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July 12, 2012

If You’re Not Seen, Are You Not Heard?

How often have you heard “you need to be on Facebook”? With Facebook being the largest social networking site in the world, won’t you miss out on a lot of opportunities to connect with people if you aren’t on it? Definitely, yes. But, connecting with people on Facebook may take a lot more work than you think.

Facebook came up with an algorithm called EdgeRank, which determines what people will see in their newsfeeds. Basically, the most important thing to note here is that only about 16-17% of your fans will typically see what you post. The lack of good response from your audience regarding your updates will mean that your posts will not be seen by most people.

Yes, even if you have 500 people who have “liked” your page, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your updates will appear in their newsfeeds. And if your updates aren’t appearing in your audience’s newsfeeds, then how will you engage and connect with your audience?

Maybe those who are truly loyal to you will be willing to go the extra mile to visit your page regularly and check your updates. Most people aren’t likely to do this – if they don’t see you on their newsfeeds, then they assume you aren’t posting, and they forget about your brand.

When you aren’t seen, then you aren’t heard. Your great content misses out on a lot of opportunity to engage your viewers, simply because no one’s seeing them.

So what do you do?

The key here is not to focus on the number of likes you have or the number of likes your page has. People find it very easy to simply click the Like button on Facebook, but it doesn’t mean that they’re really interested about what you’re posting.

What you need to do is to compel these people to interact with you… to like your posts, comment on them, interact with other fans, and share the content you put up on their newsfeeds. The more people who do this, the more likely that your updates will appear in your audience’s newsfeeds, since Facebook’s EdgeRank will consider your post “worthy” of being shared. The algorithm is based on affinity, weight and time decay. The more a fan interacts with your page, the more a user engages with your brand, the freshness of your content… all of these play a factor in helping people see your posts.

So how do you ensure that your posts are seen and that your personal brand is heard on Facebook? Here are some tips:

1. Update Regularly

Facebook likes regular content that’s fresh and new. Try to update around once a day or at least three times a week. If you’re going to be away for sometime, you can use an app where you can schedule posts on Facebook (like Hootsuite).

2. Time Your Posts

There are certain times where your posts seem to get the most attention from your audience. Tuesday and Thursday updates, for example, seem to get more attention than posts on other days of the week. Weekend posts also get great engagement, probably because people are at home, relaxing, surfing the net and checking their social media accounts.

3. Tell Them What to Do

Sometimes, your audience needs a bit of a nudge before they do what you want them to do. So you can include something like, “Click Like if you agree!” or “What do you think? Tell us in the comments.” This puts a call to action on your updates, which some people will find themselves compelled to respond to.

4. Post Photos and Videos

Facebook also places a lot of importance in photo and video posts on your page, so make sure to regularly post a nice photo or video related to your brand.

5. Ask Engaging Questions That Come Across Almost Like a Contest

Nothing gets people buzzing more than a little fun competition and a chance to share with each other! So use this to your advantage to help get more viewers and conversation/engagement happening on any of your social networks.

Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks | a word of mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks “work” and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz, she facilitates online visibility services and word-of-mouth coaching and workshops – taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy,