One of the most common questions about regarding corporate Facebook marketing is how often should I post the page?
The puritans will probably say something along the lines with if you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything. And if you do, then say it.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way. Even if we sometimes relate to corporations as if they where humanoids, they are simply the sum of organized structures.
How Free Was The Wild West?
Often small and modern companies have no problems with allowing their employees to be free to leverage the corporate Facebook Page in any way they see fit. If something isn’t working, then you change it.
But for larger enterprises, especially multinational companies, the Facebook Page could easily turn into the Wild West. If you are a German customer who visits a multinational corporate Facebook Page, why should you have to learn Russian and the Cyrillic alphabet to understand what’s going on?
Now, add different launch dates and regional-specific information to the mix together with the ability to answer fans in their own language!
If you as a corporate marketing officer thinks that allowing total freedom for employees is in any way doing them a service, then you’re mistaken. If an employee acts carelessly as a spokesperson for the company on a Facebook page with millions and millions of fans, it could result in some serious crisis management for the company and the employee (who maybe meant no harm) could get fired. For posting stuff on Facebook.
Structure As A Strategy
To ensure a relevant corporate presence on Facebook, there has to be some rules. Compare this with economy; a market cannot be labeled as “free” if there are no regulations.
Regulating how often the company should post is also wise from a technical marketing perspective. Enter Facebook’s EdgeRank.
EdgeRank determines basically the visibility of your corporate post. EdgeRank is somewhat mysterious and only Facebook knows exactly how it works, but at least we can understand the pillars of this algorithm. And this alone gives you a pretty good hint of often to post.
Applying EdgeRank Magic
Here are some of the EdgeRank factors:
Time: The older a post gets, the less visible it will become. This means that you need to find out what types of updates that works best when. And you need to this per market; cultural differences and time-zones will otherwise kill your EdgeRank status.
Affinity: If a person has interacted with your corporate Facebook Page before, your messaging will be much more likely to reach them. Ideally, if you’re posting content that’s relevant for your target audience, you can get more and more interaction with each update.
Velocity: How fast a social object (i.e. corporate post) is gaining traction amongst the fan base will assist EdgeRank in deciding how many to show your messaging to. If you have 400 and Facebook pushes this message to 40 people and 30 of these reacts in some way, then you can be pretty sure that the algorithm will do its best to push it to another bunch of people in your fan base. Something to think about if you’re trying to get a lot of fans without a solid content strategy to back this up.
Importance: I’m pretty sure that you automatically (but temporarily) are given a better EdgeRank on the day of your birthday. This is Facebook guessing from statistics that this is very interesting to your friends. I’m also pretty sure that some words within your update affects your posts’ EdgeRank and there are probably these kinds of factors weighing in for your corporate Facebook Page as well.
The Tipping Point
If your Facebook Page update sparks X reactions, the users’ reactions might be visible to Y percent of their friends (here the EdgeRank comes into play again!). If Y is converting well enough, it will add to the X reactions continuously until time T finally kills it off completely.
You need a data-driven program to be able to manage this, because if you lack a feedback process, chances are you’ll be either acting blind or loose your Facebook Marketing competence the day your Community Manager decides to find another job.
How Many Times To Post
To answer the question of how many times a corporation should post is pretty easy, given the background provided above.
If you’re getting a ton of reactions on each update, it makes sense to update even more often. You can then interact with more people without hurting your EdgeRank too bad.
If you’re not getting a lot of reactions, you should consider changing your content strategy, because you’re EdgeRank is getting weaker with each update.
The Splicing Strategy
No-one can have missed all the fuss about Google+ and its Circles. But Facebook is somewhat of a player in this targeting game as well. Remember, getting one reaction is pretty damn good if you’re only targeting one person. EdgeRank scores that as a “100 percent” hit.
So, if you’re posting in Arabic, at least make sure to geo-target your post so that non-Arabic non-reactions won’t hurt your EdgeRank for no good reason at all.
Here’s the key takeaways:
1. Don’t just decide how often to post, do your homework and find out. The answer is right there in front of you.
2. Create structure and plan. Control, policies and regulations are not boring. If done right, they’ll make sure you’re relevant and fun for your fans.
3. Understand Facebook’s EdgeRank and tweak your content strategy accordingly.
4. By learning from what you’re doing, your company will gain insight and also be able to leverage the Tipping Point effect.
5. Increasingly improving in engaging your customers is great, but remember that this game is just as much about targeting fewer people at the time, but doing instead more often.