It’s recently come to our attention that Facebook is going to be lessening the exposure of text based statuses for Business Pages. Why, you ask? You can read the full article here but the jist of it is that, while text status updates from friends encourage engagement by prompting others to update their own statuses, text status updates from Business Pages do not function in a similar fashion. Facebook is encouraging brands to get creative and the YaBlog team wants to get the word out.
While text status updates are undeniably quick and easy, brands need to stand out on social media. Graphics are a great way to do this and Facebook itself clearly agrees. Content is still king in 2014 and everything, from eBooks to blog posts and SM updates, must provide value. Today’s Web users are visual creatures and this means that graphics of all sorts are a win.
The Facebook Newsroom article above mentions link sharing as an engaging alternative to text based statuses. Many brands opt to embed links in status updates, which makes for a lacklustre visual experience. Link-sharing, on the other hand, generates a preview of the content, providing a more compelling visual experience. Facebook rewards valuable, resourceful content with greater exposure for brands.
The Facebook network is working to improve their ranking algorithms’ abilities to differentiate between posts from friends and from Pages. While there will be a “decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, [page admins] may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.” In addition to link sharing, images are a great way to boost social media reach and interactivity. To use an example from a brand known for their cheeky social media prowess, Oreo abandoned plain text in favour of attention-grabbing, occasionally humorous or emotional, images.
In these Facebook updates from May 2012, you’ll see the startling difference in engagement between the basic text status and the more stimulating “question and an image” update. The differences in likes, comments and shares is noteworthy, at 4,200, 215 and 87 compared to 16,833, 1,034 and 855. Real-life posts don’t lie – the proof is right here.
In recent months, more and more brands on Facebook (and Twitter!) have been capitalizing on the image trend and there’s no reason for you to wait. While Oreo is a great example, you can also check out Coca-Cola, Sharpie, PlayStation and Samsung Mobile to see it in action.
What About Video?
Significant value can be provided in the form of an informative, brand-relevant commercial or a heartwarming or humorous viral clip. As seen in the profiles of popular brands, videos generate more engagement than text status updates but less than image updates. Great video can be costly and it’s important for businesses of all sizes to take their budget into account. If you can afford a promotional video or a number of well-designed graphics, the latter will provide the most bang for your buck.
When considering the impact of graphics on social engagement, Facebook itself is encouraging compelling, valuable and visual content by promoting these updates and decreasing the distribution of text status updates from Business Pages. In order to stay on top of the social media game, brands and businesses must visually display their products and services in the most effective way possible – without breaking the bank. Great design is key, and graphics are one of today’s top methods for improving social reach and interaction.