Your number of Facebook Fans is irrelevant.
Okay… that’s not entirely true but I’m trying to make a point:
It doesn’t matter how many Facebook fans you have if none of them ever see your content.
This is a major problem for the majority of insurance agents on Facebook.
You see, Facebook is giving more visibility to major brands and less to small businesses like your agency.
If you or your staff are spending any time or money on Facebook marketing this is a situation you need to understand.
It has to do with EdgeRank, which I’ll explain below, but first I’m going to let Jeff Foxworthy explain:
(I didn’t realize it wasn’t funny until after I made the graphic but I spent too much time making it to trash it. Sorry.)
Anyways, in this article I’m going to explain how EdgeRank works and then offer 10 tips for insurance agents to get more value from Facebook marketing.
What is EdgeRank?
EdgeRank is the algorithm Facebook uses to decide whether or not to show your agency’s status updates in the news feed of your fans.
The better your EdgeRank, the more your fans will see your status updates in their News Feed.
Let’s Backup… What’s the News Feed?
The News Feed is the main page users see when they log in to Facebook. It’s a running collection of updates from a user’s friends and the companies they “like”.
Why Should I Care About EdgeRank?
Because Facebook wants to provide the best user experience, they don’t display EVERY update of EVERY friend and EVERY business that someone likes in their news feed.
Facebook only displays a piece of content in someone’s News Feed when they think the user will like it.
Facebook’s algorithm for deciding whether your content is “feed-worthy” is called EdgeRank.
Understanding and improving your agency’s EdgeRank will get you more exposure, increased leads, referrals and better retention from your social media efforts.
What Does This Guy Know About Facebook?
In case you doubt whether I know what I’m talking about, check out this post I made a few weeks ago. As of right now, 206 people “liked” it on my page, 324 people shared it on their pages where it got another 1018 “likes” and was viewed by 38,579 people!
It might not sound huge compared to major carriers or celebrities but I’m just one guy… and that’s a picture of my daughter and me!
Visit the main InsuranceSplash page to see plenty of other posts with very high levels of engagement.
The Three Components of EdgeRank
1) Affinity – How Engaged Are Fans With Your FB Page?
Affinity is an overall measure of how much people interact with your content.
When you make posts, do many people click the Like button? Do many people make comments or share your updates on their timelines?
Your affinity score has an overall level but also an individual level with every person that “likes” your agency’s page.
For example, if 99% of your Facebook fans “like” every post while 1% don’t interact with your content at all then you’d have a strong overall EdgeRank with the 99% but a weak EdgeRank with the 1% who does nothing.
Conversely, if you have very low interaction with 99% of your fans but your spouse always “likes” your posts you’ll have a weak overall EdgeRank but a strong one with him or her only.
The second example is common for insurance agents and often gives false impressions about how much visibility your content gets.
2) Weight – How Engaging Is This Content?
While Affinity measures how much people generally engage with your agency page, Weight measures how much people engage with a particular piece of content.
Facebook knows people engage more with photos and videos than simple text updates so a picture or a video is more likely to show in News Feeds.
However, the Weight Score is also reactive, so if you make a text post that gets a lot of likes, comments and shares the weight score will increase.
3) Recency – How Fresh is This Content?
Since stuff that happened further in the past is inherently less interesting than something that just happened, the older a Facebook post is, the less likely it’ll show in anyone’s News Feed.
Since a majority of your Facebook fans are not logged in at any given moment, you’re going to need a high Affinity and Weight Score to show up in News Feeds for people who sign into Facebook several hours later.
Now that you understand what EdgeRank is…
Here’s 10 Tips for Improving Your Insurance Agency Facebook EdgeRank
1) Don’t Post Just to Post
Don’t listen to “social media experts” who say you have to update your Facebook page every day. You should only make a post when you have high quality content that will get at least a few likes, comments, or shares.
2) Post more Pictures and Videos
Not only does Facebook give more prevalence to photos and videos, people like them more too! And remember that you’ll almost always get a few likes if you post something with puppies, babies, or chimps.
3) Don’t Buy Likes
There are people out there that will get you hundreds of fake likes on your Facebook page. Unfortunately none of these likes will EVER interact with any of your content so it makes your EdgeRank look pitiful to Facebook.
4) Post at Opportune Times
Since your Facebook posts may only have a short lifespan in News Feeds, make sure you post at times when the most people are using Facebook. Here’s a cool resource to give you some insight.
5) Get Friends, Family, and Staff to Engage With Your Content
Explain to everyone you know that the more they interact with your FB page, the more marketing exposure you’ll get and the better it is for your business. You should be able to get some love for every post.
6) Ask Questions
If you’re trying to get more comments, ask questions people will want to answer. Keep it simple and non-controversial.
7) Use Engagement Calls to Action
To be honest I don’t really like to do it, but I have seen a significant difference in the amount of Likes, Comments, and Shares I get on Facebook posts just by asking people to.
8) Share Others’ Popular Posts
If you see a Facebook post that’s getting a lot of feedback on someone else’s page, share it on your page. The content is already proven and even if its not yours the Likes will strengthen your EdgeRank.
9) Fill-In-The-Blank Status Updates
I’ve never done any of these on the InsuranceSplash FB page but I have seen them work for a lot of other companies. Use something insurance related like, “My first car was ______, and I loved it because _________”
10) Encourage Conversations In The Comments
Reply back to people who make comments on your status updates. Try to ask them more questions to elicit more comments from them but also to get other people involved.
What to do next…
1) Tell all your friends, staff, and family to start hitting “Like” every time they see your stuff!
2) Click the “Like” button here so I can get some EdgeRank and you’ll continue to see helpful information from me.
3) Send a link to this article to another agent that wants to understand Facebook better.
4) Share this article with a sales or marketing manager who pushes social media to their agents.