Facebook recently dealt a crushing blow to the social media world. Over the last few years it has become more difficult for posts to be seen on Facebook due to its pernicious algorithm, EdgeRank. Organic reach per fan has declined to just over 6 percent, which means that posts have a horrifically low chance of being displayed in users’ News Feeds. As awful as this news may sound, does it really equate to doom and gloom for your social media program? I believe that it presents an opportunity for you to explore your options in order to create optimal results. So before you go dumping all of your surplus marketing money into Facebook advertising (and you may actually need to do that), take a look at these tips for decreasing the negative effects of EdgeRank.
Turn up your engagement.
According to TechCrunch, the EdgeRank algorithm takes a few key factors into consideration: your fans’ interest in your page, your current post’s performance among users, your past posts’ performance among users, the type of post, and the recency of the post. And, if you’re going to rank at all on Facebook, you need to use highly visual and engaging content—preferably in this order of importance: 1) videos, and 2) photos. And you need to create compelling storylines so your audience will care about what you’re posting so much they’ll want to share it. This is a tall—but not impossible—order, especially if you use strong calls to action.
Diversify your strategy on social media.
Although Facebook is the number one social media network, it’s not the only place where you can drive your business results. That said, you should consider combating the injuries of EdgeRank by going outside of Facebook to find other tools for engagement. For example, a recent article on mashable.com cites Instagram as the best platform for marketers to interact with customers, adding that the highly visual social network is responsible for 60 times more engagement than Facebook. Additionally, Twitter has become a more visual program, making it more competitive with Facebook. I predict that many marketers will take advantage of the visual changes that have made Twitter a much more engaging platform and will prioritize their efforts on Twitter over Facebook. After all, the ability to repeat messages on Twitter creates opportunities for constant engagement.
Support social media with integrated marketing.
No marketing effort should live in isolation and social media is no exception. Instead, create an integrated program that tells the whole story of your marketing efforts through a variety of platforms—public relations, traditional and non-traditional media, search marketing (including search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising), and guerrilla marketing. Use your efforts in each of these areas to help drive traffic to your Facebook page. The greater the conversation you’re creating “out there,” the greater the capacity for the conversation on social.
Track, test, and learn.
Track your posts to see which ones are performing best. Attempt to replicate those results by using the winning ingredients of your previous posts to perform again. Know your most engaged times for posting and, if at all possible, post an hour before then so that your posts have time to cycle through Facebook. And if you really want to get creative, post on a Friday—the day of the week when people are most likely to check out of work and log on to Facebook, according to Time. Fridays earn about 15.7 percent of each week’s total post impressions.
Call in your backup.
You can always advertise on Facebook if your engagement situation becomes dire. If your post performance is so poor that it’s severely affecting your leads or revenue, then by all means: advertise. But consider your audience. Maybe you need to advertise on mobile because that’s where the bulk of your audience is. Or maybe you should be geo-targeting a different audience altogether. So remember: Even in the wake of EdgeRank, you have options. But whatever your responses to EdgeRank are, make sure they are strategic, meaningful, and informed. We are already providing our clients with the tools they need to get more posts in front of more eyeballs, and we have seen positive results. We can help you create a marketing program that will help you to lessen the effects of EdgeRank. Contact us.