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Increasing User Engagement on Facebook
Posted on November 1st 2012
If you use Facebook as a tool for promoting your business or brand, then you have probably noticed that Facebook has recently updated its EdgeRank, also known as its News Feed Algorithm.
Facebook is not trying to hide the fact that they want businesses to start paying to promote their posts. It is in Facebook's best interests if your posts are not showing up in people's newsfeeds. They want you to pay to have your posts appear there.
You might wonder if there is any hope in getting your posts noticed in Facebook's newsfeeds without having to pay to promote them. While it is not possible to have your posts appear to everyone who has "liked" your page (even if you pay to promote them), it is possible to improve your chances of having your posts noticed by keeping these tips in mind.
Keep Your Fans Coming Back for More
Many people post whatever comes into their head on Facebook, even on their business pages. Before you post, ask yourself if this is something that your fans would really be interested in seeing. The more posts your fans ignore, the less likely it is that your future posts will appear in their newsfeeds. Many people who "like" a page on Facebook never visit the page again. To get people coming back to your page, your content must be truly engaging.
Remember that negative interaction with your fans can actually count against you. If your fans think you are spamming them they can report your posts to Facebook, further reducing your chances of your future posts being seen.
So how do you get your Facebook fans to interact with your business page? First let's look at what Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm is measuring.
Facebook's EdgeRank Algorithm
EdgeRank takes into consideration how much you interact with your fans. The more interaction the better, especially if your fans are actively interacting with you by "liking" and commenting on your posts.
The EdgeRank algorithm also looks at what type of interaction your fans are having with your page. It gives greater weight to comments than "likes", and the more comments the better.
The algorithm looks at how long ago a post was created. The more recent the post, the more weight it is given.
It is important to remember that the more fans you have the better. If you have a big fan base and are showing ongoing interaction with your fans, the EdgeRank algorithm gives more weight to your Facebook updates.
Create Engaging Content
Before you post on your Facebook page, ask yourself what your fans would like to see. It is easy to fill your page with links to your web site or blog, which is not necessarily bad, but if your fans are not interacting with your posts, think about how you can vary or improve your content to generate more interest.
Images have been shown to create more fan engagement than just text links. People like to look at photos, and if you post some interesting pictures that people can relate to, they will be much more likely to leave a comment.
One of the most effective ways to get people to respond is to ask a question. Try to think of questions that many people can relate to. People like to talk about themselves, so ask a question that will get them talking about what is important to them. Their responses may just give you some ideas for new posts or articles.
When people do leave comments on your page, make sure to respond to their comments. Show your fans that you care about their thoughts and that you will respond to their questions and comments.
Contests and giveaways are also effective ways to increase fan engagement on your Facebook page. People always love to win things, and they will keep checking your page to see if they have won.
Time Posts to Increase User Engagement
Remember that most people are not logged into Facebook all day. Try to time your posts to the times of day when people are most likely to be checking their newsfeeds, such as first thing in the morning, at lunch time, and after dinner.
Unfortunately, there is no way to completely understand Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm. Facebook is slowly moving toward a pay-to-play model and business owners will either have to adapt to the new model or find another way to promote their businesses. Don't forget that creating useful, engaging content, however, will go a long way toward getting your posts viewed by more of your Facebook fans.
Dan Ripoll is co-founder and CEO of ContentBLVD.com, an innovative new content production platform enabling bloggers to publish high-quality, free blog content at no cost. The website connects bloggers to marketers looking to build their brands, increase traffic, and boost their author rank through their association with quality content.