Tim Priebe

The Pre-Kindergarten Guide to Social Media Engagement

The five year old social media expert

The five year old social media expert

My five-year-old son recently suggested an update to my Facebook that produced more engagement than an average small business sees on their page. Let’s take a look at the components of that update and see how it can apply to you.

During this past school year, my five year old son goes to work with me one morning a week before heading off to school. Recently, he rode with Holly and myself to our weekly meeting when we held it at Chick-Fil-A.

As we were getting out of the car, he told me that he wanted me to put a photo of himself driving on Facebook. Being the proud father that I am, I immediately complied. Holly even posed in simulated shock. When the photo garnered more interaction than most small business and nonprofit posts I see on Facebook, I realized there were a few lessons on engagement to be had from the mind of a pre-kindergartener.

So here are three tips to take away:

1. Use an image

All the statistics reflect what a five-year-old knows intuitively. Facebook is more interesting with pictures. Facebook and Journalists, a page run by Facebook itself, conducted a study in the middle of 2011. The study revealed their own posts received 50% more likes when they had a photo than when they didn’t.

Some reverse engineering done by multiple experts also reveal that photos are more likely to show up in the streams of others than updates without images. So even Facebook’s own Edgerank algorithm knows people find photos more interesting.

2. Tag others

Having other people and organizations tagged in your post will also lead to an increase in the amount of engagement. On our post, we tracked at least one of the comments directly to tagging Holly in the photo.

Remember, if you are posting as your page and you want to tag a person, they have to like your page already. If they’re a friend of yours but not a fan of the page, there is a work-around. You can post as your page, then comment on the post as yourself, tagging them in that comment.

3. Don’t be 100% promotional

No organization can have 100% promotional social media marketing and expect to get anything out of it. It’s just not going to happen. You have to have a mix of entertaining and informational in there as well. I like to use the acronym P.I.E. And nobody likes too much P. in their P.I.E.

Naturally, it takes some time to perfect that mix for every organization. You will need to strike a balance that’s right for your business. And it may not be the same for every single message. Some may be heavier on the informational, while having almost no entertaining value. Others may be half promotional, half entertaining. And occasionally, you could have something that’s mostly entertaining, with just a very, very small amount of promotional.

With this particular update, the only promotional aspect is really my name. People who see it will be reminded of me, and possibly my business. But I’m not trying to get them to look at an ad or watch a commercial. This is one of those 100% entertaining updates.

Apply these quick three tips, and in no time you’ll be experiencing the social media engagement that apparently comes naturally to my five-year-old.


  1. Out of the mouth of babes comes great wisdom. Thanks for pointing out what we should all know, but don’t use. Good steps to follow.

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