On Facebook, not all fans are created equal. Certain people have a little more influence than others — when they recommend a brand’s page or product, their friends tend to join in. A study by social media solutions firm Wildfire Interactive (recently acquired by Google) examines just how brands can optimize their Facebook pages to promote more sharing and gain the eye of influential users.
Wildfire tracked 10,000 social media campaigns on its platform, placing users into three categories:
- Joiners, 83 percent
- Sharers, 15.4 percent
- Advocates, 1.5 percent
Joiners are simply users who like a page but don’t interact much. Sharers are more eager to repost content from a brand’s Facebook page (and Twitter), but advocates are the ones who can get their friends to like pages and, in some cases, to buy products. Wildfire found that the highest-performing 10 percent of social media campaigns had this kind of breakdown: joiners (61 percent), sharers (34.3 percent), and advocates (4.7 percent) — a sizable change in the number of sharers and influencers.
So how can your page gain more sharers and influencers? Wildfire offered some examples of best practices.
Pages should give users a variety of ways for fans to engage. Wildfire cited the work done by home builder Lennar, which has several ways for fans to interact with the page, including an application that analyzes the housing market by region, a sign-up form for users to subscribe to updates, a place where fans can respond to the question, “What do you love about Lennar?,” and resources catering to first-time home buyers. The page also has integration with Pinterest and Lennar’s website.
Wildfire’s study notes:
Give your users a variety of ways to engage with you and different things to do when they get to your social pages. This promotes time spent on the page, as well as return activity (depending on the setup of your offer, content, or promotion.) While there is no limit to the amount of applications a brand can run on a Facebook page, only the first 12 tabs are visible on a page. Use that space to create multiple, fun interaction points for your users, as Lennar does.
Page administrators can also utilize several ways to get out a call to action, such as through photos, videos, and questions. Instead of simply asking for likes or comments, ask users to be a little more involved, and you might be surprised. Wildfire also recommends proper, engaging use of photos. It’s well-known that eye-catching photos are often the easiest way to reach fans.
Pages should also keep with the times. Many brands are posting Olympic-related material right now, as the Olympic Games in London are the hot topic around the world. For holidays, pages can post relative content to show users that they’re paying attention. This also helps brands further connect with users through shared emotions.
In addition to mixing up the types of ways that users can engage, pages need to offer different campaigns, such as contests, giveaways, quizzes, and trivia. While contests and sweepstakes-type deals are great ways to get users to interact on the page, they don’t really lend themselves to sharing. Wildfire recommends campaigns that allow users to show their personality. Page administrators should also be knowledgeable enough to spread their campaign across multiple platforms — not just Facebook. There are potential fans and influencers out there on Twitter and YouTube, too.
Readers: How often do you share content from a brand’s Facebook page?
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.