If you run a business page on Facebook, have you updated its status today? If so, you may not have had the social networking site’s Edgerank algorithm in mind. And you should. According to B. Bonin Bough, the global head of digital for PepsiCo, only 1 percent of what you post is seen – abysmal if you are a company trying to raise your visibility and engage with your audience.
Here are 10 tips -- collected at yesterday’s PRNews Facebook conference -- for how to improve your results.
1. Focus on the feed. Facebook’s controversial new news feed may annoy some but this feature is important because it is the primary place where branded content appears, more so than on a company’s profile page. One recent tweak from Facebook enables users to highlight stories that they like.
Edgerank uses that information to select what should appear in the feed. So if you are a business, and want to stay in front of your audience, pushing out
relevant and interesting content is the best way to achieve this. Users can also game their feed by sorting for news that is recent, which means that not
only do you need to push out relevant and interesting content, but you need to do it twice a day.
2. Engagement counts. Literally. Edgerank tallies how many likes, comments and links are connected to your updates and your visibility is based on those results.
3. Post and tag images. Photos and videos get more traction on the news feed than any other content. Facebook doesn't give you algorithm points for embedded video. But tagging someone in a photo or encouraging friends to post photos on your page is one of the most effective ways to not only to game Edgerank but to create engagement. Bissell asked people to post pet pictures and likes increased immediately. People also love behind-the-scenes access. Hershey’s did a successful video showing how a Kiss is made.
4. Ask your friends to “share.” It’s OK to do this (not every time) and it works. Shares are the most important gesture, as opposed to likes or comments, because they indicate that friends see the content as valuable and can make it go viral. Strong statements are more likely to get shared. People share information because it makes them look smart or because they think their friends will find it interesting. In other words, it improves their own status.
There are other reasons, too.
5. Know when to post: Updates on Thursday and Friday have an 18 percent higher engagement rate (though this varies a bit by industry). Experiment with this. Also, early morning and late at night had better engagement. Surprisingly, weekends are busy times for b-to-b results. Luckily, Edgerank is no longer penalizing for those using a third-party applications to post during these non-work hours.
6. Keep it short. While you can now have a status update as long as 60,000 characters -- don’t. Eighty characters or less have a 27 percent higher engagement rate and posts between 100 and 250 characters get 60 percent more likes.
7. Links should have commentary. I have no further comment on this.
8. Ask questions in your update. This elicits responses, especially if asked the right way: “where,” “when,” “would” and “should” are better than “why” or “did” because they are easier to respond to. An Oreo example: “Are you a dunker or a twister?” Quizzes and polls and interactive ideas also drive
9. Use fill-in-the-blanks. For example, Coke + ____= :)
10. Create a holiday calendar. If you’re really out of ideas for content, keep track of notable or interesting holidays so you can use those as a touchstone to prepare content. This holiday is one of our favorites.