In an earlier blog about being a Facebook rock star, we talked about the number-one guideline for attracting and keeping an enthusiastic audience: Give ’em what they want. People on the Internet look for quality content that’s unique (in your own words), authentic (from your own voice), and valuable (offering your expertise). And when they find something that grabs them, they often love to share what they’ve discovered. It takes thoughtful planning and great execution, but if you excite, delight, or ignite someone with your story, you’ll find that the hard work you put into your content pays off big time in reach and engagement.
However, just as in life outside the News Feed, it’s not always about what you say — it’s how you say it. And to borrow another well-worn adage, it’s better to show than tell. A picture says a thousand words … okay, sorry, no more truisms for this article, we promise. But the numbers don’t lie, and they’re telling us that the Internet may have changed almost everything, but it didn’t change the fact that we as a species are crazy about imagery.
Not only do people have a soft spot for great visuals, but it turns out that Facebook has one as well. You may already know that the continuous stream of posts that appear in your Facebook News Feed doesn’t operate at random. It doesn’t really even represent the realtime activity of all the people in your network who are online at the same time you are. Facebook uses a highly complex algorithm (Facebook claims it’s now influenced by over 100,000 variables) to put content in your feed that it thinks you want to see. The folks at Facebook have learned that eye-catching posts typically get more attention and engagement; therefore, Facebook’s algorithm homes in on posts containing video or photo, and gives those posts a ranking boost. This means more people in your network are likely to see these posts, and they will appear higher in your friends’ News Feeds.
Before you get to eye-candying your social media strategy, take advantage of these tips and tricks for optimizing your photo and video-based posts.
- – Link to content on your site and use Facebook’s native publishing tools to easily add teasers and photos. By connecting Facebook and blog posts, you open up avenues for several different conversations across different platforms. If your blog posts are informative in some way, why not revisit them on occasion?
- – Regarding images, Benny Luo of NewMediaRockstars.com has this advice: “When promoting any links on Facebook that link out of their site, instead of just pasting the link, upload a large and interesting picture that relates to the link you are promoting first, and then paste the link manually as a caption.” The same technique can be applied to videos.
- – When you have the option, definitely share a video. Facebook’s video autoplay function has been proven to drive more engagement with video posts. Some experts say that users are more likely to click on video links than any other kind, and Facebook clearly wants to leverage videos’ inherent appeal to social media consumers. These days, you can use an iPhone or your laptop to record a simple how-to video or a fun vlog update.
Are you still stymied by social media, and need help leveraging it for your business or project? Blink;Tech’s social media strategists are here to help. Contact us to talk about making social go to work for you.