I read an article a while back that stated that if you add pictures to your content, your viability almost doubles. interactive things also work well, but not as well as pictures. Being as this article, like most of what i seem to find these days, had no charts, graphs, or any other statistical proof I took it upon myself to test this via facebook. Here's what I've got so far.
Please remember, at the present time, I have 72 "likes" on my fan page. So, that line that looks like it's skimming the 0 all the way, that's my likes or "Organic" Organic is also supposed to represent people who saw it in my newsfeed or in ticker, but since the vast majority of my friends are also on my fan page this really doesn't matter. Now, on to what we are looking at. Let's start with the July 7th.
Do you see how on July 8th (the dot right of Jul 7) there's a slight bump up for a few days and then drops back down on July 15th? That was me posting random pictures: some comic related, some goofy (santa shooting a machine gun) and a couple cat pictures.
July 7th had 50 organic and 129 viral (2.58 to 1 ratio)
July 8th had 55 organic and 219 viral (3.98 to 1 ratio)
There was a slight increase in my viral reach, meaning the pictures did help. It didn't double my reach, but it did a better job than just talking. So, as far as that article goes, it's correct - pictures do help. Now, on to the giant leap in reach.
From July 21st to July 31st I added two more elements to this equation: A poll and twitter. The poll was a simple one "What book format do you prefer?" The info for that poll is listed on the blog, so go check it out. During the weekish I ran the poll I also posted a few remarks and some pictures, but I also tweeted a 2-3 times a day, asking people to come vote on the poll. Here's what I think happened.
At the time, I had roughly 1500 followers on Twitter that I was interacting with, several were kind enough to retweet the fb link and my tweet - increasing my twitter reach greatly. I think it was the use of Twitter that really shot my numbers through the roof and the poll/pictures that sustained it as long as it did. Now, what does this really mean to me and to you?
How many likes did I get during that whole endeavor? maybe 5. What I really got from this is experience and a better understanding of what works. Yes, pictures do increase your audience via picture likes/shares/etc and the increase is even sustainable, at least, as far as I can tell. I don't have significant data to conclude that sustainability lasts past a week or two.
What really works wonders is combining social media venues. I honestly hadn't expected this much of a jump in reach. I assumed that most people who use twitter probably don't mess with facebook and vise versa. I only started using twitter because of my writings..turns out I was wrong. The combination of twitter with interactive polls and pictures really helped my facebook page get notice and if you notice that my reach seems to have leveled off at a higher level - although its really early to say if that's the case or if the fall is just slowing down.
Again, I didn't get much in the way of "likes" BUT I did get a lot in the way of getting my name, my page and my book out there. That is what should be focused on with advertising - it's not about how many people like you or follow your every whim, it's about getting your brand out there so that people recognize it. You think everyone that drinks Pepsi likes them on facebook? Please...but you know who they are and you buy their stuff!