The use of Facebook as an online marketing tool has grown immensely since April 2010 when it first allowed businesses to place a ‘Like’ button on their websites. Whilst it is a good start to receive a lot of ‘Likes,’ it is only the beginning of the marketing process.
Facebook optimises its News Feed and only displays a percentage of the posts generated by ‘Friends.’ The posts which are displayed have been determined by the use of ‘EdgeRank.’ It is quite important to have a basic understanding of how Facebook ranks content in order to get the best from using it as part of a marketing plan.
Every post on your News Feed is an ‘Object,’ a status update, for example. When another user interacts with an Object, by liking, tagging or leaving a comment, an ‘Edge’ is created. Facebook is quite happy to share their algorithm for ‘EdgeRank,’ which has three components: Affinity, Weight and Recency.
The Affinity score is the number of interactions between either a person and a page or between two people; the more interactions, the higher the score. A Weight is given to each type of interaction within each Edge. A comment or tag would have more weight than a Like, for example. Recency, in simple terms means that the older the Edge, the less important it becomes.
The next step in your marketing plan is to move away from simple ‘Likes’ and actively promote interaction.
As with a blog, your Facebook page must be regularly updated with relevant comments, status updates and shared material. Make sure that you also ‘Share’ your blog or any other useful content with your Facebook profile. Regular activity makes people want to check back.
It has also been proven that people will connect better with a name rather than a corporate identity. Do not hide behind a business or brand. Give them a personality to interact with. Make sure that you read (and respond to) every comment you receive, whether it is good or bad. Learn from responses and act upon them accordingly.
As with any other form of online marketing, long term results take time and effort to achieve. Nurture your Facebook image, start small and expand as you learn.