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Taking Advantage of Facebook's Story Bump - 10/8/2013 -

Here's some step-by-step help on how to respond to the Facebook news feed changes.

By Andrea Vahl

Have you figured out how Facebookís Story Bump can help your content remain top-of-mind with your organizationís Facebook fans?

First, letís define what Story Bump is. Facebook announced that it tweaked its algorithm known as EdgeRank to allow stories that are getting more engagement (more likes, comments, and shares) to be bumped up in the news feed.

The change is called Story Bumping, and it has already rolled out to 99 percent of desktop users and is still being tweaked for mobile users. The Story Bump shows you posts you may not have seen when they were first published.

For example, say you log into Facebook and scroll through your news feed to view 50 posts. The post you miss at position 51 continues to get lots of likes, comments, and shares. Four hours later, you check Facebook and that post is at the top of your news feed, even though itís four hours old. Stories can get bumped up higher depending on several factors.

The Story Bump is good news for Facebook marketers for several reasons. In tests conducted by Facebook, there was an 8 percent increase in likes, comments, and shares on stories posted by pages.

The other good news Facebook revealed is that itís going to be more transparent about changes and post them on the Facebook for Business News area. Notice thereís a category tag for posts about the news feed, so bookmark this site.

Letís dive into the basics of the Facebook news feed and learn more about how to take advantage of the Story Bump with these four tips:

1. Not everyone sees every post in their news feed. Facebook states the average person has the potential to see more than 1,500 posts every day. Facebook wants to help users see the most interesting things.

Facebook accomplishes this by watching your behavior and then showing you more of the things it thinks you want to see. Here are some things that affect the Facebook algorithm:

  • How often you interact with the friend, page, or individual who posted.
  • The number of likes, shares, and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular.
  • How much youíve interacted with this type of post in the past.
  • Whether you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post.

To make sure you see posts from certain people or pages, create a Facebook Interest List. Just like on Twitter, people create lists to keep track of the people and organizations they find most interesting on Facebook.

You should also encourage your fans to create interest lists that include your organizationís page. They get notifications about your page by clicking on the Liked button under the right side of your cover photo and selecting Get Notifications. This is where users can add the page to their interest lists. Itís important to encourage your fans to create interest lists or get notifications from your page.

Facebook page posts also seem to have disappeared from the Facebook ticker. Iím not sure how many people interact with posts using the ticker and itís going away with the updated news feed rolling out soon.

2. Story bumping helps the shelf life of your posts. A recent study by Wisemetrics showed that it only takes two-and-a-half hours for a post to get 75 percent of its total impressions and less than two hours to get 75 percent of its maximum reach. So you have a very short window of time to get engagement.

Therefore, with Story Bumping, your story jumps back up in the news feed if it gets good engagement. Without Story Bumping, your post gets 75 percent of its reach in less than two hours.

3. Engagement continues to be key. By now everyone is tired of the "E word,Ē but itís more important than ever. How do you increase your Facebook engagement? Be remarkable. Be interesting. Donít be boring.

The great thing about the new Facebook Insights is it shows you exactly which posts are the most engaging, so you can model those types of posts more often.

To get to the engagement rate on each post, go to Insights, select Posts, and then choose Engagement Rate from the drop-down menu. Be sure to look at the engagement rate on each of your posts. The best thing about this statistic is that it factors in how many people actually saw your post, so you get a true measure of engagement. Watch your most interesting posts and analyze what worked.

4. Facebook page post ads provide an extra boost. You can be very effective on Facebook without spending money by focusing on engagement, but you can go farther by spending a little money from time to time.

To take advantage of the Story Bump, advertise your individual posts so they get more engagement through the ad. This boosts the bump the post receives organically.

The Boost Post option has a very wide target if you select "People who like your page and their friends,Ē which may include a lot of people who have no interest in your Facebook page. If you select "People you choose through targetingĒ option, you can only target people by location, age, gender, and language ó not by keyword interests, which again may include a lot of people not interested in your Facebook page.

However, do not use the Boost Post option for re-engaging your audience. The better way to get more engagement on a post is to narrow your targeting by using the Facebook ads interface and selecting Promote Page Posts.

Select Promote Page Posts, then choose the post you want to promote in the drop-down menu.

Now in the Targeting section, you can choose to advertise your post to only your own fans or use the Precise Interests area to target the post to people who would be more inclined to like your page and interact with your post. Choose to advertise to your own fans to re-engage your audience.

The Facebook ads interface also allows you to precisely control your budget and get more for your money. As with any money you spend on marketing, track your results and do your testing. To really go for more engagement, only advertise posts that are interesting and already getting some engagement organically so you know they interest others.

The Story Bump isnít the answer to all of the frustration around appearing in the Facebook news feed, but it does help pages get seen more often.Your best bet on Facebook or with any social site is to be a source of information thatís so valuable to your readers that they do whatever they can to seek you out.

Andrea Vahl is co-author of "Facebook Marketing All-in-One for DummiesĒ and also uses her improv comedy skills to blog as Grandma Mary, Social Media Edutainer.


 

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