Demystifying the Facebook Newsfeed: What Death Care Companies Need to Know
The reason funeral homes maintain a Facebook page is simple…they want Facebook users in their community to see their content on a regular basis. When potential customers enjoy the items you post on your funeral home Facebook page, they warm up to your brand, they learn more about you and they see the realest form of your funeral home making it more likely that they will choose you over your competitors when they have a need.
The average Facebook user will NEVER see all the content posted by her friends and by the businesses she follows. There is simply too much (if Facebook didn’t filter the newsfeed users could see up to 15,000 pieces of content each day). The programmers at Facebook have created, and they constantly fine tune, complicated algorithms that mathematically determine (based on a user’s viewing/clicking habits) which photos, videos, and articles and will appear in each individual’s news feed. But like any mathematical equation, the creator of that equation determines the eventual output ciphered by the calculations (Facebook created the algorithm but users actions really determine the result). To have a better chance that YOUR funeral home’s content is served up to your fans on a regular basis, it’s helpful to know the guiding principles used by Facebook to determine how the algorithms work. Here are some of the basics:
- The more users interact with (click on) your content, the more likely your content will appear on their page. This means you must seek to engage your fans with posts that cause them to click to Like, Comment, Share, or simply enlarge a photo or read longer text. Content is King but CONTEXT (what you’re posting) is Queen, and she rules the castle.
- The time a user spends on a particular type of content determines how often that type of content will continue to be served up to that user. It’s no secret that videos draw the most attention, followed by photos, attractive graphics, and interesting headlines. By posting a variety of interesting content in different formats that maintains attention, users will engage more and be more likely to be “fed” your content in the future. Want to test this for yourself? The next time you see a video in your newsfeed click on it and watch it. Then reload your newsfeed – I guarantee you that Facebook will serve you more video posts in your newsfeed.
- Variety is the spice of life. Often, on funeral home Facebook pages, the only content that appears is obituaries. While posting an occasional obituary is definitely a good idea, you will lose fans if they become turned off by a constant flow of obituaries about people they don’t know. Another turn off for readers is a constant flow of generic “happy” content that does nothing to help readers get to know you, your funeral home, and your staff. Eventually users will stop engaging with your posts all together, or they will even choose to hide your content. Personal and transparent content will always win. Be real.
- Identify the individuals and businesses with pages who talk about you or share your content. Recommend that people like them. Highlight them as someone whose product or service you use or respect, or simply great pages to follow. The individuals or businesses will be happy to get new fans, and it will benefit you when they mention you or share your content because all of their new fans may see it. Be social and support other businesses in your community. Tag the local flower shop or church in a post.
- Avoid overly promotional content that will ultimately turn users off of clicking through to your future content. Studies have shown that no more than 20% of your posts should actively promote your products or services. This means that 80% of your content should inform, inspire, challenge, and entertain your readers. Facebook is not a sales platform – however, if used correctly you can generate organic preneed leads – but it won’t happen by making a post that says ‘click here to fill out this preneed lead form for more information.’
Many, many more factors are used by the Facebook gurus to determine news feed content, but a smaller business like a funeral home or a mid-size vendor really can’t access or affect those factors enough to make a difference. If you keep in mind the 5 basics above, you will have a much better chance of building a fan base of people who interact with your content and share it with their friends. The ideas above are relatively simple to implement, but you may lack the time and resources to adequately manage a business Facebook page that generates News Feed worthy content. If so, you can turn to the experts at DISRUPT Media. We are the only full-service social media agency specifically catering to the funeral profession. Go to http://www.disruptmedia.co to find out more about the services we offer. Our clients who are a part of our FUNERAL Social Design Process are seeing an increase in post reach and engagement of over 300%.