How well is Facebook working for your brand? With over 1.654 billion users in the first quarter of 2016, an engaging, robust presence on the social network is a vital part of any brand’s SEO campaign. But successfully reaching an audience on Facebook is no easy task. Here’s how to take your brand to the next level on Facebook today:
The Facebook Popularity Problem
There’s an interesting dilemma regarding effective Facebook branding. The more popular Facebook becomes, the more brands need to promote themselves on the platform. But as more brands develop their Facebook presence, potential customers become harder to reach.
Over 50 million small businesses have Facebook pages. No matter what audience you’re trying to reach, know this: You’ll have competition. Even worse, that competition is steadily growing. Since 2013, there’s been a 130% increase in the number of brands promoting themselves on Facebook.
Your brand isn’t just competing with others who provide a similar product or service. Instead, your brand is competing with everything else in a potential customer’s News Feed. As the typical user’s News Feed becomes increasingly more cluttered, your message is more likely to be missed or ignored.
How to Stand Out on Social Media
Previously, an active page which highlighted various features of your brand would be enough to draw in potential new customers. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. In order to reach your audience, you need to focus on not only WHAT you publish, but HOW you publish it, too.
Your strategies will most likely need to involve some type of paid marketing, but even that isn’t enough. The real secret here is understanding how current News Feed algorithms work.
First, let’s take a step back and look at the basics. Why is the main section of Facebook called the “News Feed?” Because Facebook gives preferred visibility to news publishers.
In April, 2014, Facebook partnered with Storyful, which is a content delivery tool designed for newswires. This encouraged journalists and news organizations to embed their content, especially breaking news, directly into Facebook.
This new emphasis on news is great if you’re a news organization. Facebook is actively helping your posts reach a larger audience than ever before.
If you’re here looking for SEO tips, however, the chances are good you’re not a news organization. Unfortunately, Facebook’s emphasis on news means the potential reach for brands has become smaller. After all, as more items appears in a user’s News Feed, their overall engagement level with each individual post tends to drop.
How to Use Facebook’s News Algorithm to Your Advantage
All hope is not lost, however! There are still a few ways you can take advantage of Facebook’s “news-centered” outlook. Here’s how:
Post Newsworthy Content Quickly
If you’re one of the first pages to include a breaking news story, you might see an organic uptick. The best way is to mention the news story before it becomes a Trending Topic, but even if you mention the story shortly afterwards you can still get a benefit.
Relate Trending Stories to Your Brand
Not every news story will relate to your brand. Finding the right tone to take can be a bit of a balancing act. For instance, you never want to appear to use a tragedy in order to push your products or services. In general, stay away from associating your brand with terrorist attacks and national disasters. Even if you’re just expressing sympathy,
Most brands find the most success with pop culture news. For example, if you’re a plumbing company, create an article titled “The Top 10 Plumbing Problems You’ll Encounter during the Zombie Apocalypse.” This would be a list of simple solutions to common plumbing issues which a regular person can perform on their own, even in the aftermath a zombie apocalypse.
While the topic is a bit tongue-in-cheek, the basic plumbing information is something your potential customers will likely be interested in. By adding the zombie angle, you’re able to capitalize on popular entertainment. Try posting this article on the same day as the premier of a new episode of The Walking Dead. Ideally, this will tie your post into a popular trending topic, increasing its exposure substantially.
In January of this year, Facebook users broadcast over 100 million hours of video. Of this, Live Video was viewed almost three times as much as recorded videos. This is right in line with Facebook users increasing interest in finding the newest, most up-to-date info.
The Changing “Face” of Facebook
Facebook will always have an important place in an effective SEO campaign. When you understand what types of posts Facebook prefers, you can create content which will help you gain the widest possible exposure.
Do you have any additional Facebook tips? Please let me know in the comments!