By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS –People sometimes pooh-pooh the power of social media because of the relatively small number of followers we have. However, did you know that you can turn a thousand Facebook “Likes” into a reach of a million over a year’s time? That kind of reach can then deliver millions of impressions in a year, too.
Every good programmer has a solid knowledge of what tactics work to deliver better Arbitron numbers over time. If you’re a PD, that’s just part of your job. Well, Facebook has a similar set-up that you can take advantage of to create more engagement, which then drives your social media stats up … and creates more brand usage for you. If you’re doing it right, that is.
Facebook’s three keys
Facebook wants what you want. More people using them … more often … and spending more time with each visit. They have a formula, called EdgeRank, that works to show you what they think will matter most to you. It’s like a programmer picking songs; they want the good stuff to show up most often, and they don’t want to show you the stuff you don’t care about.
Three elements make up Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm:
• Affinity. This is a measure of how strong the Facebook relationship is between you and a friend or a brand page.
• Weight. The more people perform certain actions with your content, the more likely it is that more people will then see it. Commenting, sharing, and liking all come into play here. Generally, actions that take more time are weighted more heavily. Liking is good. Sharing is better. Commenting trumps them both.
• Time Decay. The fresher your content, the more likely it is to get seen.
The attitude that drives EdgeRank
“I knew you’d like this, and that no one else would show it to you.” That’s what everyone who posts on your station’s Facebook page should be thinking when they add content to it. That attitude delivers higher quality content, and also makes sure you’re sticking to your fans’ expectations of you.
Do more of these
Take note of these few very do-able actions that will consistently help your EdgeRank, and get you seen by more people.
Put up a photo with as many posts as possible. To see some media brands that are doing this successfully, search on Facebook for iTunes, Chevy Music Showcase, or Nickelodeon. Almost every one of their posts has a photo, no matter what they’re talking about. For example, all the Chevy Music Showcase pages have a lot of exclusive video content. Even so, they never just post a link to a video. They’ll take a photographic still from each video, and then post a link to the video within the text.
Next, create and organize your photo albums in ways that make sense to your fans. You can link to those albums not only from Facebook, but from your station website, your Twitter feed, or even mention them on the air when it makes sense to do so. Up go your stats! This maximizes the strength of your already-powerful photos.
Generally speaking, keep your posts short. However, when you have something good or interesting to talk about, do an occasional much longer one. When someone clicks the “continue reading” link on a long post, it seems to count favorably towards your EdgeRank. Just make sure longer posts are about something that’s related to what you do on the air, and are compelling to your fans.
If you have a few extra bucks to spend … stop laughing, please, I’m not done … consider paying Facebook to promote one of your posts from time to time. Facebook can show your strongest content to folks who are in your target, but not following you. Yet. Focused nominal spending over time can help drive your reach and impressions consistently higher. I’m bullish on promoted posts, but not other Facebook advertising. Yet.
Chris Miller, owner of Chris Miller Digital, is a leading radio consultant specializing in research-based strategic planning and smart use of digital media. He can be phoned at 216-236-3955 or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org