Have you been wondering why your Facebook posts only reach a small percentage of your fans? The answer is EdgeRank, Facebook’s Newsfeed filtering algorithm that decides what updates are important to each user and should be shown– as well as those that aren’t important and are ignored. We recently posted a crash-course in EdgeRank that you can read here.
For Facebook Page marketers, it’s important to not only understand EdgeRank, but to actively work to improve it- which is why I’ve created this list of 7 simple ways to increase your page’s EdgeRank:
1. Post Consistently– But NOT Too Much!
It’s simple and obvious but many Facebook page owners fail at this (at one end of the spectrum or the other). Don’t post enough and you won’t reach your fans– as 95%+ are never going back to your page after ‘liking’ it. Post too often and you run the risk of irritating your fans, or even worse, cannibalizing one of your better posts. I’d recommend posting 2-3 times per day with at least 4 hours between each post. For those who can’t find the time (or quality content) to do this, posting at least 2-3 times per week is an absolute must.
Side note: We’ve created PageTips for you – a fast and free report on how well your page is doing.
2. Post Engaging, Relevant Content – NOT Constant Self-Promotion
It’s not enough just to post consistently– your posts must be high-quality. Before you post an update, put yourself in the shoes of one of your fans. Ask yourself, “Would you care about this? Would you share this with your friends?”. Facebook recently gave their thoughts on engaging content, and I talked about this in a previous post as well. To sum up both articles, you shouldn’t be using Facebook posts for sales or self-promotion– you should be using them to cultivate a community.
3. Keep it Short & Sweet!
Your fans don’t want to read essays in their Newsfeeds. Trust me, they don’t! Better yet, don’t trust me– trust Vitrue and their recent study (also pictured below). Also, I’ve been informed by a source at Facebook that 90 characters is the sweet spot, with posts less than 90 characters garnering about 80% more engagement than those that are longer.
4. Post Photos and Videos
The recommendation anyone who knows anything about Facebook page marketing gives, and rightfully so– post photos and videos rather than regular status updates. You can find studies that give conflicting advice regarding Facebook page marketing in pretty much any other topic besides this. In this case, absolutely everyone agrees. In addition, with Facebook’s redesign of the Newsfeed rolling out in the next few days with larger photos (as reported on TechCrunch), those who post photos will only benefit more.
5. ASK for what you want
It sounds simple– and it is– but it works like a charm. Calls-to-action work tremendously well on Facebook. Ask your fans to fill-in-the-blank, provide a caption for a photo, or share their thoughts on a new product idea. Ask them to ‘like’ your post if they agree with something you posted or comment on why they don’t agree. Facebook outlines some of these examples in their FAQ Section. Check out an example pictured below, as the LakersNation Facebook Page consistently uses these strategies and currently has a talking about this rate of over 13% (~420k fans, 55k talking about this).
6. Offer EXCLUSIVES (Content, Discounts, Specials)
Whether you like it or not, this is why the vast majority of your fans actually clicked the ‘like’ button– they want some sort of reward, benefit, or discount. Amy Porterfield details this in a blog post back in October of 2010, but it’s safe to say not much has changed since then. Facebook Page marketers no longer have any excuses not to do this, as Facebook has made it quite easy with Facebook Offers.
7. Find the right time to post for YOUR AUDIENCE
This is one of the toughest things to do, as it inevitably involves lots of testing and lots of sifting through Insights data in order to actually achieve results– but it’s definitely worth it. The first step toward doing this is actually understanding your audience. You need to be able to answer these questions. Where are they located? How old are they? What would their typical day be like? (Which ultimately leads to..) When will they most likely be on Facebook?
It’s complex for most Facebook marketers, as most pages have audiences with multiple demographic segments. In this common situation, it’s important to identify your top 2-3 segments and alternate your posting time to optimize for each segment (i.e. post at 7am for your 35-54M segment and 9pm for your 18-24M segment).
Do you have any other tips for increasing EdgeRank? Comments, questions, feedback? Let me know in the comments or @itsmikemags on Twitter.