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.
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.
Social media has become a huge part of every company’s marketing mix, whether you are a local business or a nationwide brand. It is important to have a branded Facebook page and a branded Twitter handle to communicate with your consumers directly. Many companies are utilizing Facebook to its maximum potential, but are you using Twitter to its full potential as well?
According to this article by Mashable, Twitter has over 100 million monthly active users, 50% of whom are signing in every day. That is a HUGE audience. But sometimes just pushing your Facebook posts to your Twitter account doesn’t cut it. So let me share some tips to help you maximize your success in the Twitterverse.
1. Utilize free Twitter tools
There are a lot of free tools that can help you utilize Twitter to its maximum potential. My two favorite are Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. These tools not only provide easy management of multiple accounts or brands, but will also greatly help with the other tips proved below.
2. Set up relevant live searches
When using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck you have the ability to set up live streams of searches using whatever terms you desire. As an example, lets say you are a hotel in the Chicagoland area. You can set up a search for “Chicago Hotels” in your Tweetdeck account. You will then have a live stream of all Twitter users tweeting about Chicago hotels, hotels in Chicago, etc. So if someone tweets, “What is the best hotel to stay at in Chicago?” you can quickly reach out to him or her directly with a response in a matter of seconds.
Social media is a huge part of marketing these days, and a great way to reach out and captivate your audience. When utilizing these channels there are some important steps you should take to make sure you cover all the bases when continuing to develop your brand on these networks.
So you have an active Facebook page… check. You’re active on Twitter… check. But what about Youtube? Do you have a channel set up? Youtube channels are a necessity these days, and there is much more that you can do to your channel than just uploading videos. Just check out the new promotion Dreamworks is running for the new Kung Fu Panda 2 movie coming out. And MAKE SURE you click for epicness at the end of the first video..
Branding Your Youtube Channel
Not every business has hundreds of thousands of dollars to dedicate to developing Youtube Pages like Dreamworks does. However, all businesses should want their Youtube channel to be cohesive with their brand, and Youtube makes their channels fairly customizable to allow you to do so.
The first step is to change the colors on your channel to represent your brand and drop in a custom background image. Get creative with your Youtube background! You have the opportunity to drive users viewing your videos to your other social media platforms and even your website, so use the space wisely. Check out Home Run Inn Pizza’s Youtube Page to see what I’m talking about.
SEO value of Youtube
Youtube is a great way to boost your SEO rankings for your website as well. If you host all of the videos on your website through Youtube it then creates cross-linking that is great for boosting your organic rankings. Also, make sure you are Optimizing your Youtube videos correctly so they can be properly crawled by the search engines, and give you the most bang for your buck as possible.
StumbleUpon is a recommendation engine that allows you to view web pages, photos, and videos all over the web based on your tagged interests. You can seamlessly “stumble” from page to page, liking and disliking each page you view on the way. StumbleUpon then begins to learn what you like and provides you with related information based your like/dislike behavior. They also offer a very targeted CRM paid advertising option where they discretely insert your web page into users “stumbles” (about $.05 per visit/ $50 CRM).
Check out this quick video to learn more:
What are the benefits?
StumbleUpon is a great way to generate additional traffic to your website, and every time you submit a page to the site you have a change to hit a potential social media home run—it seldom happens, but when it does you have the potential to get hundred of thousands, or even millions of visitors to your site.
StumbleUpon can also be great to create some additional SEO value for you website. If your page/video/image gets enough likes to make it to the top of its category, you will be seen by millions of users. Since StumbleUpon’s user base is so large (15 million +), many people can find your pages and link to them, ultimately increasing cross linking between your website and therefore boosting your website ranking. Your StumbleUpon profile can also rank well if it gets a lot of interaction, and a large amount of users like your posts.
5 years ago a small team of people started working on a service that is now known by the world as Twitter. As a matter of fact, the first tweet EVER was posted by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey 5 years and 5 days ago from today, on March 21, 2006. From the first tweet and the launch of the service came a world to follow with an ever-growing fan base that’s constantly continuing to rise at exponential numbers. Two days ago, Twitter released some mind-blowing numbers on their blog that could be the cause for some additional celebration (and show some major growth for them in 2011).
Here are some of the numbers:
It took 3 years, 2 months, and 1 day to reach the billionth tweet. (Now there are 1 billion tweets a week)
A year ago, 50 million tweets occurred each day. (The daily average this month is 140 million)
This month, Twitter has received an average of 460,000 new accounts each day
Over the past year, mobile users on Twitter have increased by 182%
Those are some great numbers to back Twitter up for their 5th year anniversary, and it’s impressive to see how much the numbers have been growing this year (especially). Not only have the amount of users increased, but the activity has increased three-fold.
It goes to show that Twitter should be used in everyone’s social media efforts (only using Facebook isn’t enough). So, make sure that with your next social media push (or ongoing efforts), you keep saying to yourself “let me tweet that”, and utilize said social network to maximize your campaign’s growth, reach, and overall success.
Nowadays everyone is starting to realize (if you didn’t already know) that social media is an excellent way to captivate your audience, and with the 500 million strong on Facebook and 200 million more on Twitter you can reach ANY demographic (my grandmother just friended me a couple days ago). Not only is everyone using it (including my grandma, and probably yours too), but the spaces themselves encourage action and interaction, which can be extremely valuable. Instead of someone talking to their friends in their living room while your 100 thousand dollar commercial spot is running that they aren’t paying attention to, you can reach the same amount of people, get an instant action/reaction from them, and its all for free.
Ok, with that said, its hard enough to create awareness and get people to become a fan of your Facebook page as it is, but the hardest thing of all is keeping them engaged AFTER they become a fan. Do you know how to keep them engaged? Do you want to learn how to keep them engaged? (See what I did there ) Just be conversational with them! Use open-ended questions that relate to your product, relate to your fan base, and drive consumer action. People see plain old’ boring promotions all day long (and trust me they know how to tune them out), but if you tailor your updates and promos to something that not only promotes your product and brand, but also gets the user involved and thinking about your product you will create much more retention amongst consumers.
Oreo is a great example of how to structure that perfect balance of conversation and promotion and utilizing it in the social media space.
Here are some examples of Oreo’s promoting on Facebook that Ad Age so kindly provided for us.