Maximizing Exposure on Social Media

Many businesses and nonprofits have recognized the value of social media. Many launch into social media blindly believing that all that is needed is to build a Facebook Page or a Twitter account and start posting what is important to them. A few months go by and the individual tasked with managing their social media presence starts asking "Why aren't we getting more likes on our Facebook Page?" and "Why aren't we getting more Twitter followers?" The answer I have come to learn is they did not stop and learn the medium before they attempted to begin utilizing it.

In his book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, Gary Vaynerchuk says, "On Facebook, the definition of great content is not the content that makes the most sales, but the content that people most want to share with others." Facebook does not display everything everyone posts. Nor does Facebook display everything to you from a page you have liked. Facebook has a super secret and ever changing algorithm for determining what content it will display in your news feed from the pages you like and the people you have friend'ed. And the algorithm determined what to display on your news feed by analyzing what posts you have liked and shared. So if you like and share several posts from one company's Facebook page, the algorithm will provide you more of that company's content in your news feed. With that information in hand, someone managing a business or nonprofit's Facebook page should consider not only the message they want to disseminate to the masses, but first what message would the most people like and share? Because posting content that people will like and share gains their Facebook page a higher ranking in the super secret algorithm and gains them maximum exposure. Maybe every post should not be the message the organization is trying to communicate to the target market. Maybe some posts should be something inspirational that the masses will like and share.

At the same time, keep in mind that Facebook is a visual medium. A simple all text post will get significantly less likes and shares compared to a post utilizing a photo. No wonder Twitter has gone to showing a preview of graphic images used in Twitter posts! Utilizing a graphic or photograph that visually supports the organization's message is the most effective means of communicating a message in Facebook. Additionally, anything that a viewer would be inclined to share will help achieve maximum exposure. Watch your own Facebook usage. How many coupons or giveaways have you shared when you saw them in your Facebook news feed? How many beach sunset pictures have you shared that had a company logo or website in the bottom corner? Somewhere there was an organization's Facebook page manager saying, "Thank you for sending my message to your 500 friends."

Additionally, drop the "its all about us" mentality. Begin to adopt a mentality that helping partner organizations, clients, and followers is good for everyone. Stop talking your following and start talking with them. Make your social media presence a conversation. Look at what is important to your followers- what they are saying. Your organization might not have any interest in the Academy Awards, but if the people following your Twitter account and the people that have liked your Facebook page are chatting furiously about what is going on at the Academy Awards, it might be wise to watch the awards show and get involved in the conversation. Arby's did this very thing this year during the Grammys and it paid off for them a million fold.
See on Twitter

Arby's Social Media Manager, Josh Martin, noted Pharrell's hat looks like the one Arby's has used as their logo for years and commented on Twitter. “When I saw so many people mentioning us in relation to the hat, I thought it was a great opportunity to jump into the conversation,” Martin later explained. It was not a message to sell roast beef sandwiches or to motivate followers to the drive-thru window. It was a post relevant to what Arby's customers were watching and talking about at that moment. By the next morning, that post has been retweeted 75,000 times and liked 40,000 times. But it did not stop there. Pepsi's Twitter account quoted it and said "#Win", shoving the Arby's post to all of Pepsi's followers and Hyundai quoted it and said, "Well Played" which shoved the Arby's post to all of Hyundai's followers. It gained enough exposure that Pharrell saw it and responded, "Y'all tryna start a roast beef?" Arby's came away looking fun and relevant to its followers and a host of people who were not following Arby's. Recognizing the success of the media hoopla that followed this single Twitter post, Arby's then bought Pharrell's hat in the subsequent eBay auction for $44,100 with proceeds going to a charity, From One Hand to Another. When the dust settled, Arby's gained 6,000 new followers due to that single posting. 

Trying to increase the exposure of an organization in social media? I highly recommend checking out Gary Vaynerchuk's blog, reading his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, and check out Relational Equity and owner Van Baird

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