Yesterday, I posted my overview from the Facebook Marketing Conference session on Insights for Facebook. Facebook pointed out that only about 16% of our friends, subscribers, and Fans will see each post. That makes it hard for businesses using Facebook hoping to amplify their online message and grow their business. But, there is a solution that doesn’t involve spending huge amounts on Facebook advertising — creating engagement.
But, it’s not just a simple matter of creating engagement
You have to understand HOW to create engagement. And, the easiest way to do that is to create sharable social media content.
Let’s look at an example from the presentation on Wednesday.
A video uploaded to a Facebook business page shows up 370,000 times in the news feed. 130,000 people view the video (a little over 35%, which is very good). Of that number 13,000 shared the video post (10%). And the shares ultimately reached 638,000 folks — and amplification of almost 2X as many people as viewed the video on the Facebook business page with an average of 49 views for each time the social media content was shared.
See the value of creating sharable social media content. But, the value doesn’t stop there.
Not only do you get a 2X lift, you’ve de-commercialized the message because it now comes through friends rather than the brand. De-commercialization makes the message more believable and increases the likelihood someone will share the message.
So, now let’s look at the 638,000 people who viewed the shared message. If only 10% share the video, which is the same as the original share, that’s 63,000 shares. Again amplifying by 49 views for each share — your social media content now reached OVER 3 MILLION PEOPLE. And, the message doesn’t die there — it keeps getting shared and each share amplifies the message.
What makes social media content sharable?
In a word — VALUE.
When viewers find your content valuable — they’ll share it (or engage with it in other ways that increase its appearance on news feeds).
So, what social media content creates value to your Fans?
That answer is a little trickier because it depends on who your Fans are, who you are, and fit with your brand.
Providing coupons, exclusive content, or specials through your Facebook business page provides value to most visitors, although JC Penney found you can overdo the discounting and hurt your brand.
Telling stories is a great type of social media content that has wings that speed it through social networks. Look at the Dove story of real women.
Recognizing the efforts of your fans. Engagement is a two-way conversation, so make fans feel special when they comment, like, or share your message. This builds a community where everyone feels they have a stake in your success and wants to help you.
But, probably the best way to create sharable social media content is to encourage user-generated content. Ask fans to post pictures using your brand. Have fans create a video about how much they like your brand. Look at the lift Pepsi got a few years ago when they dedicated the money they would have spent on Super Bowl ads to charity. The beauty of the program was they let fans suggest worthy projects and vote where the money would go.
So, now the secret to creating sharable social media content is decoded. Go out and practice these techniques for creating sharable social media content and let me know how it worked for you. Post your examples on our Facebook wall (and let me know what your “people talking about this” metric looks like) and I’ll make a donation to your favorite charity for the winning example. Deadline is May 1, 2012.