It’s been interesting to see the increase in social media ad spending as of late. A recent study based on a survey of over 500 online marketing and media professionals throughout the U.S. revealed that 64% of them planned to increase social media spending by as much as 10%!
With over 650 million daily active Facebook users as of March, 2013, which is a 26% increase year-over-year, this budget increase makes some sense.
However, while Facebook offers Insights to help monitor progress, there seems to be this sort of metric morass that has left many in the industry wondering about the effectiveness of social media ads – not to mention siphoning money into social media campaigns curtails other marketing channels.
Truth is, you don’t have to spend money to reach more people. Facebook’s EdgeRank, aka their News Feed algo, confirms that. You can increase your social media presence simply by sharing the right kind of text, photos and videos.
Here are a few ways you can reach more people on Facebook without spending a single dollar.
People spend the majority of their time now browsing through their News Feeds. EdgeRank is Facebooks way of determining if the content you share is worthy of being put on your friends’ News Feeds. Basically there are three key ingredients at work here: Affinity, Weight and Time.
- Affinity: a measurement of the relationship between the viewing user and the creator. The closer that relationship is, the higher the EdgeRank.
- Weight: a measurement of the type of post (text, photo(s), video) and how engaging it is. In addition, the more interactions the post has, the more weight it carries. Facebook pours over rich media like photos and videos because they have proven to keep visitors on site.
- Time: a measurement of freshness. Be consistent in your posting and time will ever be in your favor. EdgeRank says in with the new and out with the old.
Short & Sweet
If you can’t say it in 250 characters or less, you’re shooting yourself in the foot because your posts won’t get as much interactions. Think about it. Facebookers have a lot of posts to rifle through and only a limited amount of time before they get wrangled out of the digital world and have to resume real life.
Avoid venturing off on unrelated topics like politics and religion if they aren’t relevant to your audience. Nobody likes a lousy pitch. If it’s not up their alley, they’ll lose interest. Target your audience and appeal to them by throwing perfect strikes every chance you get.
CONsisTENT Is King
Developing and implementing a consistent posting strategy will keep people interested because they’ll be reminded of your brand and be able to get the information they need from you! I think of it like a TV show, when it’s being aired each and every week, more people are aware and participate. Between seasons however, when it’s not aired, is when people lose interest and go to your competition. You’ll reach more people and keep more tuned in by maintaining a consistent schedule.
Know Your Audience
You can learn a lot about your audience by analyzing your traffic. When does your site get the most visits? What times of day, what days of the week? Use this data to deduce when your audience is present and most active and schedule posts for those times. I went ice fishing once with a fish finder and it changed my whole experience. Your website, given that you have sufficient traffic to analyze, is your fish finder!
For those who toss and turn over the effectiveness of Facebook ads, consider these suggestions the next time you share a post. If you’re consistent, I believe you’ll see significant increases in your online presence on Facebook. When you don’t have to spend any money, you can expect a pretty good ROI! I can definitely see these suggestions working on other social media platforms too. Do you?
Image courtesy of Wiki Commons