Sunday, May 18, 2014

A facebook tip from Rebecca Lynn

Ana reposts a facebook tip from Rebecca Lynn, who gives amazing workshops in social media for authors.
I'm teaching my Social Media class over at YARWA right now and we had a conversation today about Edge Rank that I wanted to share with my chapter just as a free tip of the day for how to know if you're winning at EdgeRank or not. Ever since Facebook has changed their algorithms, everyone is worried that Facebook is trying to keep professional pages away from their fans. This is very much not true. Conversely, what they're trying to do is make sure that the people who engage with your page always (ALWAYS) see your posts. This does require that, if you have a professional page, you try to win at EdgeRank. This means you have to engage your fans.

After the algorithm switch, most big professional pages' Edge Ranks were averaging under 10%. This was an organic engagement percentage, based on the number of people who see and engage with the posts from the page. The chances are pretty good that your page is going to be over 10%, just because most of us probably have not paid for likes (which is why Facebook changed their algorithm.. they wanted to make sure that people who were paying for likes weren't able to use those inflated numbers to get marketing pull--basically, what happens when a big company tries to get marketing dollars based on their Facebook page, they used to be able to say, "we have 100,000 likes" and marketers would treat that like the TV numbers, "we have a reach of 1 million, meaning 1 million pairs of eyeballs would see it on their TV"... the problem was that many of these pages were paying for Facebook likes from click farms, which meant that they weren't actually getting 100K
eyeballs, so Facebook decided to change their algorithm so that you can now measure how many people actually see and engage with your page; this means that those people who were trying to get advertising dollars from having 100K Facebook likes now have to admit to those marketers that they're really only getting 2,000 eyeballs; so Facebook has set up their algorithm to measure how many people engage, and if you are consistently over 10%, you're going to keep going up in the "EdgeRank", which means that your organic reach will automatically go up as long as you continue to engage your fans). They want to reward people who are not paying for likes. Anything over 10% gets you automatically in the plus column. Anything over 20% is good. Anything over 50% is excellent. Obviously, we want to shoot for the highest percentage we can.

How do you know what your engagement percentage is?

Go to your Facebook professional page. There should be about a half-page that shows up automatically, as your Page Manager? If there isn't, then try going to the arrow on the right side and clicking directly in to your Pro page instead of going through your personal profile. At the top of the page, there's a bunch of buttons. Click on "See Insights". This will show you what your engagement percentage is. Well, it won't show you exactly, because we don't have access to Edge Rank. But you can calculate it yourself. Take the number under "Engagement" (on the right--this is the average number of engaged people for all your posts over the last week), divide it by your total number of likes. (I know... I promised there would be no math. I lied.) That's your engagement percentage. As long as you are over 10%, you are WINNING at EdgeRank. You are taking advantage of the engagement potential of the new Edge Rank. Make sure you are always over 10% (some people
will say over 5%) and you are going to keep winning at Edge Rank.

My engagement percentage for last week was... 56%. That's up from the week before, which was 52%. It may not always go up every week, but the more you can keep it up and keep it going up, the better. I don't think I've been below 40% since EdgeRank changed. Granted, I've never run "like" ads and I don't try to get likes from anywhere except the back matter of my books, because I only want people on there who really want to be there. But that doesn't have to be your strategy. As long as you don't drop below 10% for consistent weeks and weeks, you are going to keep getting more and more of your fans engaged. Facebook wants this to work for you. They want everyone who wants to see your stuff to see your stuff. But you definitely have to do the work to get them engaged.

Not sure how to do that? Ask a question. I asked a question about a fight scene yesterday. I got almost all of my fans engaged in the conversation in some way (89%). Either they read it (reach), they liked it (clicked), or they talked to me about it (commented). Only the last two count toward your engagement. So make sure that, every once in awhile, you put out a post with something like a question or something (that they can still count on) and then below that, remind your fans that if they want to keep seeing your stuff, it helps if they like, comment, and share. Not often. Maybe once a month. But it's worth saying, just as a general insight for your fans to know about any one of the professional pages they've liked.

A higher general percentage means that when I put out a post that's going to get less commenting (like "my book released today!" with a buy-link), I'm going to get upwards of 50% of my fans seeing it automatically. Plus, and this is the part that's really money, my fans are used to being regularly engaged in my brand. In the day of the Thank-You economy (in which we are fully in the throes today), fans want to talk to their brands. I think I posted about this the other day, but they've actually quantified the value of engaged fans, and we now know that an engaged fan is worth 10% more money over time (think of how much money an individual fan will spend with you over their lifetime, and add 10% to that) because engaged fans are 7 times more likely to recommend your work to their friends than an unengaged fan who likes your product (your books) equally as much.

Again, just things that are running through my mind because of the class. Public service announcement of the day. :)
Rebecca Lynn, President - Celtic Hearts Romance Writers and 


  1. An interesting post, Ana. I must admit I don't use my author page as much as I use my timeline, mainly because of FB 'showing' it to so few people. One thing I have noticed is that posts without links (e.g. to blogs or to Amazon) get more views. Seems that FB doesn't like links!
    Having said that, there was a campaign recently (which I 'signed')requesting FB to show our pages to more people, and since the beginning of May, my posts on my author page do seem to have been viewed by more people (about 8% of the total of followers of the page) instead of only about 2%.

  2. I just talked to someone on Twitter who said you get better engagement if you post links in the comment, rather than in the status.

  3. I've found that seems to work better too, Jen - I did that most times with Irish Inheritance and found I got more comments about my status without the links there.

  4. Yikes, all of this reminds me I need to be better at using Facebook as a promotional tool.

    Thanks for sharing these tips, Ana.