Facebook isn’t something of the past. Even with other social platforms like Twitter and Instagram gaining steam, facebook is far from being death. In fact, it’s been picking up speed lately. However, it is important to note that the social network is changing what you see, from whom, and when. Similar to what Google is doing in the search world with algorithm changes that favor fresh and unique authorship content, facebook is doing in the social world with algorithm updates that rewards engagement.
So what can you do to have your stories appearing on the Top in the News Feeds? Lance Rios from @BeingLatino said earlier this year at #hispz14 , “Whenever you post an article to an external website, only 2% of your audience is seeing it.”
So what drives engagement on facebook?
Let’s state the obvious…Your post needs to be genuine and authentic, and you should avoid “tricking” your Fans into sharing your content. Now that we have gotten the obvious out of the way, let’s continue with the rest of the variables…Facebook seems to look at these:
- Do people like your post, photo or video?
- Do people share your post, photo or video?
- Do people comment on your post, photo or video?
- Do people stay on facebook?
It appears that facebook favors posts that don’t necessarily contain links to an external website, but have all of the content housed within the post – including images, video and text. After all, facebook doesn’t want you to leave their platform, and that makes sense from the business standpoint. If you do add a link, try to add a short url. Google URL Shortener http://goo.gl/ allows you to see a click analysis for free, you will have to login using your Google account.
What are some tips for driving engagement?
- Choose visuals that will grab people’s attention when they see your photo, and trigger them to engage with it. Like shown in sample #1 below from Mama XXI. If possible, insert a short url, logo (watermark) or small phrase inside the image(s), like the Consolidated Credit image shown in sample #2 below. That way, as people share your visuals, your brand and key messages will travel with them.
- Choose short videos to upload/share (larger videos tend to take forever to upload). But make sure you upload the source video files instead of sharing the YouTube link. If you share the YouTube link, most likely facebook won’t show it as much (they don’t want you to leave facebook and go to YouTube!).
- If you need to add links in the description of the message, try to add short urls, avoid long urls.
- Start your status updates with a question, whenever appropriate, to elicit responses.
- Add hashtags (write # along with a topic or phrase), this helps people find posts about topics they’re interested in. Also add anchor text hyperlinks if you are citing someone else, this will deepen the social conversation and drive further engagement from other pages’ fans. You will be exponentially increasing your reach.