content calendar.

Whatever approach you take to boosting engagement on your Facebook page, remember that it’s a marathon, not a spring, so don’t get discouraged if the growth is slow.