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Businesses and organizations have made strides in the last year to improve their overall understanding and strategy in social media. Many who once played in the social media realm using traditional internet marketing techniques such as posting only self-serving links have changed gears and focused on higher-visibility content such as images. Unfortunately, many are still lacking the understanding of how the networks work and how to post properly. It’s like eating. Social media in general likes balance. Facebook and Google+ in particular are most effective when the right balance is created.
They like a balanced diet of content. Both are very similar in the way their algorithms work. Google uses a formula similar to Facebook’s EdgeRank to determine where content appears on the feed. While the strategies surrounding content on each is different, it is better (for now) to post mirrored content on the two networks simultaneously. The main reason for this is human nature; since Facebook has so much more engagement than Google+ right now, splitting the strategies might lead to shortcuts and eventually Google+ will not get the same level of attention. By posting to each together, it simplifies the process and reduces the chance of getting “Google+ fatigue”.
By feeding the networks with the appropriate levels of each type of content, your overall social media strategy can improve. Here’s how:
Just like the food groups comprising a good diet, social media content types have different strengths and weaknesses.
Now that we know what the food groups look like, let’s examine how to apply them to your social media strategy.
EdgeRank is a complex algorithm that would require a blog post or two in order to convey the basics. The short version is this: EdgeRank determines how high your content appears on the news feeds of your fans. Not all content is created equal. Not all fans are created equal (or rather, different fans’ news feeds will display your content differently). If you play the EdgeRank “game” by mixing up your content, you can develop the appropriate strategy for your business.
The first thing to understand is thatyour strategy is different from everyone the strategy of other pages. Your goals are different, as are your assets. This is only a guide to help you develop your own strategy. Anyone who has the right “formula” for everyone doesn’t really understand how it all works.
With the understanding that Facebook and its users love pictures and text, you can start to improve your EdgeRank by getting interaction from your fans using them. Videos are not required; they are not liked by the algorithm as much as images or text and are usually not as effective from a marketing perspective as links. That’s not true for some, but most get more bang for their buck from links. Links, the veggies, are least loved and most useful, so they have their place in the diet as well.
Your strategy should be one that builds up “EdgeRank love” through images and text. Once enough of this love is accumulated, you slide in your links or videos. One common schedule is to post 2-4 images or text for every link or video you posts. If your page is very popular and your content is highly-valued, you can increase the frequency of the links, but keep in mind that even the active and engaging pages have to use links sparingly (if at all).
One trap that pages often fall into is the addiction to likes, comments, and shares. Some would argue that posting only images is the best way to go because even though they aren’t necessarily getting specific messages across, they’re able to keep the brand at the top of the news feeds and therefore get more overall exposure. This is true to some extent, but just as a diet of chocolates and candies tastes good and keeps everyone happy in the short term, long term it can be unhealthy. Too many images makes it to where the links themselves get very little visibility. In essence, they are overpowered by the sweet sugary image mess of your Facebook page.
If you’re Audi, for example, you can get away with an image-only strategy. If you’re an Audi dealer, it just won’t work. Your brand isn’t strong enough as an Audi dealership to be able to get the benefit from a dessert-only strategy.