The New Facebook Timeline Do’s and Don’ts

Yesterday I talked about how Facebook killed itself.  I don’t generally do things without a plan, nor do I ever bring up a problem without offering solutions.

The solution in this case is fairly simple.  Facebook MUST return control of what appears in a user’s newsfeed to the user.  As I stated yesterday, I am find with the social network inserting extra things in my newsfeed, but limiting content from pages that I subscribe to are my job.  Give me tools to set a percentage of posts.  Give me tools to rank post-styles from various pages.  And give me a “wide open” option.  I don’t care if my newsfeed scrolls, that’s my problem to deal with.  Twitter doesn’t seem to have any problem with that, and my twitter feed scrolls pretty quickly sometimes.

That is not going to happen.  Facebook has too much time, money, and resources invested in this current fleecing mechanism to reverse course now.  They may “dial back some” but the broad strokes are here to stay.

After significant web research, here’s what I know at the moment about how to maximize your facebook presence.

DO

Post links to articles with pictures.  The days of writing a quick status update as your page are over.  These days, you’d be better off to write a blog post about your migraine, find a picture on google to set as the featured image, and post a link to your story about a migraine.

Engage with your fans.  Ask questions.  Anything you can do to get them to comment on a post.  A comment is worth more than a like.

Tag other pages in your content, if appropriate.  In February, Facebook made a small tweak with major implications.  If a page tags another page in a post, the audience of BOTH pages may see the update.  Chew on the possibilities of that for a while.

DON’T

i-can-has-cheezburgerOnly post memes.  In an interview late last year about the upcoming changes (which are now live):  “So it’s not like you’re never going to see a funny cat photo from Imgur or some photo-sharing site anymore. It’s that maybe you’ll see 10 percent less of that, and 10 percent more articles, and things like that.”  Ten percent fewer memes is actually fairly huge, since only 16% of the people who like a page will see content posted by that page.  Think about how many fewer funny cat picture’s you’re seeing lately.

likePost Calls To Action.   From that same interview with AllthingsD, Facebook Executive Lars Backstrom had this to say:  Whenever we make a change like this, it has the potential to break some of the strategies employed by people who get distribution on Facebook. My favorite example of this is when you have a photo, and then a very explicit call to action where you say “one like = one respect.  So, when the text or photo has a call to action, those posts naturally do much better. And in a traditional feed ranking, where we’re evaluating just on the number of likes, those things all did very well.  No more “asking” for people to like and/or comment on a photo.  On the one hand, I’m happy not to have so many “1 Million Likes and Little Timmy will Recover from his Inoperable Brain Cancer” posts.  That kind of glurge is the worst.

Post links to spammy or low-quality articles.  Posts where users click the link but then don’t click Like, Share, or comment on the link are quickly “downvoted”.  When this happens enough, your entire BRAND becomes down-voted.  Once that happens, your facebook page is as good as dead.

 

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