A couple of months ago we posted, Healthcare Social Media: Understanding Facebook Edgerank, to help you better understand what causes you to be seen or missed on Facebook. Edgerank is Facebook’s algorithm that determines what content is likely to be most interesting to you as a Facebook user.
The technical explanation is that this algorithm measures three “edges”.
- Affinity – the score between the viewer and the ‘edge’ creator. How closely you are tied to the person creating the content determines this score.
- Weight - the value given to the comments and actions any given post receives from your Facebook community. As they “like” it, comment on it, and tag it, your comment gains in relevance to the community at large.
- Time Decay – the decaying value of the content as time passes. Today’s news is news. Yesterday’s news is history; in days gone by, it lined the bottom of the bird cage or the litter box.
Stepping aside from the technical, here are 10 practical things you can do to consistently improve your Edgerank:
- Consistency - If you want positive results you have to post at least once per. Posting once per week and then complaining about lack of engagement is like worrying about gaining weight while eating a double cheeseburger! It’s better to make 2-3 short posts per day then one long one every week.
- Short Posts - Experts report a post of less than 80 characters will get more shares, likes and comments. If you write about something longer why not create a short post with a link to the rest of the information on your blog or web site.This accomplishes two things: your Edgerank stays high and you get more conversions.
- Ask for a Like - Giving people some direction pays off. Tell people to “Like this post”, “share” and “comment”. Simply asking people to share will improve shares 2-3.
- Post Photos - People love sharing and commenting on photos which is why they carry a higher weight than status updates and links. Posting a random humorous photo will go viral long before most text. Don’t post too many photos though. A good ration is one really good photo to every eight test posts…
- Post Videos - Just like with photos, videos get shared and commented on quickly. They don’t have to be videos about your practice either. Any interesting and topical video that has a link back to your sites will do.
- Timing - Figure out the best time of day to post on your page. For most, the optimal days seem to be Tuesday, Wednesday and on weekends with many finding that before 9am EST and after 9pm EST gets more engagement. Timing really is a science and it’s a must to pay attention to it.
- Ask Questions - Open ended questions consistently generate the most comments: things like “Where would you be without Facebook?” or “What did you have for lunch?” Post questions that get people wanting to add a comment can answer briefly.
- Be Helpful - Post links and information that help people. Keep the 90/10 rule in mind at all times! 90% of your posts should be information that helps people or makes them laugh and 10% of your posts should be about products and services. Don’t always be selling. Build a community and they will want to come to you without you having to force it.
- Ads - I know many don’t like ads on Facebook, but they are proven to get you the most targeted fans that could be interested in your product or service. Even the ads, however, need to be of the “providing a service” variety.
- Don’t Over-rely on 3RD Party Apps – As much as possible, post directly on your page to avoid any possible penalties that Facebook might be giving 3rd party apps.