You have a Facebook Page. Now what? Doesn’t everyone see my posts? You may think that everyone does but the answer is simply, No!Facebook has its own algorithm, called EdgeRank,that determines whether your posts are “worthy” of being seen in Facebook newsfeeds. Read on to uncover the formula…
How do I get more Likes i.e. fans? The answer is: by working at it and becoming a valuable resource for your fans… A thriving Facebook page shows social proof and lends more credibility (just like we’d prefer a busy restaurant over one with just a few people—true story, we actually left a restaurant one time because we were the only ones there!!).
Not only does the social proof give a better perception about your business, but also both the Number of Fans DOES Matter and the Amount of Interaction MATTERS in terms of actually getting more traffic and more exposure in the Newsfeeds.
According to a study by Hubspot, Businesses with 501 to 1,000 Facebook fans had 3.5 times more traffic than those with 1 to 25 fans. Businesses with over 1,000 Facebook fans had 22 times more traffic.
Additionally, did you know that Facebook has its own set of criteria for determining whether or not your posts actually get seen in the Newsfeeds? Just because you are posting updates, it does not mean people actually SEE your posts. In fact, if your page has a low fan count plus there is little to no engagement with your fans, you are virtually non-existent and not showing up in the Newsfeeds!
Facebook actually has their proprietary newsfeed optimization algorithm called EdgeRank. This formula is made up of 3 components (or edges). The higher the sum of the edges (higher score), the more likely your content will be pushed out into the newsfeeds– and visible to others
The 3 components that make up your EdgeRank score are:
1) Affinity- the more interaction you have, the higher your affinity and score
2) Weight- the type of interaction makes a difference. For example Comments are given more value than likes. The more comments you have, the higher your score
3) Decay- Timeliness of posts matters. Recent posts are more important than older posts that “decay with time”. See illustration below: source: http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/22/facebook-edgerank
If you are a business owner and marketer, getting your message out in the Newsfeeds and in front of your audience is one of the most important things you can do on Facebook. That can only happen if you get “Liked” first.
According to Jeff Widman at Brand Glue, 96% of fans never revisit a Facebook page once they have like it. Instead, they are interacting through updates and comments in the Newsfeeds.
Therefore it is essential to have compelling and engaging content to keep your fans interested and to build a thriving community on your Facebook page.
Now that you know the importance of engagement, I’d like to share 16 proven engagement strategies for you to implement. You will get more impressions, increased interaction, and loyal fans by following these practices.
16 Essential Engagement Strategies:
1. Know your audience– This is the most important thing to understand. You need to first know who you are talking to! What are their, likes and interests? My favorite quote is “If you are talking to everyone, you are talking to no one”. Your messages will fall flat if you are not connecting with your audience and meeting them at their level—no matter how good your content is. This can be challenging at first, but you need to identify who your market, give them information they want, and take note of your posts that elicit response and engagement.
2. Identify Purpose –for your Facebook Page—what is your objective? What do you want to be known for? Before getting started, it’s important that you take the time to think through your goals, strategy, and your message. This will help you stay focused and give you structure as you plan your content and stay on target.
3. Custom Landing (“Welcome”) Page— When a visitor comes to your page, your first goal is to get them to LIKE your page; unless they like your page, your status updates will not be seen in their Newsfeeds. In Fact a Facebook page with a Landing tab has a 47% conversion rate of likes compared to 26% when someone lands directly on your Wall
A. What is a Landing Tab and How do I Implement One? The purpose of the landing tab is to provide a welcome message (video or written message), an introduction about the business—stating what you do, how you can help, and give a reason why people should like your page. If you are sent directly to the wall, then it can be confusing for the visitor not really knowing what your page is all about.
B. What are the 3 Key Ingredients of an Optimized Landing Tab? A well optimized landing page will also have a call to action “Like my page”, clear incentive for becoming a fan (“exclusives!”), and an opt-in offer to capture name and email for continued relationship building outside of Facebook. After all, you don’t own Facebook, but you do own your email list which can be your biggest asset.
Click Here To See A Well-Optimized Welcome Tab: please Like while you’re there
4. Add Value – Quality Content is essential. Your posts should be relevant, high quality, and useful for your target market. A good rule of thumb is to follow the 90/10 rule. That is 90% of the time you are giving excellent information and 10% of the time you are promoting your business.
5. No excessive Self –Promotion– One of the biggest mistakes I see (and also a huge turn off) is constant one-way broadcasting. People are more interested in talking about themselves so make your posts about them. I see this a lot on Real estate FB pages where all the posts are just broadcasting listings. A better approach would be to give lots of tips and helpful resources for homeowners buying and selling homes.
Here is an example of blatant self-promotion from someone from to a local Facebook Group. I considered spam and consequently removed him as a friend
6. Comment and share-- If you want people to comment on your page then make it a habit to interact, comment, and share other people’s posts. It’s the law of reciprocity; the more you give, the more you will get in return. The new share button makes it very easy to share other people’s posts.
7. Add Photos & Videos– Keep it fun and engaging with photos and videos. Images get more visibility in the Newsfeeds. In fact, engagement with posts that contain photos is nearly 300% greater than when we post only text, according to study done by www.thenextweb.com.
8. Give Human touch– People like to know they are interacting with a real person behind the business. Be conversational and add some personalization. In my experience managing a bunch of clients’ Facebook of pages, humanizing your content is sure to elicit more engagement. It’s also important for a business to develop their own voice in order to help draw in their audience
Be Careful using automation from third party resources—that is anything other than facebook to post updates. Many businesses use automated tools (like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, NetworkedBlogs etc.) to post their content. While they may be time saving tools, the disadvantage is reduced engagement by as much as 70%.
Users of these tools are actually penalized, as Facebook gives it less weight which lowers edgerank resulting in reduced visibility in the Newsfeeds.
9. Ask Questions– Facilitate interaction by asking quality questions. The more fun, engaging and insightful the question, the more people will interact and will be more likely to get into the top newsfeeds so more people can see your posts. For example ask your fans their opinion about a certain topic or don’t be afraid to ask your fans what kind of information they are most interested in getting!
10. Mix it up– Diversity of content is important. Keep posts fun, entertaining, educational, occasional promos, add links to resources, give tips, ask questions, do fill in the blankets (i.e What was your favorite book you read in the last month_________), run polls, add photos, videos, and share others.
Before moving on to the remaining engagement strategies, let’s take a break and look at a real live example of What Not To Do! (This person expressed frustration for lack of results on Facebook and dismissed Facebook’s value as an ineffective tool for communicating with his market)
11. Contests— Running a Facebook Contest is an excellent way to grow your Facebook page and to foster engagement. There are many third party companies that offer this “plug and Play” platform to launch a Facebook contest. But, there is strategy involved and things to know before diving into this. We will discuss contests in a separate blog post!
12. Create an experience unique to you page– This creates a sense of community and can really draw people in to your page. i.e: Fan of Week; Ask the Dr. /Ask the Experts Fridays; Motivation Monday; Brag blog Thursday (all fans get to promote their blogs/sites on Facebook) etc. *A word of caution here: once you decide to try this, you must commit at least for given time frame. It will take time to catch on. Be consistent so your fans come to expect this. You may find it a huge success or other times, you might consider trying a new strategy.
13. Keep it short– A study by Buddy Media showed that posts with 80 or less characters had higher engagement. I found this to be true in my experience as well. Keep the message clear, simple and not complicated
14. Comment back– If someone takes the time to comment on your post, you should acknowledge and reciprocate with a comment back- even if it’s a simple “thank you”. A great tip I learned from my mentor, Mari Smith, is to address the person’s first name when responding. This will really help to strengthen the rapport and incentivize them to continue to come back to your page and engage.
15. Third Party Applications– Using Interactive application is one of the most effective ways to increase engagement. Examples include: Polls, virtual Gifts & coupons, Contests, videos, Interactive tabs. Some of my favorite companies are: Involver, Wildfire, Buddy Media, TabPress.
16. Monitor and Track Social Activity– Be sure to track your results with Facebook Insights and other Analytics and metric tools. There are many resources to measure metrics, but I recommend getting started with these resourceful tools that are free and simple to use:
http://facebook.com/insights. Use Facebook insights to track Post feedback/ virality, page activity (people talking about this), like sources, Facebook shares, demographics
http://edgerankchecker.com/. Use Edgerank Checker to help monitor and maximize your Facebook Exposure. Remember EdgeRank is an algorithm that ranks content in the Facebook News Feed. Pages with high EdgeRank Scores will be more likely to show up in the news feed, than Pages with low EdgeRank Scores.
http://crowdbooster.com Very neat new monitoring tool I recently discovered! It’s easy to use and helps to identify your most effective messages on Facebook and Twitter. It also identifies your influencers, people influenced by you, and your audience’s interests.
There you have it! These are 16 proven engagement strategies that will help you build and manage a thriving Facebook community! Remember building an interactive community and being a valuable resource will help increase your visibility (improve EdgeRank) in the newsfeeds and position you as the “go-to-expert” in your industry.
Now it’s your turn. What are other ideas that are working for you? If you found this helpful please share this on Facebook!
To Your Success,