Editor’s note: If you’re interested purely in what the title outlines and not another rant by me feel free to skip the next paragraph!
I’m not gonna lie, the last hour on LinkedIn has really riled me. I love a debate, a bit of thought-provoking, a bit of “out-of-the-box” intelligence. You’d think LinkedIn would be a brilliant place for facilitating that: experts in every field from all corners of the world sharing their thoughts to other like-minded professionals. Unfortunately, it seems that group members just like to regurgitate the last thing they read in a blog post. There’s nothing wrong with blog posts, especially this gem you’ve fixated your eyes on, but I believe it is important to use many sources to form an opinion, not just echoing other thoughts. *cough*
I guess it’s best by starting from the core out. What is good community management? Not broadcasting but listening to your community? yes. 2-way engagement? Yes. Enriching a page with quality and engaging content? YES! Brilliant. Now we’ve got the fundamentals out-of-the-way let’s look a little deeper into organic growth.
All social media platforms work and function in different ways. Take the two most popular: Twitter and Facebook. Twitter is more of an open chat room that encourages everyone to get involved with conversations while Facebook acts more like a closed garden to your friends only. Also, Twitter will show all tweets from who you’re following in chronological order, while Facebook determines what you see through social relevancy. And it is on this point I propose the questions – Can we manipulate Facebook’s social relevancy to improve reach and impressions?
It’s all well and good having these great social environments, but why host a party if no one is going to know about it …that’s where Facebook’s propagation becomes interesting. Social relevancy is what determines what we see in our feeds, a combination of the profiles and pages we engage with coupled with the content your friends are engaging with. This does make complete sense which is why all of the above is crucial for a successful page but maybe there is a little bit more to the algorithms.
Look at your Facebook feed. How many of them are stand alone status updates? No links or pictures attached, purely a written status. Probably not that many. This would probably suggest videos, pictures and links are favoured and that’s probably true! I’m sure Facebook wants their users to have an exciting & engaging experience from when they first log in which is why rich diversified content should sit pretty on arrival. Now this isn’t something that Facebook would actively encourage or even have down in their best practices guide, but it does make a bit of sense I hope?
Now my last point: utilising fan interactions. Think of these as mini endorsements which tells your news feed “your friends are digging this so you will probably be interested too”. If you understand how interactions work then you will no doubt have Facebook posts nailed. The value of an interaction differs depending on what that action is. At the bottom end is an engagement with a poll, then likes and then a comment which is in order of what takes the most effort to do. The higher the engagement the more value it has. This is blindingly obvious, but the higher the number of interactions the more credible your page will become in other’s feeds. Comments hold more value but are harder to garner compared to likes and polls, that’s why most pages play it safe with a “like this”. However you shape your copy, mix it up and always give it a CTA.
Using what I am going to coin “Shea Theory” will no doubt maximise Facebook propagation given the fundamentals have been ticked off. A successful Facebook page definitely relies on engaging content and 2-way communications, but as discussed, there is other little tricks to help boost organic growth. Just don’t Facebook yeah?