If you aren’t sharing your content on Facebook, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. Why? Because Facebook has over one billion active users!
Now, by no means are you going to be able to reach one billion users… or even 1% of them. But the beautiful part is, if you reach even .01% of the total user base, that’s still a huge number.
So, how do you increase your odds of grabbing the attention of those one billion users? Well, you need to write great status updates. Here’s how you can do so:
Be short and to the point
Unless you are writing a personal rant, people don’t prefer to read long status updates.
The graph shows that people prefer status updates that are around 225 characters versus ones that are longer or shorter. One of the main reasons that people don’t prefer status updates that are too long is that over 33% of Facebook users are viewing it through a mobile device. Small screens of mobile devices make it more difficult to read long status updates.
You also don’t want to create status updates that are too short as you can’t provide any real insights in a short status update. When writing them, keep the fluff to a minimum because it’s already hard enough to fit in a ton of useful tips and data in 225 characters. For this reason, I recommend that you only try to prove one point or provide one tip within each status update.
Don’t forget the face in Facebook
The one thing that you may have forgotten about Facebook is that it was created so that you can keep tabs on your friends and family… especially the ones that don’t live right next door to you.
So, what kind of status updates do your friends and family want to see? I surveyed 1291 Facebook users, and here’s the feedback I received:
- Your life – your friends and fans are the ones following you. So they want to know more things about your life and not just updates containing text. They ideally want to be able to see what you are personally experiencing.
- Advice – people want to continually learn more. So, the more advice you can give them, the better.
- Experiences – what are you doing, where do you hang out, and where have you been? People want to see check-ins and pictures of places you go to on a regular basis or are visiting.
- Entertainment – who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh? If you have a funny story, joke or anything that can help people pass time, add it to Facebook.
- News – if there is anything news worthy, feel free to share it. It doesn’t have to be related just to things like the world or politics… it could also be about things like a sports event such as the Superbowl.
To further back up this data, we analyzed 682 status updates and noticed that the ones that were about your life contained 247% more comments than the ones that weren’t about your personal life.
This is important because Facebook has an algorithm similar to Google’s. Facebook’s algorithm is called Edgerank, and it looks at how fast a status update obtains new likes, shares, and comments. The more likes, shares, and comments it gets in a short period of time, the more people will see it.
Although Edgerank sounds simple, the algorithm is much more complex. For example, comments have more weight than likes as it is easier to click the Like button than it is to write a comment. And it doesn’t stop there… if a family member likes or comments on your status, it holds more value than if an acquaintance comments.
So your goal should be to create updates that get shares, likes, and comments.
Where’s your value?
As I mentioned above, people are your fans and friends because they want to know more about you. But it doesn’t mean it should stop there. The more value you can provide to your users, the better off you are.
When we analyzed the 682 status updates, we also noticed that status updates that contain advice and teach you something new are shared 522% more frequently than status updates that aren’t advice related. Again, this is important because Facebook values shares more than likes within their Edgerank algorithm.
Here are examples of status updates that provide value:
- Share content – link to interesting articles that you find on the web. For example, the Facebook post of “what does 200 calories look like” received 4215 likes, 6032 shares, and 4003 comments.
- Quotes – people love quotes. I try to share a new quote on Facebook each day. They get anywhere from 50 to 150 likes. I’ve posted quotes that have generate over 50 shares as well. For example, my quote “done is better than perfect” received 107 likes.
- Stats and data – if you can turn stats and data into a visual format, you’ll get a ton of likes, shares, and comments. Kimberly Snyder does a good job of this on her fan page, where she recently showed how a cup of lettuce gives you your daily value of vitamin A. That status update received 522 likes, 143 shares, and 36 comments.
People forget to like status updates that contain links
One way to drive traffic to your website from Facebook is to share content from your blog on Facebook. By sharing your content via status updates, you’ll be able to drive a decent amount of visitors to your site.
All you have to do is to take your latest blog post URL and paste it into the status update box.
What you’ll notice is that status updates that contain links always contain less likes, shares, and comments compared to other forms of status updates. It’s not because people don’t enjoy reading your content; it’s because they are clicking the link and heading off to your website. Once they do that, people forget to go back to Facebook and hit the like or share button. That causes the Edgerank algorithm to show that status update less often.
One way to combat this is to add Facebook Like buttons to your blog posts. So, when a Facebook user finishes reading your content, he/she can just click the Like button to share it.
The second way to boost your Edgerank is to replace your blog commenting system with Facebook’s. So, when someone leaves a comment on your blog, it syncs up with your status update, which helps boost the number of comments you are getting per update. Comments hold more value than likes, so this should help your content spread more on Facebook. The sad part about this is that Facebook comments are in iframes, so search engines won’t be able to index the comments on your blog. The pay off is that you will end up getting more social traffic.
As you can see on Quick Sprout, I’ve added Like buttons on all my blog posts, but I haven’t replaced my commenting system with Facebook’s as comments make up over 2/3 of the content on Quick Sprout… so I would probably see a decrease in search traffic if I implemented the Facebook commenting system.
To maximize how much traffic your status updates drive, you’ll want to make sure that at least 2/3 of your updates don’t contain links. Mix them up with quotes, personal stories, pictures, and other postings that can help boost your Edgerank. If you continually post links and nothing else, very few people on Facebook will see your status updates since posts with links tend to get less likes, comments, and shares.
Timing is everything
If you post a status update when none of your friends or fans are online, your post won’t get any love. No one will see it, and it won’t get any likes. Would you like to know what the ideal time to post on Facebook is?
Saturday is the most popular day to post on Facebook. And more specifically, noon EST is the most popular time to post updates. So, you should ideally post every Saturday at noon EST.
If you also post too frequently on your profile or fan page, people won’t read all the posts. The ideal frequency to post is every other day.
The simplest way to maximize your Facebook exposure is to post on it every other day at noon EST.
If you follow everything above, you’ll start noticing that you get more Facebook traffic and friends. Your updates will spread, more people will learn about you and your company, and your traffic will increase.
Do you know of any other ways to boost your Facebook traffic?