A new mantra of mine is “Social Media Sucks! It doesn’t work”. I don’t in fact mean that and I don’t in anyway believe that any business can afford to not be heavily promoting themselves in social media, however, I just think that the glory days of rushing into Social Media have well past and that a greater emphasis on return on investment and a questioning of how effective social media is at making sales etc is upon us. And with that premise I believe that actually building a social media marketing programme and measuring it is indeed much harder. Simply having a Facebook page and Twitter profile is not a social media strategy.
For example, let’s look at the myth of the Facebook page. It is not difficult to setup an interactive Facebook page for your business, with competitions, videos, latest news, polls and quizzes. So why would some businesses be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on having professional social media companies do this? Well the truth of the matter is that your Facebook page probably doesn’t work – despite all your best endeavours you are probably wasting the majority of your time (and money) working on your Facebook business page.
Unfortunately the answer lies in the Facebook EdgeRank Algorithm. EdgeRank is designed to ensure that you are getting the information on your wall which Facebook determines is the most interesting to you. In fact less than 2% of the fun, interactive content that you create on your Facebook fan page actually sees the light of day on your fans news feed because of the EdgeRank Algorithm!
The EdgeRank Algorithm determines which content shows in your news feed from the pages you are a fan of (or friends pages) based on a value given to the relationship between the creator of the content and you as the individual fan/friend, your interaction with the content (that is, the likes, comments, tags etc you give to the content of your fan pages or friends when it displays on your wall) and the length of time between when you actually do interact and when the content was posted. So, if one of your business page fans leaves a comment on say a video or photo you post within a few hours of your posting that content on your wall then your future content will have a higher EdgeRank value and will be more likely to appear in your fans “Top News” feed in the future. On the flip side if your fans simply ignore any content you post then the EdgeRank Algorithm will determine not to bother showing them your content at all in the future.
At least 90% of all fans of a Facebook fan page visit that page once when they like it and never ever return again!! In fact, they never ever see content from your again
By default “Top News” is always the content that Facebook users firstly see on their wall (unless they change the settings – of which only a very small percentage do). Users can change to see “Most Recent” content which theoretically would show a user a fire house of all content from their friends and fanned pages – but not so according to the a study by The Daily Beast. The EdgeRank Algortihm even influences which content is shown under the “Most Recent” feed as well. This means that the likelihood of your fans even seeing your content is more likely to be less than 1%!!!
So what does this mean for companies using Facebook to market and promote their products on Facebook or to interact with fans? Quite simply, it is clear that if you want your content to be seen you need a strategy on how you are going to get your users to regularly interact with your content therefore building up your EdgeRank Algorithm. If you can not buck the averages of 90% of your fans never returning to your page after their initial like or the content that you are so meticulously generating not even making it to your fans news feed then how can you justify the spend on such a channel? At Xebidy we have a method where content we generate in Facebook for our clients is systematically purposefully interacted with across the company – but can a small individual business guarantee the same processes and resources to do this? Are you wasting your time in Facebook? Now that would suck!!