photo credit: eva.pébar via photopin cc
You will find a plethora of advice online about what is the best content to post on Facebook, tricks for getting more interaction, how to reach more people. Although some of this advice is good and will help you reach more people or get more likes I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable with some of it.
For example I’ve never felt OK about asking people to like a post as I personally feel I’d look desperate, it doesn’t fit my brand. That doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile however, if you do, or if you did this in the past you’d be guaranteed more likes and more reach.
I’m a bigger advocate of getting reach and likes organically, if you produce good content and it gets shared it means you are reaching the right people for the right reasons.
How the Facebook Algorithm Works – Probably
The Facebook algorithm that decides what posts which people see has gone beyond our original understanding of Edgerank and has become far more nuanced. What used to work may not work across the board anymore and the latest update from Facebook goes some way to tell us why. Essentially this means that the algorithm is no longer as easy to game as we assumed.
I’ve seen evidence of this more complex algorithm in the past. I was looking at a friends Facebook Insights earlier this year and noticed that the posts that reached the most people from her page were links. This is the complete opposite to the general belief that photos will always reach the most people and links the least.
So what’s going on here? My guess is that it is the posting algorithm at work. No two Facebook users are the same. I for example click, comment and like a lot of links on Facebook. Because of this Facebook serves me a lot of links. The chances are unless you are posting links to your page I might not see any of your content.
To see what type of content works best on your page look at the new insights:
- Click ‘Posts’ in the top menu bar
- Choose ‘Best Post Types’ from the next menu
- You will see which post types are performing bet for you for both link clicks and Likes, Comments & Shares
Of course whatever the result don’t rely on posting the same type of content all the time, you could be missing huge sections of your page likers.
In the new insights I noticed that links I post in the standard way may not reach as far but they are receiving more click throughs. There could be other factors influencing this but it’s worth taking a good hard look at your insights on a regular basis to make sure you are getting what you want from it.
Here’s an example (It is by no means scientific there are many reasons that the second link might have received more click throughs)
What do you want?
What works best on your Facebook page isn’t about getting Likes and comments. It’s about defining exactly what you want from it. How would you define the success of your page?
For example for me it’s two fold
- Establish my expertise on social media for small business
- Drive traffic to my website where people can find out more about what I do
Here’s a few other goals you could have for your Facebook page
Brand awareness - getting the word out about your brand or service. Obviously likes comments and shares will be important to push your message out further so make sure you are sharing relevant content that sparks engagement. It’s easy to measure this as the growth of reach of your posts over time will show it’s success. Make sure you are branding images so that people will know where they came from.
Lead generation – getting people to complete details on your website, an online form or to call you to find out more as a result of a Facebook post. For this you could send people to a landing page on your website or run a lead generation contest via an app and collect contact details.
Sales – drive people to buy a product as a result of an offer or a post. This will be easier to measure if you sell online but if you include a whisper code you can measure the number of people that use that when buying.
Once you have a goal remember it, you can’t swamp your Facebook followers with offers and whisper codes but be sure to add them into your content schedule.
What do your audience really want to know about you and your industry?
We can get carried away with creating content that will be liked and shared, yet what use is it to us unless it is on message. I’d love to share lots of cat pictures but rarely can I find relevance in a cat meme to share.
Think about what would persuade someone to Like your page? What information can you provide that is so compelling that they will want to hear from you daily when they log in to Facebook? Sharing hints and tips is always helpful as are links to other peoples content that may be of interest to your target market.
Find out what works for you, don’t rely on what works for everyone else as your Facebook audience is unique.
Don’t completely ignore the advice you get from others on how to get more interaction and engagement but keep it relevant. Make sure everything you are doing on Facebook has value to your target market. Does is make them smile? Does it offer them something special? Or is it just interesting? If your content meets any of those criteria, and if it is relevant to your business you won’t go far wrong.
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