Monday, October 29, 2012

Facebook is Like... the Weather

Facebook is like...
the weather in Minnesota.
Don't like it?
Wait a minute, it'll change.

The difference is, I'm prepared for the weather. I've lived here my whole life so when it comes to weather, I'm ready. I have everything from snow suits to swim suits. I know to dress in layers. The weather here can change fast... almost as fast as changes hit facebook.

The problem is, we don't have the facebook equivalent of a meteorologist.

There's no way to predict a snow storm on facebook and that's kind of what happened. We were hit and not ready. Grab your shovels.

One thing we Minnesotans all have is an emergency kit in our trunks. Snow shovel, kitty litter for traction, blankets, snacks, flashlight, etc. because you just never know when you might need it. You can be merrily driving along when that rain turns to ice and you end up in the ditch.

Kinda like what has been happening on Facebook, right? What we need is a Facebook Posting Kit to keep us going. (More on that later)

Reach: Facebook Clipped our Wingspan 

You probably noticed less engagement on your business page lately and many people posted the "Create an Interest List" plea on their pages. Read last weeks post for my thoughts on that.

Well it all kind of bummed me out. I mean, I'm taking the time to create images, share photos, and find great articles and links... and nothing is happening on my page. I was putting an image with every post. I was liking and sharing. Blah. My reach was falling faster than a golf-ball sized hail stone and my fan engagement was gone like a fart in the wind.

Then I noticed something...



My text only status updates were getting 3 times as many views.  A few weeks back, I read this article showing how to increase facebook page reach on Business Among Moms. (found thanks to the wonderful Renae Christine of Rich Mom Business) The article stated that you could increase your reach by posting any link you wanted to share in the first comment of your post instead of in the post itself. I tried it a few times but didn't take much notice of my stats. Then I posted a few other "text only" status updates and bam... it hit me like a wet February snowball. Reach had tripled. Fan engagement was way way up. Hello fans, I've missed you!

For the next few days I only posted text updates with a smattering of shared posts and photos just to see if the results were a fluke.

Not a fluke. And it wasn't just me. Others were seeing the same thing. But I also have read that it isn't working this way for everyone. What?

So what's going on?!

We've all been posting images with our posts, has facebook decided to penalize photos and shares? As soon as we all revert to posting text only statuses, will they revert to photos being the way to post again? What is facebook up to?

One thing is certain... facebook IS going to change again. And again. And again. You might like some changes. You might not.

All we can do is watch the skies (our own stats), be ready for changes, and keep posting!

KEEP POSTING

1. Posts should get your customers to talk. Facebook is a party. Do you walk around parties thrusting examples of your work in stranger's faces? Nope. You strike up a conversation. Come up with some small talk. A bit of chit chat that has nothing to do with you trying to sell something. It's called "Relationship Marketing" because if you build a good relationship, people will want to buy from you.

2. Posts should stay positive. Don't ask if anyone can see your post. Don't beg for people to like your page. Don't tell people to create an interest list. It's a turn off.

3. Don't post one style of post all the time. Switch it up a bit so you can see what style of post is getting YOU the best results. Every page is different and so is every page fan. Do what is working for you. If you see more engagement with photo posts, do lots of those. If you see more with text posts, that's what you should do. Just remember to throw in the other styles so you can watch the results and change things up if need be.

4. Post often but keep them 3 hours apart. Too many posts at once is spammy and people will unlike your page. Posting infrequently means your edgerank is going down down down! You need to keep people engaged with your page, or they may no longer see you in their feed. If you have fans around the world, schedule some posts for them too!

5. Start a newsletter and build your list. Yes, you do need a newsletter. Trust me.

6. Start blogging if you haven't already.

Need more help? I have a brand new Facebook Posting Kit in the shop. Post styles and ideas, a schedule sheet, check lists, simple graphic backgrounds to create your own images for pinning, posting and blogging, and a bunch of other goodies.

Ok kids, don't forget to sign up for the branding and beyond newsletter. Awesome-Sauce... straight to your inbox every Tuesday!




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