Today we’re going to touch on sharing content and Facebook advertising. You understand the difference between Profiles and Pages; Friends and Fans; and you’ve started getting some page likes.
It helps to think of social media followers in terms of earning them. Your first fans will probably be your friends and family, but there you must work to gain and keep them. Start by liking other Facebook pages that are similar to yours – in our case, find other authors. Comment on their content and share it to your Facebook Page. Be sure to tag Pages and people in your posts by using that “@” symbol and typing a name. Facebook will automatically search your connections.
Finally, just like blogging, you must produce good content to keep people around. Post more than just your blog posts, and keep length and quantity in mind:
- Your blog is long form platform that you should post to a few times per week. Not too much to clog feeds, but enough that people regularly see your content.
- Use Facebook to link articles or post things in a few sentences or less. Try not to post to Facebook more than a couple times a day.
- Twitter is your short and quick platform. A tweet’s life is very short, so you can tweet much more often throughout the day. We’ll talk in detail about Twitter later.
Now to sharing
Facebook is a forum for spreading content, but thanks to Facebook’s (secret) algorithm called EdgeRank, many of your fans will never see your posts. Ever feel like your Facebook feed skips a lot of your friend’s? Well, it does. EdgeRank is a filter that favors Profiles and Pages you interact with. So those people who don’t show up very often? You’re probably not commenting or liking their updates, so EdgeRank will continue to filter them out.
What this means for your new Page: if your fans don’t interact (i.e. like, comment or share) your posts, those posts will stop hitting their news feeds.
To encourage Facebook engagement and sharing, and not be shunned by Facebook’s EdgeRank filter, it is necessary to increase the “fun to talk about” factor in posts and ads. This is known as the Sociability Index. ¹
Some Do’s and Don’ts from Webtrends and our experience:
Putting $ behind your posts
One sure way to increase visibility of your updates is to promote your posts. The poor souls over at Facebook have to make money, of course. Promoting posts is easy and, in my opinion, fairly necessary to grow your Page. Fortunately, you can keep it low budget.
Make sure you select “People who like your Page and their friends.” It also gives you an estimated reach based on your current page size. The extra “reach” promoting gives you will end when the set budget has been used – it could last several days. I set a $5 budget most often. You can conveniently link your PayPal or credit card to Facebook with a one time set up.
To keep costs low, use this sparingly. Try promoting one post per week, or set a monthly budget of $20 to $30. Be strategic in what your promote as well. It should be things that are easy to engage with – like questions or polls. Don’t be afraid to ask for that engagement. A page I follow posts motivational quotes and adds “Like if you agree.”
There are other forms of Facebook advertising that we’ll touch on next week, along with how to analyze your Facebook success. My suggestion: if you’re willing to put some dollars into Facebook, start with promoting posts.
¹ The Social Media Marketing Playbook for Maximizing Returns on Facebook, Webtrends Whitepaper/Social.