Clever tips to get your posts seen and increase your Facebook success
tap tap… “Is this thing on?”
So you’ve spent a good hour perfecting a funny post that may just go viral. You polish it up one last time, hit “share” and then … nothing. No comments or shares or even likes.
Don’t worry, it’s not you (well, not all you.) Posting something to your peeps doesn’t guarantee they’ll ever see it, even if they would have loved it. This is because Facebook’s software establishes relevancy, person by person, to each and everything you do.
Truth is, a majority of Facebook posts today are never seen in news feeds. Even this seemingly straightforward area of the internet is governed by laws of supply and demand. It’s crowded out there: With half a billion users at an average 130 friends each, the chances of your posts being noticed, much less shared, diminish every day.
This is causing a panic in marketing circles because, of course, you can’t engage people who cannot be reached. You could have the most creative, spontaneous, meme-to-be on earth, but unless a tipping point of people see and share it, it goes nowhere.
The “Boring Filter”
In some ways, Facebook’s filtering of content is a good thing. To keep your news feed relevant, Facebook’s algorithm (known as “EdgeRank”) hides boring content for you. If your engagement behavior shows you are not interested in your aunt or her cats, for example, then your aunt’s constant posts about her kitties may be less likely to display on your newsfeed. In the same vein, if you have pseudo-friends you have never interacted with, they are less likely to show in your feed – Facebook deems them less relevant to you.
For companies, who in most cases will not command the majority of a fan’s interest, it is even more difficult to be noticed. In fact, fan pages are ranked lower than friend pages. Up to 70% of fans never even see a fan page’s status update in their feed.
Are you ready for this? More than 90% of fan page “likers” never return to the page. What this tells us is most fans engage with your content through their news feed, NOT the fan page, which makes ranking highly even more important. Does this mean you’ve wasted your time focusing on your gorgeous themed and tabbed fan pages? Well, beyond first-time visitors, maybe. It’s more important that your content get into the news feed.
“News Feed Optimization” is the new SEO
As we all know, to get noticed on Google it is important for marketers to rank highly in search results. The same is true of the social networks. News Feed Optimization (NFO) is the new “science” of optimizing the social feed.
It sounds simpler than it is. Facebook’s algorithm looks at what they call “affinity score” (how often the user interacts with the page), “weight” (how many comments and tags, etc. a post has), and time decay. Underneath all this is an extremely fast and sophisticated algorithm that reconciles your profile with others’. Because the feed is so crowded now, in many cases your post may have only a few minutes or seconds in someone’s feed.
Tip #1: Interact strategically
Each time you interact on Facebook you add to your EdgeRank profile. The best approach to increase the chances your posts will be read by people who matter to you is to interact with them manually. Select the people and pages you want in your circle and comment, post and tag consistently. Converse with their friends on a regular basis. This can help put you in the conversation – and hopefully on your targets’ feeds.
Speaking of tags, they weigh heavily in NFO. Tag the people in photos and posts who matter to you. (Don’t tag popular people just to get your post on their wall. I call this “wall spam” which isn’t very effective and can get you de-friended.)
Tip #2: Pay attention to timing
Remember, “decay” is a major factor in how long your post remains in news feeds. If most of your friends are social drinkers, posting a business story on Friday night is probably not an effective strategy. By the time they check it’s probably been awhile since you posted, and they may be too hungover to care.
In network marketing (where every hour is a business hour), I find posting on weekends to be pretty effective, as many people seem to take a little extra time to update status and check their newsfeed. Mondays are awful days to post, in my experience, as people are geared for work and are glancing through at best.
Tip #3: Make it easy to “Like” you
We like people in real life the same way we like them on Facebook. Smart, courteous, interesting and funny people are generally likeable. People who enjoy listening to themselves talk all day are less likeable. Brush up on your Dale Carnegie if you need a refresher in what it takes to be liked – the old man’s wisdom still applies, even in social media.
The number of posts you create is important. Better to post more than fewer, a post not made is definitely not seen. But try not to overdo it, you don’t want to be the guy or gal at the party who just won’t shut up.
Interact, a lot. Comment, share and tag. And make sure all your web properties have a like button so if they do like you, they can like you.