Author Archives: StephenPaster

How to beat Facebook’s EdgeRank

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Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard increased rumblings around Facebook’s new EdgeRank algorithm. Yes, I can thank Mark Cuban for raising the awareness, but I was first alerted to it two weeks ago when visiting a client. From August to October (Edgerank changes took place in September), their data looks like the following:


Guess who pays $0 in Facebook Ads? It shouldn’t matter, since users “like” the page to get updates and share content, right?

Well, let’s review some facts:

• Your post on Facebook WILL NOT reach all of your fans
• Facebook believes their algorithm (called EdgeRank) will do a better job of providing content that each user wants, rather than allowing each user to opt in themselves (liking a page is fairly irrelevant)
• The only way to get your posts to persist is to pay (remember, their ticker symbol is FB)

I could go on about the “user experience”, but my last name isn’t Zuckerberg, so it makes no difference. But don’t worry Barracuda Networks and Newcastle, I still love seeing the same stale posts that you promote (and I still don’t like your page).

So What’s The Solution? This chart below shows that “smaller pages” actually reach a higher percentage of their fans.

So how do you get “smaller pages”? Start by defining what segments of your business make sense for having their own pages. Do you have multiple brands? What about multiple storefronts? Creating and managing a Facebook Page for each location or brand makes your content more relevant to that audience. More relevance leads to more engagement, which means users will see more posts from your company according to the new manner in which EdgeRank operates.

How are you currently beating Facebook’s new EdgeRank?


Cool What?

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We recently had the honor of being named a GartnerCool Vendor in CRM Customer Service and Social.” All I’ve heard since then is, a bunch of questions and comments, like:



- Who’s Gartner?

- What does this mean?

- You’re really not that cool!






I’d like to clear this up for everyone, once and for all.

Who’s Gartner – they are the clear leader among IT Analyst Firms. To put it into perspective, they are a $1B+ organization whose ticker symbol is IT. Enough said. Specifically to us, they have been preaching for years to CIOs (Chief Information Officers) that IT needs to function as a strategic business unit, not as a group of tech people.

What does this mean? – It validates everything we’ve been doing. When I demo Engage121 I always hear prospective clients say “cool,” to which my response is always “Why?” Because nothing we do is actually cool for the sake of being cool. There is always a method to the madness; or as we call them at Engage121, Business Solutions…a.k.a.…the same thing that Gartner is challenging CIOs to deliver on a daily basis.

What are business solutions? It depends on your line of business. For Restaurants, you want more butts in seats. For Real Estate Organizations, you want more listings and more sold houses. For Financial Institutions, you want to retain and grow your client base. We help our clients achieve their specific objectives through social media every day. Heck, I challenge you to find a corporate objective that social can’t influence.

And to my friends who say I am really not that cool, you know who you are. You are just busting our chops, because you are right there with us. Together, we are in the midst of working on some stuff that is straight up revolutionary. We are changing the ways business is done on a day-to-day basis.

Things couldn’t be any more exciting at Engage121 than they are right now. I am thrilled that I get to enjoy the ride. For the rest of you, buckle up because big things are coming. How do I know? Because I’m cool.


How do you find your Key Influencers?

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To start, let’s define the term influencer and how it has evolved with social media. Traditionally, an influencer is someone with an audience who trusts their opinion.  They have a vehicle to relay their message, they can be an expert in a certain area, or both. However, in the world of social media anyone can be an influencer, as everyone has access to multiple free vehicles that both enable and promote content to be shared among users.  Below are two relevant examples, one more famous than the other.









Stew Leonard’s, known as Stew’s, is a local grocery store in Connecticut.  While they provide great fresh food and produce, it is also a favorite spot for kids; as they have a small zoo, ice cream stand, and lots of entertainment as you wind through the store.  Last year Stew’s took to Facebook to help promote the spring opening of their Zoo. They were having a small parade in their parking lot introducing the new animals and tons of other activities for kids. Upon seeing their post, I shared this event with some of my friends on Facebook who live in other parts of Connecticut and are not “Fans” of Stew’s on Facebook.  My friends on Facebook ended up attending the event and after the parade those friends who do not traditionally shop there, ended up spending over $300 that day.  Stew’s would have missed out on this business if I had not shared this information with my friends on Facebook.  As we heard from Facebook directly at the IFA, the goal of marketing your Business on Facebook should be influencing your Fans’ friends.  The main way to do this as a business is to run a Sponsored Post Ad on Facebook targeted to “Friends of Fans.”












There is a 16 year old kid in Chicago named Keenan Cahill whose hobby is making videos of himself lip syncing the words to many songs. His videos have a humorous take to them, and with his rendition of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” he drew over 52 million views. There is also a very well known rapper named 50 Cent, who had a new song, but wasn’t getting the attention he wanted on the networks and stations. In order to gain awareness of his new song he relied on an unlikely influencer, Keenan.  In this new day and age, 50 Cent needed to go to Chicago, to Keenan’s room and film this viral video. When in reality he is a celebrity with plenty of money and opportunity, but couldn’t rely on his traditional methods.  Today Keenan is up to over 391 Million video views on his channel and has become a celebrity in his own right.

The moral of both of these stories is that anyone can be an influencer, regardless of the numbers of fans and followers they have right now, which is a point that Guy Kawasaki emphasized at IFA.  By leveraging applications, it becomes quite easy to spot trends, engage where appropriate, and target messages through Facebook that persist through leveraging Facebook Ads.


- Steve Paster, Account Director Engage121