Few platforms out there have evolved to the degree Facebook has. Facebook began with simple social network features, but the past couple years have brought us Facebook Pages, Deals, Places, the Newsfeed and other developments. With each of these additions, the right question of how does this affect us as marketers has been raised, but no other feature is more important to a brand on Facebook than the Newsfeed.
The Facebook Marketer's Ace in the Hole
The ability to create dynamic tabs using iframes and the new option to provide Groupon-like deals to Facebook users cannot be overlooked, but statistically speaking, engagement with consumers on a brand's Facebook Page stops after a consumer "Likes" the Page. It's their first and last visit to the Page, so an ecommerce tab or exclusive app doesn't do the brand much good if it stands on its own.
The posts from a brand that display on a user's Newsfeed drive everything once a user "Likes" the Page as they offer a link back to a consumer once they leave the Page. It gives the brand a presence in a user's Facebook life even thought they never come back to the Page. Plus, it can be used to support other Facebook efforts by driving to an ecommerce tab, exclusive in-store event or some other promotion.
Don't Overlook the Wall Content
The issue that arises is the wide range of choices available to marketers on Facebook. There are a lot of flashy options like Page tabs out there, but without the content from the brand's posts to support them, they do very little for the brand.
There's a little more pressure on the posts than simply supporting other Facebook efforts. They have to make it to the Newsfeed before they can do the brand any good. Users who have "Liked" a brand Page need to interact with the content on an ongoing basis. Otherwise, Facebook's algorithm recognizes that the content isn't relevant, which leads to it being removed from the "Top News" section of a user's Newsfeed, which proves how important it is to know your audience, know your brand and know the type of content that will deliver value to your Page's Likers to keep them engaged and interacting.
Leveraging the Newsfeed
Mastering the Newsfeed is an essential piece to laying a sturdy foundation on Facebook, and how to best use the Newsfeed will differ by brand. Here are a few suggestions to do just that:
- Post Regularly: Start with posting once per day, and see how the conversation goes. If you receive lots of feedback and your audience seems engaged, post more. Share when you have something to share, not for the sake of sharing.
- Time Test: Schedule posts for different times, and monitor how they perform next to each other. Eventually, you'll be able to identify certain times that work best for posting.
- Encourage Interaction: Include a call-to-action in the posts by asking questions, requesting content or soliciting feedback. Don't speak to people. Talk with them and create a two-way dialogue.
- Provide Value: Know the audience and what content your brand can offer that will provide value. Teach them something, entertain them and give them something only your brand can provide to keep them interacting.
- Spice Up the Content Types: Balance the type of content you're sharing by peppering in photos, videos, polls and text. Stand out on the Newsfeed by diversifying the content types.