It’s pretty clear that there’s a lot of “noise” out there about the do’s and don’ts of social media. It can be tough to sift through to find what’s really of value. I came across this great list of etiquette rules for Facebook from Top Dog Social Media, and it’s as true for business as it is for the general user. It’s a great mix of respect, sense and just plain old being yourself! And it takes tips from some of my faves in the SM world, including Mari Smith and Melonie Dodaro.
A week ago, I got home from attending Social Media Camp in beautiful Victoria, and my mind is still whirling with everything I learned! There were so many great speakers there – like Mari Smith, and C.C. Chapman, both amazing social media leaders, and both of whom I met and chatted with while they signed my copy of their respective books. There were so many fantastic sessions – I actually had a very difficult time choosing between some of the concurrent sessions, they were that good!
I’d like to write a few posts about my time at Social Media Camp so I can share what I learned with you guys, but the one for now that’s been sticking with me is Chad Wittman‘s talk on Facebook’s EdgeRank (Chad is from EdgeRank Checker).
You know how you see a lot of posts from some pages and none from others? Or how some of your own page’s posts get a lot of impressions and other posts get barely any? This all has to do with Facebook’s algorithm called EdgeRank, which determines what a user sees in their newsfeed. Apparently posts from a typical brand only reach 12% of their fans. Twelve per cent! Chad explained that EdgeRank has to do with affinity, weight and time decay, which I’ll define for you:
- Affinity is the relationship between users. To increase affinity, you must increase your engagement.
- Weight is the quality of the interactions on your page. Each type of action on Facebook is weighted differently. For example, shares are weighted the highest, next are comments, then likes and then clicks. The more time or effort it takes a person to do an action, the more weight it has.
- Time decay is how long a post actually “lives” in the newsfeed before it isn’t seen anymore. The average post on FB lives about 3 hours in a newsfeed. Each page’s posts’ lifespan is a bit different, but you have to figure that out based on your fan group. Chad said that if yours have a lifespan of 5 hours, for example, and you post twice within that time period, that one of the posts won’t get seen. I have to argue this though, I’ve tested it on a couple of my pages and can’t see that to be true. Let me know if you find differently!
So now that you know what EdgeRank is, how the heck do you improve yours? Here are some basic tips from Chad:
- Always provide a call to action in your posts. Tell them to do something (“Like this post if…” or “On a scale of 1 to 10, tell me how you’d rate…”).
- Monitor your content and constantly test it. Become very familiar with your page’s Insights stats so you can do this. When’s the best time to post for the most engagement? What does your audience respond to the most?
- Reduce negative feedback. This includes your fans hiding your content (all or a single post), unliking your page or reporting your page as spam – and this kills your EdgeRank. So make sure that you’re giving your audience what they want and what they expect so they don’t do this to you.
And if you’re still not sure about EdgeRank, or if you prefer visual things, I found this great infographic for you from PostRocket which provides a lot of the same info, but in a much prettier format :).
A few weeks ago, I introduced my “Why social media?” series with a post on the six reasons to start a blog. While the blog is definitely one of the best ways for a small to medium business, and even a large organization to reach their client base, there are so many other social media tools that are effective in achieving some of the same benefits, Facebook being one of them. I only just started my Facebook page in February and within the first week, I had attracted a couple new clients and found some great supporters. So it definitely has its power. I will never say that every business needs a Facebook fan page, because it does depend on what your marketing strategy is and the time you have to devote to it, but there are many great reasons why many people should have one, and I’ll share those with you here!
1. Add personality to your business. This is almost a repeat of the first point in my “the five Be’s of blogging” post but it’s such an important one. Clients will identify more with someone who appears to be a real person, rather than a robot or a corporate entity. So please, be yourself! Show your smile, show your passion. Celebrate your staff. Highlight the amazing things you do every day! Your audience will love it – and in turn, love you.
2. You can share content you wouldn’t anywhere else. Let’s be real – you might have a super fantastic website, but chances are, it’s pretty stagnant. Most businesses don’t update their websites with content often, or ever, because it’s just a place to house all those important business details — address, hours, phone number, inventory, services, etc. But sharing new, lively and timely content adds that personality to your business, and gives old, new and not-yet-found customers an idea of who you are. Besides just newsy type content, you can upload photos and videos, both of which go a looooong way in attracting and engaging your audience. This great infographic I pinned on Pinterest tells us photos are two times more likely to get liked, and videos are twelve times more likely to get shared!
3. Fans become your brand ambassadors. By attracting an audience to your page, you are building a community of people who are interested in the same thing – your product/brand/cause/purpose. They’re there for a reason (even if it’s just your mom – she still loves whatever it is you’re doing! Hi, Mom!). You’ve convinced these people to support you , so they’re going to be the ones to increase your reach – by liking your posts, commenting on them and sharing them. I once heard Jay Baer, a social media author and speaker, talk at a conference and something he said is now one of my favorite quotes: “The goal of social media is to turn your customers into a volunteer marketing army.” It’s so true (because it works).
4. It’s a direct communication channel to your customers, clients and supporters. Do you ever wish you had a place you could ask your customers’ opinions, or find out what your clients value? You do! It’s Facebook! People are sometimes afraid to ask for feedback, but not only do you get some great ideas when you do, you can also show your clients that you care about what they have to say. And alternatively, if they want or need to ask you a question, or let you know how great you are, they have the perfect spot (see above – brand ambassadors!). Of course, you run the risk of getting negative feedback, but in my opinion it’s completely worth it and can turn into a positive quite easily (I promise to write a post about this soon).
5. It will bring more awareness to your business. The fact is, people are on Facebook. Hundreds of millions of them, and chances are quite high, some of them are in your community, and some of them would be (or are) interested in what your business does. Even if they don’t like your page right away, maybe one of their friends will and then like a post. Whenever anyone likes or comments on or shares one of your posts, all of their friends may see it too. That’s a lot of potential reach. In addition to this, having a Facebook page will help with your SEO (search engine optimization). If people search for you on Google and you have a Facebook page, chances are very good that your page will come up high in the results.
6. People will look for you on Facebook. Further to the last point, because those people are there already, they will look for you. The first thing I do when I’m looking for a new product is see if they have a Facebook page. It can tell you a lot about the company: do they respond to questions from their customers right away? Do they have a lot of negative feedback? Do they look like they’re having fun? Do they appreciate their staff? Do they seem to know what they’re talking about? You get the point. So what do you think will happen if they can’t find you on Facebook? On to the next.
What do you think? Did you start a Facebook fan page for any of these reasons? Or do you think I missed one? Share with me!