By now, even the most apathetic Facebook user has noticed the new timeline layout and its sometimes bizarre effects on what viewers see. The way your news feed unfolds is in part dictated by EdgeRank. There are a few simple ways you can reach more eyes with each post, things that even basic users can easily manage.
But before we get there, there’s one key principle that determines what and how things show up in news feeds: engagement. The more and the earlier people like and/or comment on your post, the more folks will see it. EdgeRank makes Facebook posts very different from tweets, which are quickly buried by the ever rolling flood of Twitter updates. It can make your post stick around or make it pop up hours—even days—later.
So how do to you get that engagement started and how do international artists handle this new brave new world? Start with these steps:
1. Post thoughtfully: This concerns both frequent posts direct to Facebook, and connecting your Facebook account to your Twitter or other feeds. Bombard your friends, and they may ask for less frequent posts from you or to hide your posts altogether. The more people hide what you post, the worse your posts will fare in EdgeRank; its algorithms do not look kindly on frequent posters. The exception to the auto-posting taboo: Instagram and its ilk, as photos make a big difference (see #3 below).
2. Geo-target: You
can target posts to specific countries, regions within countries, cities, and
even, in some areas, postal codes or zip codes. This solves the dilemma that
troubles some global artists about which language to post what in, as you can
post in English for your American or British followers, say, and then in your
native language for the folks back home. Geo-targetted posts are often seen by
more people in the target area, which means they are a great option for tour
dates, on-air interviews, and other place-specific events or happenings.
(See this video for more ideas and technical help.)
3. Post photos: Photos not only tend to spark more reaction from fans and friends, but they have a larger presence in people’s feeds, and therefore more and longer-lasting impact. It’s best to shoot for square or portrait format images, as other formats will be cropped (sometimes in funny ways) in news feeds.
4: Ask questions, provoke answers: Since engagement is key to getting your posts to show up, try to design your posts to do that. Questions can be helpful—as can your responses to others’ questions—but then need to be interesting and specific enough to generate an easy yet compelling response. It’s the difference between “Are you listening to any new cool music?” and “What cool song have you listened to today? I want to know!” The first is hard to answer—Have I? Haven’t I? I don’t even know!—whereas the second makes your mind turn to specific songs you’ve listened to, and makes it easier to bust out a response.
DubMC is sponsored by rock paper scissors, which has worked with a wide range of musicians from around the world and across the musical spectrum. rps offers traditional media, press material development, branding, and social media support for the U.S. and Canadian markets. Got something in the works? Set up a consultation can reach us here.