The last couple of posts (here and here) focused on the negative impact EdgeRank has on Facebook page posts, essentially whittling their recipient audience to a paltry 6% (for most) to 12% (the lucky ones). The suggestions offered had to be undertaken by fans, leaving page admins feeling pretty helpless.
So…time to focus on what those of us “behind the curtain” can do, in hopes of turning at least a little of the tide back our way.
First, a stark reality.
Great original on-site content = more fan engagement
Less original on-site content = more fan engagement
What that means:
Outbound* links are more valuable than words typed into a post.
* According to EdgeRank, the most valuable links are those that point back to something inside Facebook, but who wants to do that?
Typing a truly rich, complete post that delivers on its own will kill your “people reached” percentage. If something can be fully understood without clicking a link to get more, you’re working against yourself (excluding writers capable of consistently constructing posts either so extraordinary—or so hot-button driven—they compel readers to constantly comment or share). You have to corner readers into taking action if you want to retain an audience.
You see, EdgeRank heavily favors two groups: Fans who prolifically share-share-share-comment-comment-comment (think: those who amass 724 “friends” on their personal profile, only 22 of which they’ve actually met) and pages whose posts are so negative or incendiary they all but incite online riot. Both result in disproportionate fan-to-page interaction.
Most users between the ages of 25 and 55—a target market the majority of pages aim for—share and like occasionally. They comment…but not on every post from every page. They’re the quiet grownups who don’t see Facebook as the center of their universe.
The solution (two, actually):
Fan side — Lists
Admin side — Outbound links
Rather than get into the whole step-by-step here (would result in one seriously long blog post), I’ve put together a couple of easy peasey “how to” PDFs that walk you through each process.
The fan version (“Get Your FB Page Posts Back“) helps users reclaim the page streams they most want to see, without having to constantly click and comment. It can also be shared on Facebook pages, in email newsletters, etc., for those admins who want to help fans out.
The admin PDF (“Improve FB Post Visibility“) sets out a simple road map to increase viewer activity without increasing your work load. The initial set up may seem overwhelming if you don’t have WordPress installed on your website, but rest assured—the end result is worth it.
Bottom line? Facebook has put it on fans’ shoulders to interact—a lot—with pages or risk them disappearing from newsfeeds. Admittedly, wonderful posts that inspire comments and shares are worth more than ever. For the rest of us who weren’t born with Shakespeareian talent, well…gotta go for the clicks.
If you think this is helpful, please click one of the “share” buttons below. The more fans and admins who know how to work with EdgeRank, the more small businesses, non-profits, and grass roots movements that will be able to reconnect with their audience.