This article was posted on Travolution in June, 2012

facebook like 280Facebook has made significant changes over the past few years – changes which have made it harder for brands to get their content exposed to fans.

One such example was the introduction of Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm which was implemented to protect the user experience by filtering out content that may not be relevant. The result, as explained by Facebook in an article on AdAge, is that just 16% of your Facebook fans will actually see the content you post organically.

In this article, we’ll give you 3 tips so you can increase your Facebook page visibility and ensure that the content you post is being seen by your fans and beyond to give your brand maximum visibility. Before we get to the tips, let’s just review what are the 3 key components of the EdgeRank algorithm:

a. Affinity 

How close the relationship is between a brand and a Fan. Affinity is built by repeat interactions with a brand’s ‘edges’, and actions such as Commenting, Liking, Sharing and Clicking can influence it. NB: Every interaction you have with Facebook that creates a piece of content is known as an ‘edge’, this includes actions such as liking a status update, tags, and comments.

b. Edge Weight  

Certain actions within Facebook have different values or weights e.g. Commenting is deemed more valuable than a Like. Edges that take the most time to accomplish weigh more.

c. Time (or ‘freshness’)

How long the Edge has been alive – the older it is the less valuable it is.

Click here to read our detailed post on Edgerank.

Now that we’ve refreshed our memories on what are the elements Facebook uses to govern what is displayed on a News Feed (and how high it is positioned), let’s look at what you can do to increase the visibility of your Facebook Page and ensure your posts are shown as frequently as possible in your fans’ feeds:

1.  Include media with your updates

We know that photos and videos improve the weight of an edge, so try to include relevant rich media content with your updates. It’s also been proven that photos and videos generally outperform links, regardless of your brand’s industry or focus.

2.  Encourage interaction

Every time someone interacts with your Page, your brand becomes visible to their friends. Bearing in mind the average Facebook user has 245 friends, think about how you can encourage your fans to interact.

A great way to increase interactivity is to ask questions. Or you might want to try ‘fill in the blanks’ type of updates (as long as you give people the chance to post simple answers).  The more people comment, the more likely it will show up in the feeds of others.

Another great way to encourage interaction is to develop a Facebook Promotion that encourages your fans to visit your page or website to enter. The click to visit the promotion counts as engagement, and this engagement will help your page appear in news feeds.

3.  Consider Facebook Advertising

Some industry experts have claimed that ‘social ads’ are the future of advertising, but what exactly are the available options?

‘Traditional’ Ads

Facebook call them Marketplace Ads.  You supply the ad copy and creative, and link the ad to your Facebook page, a tab on your page or an external link (e.g. your own website). 

There are four types of Marketplace Ads, each with a different purpose:

Each of the above enable for a thumbnail image, title and 90-characters of body copy to be included. Thanks to Facebook’s 900 million-strong user base, one of the best features is that you can really drill down your ad targeting to define the type of user the ad will be displayed to eg. locations, likes or interests, demographics and more.

Payment is on a CPM (cost per impression) or CPC (cost per click model), with costs varying dramatically depending on your targeting options and how much you are prepared to bid for your ad to be displayed.

It is always recommended to run multiple variations of ads, using different ad copy, creative and targeting parameters; then optimising those that perform well.

FB ad2 FB ad3(1)

 

 

Further research from Facebook and beyond found that users typically prefer to engage with ‘stories’ rather than ‘ads’.  Why? Because traditional ads are one-way communication while stories are more conversational. Research by Nielsen showed significantly higher click-throughs and brand recall rates for ads that contained the social context of a friend’s name (i.e., ‘Sarah Liked this’) versus a traditional advertising message alone. This brings us to the next Facebook advertising option…

Sponsored Stories

Basically means that selected stories can be shown to ‘friends of fans’ (users whose friends are fans of your page and interact with your brand). The stories always show the friend’s profile photo and name.

sponsored story

Sponsored Stories can be generated from any of the following actions:

One of the key benefits of Sponsored Stories is the fact that according to Facebook, people are four times more likely to make a purchase when they see their friends interacting with a brand.

Sponsored Stories is quite unique from other forms of advertising in that you can leverage the positive mentions and buzz already taking place by your audience. It’s taking what people are already saying about your brand and how they are interacting with you, but publicising this more broadly.

Promoted Posts

Launched just last month, Promoted Posts means that with each status update that you post or have posted within the past 3 days, you will have the option to pay for it to be pushed into more people’s News Feeds. You choose a budget limit, and Facebook charges you based on how many more people they were able to display the post to, up to the budget you set.

Here’s Facebook’s official explanation:

“When you promote a post, it will be shown in the News Feeds of more of the people who like your page than you would reach normally. Friends of the people who have interacted with your post will also be more likely to see the story in their News Feeds for up to 3 days from when the post was first created.”

Promoted Posts is currently available only to pages with over 400 likes and fewer than 100,000 likes.

Before you go and spend your hard-earned cash on Facebook advertising, be clear about what it is that you want to achieve, and most importantly, have a robust social media strategy in place to ensure you retain and continuously engage those new fans.

Successful social strategies include content plans and creative campaigns, and Facebook ads can certainly amplify your current activity for maximum results.

To find out more about how Digital Visitor can help your company to make the most of Facebook and other social channels, get in touch – call us on +44 (0)1179 111 420 or email info@digitalvisitor.com

Have you had success with advertising on Facebook?