Yoda would say rules of 8 and 16 must you know. Since I’m here to be your sage on everything social media marketing I’ll just say – know them and understand them, especially if you are providing social media consulting for brands. I was chilling at Facebook’s Social Media Week presentation in Washington, DC yesterday (not the most social media savvy place in the world, but I’ve got a ton of friends there, so it’s worth the trip) and these two numbers jumped out all day like the cards from some Gypsy in New Orleans reading my social media fortune. Who are you reaching and are you reaching them in the right way? That is what these numbers spoke to me.
The Rule of 16
On average, 16% of your Facebook brand page fans see branded posts. This means that on average, 84% of fans who Liked your brand page don’t see your stunning content. If they don’t see it, they can’t be aware and they can’t engage. Based on the Facebook content distribution algorithm that is designed to maximize user experience, you are stuck with this fact for now. If you want to reach the other 84%, Facebook’s recommendation is to advertise.
The Rule of 8
If you are going to advertise, you should focus on the News Feed. Facebook statistics show that ads in the News Feed are 8 times more effective in terms of driving “attributable” actions than the original sidebar ads. The most common News Feed ad unit is sponsored stories, but market place page posts are another option.
The important takeaway is the power of the News Feed. It is where Facebook users spend their time as they ignore the other Facebook real estate. It is also the only place for users to see ad units on mobile. More than half of all Facebook usage is now on mobile so getting into the News Feed is critical to spreading your message.
The Facebook News Feed Beyond Ads
For many promotions, brand marketers should leverage News Feed ads to reach the missing 84% of your audience. However, you can also augment your News Feed brand promotion through user-generated content. When users create posts they go to friends’ News Feeds. If those user-generated posts include your brand identifiers and messaging, you just received a free News Feed ad unit.
At dwinQ we help brand marketers leverage sponsored events to get into the News Feed, by facilitating consumer posts that include branded content. Photos, games, onsite actions are all popular onsite engagements that drive Facebook posts and impressions.
The Facebook News Feed Beyond 84
The final point worth noting is that even if you buy an ad and reach all of the missing 84% of your current Facebook fans you are not creating broader awareness. With user generated content you are leveraging consumers to broadcast your brand message to their friends, many of whom are not your current fans. That is an extended reach that will multiply your impact. And it comes as a recommendation from a friend. We know that has a value of 92.
“16 Ball” image credit: EyesOpenDesign.com
More on Facebook Photo Marketing.