In last week’s article, “3 Keys to Getting Your Business Recognized,” we discussed the importance of creating an online presence by using Likes, Comments, Shares, Tags and Check Ins on various social media sites. This week we’re looking at why you should use the features and how to use these features in more detail.
Note: We’re mainly focusing on Facebook features in this document, because it is one of the most widely used social media sites. However, most social media sites have similar features and you should look at using these on all sites.
Why use these features? It’s easy to assume that when you create a status update and push send that all of your followers will see the content. Unfortunately that’s not the case. Facebook uses a secret algorithm, commonly referred to as EdgeRank, to determine where your post shows up in each follower’s news feed. This means that only a fraction of your followers are actually seeing your status updates.
While the algorithm is a secret, Likes, Comments, Shares, Tags, and Check Ins can increase your EdgeRank and thus the number of people that see your post organically (those who follow you) and virally (friends of friends). Below is a look at the features and how they work:
• Likes and Comments
Likes and Comments are two of the most common ways of interacting with followers on social media sites. Typically Likes will help increase your EdgeRank, though Comments are thought to have more of an impact. In addition, when a follower Likes or Comments on your status update, there is a chance that their friends will see that they have interacted with the post thereby increasing your viral audience.
Shares are thought to have more weight when it comes to influencing your EdgeRank. Shares will show that your organic audience is interacting with your content which is great for EdgeRank, but they also have a greater chance of increasing your viral audience. When a follower decides to share a post they can choose to share it on their timeline, on a friend’s timeline, in a group, or on page. With either option, the audience of your post grows as it is then broadcast to that option’s followers.
Tags are also thought to carry a lot of weight when it comes to determining EdgeRank. To Tag someone in a post or within your comments, you simply place the @ symbol in front of their username. Often if you start typing a name, Facebook will provide a drop down of choices for you to select. Tagging a person or a business is a great way to ensure that they will see the post as it sends them a notification that they’ve been tagged. This helps to increase the organic views of a post. In addition, depending on whom you tag and their personal settings, it can also show up in their newsfeed letting their followers know they’ve been tagged. This helps to increase your viral audience. It’s common for people to tag pictures, but know that you can tag people in any post update or comments.
• Check In: This feature is used primarily through mobile phones and is often overlooked. Using the GPS on their phone, Facebook allows users to Check In to a business that is near them. In order for this to work, make sure your Facebook Page is up to date with your address. Check-Ins are great for increasing your viral audience as it shares with the followers of the person checking in that they were at that location. It can also have an impact on organic audience, especially if people Comment or Like the Check In. When checking in your clients can also Tag or even add pictures in addition to a status update and thus increase the impact of the Check In.
How do you get your clients to engage? As we discussed last week, you need to be proactive and start interacting with your follower’s posts. Here are a few specific things you can do to get your business recognized:
- When writing an update make sure you tell your followers to Like, Comment, or Share.
- Use the features as a way of engaging with followers. Ask them to express opinions based on Liking, Commenting, or Sharing on a post. Ex: Share this post if this item is on your wish list!
- Post signs in your business asking people to Check In or Tag your business in a post
- Have your staff encourage people to Check-In or Tag your business when they visit
- Actively ask people for content and if you can Tag them. Ex: If a customer gives you a glowing review in person. Ask them if you can post it and Tag them in that post.
- Run a promotion on Facebook (make sure that you follow Facebook Guidelines)