Likes, comments and clicks: How to give your content a full life on Facebook and Google+

Facebook Newsfeed
WHAT.

I work for a news organization. So I like to think that people spend a lot of their time online staying on top of local, national and international news. Certainly, they do. But according to this infographic, people spend more time on Facebook Newsfeed than six major news sites — ABC, MSNBC, Yahoo News, CNN, New York Times and Huffington Post — combined.

Yes, I said combined. I also said Newsfeed, as in only what you see when you’re signed in at facebook.com, not including facebook.com-slash-anything because that would mean straying from your Newsfeed. That’s why it’s important to know what Edgerank is and how it works. Basically, Facebook measures what kind of content you’ve shared (photo vs. link vs. text), how long it’s been up and your relationship with other users and brands based on engagement. And then the result of that formula determines whose Newsfeeds your content graces and for how long.

Ideally, you want to hit every piece of the Edgerank algorithm. On AL.com’s Facebook page, our social team shares photos when we have really good ones and always shares at least a link. We ask questions or post extra information with the links that we hope will generate conversation, both because we want to hear from our fans and because we know comments equal better Edgerank. We update our Facebook page several times a day. We aim to always have fresh content to rank, while not posting so much that we stack up in our fans’ Newsfeeds. We want to be a part of that 20 percent of content that makes it into our fans’ “customized newspaper,” as Facebook has stated is its goal for the user experience.

How many minutes (or hours) a day would you estimate your spend on your Newsfeed? How does that compare to your times spent on other Facebook pages or profiles?

AL.com is also active on Google+, although after this week’s readings, I am thinking we’re not active enough. Google+ is actually just Google. It’s the search giant’s way of integrating all of its products, Google Docs and Gmail for example, into one big product; Everything else is just a feature of Google+ now. Even when you’re using plain, old Google to search for something, you’ll see what those in your circles have +1’d or shared. Social search and personalized search have been merged. That’s why it’s so critical for brands to have a good Google+ presence. As people circle you and as you share content on Google+, you’re increasing the likelihood that those people will see your content, either on Google+ or in their integrated Google search results.

AL.com also takes advantage of Google+ Authorship, which basically verifies content creators. Verified authors have their photo plopped beside the content they created when listed in search results, which attracts the eye and introduces an element of trust. There are so many bogus things on the internet that it can be hard sometimes to discern the real stuff from the fake. But if you see content from a Google-verified writer, whose photo you could even click on to get background information from their Google+ profile, you know you can probably trust that content.

Do you or your brand maintain a Google+ profile? How active are you on the network? If you’re a content creator, have you completed the Authorship steps?

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15 thoughts on “Likes, comments and clicks: How to give your content a full life on Facebook and Google+”

  1. Great post, Julie! I think I may need to join Facebook Anonymous… if that exists (which I’m sure it does). I am constantly on my Facebook newsfeed. I manage my organization’s Facebook page (and other social media accounts), so I always have it open and just constantly check it for updates. Usually I stay on my newsfeed and refresh as necessary, only venturing away if I get a notification for my organization’s page. As a former news producer I always used to have cnn.com and msnbc.com open, now I rely fully on Facebook and Twitter for my news updates. In fact, it’s how I learned about the tragic mass shooting today in Washington, D.C., at the Naval Yard. Since I stay informed I continue to stay logged in and I’ll probably continue to do that until someone says I need help! haha

    I do also maintain my organization’s Google+ page. I just to update it regularly, especially promoting our new physicians or services. This way if someone search for a certain physician or specialty healthcare service in our region, hopefully we’ll pop up as a top result. The only think I wish is that Google+ had the capability to schedule posts (unless I’m just not aware). This way I would maintain the page in a more productive and regular way.

    1. I’m in the Facebook-aholic boat with you, Laura. My Facebook Newsfeed stays up alllllll day.

      I know we use Hootsuite to schedule Google+ posts for AL.com’s page. I bet some other social media management programs allow for G+ scheduling as well. You should definitely look into Hootsuite or a similar program to manage your Google+ page (and other social accounts) — it’ll make your life a lot easier! 🙂

  2. I’ll be honest: I’m rarely on Facebook any more. It’s a conscious work decision. I go on to update my own brand page, and then will check Facebook if I’m bored or standing in line somewhere. The only real value I take from it? Seeing what brands are doing and making sure I don’t forget any friend’s birthdays. This all has more to do with me (competing priorities and knowing how much Facebook takes away from my writing and consulting) than anything specifically that Facebook has done. It’s funny but I spend much more time studying what works on Facebook and what brands do then actually sitting back and enjoy the social network.

    1. I can certainly understand that. Facebook can be a time suck, and I applaud anyone who uses it almost exclusively for work instead of time-wasting.

      And Facebook’s collection of birthdays is nice, too. For a while I had Facebook birthdays synced with my iCalendar (which is also synced with my Google and Outlook calendars), but it got very overwhelming very quickly, and I had to take the birthdays away. I wish I could selectively sync my friends’ birthdays without having to enter them into my Google Calendar…

  3. Hey Julie– Your first question is spot on because I fall into the demographics of this week’s readings. I rarely go onto my own profile or other people’s profiles/pages, I spend 95% of my Facebook time scanning the newsfeed. Meaning, this algorithm is really important to me and determines all that I see. I don’t spend a lot of actual time on the newsfeed, but I’m addicted to checking the newsfeed multiple times a day. Whenever i’m bored I check it, and it totals to probably 3 times a day which is down from around 10 (I’m currently trying to break my habit).

    As for Google+, I have a page for this account but I haven’t yet discovered how to use it to my benefit. I get the SEO factor, but what you shared here about building your circle to get people to +1 your content seems REALLY valuable if you’re producing content or promoting a brand. Did I get that right? Just want to make sure I’m interpreting it correctly.

    1. It sounds like you are exactly the person a company would reach by increasing their Edgerank! I’m the same way. I check my Newsfeed often but rarely venture away from it.

      I think we’re on the same page about Google+ benefits. Because Google has blended its search with social search, you’ll see content on the topic you’re searching that has been shared or +1’d by folks in your circles. Does that make sense?

  4. Hi Julie!

    I am defintely a member of the Facebook-aholic club! I can’t go more than 30 minutes on most days without pulling up my Facebook app on my iPhone. Although, I blame my iPhone! I was never this addicted until I got this adorable white smartphone! 🙂

    When I’m using Facebook o my phone though, it’s generally because I’m bored or I’m in one of those super awkward social situation and I need something to distract myself from the awkwardness surrounding me. I rarely use mobile Facebook to post anything other than the ever-popular Instagram photo. If I want to do some real Facebook “stalking” or posting I will use my laptop.

    -Lacee

    1. Haha! I love your honesty. Full disclosure: I’ve used my phone a time or two to get myself out of awkward situations, too. Very interesting that you weren’t so addicted until you had your smartphone attached to your hand. I would imagine that you’re not alone in that, either. When it’s that simple to pull up your Facebook account (you don’t have to charge up the laptop or boot up a desktop), why wouldn’t you?

  5. I enjoyed your post this week! I have a Google+ account but until recently didn’t utilize it. Now that I understand the power Google+ has and the impact it is capable of I will be implementing it more into my social media activity. I think so many companies are missing the boat by focusing so much on Facebook and Twitter. Google+ is just as important, if not more because of it’s relationship with SEO. I have never used authorship but look forward to trying it out!

    1. I’m still new to realizing the full benefits of Google+, too, and these lectures/readings are helping me better form my future strategy for both my personal Google+ account and my company’s page. Thanks for your kind words, Alexis!

  6. I am still pretty new to Google+ so I don’t necessarily feel like I utilize it to the fullest capacity. I am looking forward to signing up for the Google+ Authorship after noticing how it can benefit me personally. It was interesting to learn more about the Facebook Algorithm, I knew about it but not in the depth that our lecture went into. Thanks for sharing!

  7. When it comes to Facebook the only time I log on from my computer is when I want to post a group of photos I’ve taken using my regular camera. I typically only access it from my iPhone when I’m trying to fill time. Twitter on the other hand is my obsession, but I am seriously trying to get into Goggle+. Prior to this class I had a Google+ account, but I was not using it because I really didn’t find a use for it. When looking at the benefits of Google+ and those that come from completing the Authorship steps I am going to force myself to be more active on the site.

  8. Hey, so I just noticed that the time stamps on all these comments were wonky, so I checked my settings. I swear I’ve set my time zone multiple times for this blog, but I just had to reset it again, but it doesn’t seem to have changed the aforementioned wonky time stamps. Anyway, I just want to note since we’re close to the deadline for comments that this comment was made at 2:15 p.m. Central time, which means the ones before were made earlier.

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