Crafting Effective Facebook Status Updates

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When you post a status update on your Facebook page by entering a message in the “What’s on Your Mind?” feature and click the Share button, your fans and friends of your fans may potentially receive a copy of that message in their News Feed along with a thumbnail image that identifies you as the sender.

This is great for your branding objectives and a form of free advertising. It means your brand is instantly in front of your customers and prospects, free of charge. Putting this into perspective, if you have 200 fans and craft a status update for your customers just 200 days a year, you could potentially receive hundreds of thousands or even millions of impressions on Facebook free of charge, reminding your existing customers and prospects that you are in business and providing them with incentives to return to your Page.

If, just once a year, each of your customers repost just one of your status messages to their own Facebook walls, you may be exposed to hundreds of thousands new customers without having to pay a penny. It doesn’t get much better than that!.

However, the truth is, unless you use the right tactics and the right strategy, only a tiny fraction number of your fans will see your status updates, due to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm.

Facebook EdgeRank

EdgeRank is the algorithm used by Facebook to determine where and what posts appear in a particular user’s News Feed. Studies have revealed that as many as 96% of fans do not return to a Facebook Page after the initial engagment. Conseqently, the News Feed is the only way you are able to engage with a particular user.

The algorithm is used to limit the number of posts in a user’s News Feed in order to reduce the amount of “clutter” displayed to them. In fact, Facebook claims that only 10% of status updates published by brands are shown on the News Feed of fans. Other sources claim the figure is much lower – as low as 1%.

So, what status updates get displayed to the user?

Facebook wants users to only see stories that are most relevant, interesting and important to them in their News Feed. If you have 10,000 fans but none of those fans are actively engaging with the content on your Facebook page or the status updates you are sending out, then your EdgeRank scores will be extremely low for each user.

This means that your status updates won’t be getting into the News Feed of your fans because Facebook has deemed your page not interesting enough to your fans based on their behavior. You can learn more about Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm here.

You cannot blindly post status updates in the hope that your target audience will like them. You need to share information that is relevant and would be perceived as “interesting” by your target audience that they would want to engage with it.

Creating Engaging Status Updates

Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm means that they are more inclined to forward messages to users from Pages where they:

  • regularly engage with status updates from the Page by liking, commenting and sharing the post.
  • answer questions.
  • sometimes repost the status updates to their walls.
  • occasionally visit the Page.
  • spend time on the Page.
  • and more…

Spam & Negative Feedback

To Facebook, the actions described above reflect a particular fan’s interest in receiving your status updates. If the status updates you are creating cause your fans to engage in any of the above activities, then Facebook will be more inclined to send them your messages.

If there is no engagement whatsoever, it means your fans are, unfortunately, viewing your messages as spam. Watch out for unlikes after posting status updates, as that could mean that your messages are not resonating with your fans, or that your fans are not interested in you or your business.

It is significant to note that whenever a status update appears in a fan’s News Feed, the user has the option of clicking on the X in the upper right corner of the posts. Clicking on the X brings up a menu with multiple, negative feedback choices:

  1. the user can hide some or all posts,
  2. the user can unlike the page that sent the post,
  3. the user can mark the post as spam.

Having a few people unlike your Page or hide your posts is normal because you cannot please everybody. However, if you are getting a lot of negativity with a lot of users hiding your messages, marking them as spam or unliking your Page, it means you have not correctly targeted your fans. The more precisely you target your fans, the less negatively your messages will be received.

The more positively a particular fan interacts with your Page, the more messages that fan will see. For example, if a fan reposts one of your status messages instead of simply liking it, that will indicate a strong interest in your Page, your brand and your message. That fan will see more of your status updates in their News Feed.

Impressions & Feedback

Facebook provides information on how well your status updates have been doing. This information is in the form of “5409 impressions 2.45% Feedback. The higher the Feedback percentage, the better. If you get less than 1% feedback, Facebook will stop displaying your messages to your fans. If users do not respond to your messages at least once every three weeks, then new messages from you will not get into their feeds.

Creating Better Status Updates

If there’s one thing that will determine your success with Facebook marketing in particular, it is your ability to understand your target audience. If you know exactly what is really important to them, what interests them, what their challenges and problems are, what their hopes and aspirations are, then you’ll know how to engage with them in ways they’ll listen to and take action on.

When you understand your clients, you know:

  • What type of messages will resonate with them.
  • What will motivate potential clients to read status updates from you.
  • How to communicate with your target audience (potential clients) in language that will resonate with them.
  • The simplest and most effective way to build this deep level of understanding of your target audience is to develop one or more target client personas.

Understanding Facebook Targeting Options

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