Are Ghost Posts Killing Your Social Media Strategy?
Ghost posts. It’s something nearly every small business owner has fallen prey to yet the majority have no idea what is wrong with their social media strategy. As a social media consulting firm, we are often confronted with two very different reactions:
“I know social media marketing works because my friend/partner/other has used it with tremendous success but somehow my efforts seem to just fall flat.”
Or the closely related phenomena…
“I’m a skeptic. I’ve tried my own social media marketing and it was time consuming, frustrating and lead to little real results.”
Not surprisingly, both are often caused by the exact same problem…ghost posts. You’ve heard all the statistics; Facebook has 800 million users with the potential to reach exponential growth for a fraction of the cost associated with traditional means of advertising and marketing. Sounds like a win-win to nearly any savvy small business owner who immediately puts up a profile page, connects with family, friends and clients then starts sending out a few messages…only to encounter a less than impressive response. Sure, mom loves everything you have to say on a daily basis and a few dedicated clients chime in now and then but the throngs of new connections seem never to materialize. In fact, more often than not it seem as though nobody is out there when you post a status update? Why?
It’s not merely your imagination! Ghost postings are a very real phenomena and are as frightening to social media consulting firms as they are small business owners. Fortunately, a reputable social media marketing firm is ready and able to play the role of ghostbuster but first, let’s take a few minutes to explain what ghost posts are and why they occur in the first place.
Whether you have 500 fans or 50,000, an update on your Facebook page will show up on their wall. A few will “like”, share or comment on the post which then is shown to their friends via the activity section. So far so good. Perhaps you have even gone so far as to maximize the impact of each post by adding a picture, video or enhanced timing in order to attract the most attention possible; all good moves so why aren’t they working as well as expected? There are several reasons; each of which leads the majority of small business owners to seek out the professional services of a social media consulting firm.
1. You have reached the wrong demographic segment. While you have a few dedicated fans, the majority of other contacts isn’t really the right profile for your product. This is especially true if you happened to engage in activities that emphasize quantity over quality when gaining clients.
2. You’ve been outranked by EdgeRank. Not sure what EdgeRank really is or why it matters? Speak to a social media consulting firm asap because it’s simply instrumental to understand EdgeRank in order to get best results from any social media marketing strategy.
Understanding EdgeRank & Ghost Posts
EdgeRank is the algorithm used by Facebook to determine what each and every user will actually see in their news feed. What this means in practical terms is that you might be posting – but people aren’t actually seeing it! EdgeRank uses three basic criteria to determine the popularity of the post for each person in your network. Remember, if the post doesn’t show in their Facebook feed then it will never show up in their friends feed…ie, you are missing out on the primary benefit of social media marketing – the ability to reach out to friends of friends in order to experience exponential growth potential. So, what are the three criteria? We’re glad you asked because it will highlight the importance of fully understanding how to create compelling content and eliminate the growing threat of ghost posts:
1. Affinity – The frequency of fan interaction
2. Weight – The level of user engagement such as share versus like versus comment
3. Time Decay – How fresh is the update?
It’s easy to see from the above three variables why so many small business owners get bogged down when trying to keep up with their own social media marketing. Without maximizing each of the above variables, up to 84% of your current connections will NOT be able to view your updates! Of course, none of the friends of your Facebook fans will see it either creating a double negative.
What Ranks Best?
By now savvy business owners are wondering what ranks best and why? Well, we have some good news and some bad. The good news is…the criteria are fairly well known. The bad news is…they can be time consuming for business owners that have a core business to keep running smoothly. Of course, outsourcing your social media marketing is the best way to have it all. The key to increasing EdgeRank status is to create compelling posts that are timely and likely to be shared as evidenced by the ranking criteria below:
Post Weight in Order of Importance
- Photograph’s and videos
- Status Updates
Actionable Items in Order of Importance