How to Deliver Relevance on Facebook

Oct 04, 2012 10:19 PM  By

Delivering relevance on Facebook keeps consumers following your brand, according to Ken Burke, founder and chairman of ecommerce software and solutions provider MarketLive. But what types of things can brands do to engage customers and maintain relevance on Facebook?

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Burke, who spoke at last month’s National Etailing and Mailing Organization of America fall directXchange conference, told attendees that merchants with a strong Facebook presence make real connections with consumers.

Consumers are following brands on Facebook for more than just coupons, Burke said, but due to Facebook’s algorithm known as Edgerank – which determines how much organic content is made available — only 16% of a brand’s posts are actually seen by its fans.

Which begs the question: What can a brand do to deliver relevant Facebook messaging that will be seen by its fans?

By following these simple formulas when building posts a brand will attract users and make Facebook “stand up and take notice,” Burke said.

The “Click like if …” formula works, Burke said, because it causes consumers to write a specific response. For example, “Click like if you’d love … (to have this benefit).” Or “Click like if you love …” sunsets, bacon, family, etc.

Or “Click like if you believe that . . .” This formula, Burke said, engages consumers significantly more with your brand.

Burke said the “Questions & Prompts” formula also generates numerous responses.

“Who’s got an April birthday?” is an excellent example that elicited 275 comments for Party City, Burke said.

“People are social, and the more they are, the more relevant your posts are to Facebook,” Burke said.

Another formula for delivering relevance on Facebook is the “Click this link …” strategy. Or something like “Check out this blog post because …” and “then tell them what the benefits of reading it are,” Burke said.

“Click here to get this discount now before it goes away,” is an enticing and relevant Facebook message.

Placing web addresses in Facebook posts generates response, Burke added. Women are more likely to respond to pictures; men to videos.

Having fans that upload pictures, videos and engage in lengthy discussions helps your brand rank higher in its news feed than other sources, Burke said.

Most Facebook users want to engage with friends and family, Burke said, “so your challenge is to make them want to do the same with you.”

Contests are a great way to encourage uploading photos, videos, and stories, Burke said.

Post information about your company on Facebook “so fans get to know you,” Burke suggested.

“Your company is made up of people, and you have a culture and personality your fans are interested in,” Burke said. “Increase trust and believability with real world stories about the favorite products of everyday employees.”

Shopping is inherently social, Burke said, “so your Facebook strategy is more than just garnering more fans. Driving social sales requires engagement and sharing.”

Jim Tierney ( is a senior writer for Multichannel Merchant. You can connect with him on Twitter (TierneyMCM) and LinkedIn, or call him at 203-358-4265.