Localize on Social Media or Else


University of Albany

Don’t worry. This isn’t one of those “feel good” stories about how social media is all about interacting with your local community. That part’s true, but you should know that already, right?

Today, let’s go over a quick explanation of how social media algorithms, especially Facebook’s, work and why you’re actually hurting your local page’s chances of being seen by having too many people outside of your local area liking your page. It isn’t just a matter of them not being interested in your content the way that locals will. It is an algorithm play that can actually prevent locals from seeing your posts.

There was a video that came out last week talking about the evil ways that Facebook advertising works and why it’s pretty much worthless. The things that the video discusses have been known by many in the social media marketing arena for some time now. However, we’ve also known that any poor execution or strategy will yield the bad results described in the video.

The redeeming quality of the video was that it highlighted something I’ve said many times: the algorithm plays on reactions. If you post something that gets interactions shortly after it’s posted by the some of the people who see the post, it’s more likely to be presented to more people. Conversely, if a ton of people see the post and do not interact with it, Facebook knows this and believes the content is not as worth as others. This is the game that Facebook has mastered and it works for the most part as long as your content and advertising strategies are strong.

One of our clients, Albany Chevrolet, posted the image above. It was pertaining to a national story about Chevrolet giving money to colleges that were participating in their environmental push. Rather than take it at face value and discuss the OEM’s initiative alone, we turned it into a localized story by highlighting the local university with the story.

It’s okay to take national stories and post them on social media, but try to put the local spin into it whenever possible.

From a reach perspective, you should be shooting for over 95% of your Facebook reach going after people within driving distance of your business. In this case, someone local will be more inclined to like the post rather than someone further away. As more people like it, more people will see it, which makes more people like it… etc.

Stop pushing for far-off fans. Stop allowing them. Put the emphasis on only the locals and you’re going to be in front of more of them.

Soshable | Social Media Blog