Social media is important to any content strategy. For most companies, Facebook is the most logical choice of social networks to focus on. And getting exposure on Facebook is critical. With far-and-away the largest active monthly user base among all social networks, it’s the largest pool of eyes to compete for.
And compete you must.
With each active user only spending an average of 50 minutes per day on Facebook, the network has a limited time to show them the content they want to see before they get bored and leave. With that in mind, it’s inevitable that users won’t see all the content posted by every person and business they follow.
You Are Facebook’s #1 Product
There’s an old marketing adage that states “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product being sold.” Usually used to make social networks look evil, it’s a great look in to how Facebook makes its decisions.
If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product being sold.”
You see, Facebook makes its money from advertising dollars. Companies pay for advertisements, and Facebook serves them to users in exchange. The more users see the ads, the more money Facebook makes. And users won’t see the ads if they aren’t entertained by what they see in their feed.
Facebook Exposure Based On Interest
Facebook had to figure out first and foremost how to keep users engaged. Of all the metrics they’ve looked at, they decided that the stuff that would keep people online is the stuff that everyone interacted, or engaged, with. Using that, they came up with a system to decide what to put in front of you.
Whenever something gets posted to Facebook, the network begins to monitor the “likes”, comments, shares, and clicks that the post gets. These are what Facebook identifies as measurable engagements. Each engagement type is worth a certain amount of weight in Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, and therefore changes how likely it is to be seen in a newsfeed. Along with the poster’s relationship to you and the age of the post (as well as some factors that aren’t publicly available), Facebook determines what will be seen, and what won’t, and they optimize for maximum engagement.
The more interesting stuff they feed you, the longer you stay on the site. The longer you stay on the site, the more ads they can sell. Kind of the same as television and radio, you know?
Design Your Facebook Post For Exposure
If Facebook is only going to show what’s most engaging, you need to make sure your post qualifies. And there are a few things you can do to make sure that’s the case. They don’t take special skills, and they’re pretty common sense.
With every post, start with a catchy image. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to use one, but when it does, it’s the best way to catch your audience’s attention. Simple images seem to work better. However, you should pay attention to your insights to see what works best for the demographic you’re trying to reach.
While writing your post copy, make sure you take in to consideration what you want your viewer to do. Every post should include some sort of call-to-action, asking your Facebook audience to like, comment, share, or click on the link. Remember, just the action of asking alone improves the odds that someone will engage.
When someone does comment, make sure you “like” it. That extra engagement will boost your post a little more. Yes, that means you need to hit like on your own comments as well.
While you’re at it, make sure you respond to the comments of others. All the comments, even the bad ones. Do your best not to stir up any conflict, but always offer to make grievances right. Even if you can’t, the offer helps your reputation. When you can, try to include an additional question in your response, opting the commenter to respond again.
Just to assure they’ll respond, tag them in the comment. That way they will receive an extra notification on their homepage.
There Is No Guarantee To Facebook Exposure
For all the promises that tend to come from the social media gurus and all the claims about cracking the EdgeRank algorithm, nobody has social “figured out”. Even the best in the business don’t know what the algorithm contains, and facebook intends to keep it that way. It’s hard to sell exposure if everyone knew how to game it completely.
That’s why the biggest secret to Facebook exposure is excellent content. When you focus on high-quality, interesting content that begs your viewer’s engagement, you’ll get the exposure you’re looking for.