Unlocking The Mysteries Of The Facebook News Feed

What are the keys to success when it comes to the Facebook news feed? “Understanding the Most Valuable Digital Real Estate: The Facebook News Feed,” a panel at the AllFacebook Marketing Conferencein New York Tuesday, presented a forum for six industry experts to ponder that question.

The panel was moderated by PostRocket Co-Founder Mike Maghsoudi, and it featured:

  • PostRocket Founder and CEO Tim Chae.
  • Salesforce.comVice President, Customers for Life Michael Jaindl.
  • Glyder Director of Social Media Blake Jamieson.
  • ESPN Director of Social Media Content and Strategy Michael Cupo.
  • Jon Loomer Digital Founder and CEO Jon Loomer.

There were differing opinions on what types of content result in the highest engagement, with Maghsoudi saying:

There’s been a craze over the past six months or one year where everyone was saying, “Photos, photos, photos.” Text-only posts are actually outreaching photos.

However, his PostRocket counterpart, Chae, said:

Photos get two to three times more engagement than regular status updates. When you’re on your phone scrolling down your news feed and you see a photo that’s vibrant, you click on it and expand it.

Jamieson was an advocate for photos, as well, sharing his experiences with a company that sold pool supplies:

Rather than trying to sell pool supplies, which is not the most glamorous industry, I shared a picture of a heart-shaped pool on Valentine’s Day and all of a sudden got 30 likes, when I only had 50 likes on the page. Sharing pictures of pools does really, really well. Once every two weeks, I might subtly hint, “This is what you want.”

And Cupo chimed in:

The majority of our posts revolve solely around photos. That’s literally because we’ve seen the engagement numbers grow.

Loomer, however, sided with Maghsoudi, saying:

The reach for my status updates was in the neighborhood of double or so that of my photos.

Other highlights from each panelist follow:

Chae:

The Facebook news feed is a one-way interaction — just because you stalk your ex-boyfriend, your ex-boyfriend isn’t necessarily going to be seeing your content, although you will see theirs.

Fan-only engagement is very important, instead of getting lost in the Facebook fan abyss.

Every day, one person should see one post from my page.

The greatest secret of Facebook and how to hack the Facebook news feed: Take one post and create 24 targeted and segmented posts using what’s available from Facebook now — age and location. You’re posting at 7 p.m. for an 18-year-old male who’s in college and at 8 a.m. for a stay-at-home mother. Only one post was shown to that one fan, but your entire collective reach will increase three times.

If you’re a person who just likes everything all of the time, it gets to a point where you liking something doesn’t really mean anything to Facebook.

Jaindl:

Facebook spends a tremendous amount of time trying to serve the most important content to you, and it does an incredible job of it. The challenge is that 700,000 pieces of content are being created each minute.

When you start stalking someone on Facebook, the thing you’re going to find is that you get more content from that member.

Paid ads are a great vehicle to build engagement. You need to be mindful of how to do it the right way.

When you’re posting one to two times per day, you’re seeing interaction rates that are about 19 percent higher than if you’re posting more often than one or two times per day.

Be explicit in your posts. If you want someone to like, comment, or share, tell them to like, comment, or share. If you ask them to like a post, you’re going to get three times more likes. If you ask someone to comment on a post, you’re going to get three times more comments. If you ask them to share, you’re going to get seven times more shares.

Every industry is different, every brand is different.

Jamieson:

Shares are the most important — that’s someone endorsing your brand.

Comments are the second most important — people interacting with your brand.

A lot of brands need to start thinking about how to get that deeper engagement with their audience.

I think one or two times a day is the sweet spot for most of my pages.

Cupo:

You have to fail constantly. Start understanding what your audience responds to and continue to modify that.

We can get away with six to seven posts per day, but traditionally, we try to keep it to two or three.

You have to really pay attention to posting great content, and then gradually over time, the rule of numbers starts to work against you. Our main page has 8 million likes. In terms of negative feedback, that has hurt us.

We will create individual posts targeted by region for those fans. Targeting by location is a fantastic tool, and we use that constantly to talk about individual games.

If I was working with a smaller brand, I would use something like PostRocket.

When A-Rod breaks his hip, I can’t really wait until tomorrow to post that.

Loomer:

I don’t like this idea of chasing around the type of content you need to share to reach people. You should be focused on quality content.

(Paid ads are) not a cure-all. This does not suddenly make you a great marketer.

I try to keep it to four hours between posts when I can. It matters where your audience is. If they’re local, they’re probably only going to be online during a certain period of time. I think the main thing is definitely once per day.

There was a time when third-party apps impacted your reach. I took a second look at my own data and started using third-party apps to test this out, and I was seeing no negative impact.

If you regularly interact with a specific brand or person, Facebook is more likely to show it to you. If you regularly interact with a certain type of content, Facebook is more likely to show it to you.

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