In the ever-increasing world of negative criticism about FaceBook as platform for paid advertising, FaceBook’s free services are becoming more and more important. Mashable has a series about marketing on the social network and Thursday afternoon it released a latest help guide about best practices for what the social media agency can do for free on FaceBook.
The EdgeRank that FaceBook uses to determine the order of a user’s newsfeed is explained. There are three criteria that are then measured against each other. Time is important as posts decay in position according to time. Affinity is about how often a brand’s posts receive engagement and the final component is weight, which measures the actual post’s engagement. The social media agency needs to focus on weight. Time is independent of the agency’s efforts and weight will affect future affinity, but a brand’s present affinity score of a brand cannot be affected.
The obvious best practice is to know your viewer. If most viewers are on their mobile device, then that is instructive. If most people are accessing when at work, then that is also instructive. A lot of brands have viewers spread across all demographics, so the lesson is less obvious, but if there is a clear demographic, then not catering to it is a death sentence.
FaceBook posts need to be brief. The call to action also needs to be clear. Your inner cynic may not prefer being explicit about asking for people to like a brand, but merely suggesting future engagement will not result in fans and rarely in any engagement. Asking questions is a great way to generate comments, but make sure the prompt contains the ‘W’s: when, where, and why? Those words are important for provoking comments.
When there is engagement it is essential for the social media agency to engage that engagement. One of the reasons GM found little profitability in FaceBook efforts was in its lack of responsiveness. Engaging the viewers back will help bring them back and make other observers feel that the brand actually cares. That is the important step in turning the friends of a brand’s fan into fans. That is the ultimate goal on the FaceBook ecosystem and needs to always be front and center.
FaceBook does have some for-pay options that should help accomplish these goal. But there are some steps to be taken by the social media agency that wants to accomplish nearly the same results using just the free services FaceBook provides.