The Buddy Media platform, which provides brands with tools to effectively manage their Facebook page and fans, has released a White Paper on strategies that Brands can employ to increase audience engagement on ‘News Feed’.
According to a comScore Report, a Facebook member spends maximum time on the ‘News Feed’ section i.e. 27% in a day.
The Facebook ‘News Feed’ comprises of two components: Top News and Most Recent and it is the former that is the focus of discussion in this article. Top News sorts out stories, on the basis of relevance, by taking into account the number of friends who comment or like a particular post. This algorithm is called EdgeRank.
How does an Object Feature in the ‘Top News’
‘Any item that appears in the News Feed is called an object and the action performed by the users in the form of likes and comments is known as Edge. Any object’s EdgeRank then becomes a combination of three factors: Affinity, Weight and Relevance.’
The higher the values of the above factors, the higher the chances are, of being featured in the ‘Top News’ section.
The White Paper presents ten ways of featuring in the ‘Top News’ section so that brands can effectively use these strategies to increase audience engagement and user activity on the brands’ Facebook page. The paper however,’ makes no claims of cracking the closely guarded formula of the algorithm used by Facebook’. The attempt is to provide brands with simple strategies to increase engagement based on careful observation.
- Ask Questions
Posting questions enable interaction between the Brand and the people since the message clearly given out is that the customer’s opinion is important. When a new product, campaign or feature needs to be introduced, the views, suggestions and comments of the customers can be sought.
This not only encourages interaction between the brand and the customers but also leads to conversation between all the customers who respond to the post. The chances of featuring on the Top News section, thus, becomes higher because of increased customer engagement. Simple question which require answers by pressing the ‘like’ button or polls are the two ways in which questions can be asked.
- Post games and Trivia
Games and trivia provide an opportunity to the customers to reveal their knowledge or awareness about a certain topic. This kind of engagement increases the affinity score, as the customers follow the post for more questions, answers to the questions asked and timely clues , thereby increasing the length of the thread.
- Interact with Fan Engagement
The Brand can also engross the customers within a particular post to increase the length of the thread. This can be done by responding within the post itself, so that the customers get the feeling of an active and engaged Brand.
- Incorporate wall sapplets
Polls, coupons, discount cards etc, help in keeping the material posted on the page dynamic since it asks for greater involvement of the customers rather than static updates. Although the number of times the coupon is downloaded does not increase the chances of ranking higher on the News Feed, the sheer volume of engagement will contribute to a similar consequence.
Also, if sapplets are posted along with questions, the customer not only answers the questions but also gives his opinion on the same, thereby, being engaged with the brand.
- Incorporate Relevant photographs
Rather than posting a lot of material which may become boring and not engross the reader, visual medium can be used. The best way, is to post photographs about products and launches. This instantly draws attention to the information being disseminated, much more than a paragraph of written content attempting to do the same.
Photos providing inside scoop, sneak peek or exclusive previews tend to keep the customers occupied with the Brand.
- Relate to current events
Brands must invite the customers to participate in discussions about current issues, celebrity gossip and burning topics. This serves the dual purpose of making the Brand’s stance clear on issues as well as communicating the same with the customers. This also gives scope to allow and invite the customers’ feedback and response which increases traffic on the Page.
The Brand should also make its presence felt on festivals and holidays by wishing its customers, which makes the customers feel important.
- Post Content for Time-sensitive Campaigns
Special events and promotions are time-sensitive campaigns. In order to constantly feature in the News Feed which gets updated in real time, the Brand should continue posting relevant information, photos and counts down on the page to keep the viewers informed.
By doing this, the Brand increases it ranking on timing and relevancy which pushes the post higher on the Top News section. Also, the Brand should vary the content so that the customers are not exposed to the same words, post after post (which runs the risk of boring the customer).
- Include links within posts
The ‘Share’ button is an effective tool for engaging the customers and enabling the customers to share information about the Brand. Links should be included within the post since sharing of links provides the scope of achieving a higher affinity score.
This helps in spreading content about the Brand which increases traffic on the page.
- Include Videos
By posting videos within the link the affinity score of the Brand increases, which impacts the EdgeRank. ‘How to..’ videos and sneak peek videos can be used to involve the customer by asking for feedback and suggestions.
- Be Explicit in your posts
Research conducted by Buddy media has shown that fans follow instructions well. The brand can ask the fans to post suggestions or write their feedback, which makes it clear to the customers what the Brand wants.
These simple strategies can be used to ensure maximum visibility of the Brands in the’ News Feeds’ section which will help in increasing consumer engagement and lead to the success of the Brand in social media marketing.
To know more about the report click here