Have you recently seen a heck of a lot of status updates from Facebook pages asking people to "like" their status because Facebook has made more changes and they want to see how many people can see them? You're not alone, I saw about 30 in the last 30 minutes! I guess we need another lesson on the Facebook Edgerank system again so you all can calm down, stop cursing out Facebook and start concentrating on how to engage your fans!
First things first...this is nothing new! There are no new random changes that are just happening. it's a random rumor that has spun WAY out of control! Facebook has always had this system, however, with the last round of major changes in September, the system, called Edgerank, has changed a bit.
One of the main changes that affected businesses was the adjustment of the system. Now more than ever, Facebook is putting high value on posts that are more engaging. Their goal is to make Facebook a truly engaging experience and doesn’t want to bombard people with posts about things they’re not interested in for fear that they become disattached from Facebook. So, their focus is on putting content in front of users that they’re more likely to respond to.
At first glance, this appears to be a big kick in the butt to all of us who rely on Facebook to run our businesses. We’ve worked hard to build our fan base and we want the information we have to share to reach every single one of them. Before you get your knickers in a knot, let me share some very exciting statistics with you. A new study by Edgerank Checker that has taken place over the past few weeks since the changes were made have found that pages are receiving 21% more comments and 9% more Likes! So here’s the deal. Yes, Facebook isn’t showing your posts as often as before, but, they’re now showing them to people who are more likely to engage with you! So essentially, what this is doing is ignoring the people who just liked your page for a giveaway or others who just aren’t that into you for whatever reason. This is a GOOD thing! That means that you can create a more engaging page for your fans and turn those participants into customers!
Increase Your Edgerank & Gain More Customers
Seeing as how so many people got fired up at the recent rumors, I'm assuming most people want their business's updates in as many news feeds as possible. If that's true for you, we're here to help! First off, asking people to "like" your status update isn't going to do a thing for you. It's an inaccurate picture of who is actually seeing most of your posts. Just because 250 people like that update doesn't mean that many people are seeing the other posts you make. That's because the unusually high number of likes on these updates are pushing your update into the newsfeed. The problem is, future posts are not going to have that much attention and are quickly going to fall into a deep black hole and not be seen! What you need to do in order to consistently stay in your fans' newsfeeds is know how to increase your Edgerank. Here are some easy suggestions to get you on your way to creating a more engaging page and getting the maximum exposure possible for your efforts!
1. Check your Edgerank
There is a fantastic tool called Edgerank Checker that will compute your score just like Facebook does. A basic score is free and you'll also receive some other helpful information.
- Best Edgerank Day/Worst Edgerank Day-this will tell you the day of the week your page performed the best & worst. See what you did those days, like ask a certain question, post a certain link, and try to repeat those things from the best day and stay away from the things you did on the worst day. This is telling you exactly what your users like to see!
- Most New Fans/Least New Fans Day-look at what you did on these days as well. Did you have a promotion? Were you mentioned somewhere? Focus your marketing efforts on repeating what you did on your Most New Fans day!
2. Ask a "Question of the Day"
This is a great way to interact with your fans. Your question doesn't have to be anything related to your business, just something to get your fans talking. Talk about things that will get people compelled to make a comment. I find that moms love to talk about their kids, politics (but be careful!), holidays and family life.
3. Encourage Fans to Share
Again, people are all about themselves and they love to show off. So, what better way to get them to interact with your page than allow them to post something related to them. Maybe have a "Photo Day" each week where fans post photos on your wall related to a specific topic, like "messy kids" or "holiday memories." Or, perhaps you can have a sharing day where fans can post links to their own blogs or websites.
4. Don't Use Posting Services
Many people use services like Hootsuite to send out status updates. These will kill your Edgerank. That's because many other people are also using these services, so your posts get bundled up with theirs, marked as "posted by Hootsuite (or other service)." As time consuming as it may be (insert sarcasm here), take the 30 seconds and write your own posts.
5. Know When to Post
If you've been at this a while, then you know that there are some times where people are active than others. I've found that weekday evenings, from about 8 pm EST to 11 pm EST are the best times to post. Weekday mornings till about 12 pm EST are a close second. The worst times to post are mid-day and weekends. Posting during peak times will give you the best engagement, thus increasing your score.
6. Know How Much to Post
The last thing you want to do is become a nuisance to your fans. Plus, you don't want your important content to get hidden by your unimportant content. So, watch how much you post. Posting a few times a day, max, is ideal. Also, try not to post things within a few hours of each other. Then your posts will be "competing" with each other for news feed space.
7. Steer Away From Advertising
Some advertising on your page is ok, but having a page that is simply one big ad is not going to work. You'll just be wasting your own time. So how do you balance advertising your business and creating an engaging page? I suggest having a rule of thumb for when you post any kind of promotional business update. For example, after each business type post you make (like sale announcement, link to your website, etc.), post 2 updates about something else before posting another business item.
8. Don't Repeat Yourself
Sometimes we have something in mind that we REALLY want to get across, so we have a tendency to post about it often. This is not going to help your score. Be very careful to make sure that you're not posting the same link, photo, or topic too often. If you have something you absolutely must repeat, try to do it the next day and compose your words in a different way so it doesn't seem too similar.
I hope these tips help you on your way to creating a more engaging page! Let us know if you see any success after implementing some of these suggestions on your page!