Sunday, June 5, 2011

Facebook Marketing: Tips on Beating the New Algorithm

Did you ever wonder why a lot of your posts on Facebook are not appearing on your friends' news feeds or walls? 

That's because with the new Facebook algorithm (or the way it computes how to route the posts), only about 0.5% up to 5% will be able to make it to the top news feeds. The algorithm, commercially called as EdgeRank, takes into consideration several factors such as how often you and your friends interact on Facebook, the type of content that you upload (video, status update, or photo), time of post and other factors which we probably don't know about. Every post you make has an EdgeRank "score".

The reason why Facebook uses this algorithm is so that you would not get bombarded with useless content, which means nothing to you. It's impossible for Facebook to know exactly what content is relevant to you personally, but it can deduce intelligently by using EdgeRank.

So how does this affect you if you market your products through Facebook? You keep posting photos of your items, but very few are actually "liking" or "commenting" on it. The algorithm also works the same way with fan pages. Several companies create Facebook pages in order to gather "fans", and hopefully convert them into buying customers. But I notice that after getting thousands of fans to LIKE your fan page (and spending a lot of bread), your posts only get 3 to 5 likes or comments. That is because studies show that about 90% visit once and never return. Hence, they don't get updates from your fanpage because your posts will get a low EdgeRank score.

So how do you increase your EdgeRank score? It's not simple. You have to do a lot of experimentations and direct fan/user interaction. The idea is to try to get your post on the user's TOP NEWS feeds. For me, the key is communication, interaction and engagement.

Some tips:

Encourage interaction with your fans or users. You status post should entice people to participate in an engaging discussion, even giving them rewards. Once a person LIKES a certain post, then there's a good chance that he or she will get updates from your fan page. Use the new Question/Poll feature of Facebook.

Ask friends or personal networks to share the posts. The more views, the more hits on your post.

Don't stick to a similar post if it does not get any response. Junk it and move to the next topic. It's good to keep it fresh. It would be good also to post links with thumbnails and a comment that will lure the user to click on the link. 

Request for contributions from fans or users. For example, a photo contest will encourage them to share the link so that people will vote for them. That will increase LIKES on your fan page, and hopefully, increase your EdgeRank score.

Write your post well, because people might think it's a spam message.

Study the movement of your content. Select a group of fans, and send them a personal message asking them if they can participate in an exercise that allows you to see if they can see your posts.

Being seen on Facebook is not as easy as it looks. But with the proper guidance and strategy, your products can make use of social media and take advantage of its power.

If you need help on digital and social media, please don't hesitate to contact me. Someone from the company will contact you to help you on your social media strategy.

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