Community Management, Content Marketing, Social Media Tools, Blogging and Content Creation, Brand Communities, Facebook

Is Your Company More Interesting Than My Wife?

If you’re going to succeed on Facebook, you don’t just have to be more interesting than other companies, you have to be more interesting than my friends and relatives. Are you prepared for that?

My friend Jeff Widman runs BrandGlue, a consultancy that helps companies better manage their Facebook fan pages. He told me recently that since Facebook rolled out the news feed changes (they decide what gets shown on your news feed based on what you’ve “liked” and commented upon in the past, and what your friends have “liked” and commented upon), that only 2 out of every 1000 Facebook updates will show up in your news feed.

2 out of 1000. It’s like playing the content lottery.

That 1000 is comprised of updates from every person with whom I am friends, and every page or group of which I am a fan. My mom. My wife. My brother. My best friends. Clients. Former coworkers. And about 75 brand fan pages (in my case).

So, if you are Jason Falls’ Social Media Explorer (a brand of which I am a fan on Facebook) you have to get me to engage with your updates as often or more often than I engage with the updates from everyone else.

Thus, the absolute key to Facebook success is creating status updates that encourage or demand interaction. Here’s an example of content from from my friend, the utterly fabulous social buzz-builder Amy Martin at Digital Royalty, that is not optimized to compete for my attention:

Here’s how that same message could be tweaked to “win” likes or comments from me, and thus have a greater chance of showing up in my news feed – and thus the news feeds of my friends.

– First, the message could have been shown to only people in Baltimore.
– Assuming that is too narrow of an audience, I might suggest writing it this way:

“Who do you know in Baltimore or the Northeast that’s into sports and social media? Digital Royalty is co-hosting an event at ESPN Zone to tie in with National Sports Forum (link). Who should we invite?”

Positioning the content as a question and a request for help will solicit likes and comments that will push the update into the news feeds of many, many more people.

It’s also critical to recognize that since Facebook added the “share” functionality just a couple weeks ago, that this button only appears adjacent to links, photos, or videos. (You’ll notice the “share” link in the Digital Royalty post above, because there’s a link to the event details in the post). If you just post a regular text status message, “share” doesn’t show up, making it substantially more difficult for your fans to spread your content on your behalf. Thus, Facebook has essentially said that photos, videos and links are preferable to text-only status updates.

In many ways, Facebook fan pages are post-modern email newsletters. Keeping your customers up-to-date and keeping your brand top-of-mind. You’re fighting it out for our attention every time you add content, and multi-media is better than text.

Are you thinking about that, or are you just posting?

(photo by jimmy_macdonald)