By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
SHAKER HEIGHTS — Facebook has made some important changes, and I’ve got some tips for you to take advantage of those changes.
The news and entertainment site Buzzfeed first picked up on it before Facebook made it official. The folks at Buzzfeed noticed that, all of a sudden, online content publishers were getting a huge increase in hits. That group of publishers includes a wide variety of content providers, but the way to think about it is “sites that find and write about stuff that others should find interesting.”
All social platforms are getting more sophisticated about how they determine what their users will see. Facebook has adjusted their formula that determines what content we all get shown, emphasizing the interesting over the merely silly and self-serving. Here’s how to help insure that more of your posts get shown to your fan base.
You want to tell your listeners about the special things you’re doing. However, now, more than ever, you can’t use the same promotional language on Facebook that you do on the air … not and have it get seen, anyway. Instead, disable your exclamation point key, and tell people how something benefits them. Or, give them extra helpful information. Or, just give them a good, declarative, hype-free sentence about what you’re going to do.
I’m sure Facebook’s research shows that people do not like being shown anything that smacks of advertising or promotion. In addition, could it be that Facebook doesn’t want your attempt at free advertising to take away from paid ads they’re showing?
Questions Still Matter
Asking a good question can still be an effective way of engaging with your followers. Set some standards, and make sure that any question you ask passes your own “who cares” test. If you saw it on your screen, would you answer it? No? Come up with a different one.
Deep, Focused Info
Whatever your talent talks about, whatever music you play, the internet is very likely churning out content about it. Facebook wants to show stuff to your fans from regular producers of interesting content. Look for that stuff and post it.
Does it matter that you didn’t create it in the first place? No. Your fans will appreciate seeing it, it’s on-message for your station, and you can talk on the air about the interesting stuff you’ve posted on Facebook.
Like Twitter, Facebook now allows hashtags. When you use a word in a post that people are likely to search for, you can drop a hashtag (#) in front of it, so that others are linked to your post when they search for that particular hashtag.
I’m convinced that Facebook wants their hashtags to work, and using them gets your posts shown to more people, whether anyone takes advantage of the hashtag or not. You could create your own hashtags as a joke or from your slogan, and I’ll bet those posts get more views than they would without the hashtag.
Watch Your Numbers
You can see, post by post, which of your posts get seen and engaged with. Cut and paste this address into your browser …
… using your page’s own address rather than “YOURPAGENAME.” You’ll be taken to a page where, scrolling down a bit, you’ll see your most recent posts, and how successful they were. Keep scrolling to get more history on more posts.
If this link doesn’t work for you, you need to be logged in as a page admin … or have one help you.
Take this information to heart, and work to recreate the successful posts you’ve made. This part is like finding hot talk topics or songs that are hits. Why would you take time to post something on your station’s Facebook page that is unlikely to get seen, when you could spend the same effort to get more engagement, both online and in real life?
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 emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.