There has been a rumor going around that Facebook has made changes to all business pages that will preventing that business’s posts from being seen by all of their fans, even those who have already liked the business page. You may have seen some pages posting updates similar to:
“Facebook is now charging to see all of our posts. To see all of our updates, please go to our page and click where it says, “Liked” and select “Show in News Feed.”
Is this rumor true? Yes and No. Let me explain.
Limited views in your fans’ news feeds
If you manage a Facebook Page for your business, you may have noticed that your reach has dropped over the past couple months. This is not from any recent change (as any fan that already likes your page will have the “Show in News Feed” area already checked off), but this is because of a Facebook algorithm that they have been running for quite some time called “Edgerank.” The Edgerank algorithm calculates a variety of factors, including each specific fan’s past interaction with your page, the popularity of each specific update, type of update (link, photo, text, etc), and many more factors that normal human beings like us will never know of. Based off a variety of factors, your page will be displayed in the news feed to a certain percentage of your fan base, and not every fan that has liked your page.
As many of you already know, the Instagram Photo Sharing app has taken the world by storm over the past two years. Boasting 30+ million users even without an Android app (which was now just recently released), Instagram has been getting everyone’s attention. This includes Facebook, who just purchased the company for right around $1 Billion.
With Instagram having been named Apple’s App of the year for 2011, then acquired by Facebook (there may be some big integration plans in the future), and the new addition of the Android app that is continuing to massively boost their user base, it’s important to understand how to utilize the app in intelligent and creative ways to help boost your brand’s relationship with its consumers. Take a look at these 4 tips that can help get your brand on the way to building a strong Instagram community!
1. Post engaging content & know your audience
Instagram revolves around one main concept, and one thing that makes it such a huge success: the pictures! People love looking at different photos, and it requires minimal effort to analyze an image (as opposed to reading a body of text). With over 250 million photos posted a day, it’s important that when posting images to Instagram you are selecting ones that are visually stunning, original, and most importantly ones that your consumer base can relate to in some shape or form. When using Instagram you want your users to react to your image (whether they like or comment on your image) to help spread your photo and build your Instagram network. Red Bull does a great job of posting relevant and engaging content on their feed frequently.
I have had a certain product break on me four times in the past three months. Each time I didn’t complain, just filled out the warranty, sent the product in and got a new one. Now the fourth time the product broke, I decided to take to social media because, quite frankly, I felt people should know about this and along with that, I really did want to see how they would respond if I posted negatively on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
I started by posting a long message on the brand’s Facebook wall, explaining all of the brand’s faults and how ridiculous of a situation I had been put through with their product. I posted this around 9:00 A.M. with hopes that they would respond quickly (negatively or positively) so I could either make a Facebook scene or in fact escalate this situation to someone at the company who could help me quickly. After posting on their Facebook wall, I took to Twitter and posted a couple of tweets on how bad their product is and the predicament I was in with the product breaking four times on me. I made sure to use @ mentions and keep a period in front so everyone who doesn’t follow both the brand and I could see it.
The following is how the brand handled the situation and what they did wrong/right:
The brand crafted a great Facebook response, being extremely apologetic, actually stating the failure rate of the product (only 4.6 out of 100 these products fail at all, but yet I had 4 break in three months) and directing me to email them instead of continuing the conversation on Facebook (smart tactic).
The new Timeline for brands has officially rolled out today (Wednesday, February, 29th 2012), and some of the big brands like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Livestrong are already taking advantage of the new features of the Timeline. With that said, there’s no need to rush right in and hit the publish button. Facebook isn’t making the Timeline for your brand page mandatory until March 30th, 2012, and with the new preview functionality for Page admins you can fully adjust your brand Timeline before you push it live.
Let me fill you in on some of the new features of the brand Timeline, and some steps you can take to launch your new brand Page on the right foot.
Say Goodbye to your Welcome Tab, and Hello to the “Sticky” Feature.
Before the new Timeline, brand Pages would develop custom tabs that the user would land on when they first visit the page (Before they like it).
Well, with the new Timeline, the welcome tab is now obsolete. It’s O.K., don’t freak out just yet! All tabs are still active on the page (but relocated), and the new Timeline for pages have a brand new “Sticky Feature”, which I believe is even more effective than the old welcome tab.
The Sticky feature allows you to select a piece of content to display on the top of your page feed for 7 days, giving you the opportunity to feature any marketing message you would like in that area. You can direct people to one of your tabs, showcase an event, new product, or basically anything your little heart can think of.
Last week I ran a little social media experiment… non-scientific of course. I tweeted and posted on Facebook that for every twitter Retweet (RT) or Facebook Like/Share I got on a specific post I would donate $1.00 to my Movember campaign.
I didn’t really have any goals besides donating some money “humblebrag” and seeing if I could get 100 RTs & 100 Facebook “Likes” in a day, and seeing if it in fact worked.
Surprisingly, it was much harder to get Facebook “Likes” than to get RTs on twitter
Going into this, I thought I would easily get to 100 Facebook “Likes” but that was not the case at all. With the new Facebook feed, there is so much more news being spread and posts get lost in the clutter much quicker if people are not actually sharing the post. It is important for something to be shared and not just “liked” if you don’t want the post to be lost in the clutter
For any brand to show up consistently on Facebook they will need to either be constantly posting status updates, (spammy and annoying) or pay for advertisements on Facebook
There is also the option of asking your friends to repost/share your status updates, not just like them, but again, that can come off as spammy
twitter RTs were much easier to come by. I only have 370 followers (don’t judge) but most people were more than willing to give a RT for a good cause
Two weeks ago, I was lucky to attend a great social media conference at Windy City Social in Chicago. In fact, I was so overwhelmed with good information, it took me two weeks to write this post. I want to share some of the most useful information that I took away, that would be of value to you, our blog readers. As an organization, you may or may not have a social media strategy in place. A couple tweets here and there, a Facebook photo album after your company holiday party, etc., and now you are tasked with putting together a real social media plan! Here are some tips for how to get started and what you should include in your plan.
Tips for getting started:
First off, take a good look at what you are trying to solve with social media.
Next, identify your goals – Is it to build your brand’s online presence? Is it to protect your brand? Your goals must align with what you are trying to solve.
Then, take a look at the activity that is occurring right now – where and when the conversations are happening, and if that sentiment is negative or positive.
If you haven’t already done so at this point, you should put together a Social Media Council, made up of stakeholders that can serve as advisors and ambassadors to the program. These individuals should be well-versed in the plan you are about to put together, and can act as representatives of your company, whether externally or internally.
Now it’s time to create your social media plan! Here are 4 main components that each plan should have:
Social Buzz Analysis – here, you need to focus on the trends in your industry, what people are thinking and their interests today. Identify threads that are already present, and keywords that resonate with your audience.
What have I learned by advertising on Facebook? It’s really easy to place an ad in front of the demographic that you want to target…But if you don’t have the right image, with the right message, with the right product, that user is more than likely not going to click on that ad.
Learning 1) I can target your mom on Facebook
No really, I can…Facebook allows advertisers to target pretty much anything you have shared with Facebook. For example: I can target a 27 year old male that lives in Bozeman, Montana, is engaged to be married, has a college degree in marketing, likes to snowboard, listens to deadmau5, and likes Cadbury eggs. Advertisers can target their exact demographic down to a T, but that still doesn’t mean that person wants to click and buy something while they are on Facebook.
Learning 2) Ads should act on a users’ impulses
If someone is on Facebook, they are not on Facebook to buy an expensive item (anything that involves research into the item is a no-go). A Facebook user’s attention is not on the ads, but on what Stacie is doing on Saturday night, so the ad needs to really catch their attention. Facebook ads are almost like the check-out aisle in a candy store, the ads need to be impulsive so the Facebook user clicks on them. Remember that unlike Google Adwords, where the searcher is actively seeking information on a specific product, on Facebook, we are assuming that because of their demographic, they will be interested in our product.
Learning 3) Use eye catching images
Duh…I know it sounds like I am beating a dead horse with this one, but the images really need to draw the user’s attention from whomever’s status they are looking at. Bright images, with unique color schemes, that catch the eye more than usual will generate more clicks for your ads.
Last week we shared news of the upcoming release of Facebook Timeline—a major update to the site that promises to summarize your entire life since birth. Instead of the old layout that stacks your profile updates, burying old but important news, the redesign staggers your Facebook activity in more of a scrapbook style, encouraging users to explore and share momentous occasions of their life. It’s a major change and one that has caused much uproar on Facebook–as all Facebook changes tend to do. Many users are threatening to close their Facebook accounts or–worse, yet (sarcasm noted?)–to defect to Google+.
Being marketers, our immediate questions here at envisionit media had more to do with the impact on business and brand pages (the specifics of which are yet to be released by Facebook). But before we can thoroughly explore those possibilities, I thought it best to experience Facebook Timeline for myself and figure out just how many Facebook users we might be losing.
The pure aesthetic changes are enough to draw you right in–you can now choose a strong main image that appears at the top of the page, behind your profile picture. This is called the “cover” and I already see myself swapping that out a lot based on my mood, recent events or trips I’m excited about, important occasions, or just to add some humor to my page. I think I’ll now also keep my profile picture pretty consistent–that is my personal brand, after all.
If you aren’t familiar with F8, its Facebook’s annual developer conference where they announce any big changes they’ve scheduled for release this year. Well, they just held F8 today, and they announced some MAJOR changes rolling out in the next couple weeks that will surely change the Facebook experience as we know it.
Over the past week Facebook has released some changes you’ve probably already noticed, like the ability to sort friends into groups, a real time ticker, and the subscribe button. If you thought those were big changes you’re in for a treat when we tell you about the new “Timeline” feature they are rolling out.
The new “Timeline” is a revamped version of your Facebook profile that provides everything you’ve done since your “birth” into the Facebook universe. The timeline is a real-time stream that showcases all of your events, posts, and pictures all with a stylish new redesign. It will also connect to any apps you may have on Facebook like Netflix, Spotify, and Nike +.
Take a look at this video to learn a little more about the new Timeline:
You can find even more info about the new Facebook timeline here.
As of right now we can’t be too sure of what this holds for Marketing efforts in the future, but stay tuned for more info on how to best utilize the new changes to Facebook once these features get rolled out to the masses!
If you’re an active Facebook user, you’ve probably already noticed yourself being asked by Facebook to “recommend” a Place page or even vote between two of the Places you like. A recommendation is essentially a review of that restaurant or bar or store (the most common types of “Place” pages), though the “recommendation” title naturally gives it a more positive spin than a typical “reviews” section.
This was a relatively quiet rollout for Facebook over the last week or two, but a sweet addition for any business looking to expand their loyal following.
Here’s how Recommendations work:
When on a specific Place page, a user will see a “Recommend This Place” request on the right side above the ads
The user can choose to display the recommendation to “friends only” or “everyone”
The recommendations shows up on the user’s own wall, thus in friends’ feeds
If “everyone” was chosen, the recommendation/review is also visible on that Place page (the request on the right becomes a “View Recommendations/Recommend this place” combo)
Page Admins have the option to hide a recommendation from view
Any smart business owner knows the power of reviews and the impact of friend referrals, and Facebook has now provided another outlet for this. So jump on it, businesses! We’ll see how they evolve the feature over time, and even if there will be any impact on organic search from this.
In the meantime, tip #1: Simply post a status to your wall thanking your fans for their support and asking them to share a recommendation.