Word of Mouth 2.0

Facebook, much like Google, has an algorithm that determines the relevancy of your post, and the likelihood that users that see the post will be interested in it. That algorithm scores you based on past performance and gives you a number: EdgeRank. That might sound like Facebook is being unfair to you: You are a good citizen, you wave hello, help old ladies across the street, and sometimes you post marketing messages, but that’s what your Fan Page is for, right?

From Facebook’s point of view, they want to show their users (and your fans) the content that they will be most interested in, otherwise those users (and your fans) will abandon Facebook altogether.  It is in Facebook’s best interest, and yours, to have the BEST and MOST relevant content available so that the masses will keep coming back for more. That means the ball is in your court, you can’t just post boring “I sell widgets” message over and over, you need to add some spice to your marketing.

How do you increase your EdgeRank? Get your audience engaged with your posts!

Let’s start with the basics – A Photo is Worth a 1000 Words. People love visuals, and EdgeRank loves what people love.  Go through your photo album or comb the web to find eye catching photos. Need to say something more, add a caption to the photo. There are some great captioning services out on the web or you can use a photo editor like Gimp to spice up your image and drive your message home.

Take your photo to the next level.

Can I get collision on this rocket?

Find a great photo and hold a captioning contest. Rather than captioning the photo yourself find an image online and then ask your users to caption the photo and the photo with the highest number of likes wins! This tactic engages your current fans by asking them to caption a photo and it engages THEIR friends. The goal is for a user to caption the photo and then ask their friends to come to the page and like the caption.

Pro Tip: Facebook Rules state that you cannot use Likes as a metric for determining a winning contest, so tread lightly if you are offering a prize other than Social Media stardom.

As I mentioned in Facebook 101 be sure to share your posts with your personal timeline and with friends and family. But be careful, your mom might not mind a message from you each time you update your Facebook Fan Page, your friends on the other hand will not find spamming quite as endearing.

Videos are going to be a second best option for posting engaging content.  Videos are second in that unlike a photo which instantly gets to the punchline the user must click play and wait for the video to load. Office dwellers & librarians will be less likely to click a video too. How can you overcome the drawbacks? Write a great caption. Don’t just say “Check this out, too funny!” You need to write a killer headline and descriptive caption that will make the someone WANT to push play, even if they have to come back to it later.

If you don’t have a photo or a video to spice up your post what can you do? Pose a scenario to generate responses or ask a question.  Add a Poll to a post.

People want their opinions to be heard, so let them speak. Facebook Fan Pages are all about discussion and what better way than through a question? Click Event, Milestone + to change the your post from a Status to a Question. Ask something profound, then add Poll options. Polls show up on the Fan Page with polled options and percent votes below the question. People can see which option is winning and if any of their friends voted for an option.

Organic, Viral and even Paid Views will show up here.

Now that you are posting engaging content you need to measure the success you are having for different types of posts. Take a look at your Fan Page. Below each post are two lines with that posts metrics. One that tallies your likes, comments & shares and a second line that tells you how many people have seen your post. Hovering over that link will show you how many of those views were Organic (meaning they were on your page or the post was in their news feed) and Viral (meaning they were shares to people who have never been to your page). Watch these numbers to see when and with what your fan base is most engaged. Does your fan base prefer pictures, do they like links to news articles or they more into questions and polls? Watch your times too: Friday at 5:00 is probably a bad time, but Tuesday after lunch might a great time might be better than Monday at 10.

According to the latest stats Facebook Page’s post reaches less than 10% of their fans on average. Do you think you can top that number? Get out there and start posting content that will make your EdgeRank soar!