With over 1 billion users, Facebook is still the megastar social media channel, and business owners and marketers alike are tapping into this large network of consumers like never before. Businesses, companies and organizations make up 15 million of the total 50 million Facebook Pages in hopes of grabbing consumers’ attention to spread their marketing messages & promotions.
Edgerank, Facebook’s algorithm, was developed to decide what posts are displayed and how high they will rank in the News Feed. Marketers continue to attempt to crack the Edgerank code in hopes of getting their marketing messages in front of their target demographic, but collecting likes, shares and comments require more than just a decoder.
Then a few months ago, Facebook introduced “Story Bumping” and “Last Actor.” These changes to the News Feed algorithm were a way to ensure that Facebook users see more updates from people they interact with, including Company Pages. Story Bumping allows engaging posts that users haven’t seen yet to be “bumped” up to the top of the News Feed while Last Actor takes into account the last 50 engagements a user has performed and gives those users a slight bump up in the News Feed ranking.
Let’s say today you’ve been liking and commenting frequently on your friend Sam’s posts. Because of “Last Actor,” Sam’s subsequent posts will be pushed up higher in your News Feed, as posts from people with whom you’ve engaged with most recently will be given prominence over those you haven’t interacted with lately.
As for Story Bumping, let’s say your friend John (more of a periphery friend than a close friend) wrote a post on Facebook at 9 a.m., but you didn’t open Facebook until 12 p.m., so you missed the post by John since it was too far down the News Feed. Story Bumping to the rescue. Thanks to Story Bumping, John’s post from 9 a.m. is now eligible to be bumped back up toward the top of your News Feed. In order to be bumped, John’s post will have had to receive a lot of engagement – this means that likes, comments and shares all contribute to a post’s “bump-ability.”
Simple. Unless you’re publishing engaging content, your posts might not get seen.
With these updates, no amount of deciphering or code cracking is going to get your organic Facebook posts in front of more fans. The ticket is creating engaging, thought provoking, and commentary-inducing content that people want to interact with. When you do, thanks to Story Bumping and Last Actor, you just may experience a windfall of Facebook views.
Lists, you’re familiar with them in Twitter, but I bet most of you have never used or didn’t even know that Facebook has its own form of lists. Just like in Twitter, Facebook Lists help you to organize things you interested in, but with the added feature of filtering the stories you see in your News Feed. Like in Google+, you can use Facebook lists to organize your friends, similar to “circling” someone in Google+, so you can spread messages to a designated group of people.
Let’s first take a look at the Facebook List feature that mimics circling on Google+. When you decide to create lists to organize your friends, you can begin with Facebook designated categories like close friends, acquaintances, and restricted that people like your mom or your boss would fall into if you so choose. Having a restricted category eliminates issues where you stick your foot in your mouth or write a reactionary post where you are speaking disparagingly about your job since when you add someone to your restricted list, they will only be able to see your public posts or posts of yours that you tag them in.
I bet you’re wondering, “how do I use these lists?” The way you can use lists like these are when you write a post, you can then designate who will see the post like you do in Google+. After you write your post, choose who will see your posts from under the “public” dropdown menu shown below (insert image: facebook_lists_example.png). Using this feature ensures that your post will only be viewed by the people who you have selected i.e. public, friends, only me, etc. Business owners can use this feature to share messages among colleagues that they wouldn’t want shared publicly. One thing to keep in mind is that this feature isn’t available for Company Pages since every post on your brand’s Page are public and cannot be segmented like a personal profile can.
The other type of Facebook Lists are Interest Lists which are similar to lists in Twitter. Interest Lists are a way to organize the content you are interested in on Facebook. You are able to create your own Interest Lists based on the things you care about or follow other people’s lists. When you create or follow a list, you’ll see the best posts from that list in your main News Feed. Another neat feature is the “Interests” section of your bookmarks shown below (insert picture interest_list_bookmarks.png). When you click on the list’s name, you can then see all the recent posts and activity from the Pages and people featured in the list.
One way you can utilize Interest Lists is for a designated employee within your company, preferably a person who is customer facing, to create a list that focuses on your core business function. For example, if you are an automotive dealer, you should consider creating a list that organizes company pages and people’s profiles who write interesting and compelling posts related to cars and car dealerships. You would add your own company’s Page into the list as well and then make the list public so that any user can view and subscribe to it. Another option is to encourage your audience members to add your Company Page to their own Interest List, so that they won’t miss seeing your updates and posts. Pro Tip: when suggesting that your audience members add your Company Page to an Interest List, make sure to include detailed instructions complete with screen shots so that your audience members can quickly and easily add you to a list. Reference the photo below to see what we mean (insert picture how-to-create-facebook-lists.png).
Utilize Facebook’s Lists and Interest Lists to boost your content’s reach and extend the shelf-life of your posts. This exciting feature can help spread your marketing message even further than before.
One of the advantages of participating in social media with your brand is the opportunity to interact with your customer base and prospective customers. It’s a chance to build relationships, and further your brand. But how do you do this if no one is interacting with anything that you’re posting? Well, Facebook has created a few different tools and reports specifically designed to help you boost engagement on your page. Here’s a simple 3 step process for using those tools to create more engagement on your Facebook page.
1. Understand the types of posts your audience likes best.
There are a few different types of posts you can include on your timeline; namely pictures, links, and text status updates. Knowing what types your audience likes to click on, share, and comment on is the first step to getting them engaged. Facebook has a report in the “Insights” tab of your admin interface designed to hand feed this data to you. You’ll see a screenshot of this data below.
Once you know what types of updates your audience likes best you’ve got to…
2. Know when your audience is online.
How are your fans supposed to click on, share, and comment on your updates if they don’t see it? You can post the most interesting content and eye catching photos to your page, but if your fans never see it, then there’s no way they’ll be able to interact with it.
Lucky for you Facebook has a great reporting tool for discovering when most of your fans are online. In fact, this info is on the same tab as the “Best Post Types” report, so it’s very easy to connect steps 1 and 2 quickly. Once you know the best post types, and when your audience is online, the rest is a piece of cake.
Now, all you’ve got to do is…
3. Post engaging content when your audience is online.
This seems simple enough based on the last 2 steps, but what if you can’t be in front of a computer when your fans are? Luckily Facebook’s got you covered here too. To complete this process, they’ve built in a tool that lets you schedule a post to be published to your timeline anytime, night or day. You’ll see it when you begin adding a new post to your wall. Instead of publishing immediately, it’ll be scheduled to post whenever you choose.
Implementing this easy 3 step process is guaranteed to help you increase user engagement on your page. Go try it out!