The new Facebook layout is great for getting your content on more and more profiles. And I'm not talking about the dreaded, and unwarrantably controversial timeline!
I'm talking about the massive contraversy that had everyone saying they would leave Facebook about three months ago (forgotten already? So have they!).
I'm talking about the 'Top Stories' function.
This is a very basic, yet effective concept. Basically, and although Facebook won't give away the official algorithm, it's easy to work out how it's done.
On your Facebook News Feed, instead of getting constant updates from friends (most of which are pointless, annoying and inconsequential), Facebook decided to hold your top stories at the top, so you don't miss out on the important things your friends do on Facebook (and eventually leave).
So what deems a Top Story? Well my guess is (and like I say, know one knows the algorithm) that it is deemed by the amount of people who click on the video or photo to look at it, read the article (if that's what you've posted) or simply like, comment on or share it.
Have a look at your top stories - most of them are likely to have at least one person who has liked it on them. Also, chances are that the person who has liked it or commented on it is a close friend, whose profile you visit more regularly than others (or the original post came from someone in this category). Another part of the algorithm - but lets not get too technical!
So how does this help your business?
The answer to this is simple. If you want your business' posts to feature on as many peoples news feeds as possible, you want to get people to like or comment on your posts. This means they will go to the top of news feeds (in the Top Stories section) and therefore are more likely to be seen by others, who in turn will also engage in your post.
That of course will only work with existing followers - your post wont appear on a news feed of someone who doesn't follow you, unless one of your followers has shared it. I'll get on to sharing a bit further down.
The other advantage of encouraging people to like or comment on your post is that when someone does this, now it will appear as an activity on their wall and briefly on everyone's news feed (an activity is never likely to make it as a Top Story).
One company who is very clever at getting people to like or comment on their Facebook posts is Yahoo! Goals:
Yahoo! Goals asks very simply for you to like a post if you agree with it. This way it captures both audiences, if you agree you like it, if you don't you normally comment.
While Yahoo! Goals can engage with their followers easily as they havea toic people like to talk about on Facebook anyway, some companies may not find it as easy. This is when competitions help:
This is getting people to like their facebook page. Again, this kind of like will come up on someones profile
So what about sharing?
Well this is obviously the best way of getting content on news feeds and profiles, and the best way of gaining new followers. But what is the best way of getting content shared?
I would always say follow the SAS:
Short - keep it brief, according to a Study by Buddy Media, posts with 80 characters or less in length receive 27% higher engagement rates. Thanks to Mari Smith.com for that information.
Action - Have a call to action. Why is it important people share your post? Will they win something, will it make a difference, or simply is it funny?
Simple - Don't make it too complicated, your post is short, it's asking to be shared. Does it need anything else? If they're interested, they'll read it.
To get you started, here's a few strong posts that have either got a lot of shares or a lot f likes and comments. They all follow the SAS rule: