The Facebook Dilemma

Facebook rock hard place

It seems as though Facebook has businesses between a rock and a hard place: their audience is on Facebook and wants to interact with brands there.  A community of loyal and engaged fans is considered to be a valuable asset.  But, as more brands jump on the bandwagon and post content, space in the fans’ newsfeed gets too crowded. So reaching these fans is gets harder and harder – a brand’s organic content is being seen by only a few percent of their fans.

Is this all a ploy by Facebook to squeeze brands for more money?  I’m sure that’s part of Facebook’s strategy.  After all they are not a business, not a charity. But it is a reality that as more content get posted, there has to be a filtering process to determine which content gets seen in a user’s news feed.

“The goal of News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them. Ideally, we want News Feed to show all the posts people want to see in the order they want to read them.”  Facebook.

You might not think of Facebook as having an algorithm, but it does.  This is it:

FB algo

So you have to add optimization of your content to your Facebook activity. Let’s take a look at these major factors:

Interest

Facebook takes note of how interested a user is in your content.  How often do they like, share and comment on your posts, or do they ignore them? If a fan is not engaging with your content it’s not going to show up in their feed.

Facebook does not have an obligation to show every piece of content that’s posted to their users.  Remember that their business model relies on keeping their users happy with the platform.  If Facebook becomes a boring, clogged with irrelevant ad content platform, users will leave in droves.

Sound familiar? It should. Any PR person who has pitched the media knows that if you send them crappy content it won’t get published.  You have to make sure that the release or pitch you send is relevant, timely and will be interesting to their readers.

Treat Facebook the same way. Figure out who your fans are , what they’re interested in and what they respond to.  Watch your insights and see what content gets shared and liked.  Post more of that.

Post Performance

This is the number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large, not only your fans. A recent update targets posts with what Facebook calls “spammy links.” (Penguin anyone?)

A “spammy link” is one that takes users to a website full of ads, or content they’ve already seen.  FB examines how users engage with the post after clicking that link. If users are less likely to Like or comment on the post, it won’t be shown to other users.

Creator

This is how popular post creator’s past posts have been with the viewers.

Type of Post

Facebook looks at what type of post your fans prefer – status updates, video, images, links. You can do the analysis yourself and figure out which types of post get the best response and tweak your content so that you are posting what your fans prefer. Generally speaking stats show that images get the best response, but it’s best to do your own analysis so you know you are hitting the right content for your community of fans.

Recency

This is how fresh the post and the content is.  You might post something today and consider it’s fresh and new.  But if it has already been posted on Facebook before and seen in your fan community, then it could harm your visibility in the news feeds of your fans.  Be fresh, original and timely with your content.

Facebook Pay to Play Options

There are many ways you can pay to boost the visibility of your content on Facebook.  You can boost an organic post using specific audience parameters.  You can make an ad that shows up as a news feed post.

Facebook has mountains of data about their users and the new features of custom audiences and “look alike” audiences can help you reach people similar to your fans, or fans of other brand pages. You can also use the precise interests feature to find very targeted audiences. The cost of Facebook ads is low compared to other platforms and the results, if done correctly, are excellent.

Training

Over the summer we will be holding several webinars and live workshops for companies and individuals who want to improve their Facebook marketing skills.

If you’d like to be notified of these events please Join our List on Facebook

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