Demystifying Facebook reach and the EdgeRank process.
Many fellow entrepreneurs, small local business owners, and marketers get a little befuddled by Facebook. This can be especially true for B2B folk, but not exclusively (as evidenced by my local yoga studio). Consequently, I thought it could be useful to get a very simple understanding of how it works so your time and efforts don’t get wasted.
True: Getting your message seen on Facebook is getting harder and harder.
False: How to get seen on Facebook is a total mystery.
As my good friend and the smartest Facebook marketer I know, Emeric Ernoult tells us in classes like Facebook Marketing Myths and Tips that there are many ways to improve Facebook relevancy, and yes, it’s hard, but not a mystery. The basics are as follows:
Facebook is looking for related activity to your page, brand, or personal profile to determine what to show in the news feed of folks that are your friends or followers. It’s that simple. Has this person recently had any interaction, activity, and most importantly engagement with you, your content on Facebook, or your page? This is essentially how Facebook can tell if you are interested in this person or page and will serve you content related to that interest.
In reverse order, Facebook gives strong signals to its content publishing in the news feed to the big three actions you can take: “Like,” “Comment,” and “Share.” It’s indirectly the user’s way to indicate how interesting that content or page is to her. So think of it as a sliding scale, or in romantic terms.
1) Likes: The low end of the totem pole but a good indicator of relevancy and shared interest. Getting a “Like” will make it more likely (pun intended) you will be seen on this person’s page. Additionally, you will get more likes overall on a given post and that popularity will help you rise to the top of news feeds everywhere.
It’s easy to like something, so the barrier is low for this action and Facebook knows this. We also like a lot of things in life, so it’s an endorsement but not a strong one. Think of it as someone saying:
“I like Aaron.”
2) Comments: A big jump up from a “Like.” It’s a super good indicator to Facebook that you have a strong interest in this page’s or person’s content. You took the time to write and share your feelings and that is a big bump up on the Richter scale in importance. As you know being a Facebook user, you can get 30, 40, or 100 likes, but for every 20 likes you might get one or two comments. So this is a big deal. Romantic analogy:
“I really dig Aaron and the great stories he shares about his world travels.”
3) Shares: The coup de grâce of never-seen Facebook posts. Get some folks to share your stuff and end the suffering of three measly likes and zero comments. More poignantly, when someone shares your post, she is basically promoting it to the world. Not only does that kick in the fantastic viral butterfly effect of getting the word out to many new audiences, but it tells Facebook that this person feels strongly about the value and relevance of this content. This is the ultimate, albeit hard to get and even harder to ask for, triumph. It’s analogous to:
“Aaron, wow! Love that guy. Not only is he a successful entrepreneur but the whole spirituality aspect is amazing. Can’t get enough of him!”
So, the very simple and short recommendations for increasing your Facebook reach include:
a) Posting content to evoke an emotion so many folks will “Like” it.
b) Creating a compelling question or statement on that post to get folks naturally “Commenting.”
c) Making your content so awesome (aka Great Content Marketing Tactics) that folks can’t help but want to be associated with this content and have all their friends benefit from it.
Easy enough, right? The hard part is actually spending the time consistently doing it. Good luck. And remember to share this post! 🙂