A while back, I attended an awesome webinar by Webtrends on Social Marketing, particularly using Facebook pages. I know I’m a tad late, but it had such great information, I thought it would be a shame if I didn’t post it. They have a great social analytics tool (free trial) you might want to try out on your Facebook page.
Interestingly, they had a different strategy than the traditional one, and it actually made a lot of sense. Normally, you might try to build your page fan base as large as possible, then use that free stream of connection to push your product/services, either through updates on your wall (that will appear your members’ news feeds) or through message “updates” that appear in your members’ inboxes.
However, changes to the Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm (called EdgeRank) threw a little bit of a wrench in that – most of your posts actually aren’t seen by your page members. Also, “updates” show up in an unnoticeable “other” box that may be ignored.
Webtrends’ strategy takes this into account and apply a different approach – engage your visitors to build heavy rapport, then reach them through paid ads.
EdgeRank actually suppresses 95% of posts! The EdgeRank algorithm uses Engagement of the post, Affinity of a user to your page, and Decay to determine whether an update makes it to a member’s feed. Facebook hopes to provide as relevant content as possible to you (since it’s impossible to feed everything). That means if people aren’t interacting with your post (engagement), a member doesn’t really visit your page often (affinity), and/or a post is old (decay), the chances of your members or friends seeing it in their feed is pretty slim.
Webtrends stresses the importance of social engagement. That’s the intended nature of social networks – to start a conversation. Build rapport with your members and get them to consistently engage with your page through fun and simple posts rather than simply using your page to push your own products and promotions. Promotional posts statistically do not generate as much engagement as “fun”, simple, conversational posts.
Some key points:
- “Emotional stories” and “sports wins” get great engagement.
- Simple and easy questions are the most successful in engaging users. Example, Lane Bryant’s posts with maximum engagement were “Like this is you are a curvy women” and “Fill in the blank: My favorite color is:_____________”
- Promotional posts don’t get as much engagement as simple, social questions. A good ratio of promotional posts to other posts is one in every 10.
- Keep a close eye on posts and respond – the more responses and the quicker the reply, the more likely a conversation will break out, which will higher the EdgeRank score of that post.
Monetize (Using Ads)
Once you have enough “reach” (your membership is large) and your existing members are engaged, use Facebook’s targeted ads to target your own page members for products/promotion. Since you have built rapport and you now have a strong bond with them, they are more likely to pay attention, click through, and convert (assuming you have an optimized conversion page/process).