Why Facebook for Business is Getting Harder

Feb 10, 2012 · 7 comments

It’s getting harder and harder now to get people to interact with your Facebook business page. A recently published report claimed that only 1% of fans actually engage with their brands. Understanding how Facebook works is the first step to keeping fans participating on your page.

Woman-Browsing-Facebook

Why is it harder to get interaction?

Our online time is more precious now than ever. Respected marketer Chris Brogan wrote about this when he talked about viewing people’s time as currency.

A few years ago we logged on and checked our Facebook page and maybe a few web pages.  Now we check Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, some blogs and perhaps even a few forums.  As a business, if you expect people to take the time to comment on your posts, you will have to give them a reason to do so.

How has Facebook also made it harder?

Facebook changed their algorithm at the end of last year as to how posts from business pages are displayed in personal news feeds.  The new system is called EdgeRank.

EdgeRank determines if your post will even show up in someone’s personal feed based on their past interaction, number of likes and comments.  It is said that a Facebook comment is worth four ‘likes’ and a ‘share’ is the ultimate in fan approval.

What most businesses don’t realise is that on average, only 17% of their fan base are likely to see any updates they post. (AllFacebook.com)

How does EdgeRank change things for a business page?

It is now extremely important that each time you make an update it receives good interaction. Think of it as Facebook giving you a score for each post you make.

If you write a couple of updates that bomb, you’ll be marked down and your next few posts will probably not reach as many fans as the previous ones.

You can monitor how many people you reach at the bottom of your updates.  Be aware that this number will only appear a few days after the post has been made.

number of people reached on Facebook

Keeping your ‘talking about this’ number high

talking about this number on Facebook

Facebook also introduced the ‘talking about this’ figure which is displayed under the number of fans you have.

It accounts for the number of people who have liked, commented, shared your posts, answered a question or responded to an event over a 28 day period.

It is visible to everybody and will give prospective fans an idea of how interesting your page is.

This is good news for businesses with small but genuine fan bases, as people are now looking at the amount of interaction on a page rather than simply the number of people who have ‘liked’ it.

It is not so good, however, for those pages with a large amount of ‘likes’ and relatively little interaction.  If your ‘talking about this’ number is low, it shows that your fans are not being stimulated by the content being offered.

It is generally thought that if you are getting an interaction rate of over 5% then the page is performing well . (‘Talking about this’ number ÷ Number of fans x 100). (Social Media Examiner post)

The issue with buying ‘likes’

It is relatively easy, and in Southeast Asia cheap, to get ‘likes’ on Facebook.  An ad that asks a question, has a striking image, and is directed at the right demographic can bring you thousands of fans very quickly.

However, having lots of fans is not necessarily a good thing anymore, unless you are prepared to interact with them. Your ‘talking about this’ number will drop and the number of people you reach with each post will also drop.  Soon you’ll find that no one is reading or even seeing any updates you make.

bad facebook page

Once you have fallen into this pit it will be difficult to get out of it.  If fans see that no one is interacting it will discourage those who are still seeing your posts from commenting themselves.  Basically, comments attract more comments.  And the opposite holds true as well.

For those of you already in this situation, it is time to rethink both the way in which you are posting and the content of your updates.  In some extreme cases it may even be wise to even delete some fans.

So Why Is No One Interacting With My Page?

It boils down to knowing your audience and putting in the time and effort to come up with engaging and interesting updates.

If you want decent interaction from your fan base, you will need to think about your posts more and work out what motivates your fans to participate.

There are certain key elements which make for a good post, but that needs to be covered in a later update.

Have you found that it is now getting harder to get interaction on your Facebook business page?


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  • http://www.travelfish.org/ Stuart

    “ If fans see that no one is interacting it will discourage those who are still seeing your posts from commenting themselves.  Basically, comments attract more comments.  ”

    Agree with the second part, but can’t imagine that too many “regular Facebook users” actually consider the “talking about this” value.

    • Simon Oliver

      Perhaps but I think as people get used to this figure being displayed then more will take note of it.

      Interesting though – I will ask a few “regular Facebook users” and see what they say.

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/103342772030261443870/posts Johnny Milkovich

    This was informative thank you. You think that people would understand about interruption marketing also applies to social media as well. Its like telemarketing calling you late at night; constantly posting frivolous updates make no connection and annoy your audience to tune out. 
    Do you think not posting as much and only when content of your update is of value is a better approach? Rather than take a schedule update route?

    thank u

    • Simon Oliver

      I definitely think you have to be aware that people are very familiar with the ‘hide’ button these days.

      I was talking to a friend recently who said she likes quite a few pages but almost always ‘hides’ their updates after a while as she feels she is constantly getting spammed.

      I don’t think you can afford to make too many dud posts per week. It would be better to update twice per week with engaging content than every day with things that no one will interact with.