Bye, bye SEO? Make Facebook optimization, Story Bumping and Last Actor work for you today

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On Tuesday, Facebook announced it has rolled out changes to the site’s News Feed algorithm.

If you’re serious about increasing engagement with Facebook, these are 2 concepts you need to learn now. With all of the push for individualized experiences online, Facebook is now providing new strategies to determine which stories appear in one’s News Feed.

The two new plot twists include:

  • Story Bumping – This shows older stories that the user might have missed the last time they perused their News Feed.  In other words, the stories are new to the user, although possibly older than the current time they’re viewed. Facebook saw:
    • a 5 percent increase on interaction with stories from Friends
    • an 8 percent increase in interaction on stories from Pages
    • an overall increase in stories read from 57 percent to 70 percent
  • Last Actor – This involves real time “signaling,” where Facebook tracks the last 50 interactions a user has done within the social network on a rolling basis, and uses that to rank which stories to show in a feed.

So how can a business take advantage of this new Facebook news tweak?

In a nutshell, create engagement like so:

Post yes/no/controversial questions on your Facebook business page/group

Interaction is the name of the game. You want your Facebook fans and group members/community to interact with one another, share your content and the like.

So pick a polarizing topic and ask your community to share their views.  The more controversial, the more fervent the responses most likely will be.  Each side will have their own battalion of believers who will defend their viewpoints most enthusiastically.

The result? Whenever someone engages, that engagement will show up in their friends’ feed.  If their friends share the same interest, chances are…they’ll join in the fray as well.

More discussions lead to more interactions which increases the chance your ‘story’ will appear in News Feeds even if it was missed the first time.

Offer weekly contests

Your business page has a specific theme. Every week, you can create a contest where readers can submit their tips/photos/etc and then let the community ‘vote’ on which tip/picture is the ‘best’.

I do this for my passion I Love My Husky and Malamute fan page. Every Thursday, readers are encouraged to submit their favorite Moose photos and every hour, one winner is announced.

The result?  Increased engagement!  People *love* sharing their favorite pictures (and we can expand this for local/businesses as well – share and vote on your favorite tips!).

More discussions lead to more interactions which increases the chance your ‘story’ will appear in News Feeds even if it was missed the first time.  See how this works?

And finally:

Train your audience to expect daily topics

This is very powerful.

Every day, pick a topic/idea, use your own #hashtag and ask your community a specific question.

In my group, Perking Up Profits, it’s called #MorningWakeupChat.

morningwakeupchat

In Dennis Becker’s The IM Inside Track, it’s called #DailyTopic.

In both cases, it encourages the user the community to *expect* a daily topic and share their ideas about it.

More discussions lead to more interactions which increases the chance your ‘story’ will appear in News Feeds even if it was missed the first time.  It works this way too.

In closing, certainly, search engine optimization is important.

In the age of social media, however, “Facebook Optimization” is definitely not to be ignored.

These tweaks for Facebook Optimization are generating a lot of comment and analysis. Make certain you factor in their importance to your social media campaign today.

barb_profileBarbara Ling is a 17-plus year veteran marketing entrepreneur, currently specializing in teaching others how to build a viral fanbase/community online using Facebook, Pinterest, blogging, coffee (lots of coffee, or maybe tea if that’s your preference) and more! See her Google Profile here!

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