I had the opportunity to review a study by BlitzLocal titled “What We’ve Learned From 120 Billion Facebook Impressions.” The study took place over a six-month period, from June 2011 to December 2011. This column highlights some of the key findings in BlitzLocal’s report. My hope is that you can leverage this information as you plan to optimize your interactions.
Organic impressions are down. Organic impressions are down 33 percent because there is a constant overflow of content. The competition for content reduces the shelf life significantly. While Facebook advertising is a good way to engage consumers, its effectiveness has gone down due to aggressive advertising.
Can you manipulate EdgeRank? Keep in mind that Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm rewards pages in the newsfeed based on the number of interactions a page receives. An interaction can be defined as a summary of “likes,” posts, or comments that a page might have.
“Sale/buy/purchase” drop in engagement? Q4 2011 saw a drop in engagement. Perhaps this could be attributed to an increase in sales-related posts of 11 percent in October, 26 percent in November, and 13 percent in December.
How do you increase interaction? To increase interaction, brands need to post more often and engage their consumers in a two-way dialogue. More than 70 percent of the interaction occurs during the first hour that a post is made. Keep your efforts up by posting more often and monitoring right after you post (versus posting and going to bed.) A post with a “question” tends to drive increased interaction.
Is advertising worth it? Yes, but plan it out – your results will improve. Advertising can drive engagement and engagement is not selling. You need to grab consumers’ attention, keep them engaged, and then ask for the sale. Your engagement rate has the potential to go from 21 percent to 43 percent by knowing what to say, when to say it, and of course, how to say it on Facebook. The best way to engage your consumers is to plan your engagement over two to three posts.
Should you collect social data? Brands have a significant opportunity to leverage social. The key to success is understanding how much of the social data is public, how to collect the data without alienating the consumer, and how to quickly and effectively use the data that is collected.
Does post length matter? Longer posts tend to perform poorly. The ideal interaction being driven by posts is between 100 to 119 characters. Questions tend to drive interaction up by 10 to 20 percent.
Track your CTRs. CTRs are big drivers of engagement for information and entertainment. Healthcare and financial service companies have done little to engage with their consumers – thus they have the least amount of click-throughs. Content is the key driver of engagement.
Year after year, the amount of content available on Facebook has risen dramatically. More brands are beginning to leverage this channel while the number of consumers on Facebook continues to grow. It is going to get harder for brands to attentively engage consumers. The biggest opportunity for brands is to optimize their interactions with their consumers.
If you post high-quality content, more people will interact and your shelf life will increase. Status updates are the easiest, photos and videos can be more effective, and links to other pages can engage if not done as often. The resulting engagement was worth the click. If the user is satisfied, they will come back.
Successful brands need to focus on increasing interaction effectiveness with their consumer base. Get started by increasing the frequency of exposure, paying close attention to what is being discussed, and incorporate targeted advertising.
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