While we regularly see “Facebook is going to start charging for posts” posts on the most popular social media platform, this has only proven true for businesses, not for individual users. It makes sense: Facebook has become a huge advertising platform that bases its revenue stream on reaching a wide audience. Facebook will probably never charge users any type of fee because it has a ready-made audience for advertising with all the “free” users!
However, businesses are finding it more and more difficult and expensive to get messages out on Facebook. In the old days, everyone signed up for Facebook and you simply promoted your product to a fan base that you worked hard to grow. Now, algorithm changes have made it harder to get your status updates into the feeds of your fans, much less to others who might “like” your brand.
While Google has been less than transparent about the qualities it looks for in a “good” webpage for organic search rankings, Facebook is even harder to decipher. Experts have given five good guidelines to follow when you are considering using Facebook or any social media to promote your business or brand. These tips include:
- Focus on engagement. Engagement is different than a call to action. Engagement analysis includes finding out why fans like content, not just encouraging them to do so.
- Avoid memes. Memes are a no-no in this context, although users love posting them. Memes have a certain social quality but apparently can lower your value as an advertiser in Facebook’s eyes.
- Analyze outbound links. It is very important to look at the quality and type of outbound links you are attracting. Good outbound links bolster Facebook’s confidence in your posts and may help them appear more advantageously in the News Feed.
- Increase frequency of posts. Posting more often is not the only answer to the Facebook dilemma but it is one piece of the puzzle. You cannot rank if you do not post.
- Test different times of day for different content. Some content is more likely to be seen or interacted with at certain times of the day. The only way to learn this is to try it.
While following these guidelines, you may not see instant jumps in Facebook activity. However, with the help of a good SEO program, you should eventually be able to conquer the use of social media to promote your brand or business.