I have done a little research (and I do mean a little, you only need to read up about the Facebook algorithm, EdgeRank) to find out how this could work. EdgeRank determines which content goes into your NewsFeed, and it doesn’t discriminate People from Pages (no one is immune). EdgeRank has recently become an unwieldy 1 000-factor beast that includes content quality, content origin (heed the warning Hootsuite users), and completeness of page details. The main determinants of if a post appears in your NewsFeed are still: Affinity, Edge Weight, and Time Decay.
The anti-like/pro-comment movement hinges on two parts: the Affinity score and the Edge Weight.
The Affinity Score is concerned with how close/related/connected you are to an action. The more you have in common with the person or page undertaking the action, the more likely it will appear in your NewsFeed. So the more friends you have in common, the more you like or comment on their posts, the more you will see.
Now here’s the thing, likes and comments are not equal. Most people know that, and let’s face it – how much effort does clicking like take compared to typing a comment? This is exactly why EdgeRank rates posts (gives a greater Edge Weight) with comments or shares higher than posts with just likes. Even the lowly emoticon smiley carries more weight than clicking the like button.
Lightbulb! To all the Facebook page owners asking their fans to ‘like’ if they see your post and still not appearing in NewsFeeds – now you know why.
Comments also provide the ability to interact with your customers, engage in conversation, develop your relationship. Even at an extremely shallow level, increase comments and therefore the likelihood that your posts will appear in the NewsFeeds.
I have mentioned previously that customers buy AFTER a relationship is developed, some researchers even say that it takes five ‘touches’ before you will get someone to buy from you. (I want to explore this further in the future) By encouraging a discussion on your posts and page, you are developing a relationship. You are opening up opportunities to educate and possibilities to introduce products.
Comments can also be seen as ‘third party endorsements’. I will pay more attention to a friend’s comment on a page than their like of a post. Why? I trust what they say and I want to know more. I understand how little effort a like takes over a comment, and I appreciate that effort. So when a friend provides a comment or feedback on a business post or page, I take notice. We all know how word-of-mouth works, and its power. So a comment on a post is more powerful than a simple like.
Now here is the issue, how do you get the comments? There are fun ways like ‘what’s your celebrity name?’ or you can ask a question. You can inject a little controversy on to your page. You can ask for advice. I have tried most of these on my other business page and to be honest, some work better than others (Your Easter Bunny name was a great one this year). As I have mentioned previously, it’s all about your customer and the voice you want to portray on your page.
I do know that comments and shares are extremely beneficial to your post reach and it has a flow on effect to the talking about numbers. The best of all is that if you discover the type of content which provokes comments, then you will find that the effect snowballs. The reach of the page I mention was previously around 10% of total likes, it is currently approaching 200% of total likes. Additionally, my talking about rate has increased from a very standard 1% of total likes to 4.5% of total likes. I will add that I have made a number of other changes, that saw an initial increase in talking about, and a subsequent change which increased the reach. Though none of them have has such a profound impact as providing content that engaged my customers and increased comments and shares.
Is there anything about running a website or social media that has you wondering? Let me know in a comment below & I will investigate and address it in future.