“Social media” are the new buzz words in online marketing. Everyone has heard about it, everyone wants to be part of it, but very few people know how to use it to their advantage.
Facebook is undoubtedly the King when it comes to social media. With over 800 million active users and growing rapidly, the marketing possibilities are unlimited.
If Facebook were a country, it would be the World’s 3rd largest. It is just too big to ignore.
Every company should have a Facebook presence.
How to start
There are basically two ways to go about advertising your business within Facebook. From mentioning it and linking to it within your own personal profile, or making a separate account/page for your business. The latter is a better way to start.
The secret within Facebook is to get people to ‘like’ your page or your updates. There are many ways to go about this, aside from the obvious contacting all your friends and acquaintances.
Some companies opt for paid advertising within Facebook, which for larger companies, is a good way forward. Besides the obvious branding, having fans is ideal when using targeted marketing campaigns. Say you want to send to a newsletter to male-only fans, between the ages of 35 – 45 and only ones that are based in the UK – Facebook makes this very straight forward. You can easily segment your fan base.
Someone ‘liking’ your page (or commenting on it) has a ripple effect. When you ‘Like’ (or comment on) something within Facebook this ‘Like’ is automatically visible to your friends.
If you have a picture or video for example that generates a lot of ‘likes’ the exposure can be massive and relatively instantaneous.
Visibility within Facebook
As with any form of marketing, visibility is the key. Luckily Facebook is far more transparent than search engines.
Facebook uses an algorithm called Edgerank to determine what makes it into their ‘Top news’ section.
Recently they have made several changes to this and there are now manual settings that people can change to alter what appears and what doesn’t.
But in essence, these are the five main points to bear in mind if running a Facebook commercial page
1. Ask questions. Questions generate feedback and likes. This pushes the news higher up in the algorithm. Research found that when a brand utilizes keywords such as “where,” “when,” “would” and “should,” the objects will see a higher number of engagements from fans. The word “would” drives the highest spike in ‘Likes’ due to fans using ‘like’ as a way to vote “yes” on the question rather than posting “yes” to a Wall.
2. Facebook assigns a higher weight value to photos than to other objects (including videos and links). This weight factor increases the Edgerank. Pictures seem to be given a preferential treatment in Facebook. If you can, post pictures, they tend to get greater exposure.
3. Research conducted found that fans are more likely to engage with current events.
4. A major component of an object’s Edgerank is timing and relevancy, therefore posts that contain content relating to upcoming events or short-term campaigns will have greater success in the News Feed.
5. Beware, however if you post too often, Facebook might take that under consideration and block your updates to work against you. People may also quickly get sick of too many updates coming from you. Post regularly and consistently.