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The early days of social media were as simple as sending a text message. You connected with friends and followers and the respective platforms helped you reach them in real-time with rich media, images, video and other features that encourage engagement.

Software (Photo: ipopba/ iStock / Getty Images Plus)

(Photo: ipopba/ iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

Social media marketing is no longer as straightforward, but the fundamentals still apply:

  • The best content rises to the top
  • Content engagement earns greater reach
  • Adding value makes the platform better for everyone

Search results drive reach and revenue

Google and Facebook are digital advertising titans. They collect and categorize data sets that are sold to businesses seeking to reach their users. Understanding that user-generated data is the product of digital and social media platforms will help you achieve your goals.  

Google and its sister company, YouTube, use relevance and authority to determine which content ranks highly. Facebook uses the same parameters, but its data is more contextually valuable, thanks to the Facebook Open Graph, which is the compilation of every Facebook user’s social graph.

Social graphs are comprised of:

  • Account profile information
  • Your connections and their connections
  • The social objects you share

Think of your social graph as a map. Every intersection on that map is a node or data point, which could be a connection or shared piece of content that informs the system. Greater sharing activates more nodes with data that builds a contextually descriptive and complete social graph.

More contextual and complete data translates to greater value for Facebook. Advertising monetized that value, but it’s also possible for you to gain from it, too, by adding more.

The best content is promoted content

Measuring digital behavior has come a long way from the days of vanity metrics, such as likes and followers. They are called vanity metrics because they are no longer meaningful predictors of success, at least not without advertising.

Only the best content will rise to the top, but nowadays, even it requires help to actualize its potential. That boost could be in the form of paid advertising or an engagement strategy or both. For example, advertising can be used to attract attention that is immediately followed by a commenting strategy to further engagement.

Since 2018, Facebook has been clear that it will prioritize person-to-person interactions over brand messaging. It has been said that comments are the gold standard of engagement. In addition to adding value to the conversation, comments increase the time people stay on Facebook. Thus, what’s good for Facebook is good for your branded content.

In a few weeks, I’ll be co-presenting: How To Get Social Media Results Today: What’s Old Is New Again, at NALP’s ELEVATE Conference, with Kelly Dowell. Social media has seen a lot of changes in the last two decades. We’ll help you navigate them with a fast-paced journey to refresh your social media skills and sharpen your marketing for today’s buyers, whether they’re on LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok or any other.

You’ll also learn about the latest tools, tactics and trends to attract leads and convert them into profitable customers or clients.

Jeff Korhan

About the Author:

Jeff Korhan is the author of Built-In Social, founder of Landscape Digital Institute, and a Duct Tape Marketing Certified consultant. Jeff works with service companies that want to drive growth and enhance their brand experience with digital platforms. Learn more at www.landscapedigitalinstitute.com

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