I had the pleasure of presenting on the topic of Ramping Up Your Facebook Engagement to a group of NYC nonprofit organizations last week, convened by my colleagues Michelle Perrault and Seth Giammanco at Minds On Design Lab. Seth and Michelle took the time to ask attendees what they wanted to get out of the session, which really helped to customize the presentation and make sure it was appropriate for all levels of expertise. The presentation covered understanding Facebook post engagement, matching goals to engagement, practices for designing Facebook Page engagement, practical ideas for creating engagement on the Page based on recent research, and measuring engagement and ROE.
What I love most is learning from the other attendees. I asked the attendees to share what they are doing to create Facebook engagement successfully, and heard about some great practices. Planned Parenthood has recently been able to move its Facebook fans to successful defend the organization against legislative attacks. MASA Israel has found that including a media image (photo or vidoe) with every wall post update increase wall post engagement. MASA Israel has also developed a successful Facebook application that streamlines the program enrollment decision-making process. The Partnership at Drugfree.org held a successful Facebook wall chat, most recently with the actress Melissa Gilbert.
The Importance of the Newsfeed
Most fans never visit a Page, but instead rely on the Page’s content to show up in their newsfeeds. A recent ComScore study reports that “Facebook users are 40-150 times more likely to consume branded content in the newsfeed than to visit the Fan Page itself.” However, the problem is that not all content will show up in the Top News section of the newsfeed, which is the default newsfeed setting. Facebook uses an algorithm called “EdgeRank” that dictates which content will be featured prominently in an individual’s newsfeed. EdgeRank takes into account three factors: how recent was the content published (on a site, on a Facebook Page), how much interaction did the piece of content create, and how regularly the individual interacts with the organization or brand. Thus, if an organization publishes a video to its Page, and no one Likes or comments on it, the video may never show up in the Top News newsfeed of someone’s wall. However, if an individual often Likes, shares, or comments on that organization’s content, there is a higher likelihood that the video will show up as part of the Top News.
Setting Goals is important
A recent Idealware study on the use of Facebook reveals that nonprofit organizations that set Facebook goals felt that goal-setting correlated with Facebook Success. In particular, organizations saw success correlated to the Facebook ofa goals of driving constituents to action and attracting particular kinds of constituents. A recent Hubspot report of Facebook brand pages reveals that businesses with 501-1,000 Facebook fans saw 3.5 times the amount of website traffic than Pages with less than 25 fans.
Designing Facebook Engagement
Creating Facebook Page engagement is challenging, which is why it is so important to help your fans engage through good Page design. There are four elements to good Facebook Page design: creating a welcoming portal with a custom welcome Page, identifying what the main conversation within the Page will be about, offering unique content to your Fans (found only on Facebook), and creating a content calendar. In addition, you can design your calls to action for a higher return on engagement, as shown by this study by the PR firm 22Squared.
The slide deck offers some good practices for creating more engagement, taken from a variety of sources. Ideas include posting five days a week, what time of day to post and which days of the week garner the highest engagement.
Measuring Facebook Engagement
The last section of the presentation covers thinking about how to measure Facebook engagement, including mapping goals to actions and deeper benchmarking goals. The slide (below) from the presentation demonstrates this approach to Facebook measurement and quantifying ROE.
How are you using Facebook to create engagement?