Tag: facebook

How to create engaging content for your Facebook fans

Facebook have taken a number of steps this year to become more celebrity-friendly, taking notes from Twitter, and introducing features which benefit users and personalities.

This year has seen the introduction of Facebook verified accounts, allowing users to recognise legitimate accounts (just like on Twitter) as well as hashtags, and a test of a ‘Trending Topics’ feature. Facebook have even hinted at introducing features, which will make it easier for celebrities to connect with fans in the near future.

So while you’re waiting for some of these fantastic new features roll out, how do you get the most out of Facebook as a personality (or brand)?

Rule #1 – Stick to Facebook best practices.

No matter who you are, if you’re using a social network, you need to use it correctly. Setting up a page and not using it a Facebook cardinal sin, it’s like having a phone you never answer. Post regularly and post the type of content that engages your audience. Text posts can often get the best reach, so mix it up with text, photo, video and links to keep your audience interested and interacting with your page.

Rule #2 – Be yourself

It sounds corny, but if you be yourself and show your personality online, it will be better for your personal brand.  People use Facebook to connect with friends, so by adding personal thoughts or the occasional candid photo to your page, you make it easier for your fans to feel like they are ‘friends’ with you.

Rule #3 – Give back to your community

There are so many fantastic ways to give back to your fans and thank them for being loyal followers. Ricky Martin recently hosted a live Q&A on his Facebook page, delighting fans when they received replies to their questions.  Use your page to host contests, answer questions, and provide fans with exclusive content or information. When you give fans an exclusive or reward, your content becomes social currency, an asset which is valuable to those who know about it and will share with those who don’t. You also strengthen your relationship with followers when you acknowledge and reward them for being fans no matter what.

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Rule #4 – You can get help

If you want the exposure, marketing opportunities and community support that social media can offer, but don’t have the time or ability to do it yourself, a social media manager can help. Stars including Star Trek’s George Takei, Britney Spears, Kanye West and more admit to having professional help with their social media. Takei himself admits to paying a ghost writer $10 per Facebook post. Whether you want to disclose it or not, having help with posting is beneficial for a number of reasons. It allows you to fill in gaps where you are too busy to post something yourself.  Also, if you have difficulty with spelling, grammar or expressing yourself through text, a ghost writer can help to make your message clear.

Example of content written by Lady Gaga herself and also by a page manager.
Example of content written by Lady Gaga herself and also by a page manager.

As a personality using social media, you have the benefit of your popularity to building page likes, and exciting, interesting content to drive engagement. There is a wealth of opportunities for using social media to maintain a loyal following of fans to support you in the years to come, and Facebook is a great place to start.

Facebook Advertising ticks all the right boxes

 

Facebook advertising has been shown to have made significant improvements this year in increased impressions, clicks and views, spelling good news for brands thinking about or already using Facebook ads.

A recent report by Kenshoo Social reveals major improvements in the performance of Facebook advertising in the third quarter of 2013, compared with the second quarter. The data is based on over 85 billion ad impressions across a range of advertisers and agencies, including brands in the travel, retail and financial services sectors.

The key findings include:

  • Ad impressions rose 13%.
  • Click volume was up 14.4%.
  • Cost per click fell 9%.
  • Conversion rate was up by 2.36 times (ie. more than doubled)
  • Return on investment was increased 3.04 times.

A driving factor in the improvement of the performance of ads on the social networking site was users’ increased willingness to engage with brand advertising. Facebook’s recently improved audience targeting capabilities for ads has also been a helpful in improving rates of response.

If you’ve been on Facebook for a while, you’ll have noticed how the algorithm which sorts the News Feed works, by filtering messages and showing users the most interesting content. It’s estimated that on average Facebook users only see 20% of a potential 1,500 updates per day. As a result, brands can find it hard to have their content seen in the News Feed and thus could be missing out on valuable brand exposure and opportunities for fan engagement.

Facebook advertising is an ideal way to boost brand exposure on the social network, providing a cost-effective and highly targeted way to reach users where they interact with friends based on shared interests. As Facebook provides deep audience targeting capabilities, it enables marketers and brands to create highly customised, relevant ads that are more effectively able to reach new and existing customers.

How can I advertise on Facebook?

Facebook ads fall into three main categories: Ads, Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories. Here’s a run-down of what each ad type involves:

Sponsored Stories – the voice of friends

Image via: Facebook.com

Stories are actions taken by users which can appear in the news feed, such as “Lauren likes a link…” Sponsored stories are a message about a friend engaging with a page which can appear in the News Feed or on the right-hand side.  Sponsored stories are a form of advertising which seems more like a recommendation from a friend rather than an Ad.  As people trust recommendations and referrals from friends and those they have a connection with, Sponsored Stores are a great way to let your fans do the talking.

Sponsoring a story won’t change the content of the update, but it will increase its distribution. They are usually the most interactive form of advertising on Facebook due to being a ‘recommendation’ from a friend, and tend to receive higher click-through and engagement rates.

Sponsored stories are best used when you want another user to take the same action as a friend, such as liking you page. This way the user can see that a friend has taken interest in the page or post, which gives your content social context, making it more likely that the new user will complete the same action.

Sponsored stories can be created from a large variety of Facebook features and content, including:

  • Page post: like, comment, share, offer claim
  • Page/Place: like, check-in
  • App: use, share
  • Event RSVP
  • Game played
  • Domain: like, share

Promoted Posts – conquer the News Feed

Image via: Facebook.com
Image via: Facebook.com

Promoted posts enable you to have your posts appear higher in the News Feed, so there’s a better chance your audience will see them. You can choose to “boost” a recent post by going to your page and selecting the post you wish to receive more views. You then set a budget based on how many people you want to reach.  Promoted posts are ideal for getting greater reach for important posts, such as news or special offers.

Promoted post will appear in the news feed and not in the side bar. The difference between a Promoted Post and a Page Post Ad is Promoted Posts will reach existing fans and friends of fans, where Page Post Ads can reach non-fans (or friends of fans).

Ads – the voice of business

Image via: Facebook.com
Image via: Facebook.com

Creating Facebook ads gives you full creative control in producing ad copy and adding an image. Currently, you have ten different types of ad formats to choose from, which are:

  • Page post: status, link, offer, photo, video
  • Page like
  • App
  • Event
  • Mobile app install
  • Domain ad

Unlike Sponsored Stories, which appear in the News Feed, Ads will only appear on the right-hand sidebar.  Mobile app ads are only eligible to be shown in the mobile News Feed and, when clicked, will take users to the Apple App Store or Google Play (depending on their operating system).

The most effective ads are those that are a) relevant to your audience, and b) contain a call to action or reason for clicking on the Ad. Whether you’re advertising your page, website or event, tell people why they should be interested with catchy headlines and interesting photos (avoid stock photos which can lack personality).

The broad range of ad options budget-friendly nature of Facebook advertising makes it an ideal choice for all types of businesses to get the most out of Facebook and the thousands of users online.

This month we have a special offer for businesses looking to advertise on Facebook. Chat to us about receiving a $100 voucher with every Facebook Advertising packaged purchased in October.

 

 

 

The Pros and Cons of Facebook #hashtags

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#Hashtags

Just in case you’re not sure how they work, hashtags turn words and phrases into clickable links. When a user clicks on a hashtag, it will take them to a list of posts featuring that particular hashtag so they can find similar stories, updates and follow trending topics.

Facebook added hashtags to their network back in June, and since then a number of pros and cons have been noted.

Pros:

Allows you to include and associate your update with a topic of conversation, as you would with Instagram and Twitter. For instance, if you wanted to tell people more about your location, you could add #Adelaide to your content.

You could develop a hashtag for your business, eg. #AdelaideCoffeeHouse, and encourage your Facebook fans to use the hashtag when they check-in or post about your business. This would allow you to see and reply to content with #AdelaideCoffeeHouse.  As your hashtag serves as an online word of mouth tool, it would be a good idea to acknowledge and reward fans who use it.

Using hashtags will be beneficial if you have connected accounts, as the tag will be live across multiple networks, including Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

Cons:

As there have been some months to examine the effect of hashtags on post reach, Edgerank Checker conducted a study and found that the use of hashtags did not increase the organic reach of a post. Further to that, posts without hashtags had more viral reach than those with hashtags. Edgerank Checker’s conclusions to this were that the lack of increase in reach could simply stem from users not clicking on hashtags, especially when they were used in conjunction with promotional content (which often receives less engagement, clicks and therefore, reach).

Facebook’s response to Edgerank Checker’s report pretty much sums up how you should approach the use of social media – with quality content:

“Pages should not expect to get increased distribution (what some call virality) simply by sticking irrelevant hashtags in their posts. The best thing for Pages (that want increased distribution) to do is focus on posting relevant, high quality-content — hashtags or not. Quality, not hashtags, is what our News Feed algorithms look for so that Pages can increase their reach.”

Thus far, Facebook don’t really seem to have put a lot of effort into making hashtags work as well as they do on Twitter. Maybe users aren’t used to it yet and are not sure of what to expect, or maybe they just don’t fit in with Facebook-style conversation. Hopefully Facebook will add a ‘trending topics’ feature to make it easier for users to follow what interests them, and for brands to join in the conversation. Currently, to use hashtags well on Facebook you would need to follow them closely, and as suggested before, follow up with fans that use them.

If you do use hashtags, use them sparingly – #no #one #enjoys #reading #a #sentence #that #looks #like #this.  Pick hashtags relevant to your conversation or topic, or even create on specifically for your business or promotion (just check that no one else is using it first!) Again, a custom hashtag would be ideal for use across connected platforms.

Tell us your thoughts, do you use or would consider using hashtags on Facebook? Leave a comment below or join our conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

 

 

 

New Top Level Domain Names Could Render Facebook Pointless

The social media giant “Facebook” has for the first time in history lost users to other social media channels according to Ryan Holmes – CEO of HootSuite.

This article reflects what I have seen coming for many years. Why should it be any different to any other empire? All good things must come to an end.

With the creation of new branded top level domains due to begin the approval process in the last quarter of 2013, Facebook is set to be attacked by brands looking to communicate better with their customers using social media. Ferrari, Tiffany, NFL, ANZ and about 900 other brands can carry a pretty big stick.

Soon customers of these trademarks could be offered a personalised domain name to coincide with their new personalised branded web presence.

This transformation means that brands will be able to provide social media platforms with which to communicate (without restriction, without Facebook) to their customer base. While I don’t believe that this will be the end of Facebook, it is clear that Facebook is already being pressured by existing social media competitors. So imagine what it will look like when these powerful global companies start to flex their social muscle by taking it to a whole NEW TOP LEVEL of competitor.

These brands took the leap of faith and invested up to around $500,000 just for the privilege to run their own slice of the Internet. Therefore they are not going to be wasting this opportunity to create added value to their brand where their competitors can’t without a fight. There is just too much invested, to much at stake, too many heads that might roll, too much on the line for something that is little more than a naming convention.

However what that naming convention means is what counts. Global brands are looking for profit increases of as little as 1% in order to generate millions of dollars of new revenue. These new gTLDs provide that incubator for brands to be able to make that become a reality.

It is this drive that will make these new branded top level domain names successful and why Facebook needs to be very, VERY watchful. Many of these brands are wealthy and highly powerful and together they can make a big impact on Facebook’s social customer base. There is only so much time you can dedicate to being social on the Internet. So while brands currently HAVE to drive traffic to Facebook in order to do business, soon they won’t and that could be devastating. I certainly wouldn’t have shares in Facebook at the moment.

Perhaps Facebook not applying for their own gTLD will be their undoing. More likely (and something I would be prepared to put a wager on) Facebook will apply in the second round (if there is one) and suddenly the kid who was the “cool kid”, will now be the “new kid” on the block.

Here is the article from Ryan Holmes – CEO of HootSuite
http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130709145114-2967511-global-social-media-networks-set-to-overtake-facebook

Why you NEED to understand Edge Rank

As Facebook is the ‘go-to’ social network for many businesses, it is important to understand how the site works so that you can get the most out of it.

 

Understanding EdgeRank

Facebook’s News Feed is organised by an algorithm that determines which stories will show up in your newsfeed.  To ensure the newsfeed is not completely overwhelming for users (imagine seeing every one of your friends’ activities in your newsfeed!) Facebook uses the algorithm to determine which stories will be of most interest to you and cuts out what it perceives to be junk.

Why should I care?

Because your fans won’t see your updates if they aren’t engaging and interesting! Facebook ranks stories by their score, which is determined in three parts:

  1. Weight
  2. Affinity
  3. Time Decay

A story (or, edge) is given Weight with comments, shares and likes. Generally comments and shares are worth more than likes. Certain content, such as photos and videos can hold more weight and thus be more visible in the newsfeed, but it depends on the type of interaction the story receives. A text post with lots of comments and likes will rank higher than a video with no comments. The lesson here is to try and make each post engaging so it can show up in your fans’ newsfeeds and spread virally to the fan’s friends’ newsfeeds.

Affinity is a one-way relationship between users which rates how ‘connected’ you are. If you post on a friend’s wall and have lots of mutual friends, etc. Facebook will assume you want to see more of that person’s posts. As it’s a one-way score, that person won’t necessarily see all your posts unless they frequently interact with you also. It is important to note that affinity scores can wane due to inactivity, so keep your fans coming back to your page!

Time Decay is pretty self-explanatory. As a story gets older, it’s score drops because it’s less relevant than something posted two minutes ago. EdgeRank is a running score and your post in competing against all the other updates for that moment in time.

As you can see, it is important to understand how Facebook’s News Feed works to make the most of your social media activity and avoid wasting time. As this can be tricky to grasp or keep up with Facebook’s constant changes, please give us a call if you need any help. You have the option to outsource your social media management or receive consultation to get you on the right track.