There's an interesting report out today from Buddy Media, a company that's built a business out of creating Facebook tools for businesses, and counts major brands like Target, Johnson & Johnson, and ABC (to name a few) among its clients. It's also the company Demand Media recently partnered with to help brands increase their Facebook integration with the company's Pluck platform.
The report looks at Facebook's "EdgeRank," which is the basis for the algorithm the social network uses to determine what shows up in your news feed. It's pretty important if you're worried about visibility, which I'm assuming you are if you're reading this.
Facebook discussed EdgeRank at F8 (Facebook's developer conference) last year. Buddy Media's Allie Rolnik sums it up pretty well: "Overall, EdgeRank is based on three factors: affinity, weight and relevancy. When multiplied together, they have the ability to push your content to the New Feed's 'Top News,' where fans will be able to see what your brand has to say. For instance, an image with dozens of Comments will have a higher affinity score than a status update with a few 'Likes.' In addition, and object's relevancy will help determine how high it will appear within the 'Top News.' Any item that appears within the News Feed — such as a status update or video — is called an object, and any action taken on the object — such as a ‘Like’ or Comment — is called an edge."
The report cites a recent CNN survey indicating that 75% of respondents get their news from social networking sites like Facebook or through email. Clearly, you want to get in the news feed.
Shockingly, it takes putting out interesting content that people want to engage with.
Without getting into all of the meat and potatoes of the report (you can do so yourself by downloading it), I will re-post the ten tips it provides for brands to boost their EdgeRank and get audiences engaged:
1. Ask questions
2. Post games and trivia
3. Interact with fan engagement
4. Incorporate wall sapplets (polls, coupons, etc.)
5. Incorporate relevant photos
6. Relate to current events
7. Incorporate videos
8. Post content for time-sensitive campaigns
9. Include links within posts
10. Be explicit in your posts
If you don't mind a plug, you might find our own SocialDitto tool to be an effective way for helping bring in user engagement as well. What it does is allow you to embed your Facebook posts into articles and blog posts (displaying the number of likes and comments the post has received). This lets you push the conversation out to more people beyond just Facebook, and can inspire others to check out your Facebook Page, get involved with the conversation, and possibly boost your presence in the news feed.
Of course it can't hurt to use the analytics tools Facebook provides you either. Arik Hason recently wrote a great post on 5 Facebook Insights metrics to track, and why.
The main takeaway is the same one that can be applied to content marketing in general. You simply need to provide interesting stuff that people care about and want to respond to. If you do this across all of your marketing channels, your chances for success are going to be a lot better.