A couple of days ago I was really pleased to be invited to dinner with some great friends who were celebrating an enormously successful first year in business.
Naturally I was delighted for them both as they had worked so hard to make their first year a success and as the wine continued to flow freely our conversation moved around to the very exciting plans my friends had for their business for 2014 and beyond.
Knowing that my speciality is that of social media and not really having used social media very much in their own business up to this point, my friend Michael excitedly announced that Facebook and Twitter were going to be an integral part of their core marketing activities in 2014 and pointedly asked me if this would help even further increase their customer engagement.
Now even allowing for the generous amount of wine that we had both consumed that evening, it soon became very clear that Michael really had no real idea as to what engagement might look like on Facebook and I promised him that we’d speak further on this the next day, and we went back to enjoying the rest of our social evening.
So this post is very much about what I shared with Michael the following day.
So firstly – what does ‘engagement’ mean when thinking of Facebook and how do we actually measure it?
I tend to use a very simple yardstick here – and basically it relates to the Facebook visitor taking some kind of ACTION as a result of your posts and activities
But what kind of ACTION could this be?
Well basically there are four types of action that could be taken:
- Likes – either for the page itself or for individual posts
- Shares – where one of your posts is so well received that someone shares it with their own followers
- Comments – where someone posts a comment after a post
- Clicks – on any Facebook Ad that you may have created
Why are these actions important?
Well other than the obvious fact that when people take any of the above actions it would tend to suggest that they are getting something positive out of your content, actions are also important as they are more likely to increase the chances of your posts and ads staying in your customers newsfeed.
Because of course no matter how much we might think that our Facebook page is a work of art, filled to the brim with the most incredible content the reality is that unless our posts are showing in peoples newsfeeds or we are using other means (paid or otherwise) to bring people to our Facebook pages, it is relatively unlikely that people will spontaneously visit our Facebook page.
In fact the latest statistics show that the average Facebook user spends 40% of their time in the newsfeed, as opposed to only 12% of their time on Facebook profile or business pages.
And how does Facebook determine what gets posted in newsfeeds anyhow – well, this leads us nicely onto the subject of the Facebook ‘Edgerank’ algorithm
Edgerank and the Newsfeed:
My next article will deal with Edgerank in more detail, and specific strategies that you might use to boost your Edgerank weighting, but in essence the Edgerank algorithm is what Facebook use to determine which posts get pushed into individual newsfeeds ( or not, as the case may be)
Edgerank weighting is primarily based around:
- Relationships – is that person already & fan of yours? Have they previously liked your page or any of your previous posts? The more engaged they have been with you previously the more likely it is that you will show up in their newsfeed in future.
- Type of post - posts incorporating photos or videos tend to be most highly rated, then those containing links achieve the next ranking and lastly posts that contain just plain text are the least well ranked.
- Age of post - the more recent the post the better, with old posts of more than a couple of days old carrying very little weight.
Pulling this all together:
As I already mentioned I will be writing in more detail on Edgerank shortly – but in essence what this means is for you to drive engagement and have your customers and clients take action, which after all must be why you created your page in the first place you need to ensure that you are consistently doing some (or all) of the following to increase the chances of your posts achieving sufficient prominence in the newsfeed:
Pose provocative questions within your post
- ‘On a scale from 1 -10 how do you rank this?’
- Do you agree – Yes or No?
Incorporate photos, video or infographics into your post where you can
- Remember that posts containing visual images score more highly than those without
Incorporate an instruction or ‘call to action’ within your post
- ‘Please share this’, ‘ If you like this, click like…’
Post new and relevant content every day
- Edgerank looks at the ‘age’ of a post – who wants to read something from someone posting old content infrequently ?
We’re all only human – aren’t amusing and witty (appropriately!) posts more engaging than dull and dry ones
This links in very closely with the ‘humour’ comment above. Clearly it is not always effective or right to be making every post a humorous one – so consider varying the tone across your different posts, with some of them being more factual, some more humorous, some containing videos or images, some containing links
Above all – ‘have fun’ and BE REAL
And while all of these things are true – don’t forget to be authentically ‘you’. People will respond far better to the real ‘you’ then a contrived voice – so use some of these ideas, but weave them in with your own personality as this always comes across as more real
So do enjoy integrating these ideas with your Facebook page and as ever either send me a comment via the comment box or connect with me at
Until next time