As I wrote about earlier this month as part of our Social Media series for nonprofit fundraising, Facebook remains the king of the social media hill and captures more than half (58.51%) of the American market share. As it continues to grow, it also continues to make changes and ‘improvements’ which are sometimes up for debate amongst its users. One of the largest shifts came about in the past year when Facebook decided to make changes to how content is displayed in newsfeeds. I recently wrote about understanding Facebook algorithms (commonly known as EdgeRank) to better understand how the platform decides to display information to users with three key components: affinity, weight and time. Once this algorithm is understood, nonprofits can focus on creating and sharing engaging content that will appeal to their target audience and the following 4 ways will help that content improve your page’s overall EdgeRank:
BE VISUAL – I often recommend that posted and/or shared content be visual whether with images or videos. The reason for its effectiveness is that as visual creatures we gravitate more towards photos and videos over written content and is why Facebook’s algorithms weigh this type of content higher. The more pictures and videos that you share on your page the higher the likelihood that it will be seen by more of your fans. In fact statistics show that engagement increases by 180% when you post photo albums, 120% more for photos and 100% more for videos.
TO THE POINT – Newsfeeds tend to refresh at a fairly fast pace, especially if a user has many friends and pages that they like. So if what you are sharing is text, then it’s important to keep it short, sweet and to the point. Research has shown that posts that are 100 to 250 characters in length get approximately 60% more likes, comments or shares. Keep in mind that if you include pictures or videos you increase the engagement exponentially. There is a reason why Twitter keeps tweets to a maximum of 140 characters, as the average attention span is shorter now and prefers to have messages that are quick and concise.
REGULAR POSTING – Regardless of the size of your community, an approximate 96% of fans do not return to visit pages they have ‘Liked’ and therefore are only reminded of your organization when they see your postings on their newsfeeds. Regularly posting and sharing content will keep you fresh in their mind and increase the likelihood of engagement with your page by liking, commenting or sharing your posts. If you are inactive, your community and supporters will be too. A rule of thumb is to post once or twice daily although you can post more frequently depending on your communities tolerance. A significant decrease in page ‘Likes’ can be an indication of over-posting and should signal you to scale back.
TIMING – One of the three variables in EdgeRank that determine your placement in your fan’s newsfeed is the age of your post so the timing of your post is very critical. It’s important to identify trends of when your community most often engages with your content. If you post when they are not active on the platform your content will simply be buried deep into their newsfeed or not appear on their newsfeed at all. Communities vary from page to page and therefore it’s important to post based on days and ranges of times that your community is most engaged.