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When I was considering trying out stand-up comedy, I found myself getting the same advice from all of my stand-up experienced friends: no Facebook jokes. Why? Everyone’s kind of tired of hearing about it, although they definitely aren’t tired of using it. If I was actually a good writer, I’d put stats here about just how many people use the social network. Maybe if I spent less of my day eating Starbursts and trying to untangle my headphones, I’d have more time to throw impressive statistics at you. Let’s just say Facebook is still the most popular social network out there, followed by Twitter and Pinterest. So if you’re not on it, get on it.
Most of Your FB Fans Never See Your Status Updates
Once you’ve made a Facebook page for your business, you’ll need to get your fans to see your updates. Whenever you log in to Facebook, a set of updates from your friends and pages followed are personalized for you on your homepage. This is called your news feed. It might surprise you to learn that the news feed only displays about 0.2 percent of the stories it considers, according to Facebook. For one thing, Facebook worries about its users getting overwhelmed with the frequency of story updates, causing them to stop using its services. Additionally, Facebook wants to only display the stories it thinks its users would find most interesting. It does this by using a unique Facebook news feed algorithm called EdgeRank—which is only known to Facebook. However, Facebook did reveal the three main components of its algorithm, which include an affinity score, edge weight, and time decay.
To determine what stories go into your news feed, Facebook considers what the action was (posting a photo, liking a page, commenting on a status, posting a link, etc.), how close the person who took the action was to you (Is it someone that you interact on Facebook with a lot? Do you have a lot of mutual friends?), and how long ago he/she took the action (as a story gets older, it loses its edge). In order to determine whose stories to display in your feed, Facebook considers all of your previous Facebook actions and interactions, ranging from the information in your profile to whose wall you write on (and who writes on yours) to who tags you in photos and even which news feed items you’ve clicked on before.
Eight Tips for Improving Your Content Visibility in News Feed
So even though I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about Facebook, reading this post will help you better understand how to increase the number of people that see your content on their news feeds, and I promise I won’t make any of the following jokes:
- Jokes about how my grammy deleted me as a Facebook friend. Intentionally. (True story.)
- Jokes about how we don’t need to have class reunions anymore because we already know which classmates got fat.
- Jokes about how one of the members of our web team uses a browser plugin that turns pictures of babies on his new feed into pictures of cats because he was tired of seeing all the babies. (This is also a true story.)
There are several options for getting more of your content into more of your fans’ news feeds, or as we fancy Interweb people call it, “news feed optimization.” News feed optimization is arguably more difficult than search engine optimization because Facebook personalizes each user’s news feed based on his/her preferences and actions. Nonetheless, we do have some strategies for improving your visibility (without paying for promoted content) on the Facebook news feed:
Most importantly, write and post engaging and interesting content that will encourage your fans to “like” and comment. When people engage in your material, this will increase the number of your updates they see in their news feed. Try shaping your content around questions or fill in the blank statements: “I hate when people post ________ on Facebook.” Be creative.
Next, understand that Facebook weighs certain content higher than others. Facebook weighs comments higher than “likes,” and photos better than videos, links, and status updates.
When posting links, post the actual link and not a link shortened with a URL shortener. People want to know where the link will actually take them if they click on it, and are three times more likely to click on the actual URL than a shortened URL.
Use keywords in your updates. If people are interested in that topic (your keyword), it will be more likely to show up in their feed.
Post outside of business hours, especially on Sundays. A study by Buddy Media showed that brands that posted outside of business hours received 20 percent higher engagement. And engagement leads to showing up more on news feeds. A separate study by Sterne Agee & Survey Monkey shows that the highest values for virality are obtained on Sundays.
Post content with more virality, like pictures and surveys. If you want to post a link or a status update, just post it in the caption of the photo.
Be responsive. Monitor the content you post so that you can thank people for comments and respond to any questions.
Keep it short. A recent study shows that Facebook posts with more than three lines of text score lower in virality. Don’t be fooled by the “book” in Facebook. No one wants to read a book. Unless it’s poorly written, comes in a trilogy, and contains an S&M relationship.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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