Posts tagged "facebook"

Facebook Engagement

If you’re looking to get better engagement out of your Facebook posts, add more pictures and start speaking in the first person.

Social media data expert Dan Zarrella — who tracked and analyzed more than 1.3 million posts from the 10,000 most-Liked Facebook pages — has released details about which posts get the most likes, shares and comments on Facebook, from post type and length to the best time of day to add updates.

Photos bring in the highest number of engagement across the board, followed by text and video, according to Zarrella. News links bring in the least numbers of likes, shares and comments.

Meanwhile, posts with a high number of self-referential words such as “I” and “me” get more likes — a tactic that doesn’t work well on Twitter.

SEE ALSO: The Best and Worst Times to Share on Facebook, Twitter

“Overall, the best strategy for Facebook, as well as all kinds of social media marketing, is to create a lot of interesting content and share it,” Zarrella told Mashable. “On Facebook, visual content does especially well. It’s also important to be passionate, not neutral.”

This means that both positive and negative posts tend to do well with engagement.

Timing is also key. Updates posted later in the day (Eastern Time) bring in more shares and Likes, but they tend to peak around 8 p.m. Shares trickle off around the end of the work day (6 p.m.).

“Publish when others aren’t, such as later in the day and on the weekends,” Zarrella advised.

For example, Facebook posts that go up on Saturdays and Sundays tend to get more Likes than those during the week. Similar to Twitter engagement, Facebook posts do better earlier in the week than later: Thursday is the least active day for Likes.

People also tend to be active throughout the week in the early hours of the day (5 a.m. ET) and during lunchtime (12 p.m. ET).

For a full look at which posts do best, check out the infographic below or sign up for Zarrella’s free marketing webinar.

What seems to be working best for you? Let us know in the comments.

Facebook Infographic

How Often to Post on Facebook

One of the most frequent questions I get from small business owners relates to how often they should post updates on their Facebook business page. Additionally, I get frustrated when I go to a business page and see very infrequent updates, with gaps of sometimes days or weeks.

So, how much is too much? or too little. How often should you be posting on your business page?

First off, there is no formula, no “one size fits all” answer. There are a number of factors that might determine the frequency of your posts. The one thing that I always tell businesses is:

You are only as good as your last post.

When people log in to Facebook, the first thing they see is their news feed. Most people don’t spend a lot of time scrolling down to check out everything that’s happened since their last log-in. If you aren’t in someone’s news feed when they log in, chances are they won’t see you. If they don’t see you, you don’t exist. Plain and simple.

Having said that, you need to find the right balance for you in terms of posting frequency. Here are a few basic guidelines I think will work for most businesses, while keeping in mind that every situation is unique:

1. Post at least one update a day – With at least one update a day, there’s a good chance that a number of your fans will see you on a given day. One update a day will almost never be seen as “too much” by any of your fans.

2. Two or three updates is better – A few updates spaced throughout the day will give you a greater chance of being seen. Vary the content and you might see an increase in impressions and engagement. Often when I tell businesses to make the jump from one to three posts a day, I hear “So you mean I need to hire a full-time Social Media person?”. Not at all. An update can be very simple and take only 10 to 30 seconds to create. You can create a few meaningful updates in fewer than ten minutes a day.

3. Vary your posting times – Don’t necessarily post at the same time every day. If you mix up your times you have less of a chance of being seen as spammy, and you’ll have a better chance of being seen by more people based on their Facebook using habits.

4. Some posts might require consistency – One exception to the above guideline is if you have a particular feature that should be posted at the same time every day. One of my clients, Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches, is a regional chain of 20 restaurants. Each day, each of their stores is inundated with phone calls asking about their soup of the day. Many people make their dining decisions based on what that soup of the day is, so as a result, Isaac’s posts their soup of the day on Facebook each morning, as a way of notifying their customers, and these daily posts not only perform well in terms of impressions, but they also do well in terms of engagement, or what Facebook refers to as “feedback”. It’s a post that makes fans actually seek out the fan page each day.

Soup of the Day at Isaac's

5. Vary your content – Status updates can be statements, questions, photos, videos, notes, events, links to interesting articles…pretty much anything. If you have a blog, link your blog to Facebook to post automatically via the free Networked Blogs app. Questions are great because they spur on engagement; some people feel compelled to answer. People also love photos and videos, especially if you have the ability to tag them. Also, remember that not all of your post content should be about you. Generic statements and random questions about current events or local events will also work.

6. Know your audience – You need a good understanding of those who are in your audience on your business page. Who are they? What are the demographics? How many people like your page? One of the reasons this is important is that different types of people have different tolerance levels for frequent posting. In particular, if your fan base is made up of an older demographic, remember that those in that category tend to have fewer Facebook friends, so if you post frequently, they are more likely to see all of them, and will have a lower tolerance for what they see as spam. The older demographics also tend to be newer to computers and Facebook, and therefore might be less tech savvy, and more easily overwhelmed.

7. Check your analytics – Not only will your analytics give you the aforementioned demographic info, but you should frequently take a look at how many people are unsubscribing (hiding) from your updates, and how many are unliking your page. If you see any spikes in either of those, try to figure out what you may have done to cause that. Did you post too much or too often? I have one client who noticed a spike of unlikes on one particular day, and it seemed to correlate with having posted a few updates in a fairly short period of time. They have been more careful since that time, and haven’t seen any more spikes of people leaving. Also, look for the types of posts that get the most feedback or the least feedback and use that information as a guide for future postings.

Those are a few guidelines, but to provide a simple answer to the question asked in the title of this post in a quick and concise way, I’d say:

Post at least once a day, but two or three posts throughout the day might be better.

Tips for having a memorable Halloween promotion

Now that summer is unofficially over, it’s time to start thinking about plugging in the remainder of your 2012 promotional calendar. There are some big dates still on the calendar, which means there are some big opportunities to keep your brand top-of-mind from now until the ball drops on 2013, starting with Halloween.

Here are five non-cavity inducing tips to make sure your Facebook page’s promotional efforts aren’t scary for the all the wrong reasons…

1) Give Your House A Little More Haunt – Brush up on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to immerse yourself in  the seasonal verbiage and take some fashion advice from Freddy Krueger to give your promotion and messaging a more authentic look, tone, and feel. Psst…it takes more work than some spider clip art in your cover photo and pushing out a generic “Happy Halloween” promo to send your brand viral.

2) Hand Out Quality Candy – Whatever promotion you decide to activate, remember to reward your fans from a “value” perspective. Seriously, liking a brand’s page only to be underwhelmed by what you receive in return (offer, gift, or experience) is kind of like trick-or-treating at the not so generous house on the block. No one ever tells their friends to go knock on the door of the house giving out the mini-box of raisins.

3) Ding-Dong > “Trick-o-Treat” > Moving Along – Your fans are busy and bombarded with orange and black invitations left and right, so make your promo simple for them to enter and participate with (yes, treat them, don’t trick them). A complex entry process has a tendency to scare users away just like The Jigsaw Killer.

4) Last-minute Costume Ideas Come Off As, Well, Last Minute – Don’t be the guy (brand) that lazily slaps together an uninspired costume at 8pm and then runs off to the party empty handed (not even a six-pack..). Start planning out your promotion now and you’ll actually have something to measure come November.

5) Reach and Connect With The Pumpkin Carvers – Halloween is unlike any other holiday. It has ridiculously fanatical following – online and off. From targeting the candy and decoration buying parents to the trick-o-treating kids to the costume party freaks, you should be using smart PR and paid media strategies to get the word out about your Facebook promotion. Hint: The most successful Haunted Houses (i.e. custom Facebook promos) market to visitors that live outside their own neighborhood.

Need more inspiration? Launch a costume photo contest to ramp up more engagement. How about inviting fans to participate in a scary caption contest or handing out budget costume ideas? For more ideas on how to spread your message, be sure to peep North Social’s custom apps to see how we can help launch a unique experience for your brand.

Boo!

Getting more comments

Are you tired of seeing no or very less comments on your blog posts? Do you feel sad when you find out that no one wants to spend his 2 minutes in leaving a comment on the post which took hours of your efforts? If the answer to above questions is Yes, then here is good news for you, on average more than 80% of blogs suffers from “No Comments” disease. And to help you in getting rid of it, we’ve compiled a list of 18 types of posts that always gets lot of comments.

But before jumping to the list, what you need to understand is that number of comments is not an accurate index to measure success of blog. There are many other factors that determine the success of a blog – traffic, affiliate sales, advertisers etc. And if you can see a consistent increase on those departments then there is no reason to worry about comments. Now without further adieu, here are the 18 types of posts that can get you the maximum number of comments.

1. Giveaways/Competition/Freebies
 - Posts about giveaways and competitions are undisputedly one of the biggest comment getters. Want to see an example? Check any mommy blog and you’ll get an idea. Most of these competitions ask reader to leave a comment and winner is picked randomly from the comments. Bigger is the prize, more will be the number of people (comments) participating in it.

2. Promote yourself post -Who doesn’t love free exposure? We all love it. I know. Give your readers a chance to promote themselves. Here is an example – Promote Yourself And Share What You Do!

3. Lists and Useful resources post - No other marking campaign can beat a useful and well researched list relevant to your niche in getting number of comments and links. Such lists can easily go viral and can help you in building a loyal following. Example – 30+ principles to a better landing page design

4. Rants/Opinionated posts – Rants or opinionated posts give you an opportunity to express your opinions strongly on anything relevant to your niche. For e.g. – if you’re internet marketer you can express your opinions about any affiliate company. If you’re a doctor you can express your opinions about health laws etc. The more strongly you’ll express your opinions, more will be the chances to get comments. Example – Seth Godin Tries Out Brandjacking

5. Readers generated posts – Posts which are generated with the help of readers are likely to get more comments as compared to general posts. Because, you won’t be alone in promoting this post, your readers (co-authors) will be actively promoting it too. Example – 51 Tips For Saving Money On Technology

6. Series of Posts – Series of posts have a great power to keep the readers engaged. Not only they help you in breaking longer posts in to short ones and explaining things in a better way, but also help you to build a loyal following for your blog. Example – Website Traffic Series at DailyBlogTips

7. How-to Guide posts- Does your target audience is facing a common problem then write a detailed How-to guide on it covering solutions that can help them in solving their problems. Example – How to Blog: Blogging Tips for Beginners

8. Group Writing Projects/Blog Carnivals â€“ Act as a host of group writing project (Blog carnival) where readers can write something on their blog and will come back to your blog with a link. You can link to then all the participant’s entries with an excerpt. Example – MelvinBlog’s Best Blog Marketing Tip Contest

9. Personal Stories/Motivational posts -Personal stories about yourself that can motivate your readers can easily attract the interest of your readers and make them to leave comments. Example – I used to be FAT until I had A Duodenal Switch

10. Humorous/Funny posts-Posts that can make your readers laugh can also force (in a good way) them to leave comments. Example – This is why I don’t clap along

11. In depth/detailed posts In depth posts covering every single point related to the topic. These are high quality posts which help bloggers to establish his credibility in niche. Example – How to Backpack

12. Creative posts
 Creative posts in which bloggers have tried to cover something which a reader has never heard of (or think of). Example – 53 CSS-Techniques You Couldn’t Live Without

13. Ask a question post 
– Ask a question to your readers. Asking a question that readers are interested in answering can easily increase the number of comments by 2-3 times. Example – Ask the readers section at GetRichSlowly

14. Interview post -Interviewing leaders of the niche to get them to answers some of the most common questions of the industry. Example – Link Building with the Experts – 2010 Edition

15. Real-time posts-Posts about hot trends and latest happenings that are taking place in the niche. Example – Thoughts on Google Instant (It is also an opinion post)

16. Reveal a secret post - Reveal a secret posts is a great way to attract some attention (and unwanted attention too) of the industry and to increase the number of comments. Example – An interview with Digg top user

17. Debate posts/controversial posts  Launching a debate about some hot topic between your readers and to see what happens. Example – Google Instant Makes SEO Irrelevant

18. Relatable posts-  Posts from your life which your readers can easily relate to. Example –Why men should give women flowers

These are the 18 types of posts which usually attracts more comments than other posts. Now go to your blog and share with us the links to your most commented post in the comments below.

7 Fan Page Mistakes

After working with many companies on Facebook marketing, teaching many students, and speaking with many audiences, I’ve discovered some common mistakes that hold companies back from getting results. If you want to get better Facebook fan page marketing results, check this list and find out whether you’re making any of these mistakes.

Fan Page Mistake #1: Assuming People Go To Your Fan Page (Versus Seeing Your Posts In Their News Feed)

Most people, if they ever go to a fan page, only go there once. Some highly interactive pages get more visitors, and you can bring fans back to the page or to specific tabs with posts or ads, but usually fans see your page’s posts via their news feed.

One of the biggest surprises to me, in teaching Facebook marketing to many audiences, was that most business owners don’t understand how people use Facebook:

  • When you log on to Facebook, what you see is your news feed, and this is all Facebook is, to most people.
  • Your news feed doesn’t contain every post from all your friends or all the pages you’ve liked.
  • You can change your news feed to show more, or everything, or the most recent from everyone, but fewer than 10 to 20 percent of people do this.
  • If you have a Facebook page, all your fans do not see all your posts. The fans who have liked or comment on your page’s posts will see more of your posts.
  • If you’ve done a poor job getting people to interact, you may need to rehabilitate your fan base by paying for sponsored stories.

This is also a good reason to look at Facebook Groups, because every time any Group member posts or comments, everyone gets a notification.

Fan Page Mistake #2: Expecting Welcome Tabs To Get You Lots Of Fans

Reveal tabs, aka Fan Gates, are very popular. Some people think they possess magical powers. But they don’t help most businesses very much because:

  • For a welcome tab to get you fans, you have to get non-fans to go to your Facebook page, because only non-fans see the pre-like version of a fan gate.
  • If you have a website with a lot of traffic, you may get a significant number of people who do this by clicking on a Facebook icon from your website.
  • If you use a like box to get fans on your site, these new fans will never see your welcome tab.
  • If you get new targeted fans the cheapest way there is (via Facebook ads), most of these like the page by liking the ad, so they also never see the welcome tab.

See that big circular diagram from the last mistake? Notice how many fans go to the actual page? That’s the percentage of people likely to see your beautiful welcome tab. Actually, less, because once they’re fans, they’ll go straight to the Wall.

Fan Page Mistake #3: Overestimating Apps and Tabs

Some people also seem to think creating a Facebook app is a magical move that will create all kinds of buzz and engagement. While this may be true for big companies who can get mass media coverage for deploying a clever new app, for most companies this the long way around to less results.

The Facebook app’s fatal flaw is the ominous opt-in page that requires you to share your Facebook data with the App. I can’t find any authoritative percentage of how many people bounce away from that page, but anecdotally, I know the number is high. I only became more willing to allow once I knew where to go to remove App access from my account. But this extra step means at least 25 percent and maybe as many as 75 percent of people who go to try an app will not carry through with it.

What that means is- you spend all kinds of money and time programming a new app (and programming efforts, especially if you’ve never been involved in one, are always more money and time than you expected), and may come out with less results than if you just use the incredible tools Facebook has available.

Think about it, if 100 percent of users already interact with posts and pages and groups, won’t you have a better chance of getting engagement by using those, than by using a weird new app that they have to give up privacy to opt-in to?

Fan Page Mistake #4: No Budget For Ads To Acquire Fans

As discussed above, the cheapest way to get targeted fans for your page (fans who are likely to be good customers), is with Facebook ads. The power, depth and precision of the Facebook ad platform is unrivaled and historic. And you can get fans for anywhere from 1 cent to $1.50, depending on your niche and parameters. You can’t get email subscribers that cheap anywhere, and this is the same kind of owned media.

But so many companies go to ridiculous lengths to avoid spending money on ads, or they just don’t have ad spends in their paradigm. They use a ton of time on roundabout tactics that yield fewer and less qualified fans. They forget about the cost of the employee time required to do so. And then when their fans don’t produce a return on investment, hey wonder why. Well, because you went cheap and you didn’t get good prospects. That’s why.

Fan Page Mistake #5: Posting In A Self Centered Way, Not Trying To Get Likes And Comments

You’ve seen it on hundreds of corporate blogs: post after post about them, them, them, and few comments, if any. Comments from sycophantic employees who want their company to look good. You can see it on Facebook pages too: me, me, me posts, and very few likes and comments, especially compared to the fan base. Your actual active fan base is about 100 times the number of likes and comments you usually get. How does that compare to the number of fans you have?

You would think by now that everyone would understand the lessons of web 2.0; push and pull, conversational marketing, etc. But no. So many marketers have never learned to care about what their audience cares about. You can’t communicate effectively until you know your audience. You can’t get responses if you don’t ask for them. You can’t get enthusiasm until you stimulate it.

And if you don’t get responses, you become invisible.

Fan Page Mistake #6: Not Optimizing For Impressions And Feedback Rate

If you don’t have a metric for every stage of your marketing, you simply can’t optimize your tactics for that stage. Your goals for the fan page should include:

  • Visibility to as many of your fans as possible, calculated by dividing post impressions by your total fan base
  • Responsiveness to your posts, calculated by feedback rate, which is the total number of likes and comments divided by post impressions

If you aren’t getting at least a one percent feedback rate, you probably are missing the mark in connecting with the bulk of your audience. Think about what passions and interests your fan base has in common, and speak to those. If you used Facebook ads to grow your fan base, you should know exactly what interests comprise the bulk of your fans and which ones were most passionate (measured by ad CTR).

A couple of caveats: I haven’t seen pages with more than 100,000 fans get one percent feedback rates, but I also don’t see pages that size using best practices in post content. Also, for pages of any size, when you post blog posts or sales-focused discounts, the clicks to your website or blog aren’t counted in this feedback rate. In those cases, a lower feedback rate is acceptable, if you’re getting sales and ROI from your efforts.

Fan Page Mistake #7: Over-Selling and Hard-Selling Without Conversing Or Arousing Desire First

This is very similar to the “me, me, me” selfish mistake discussed in #5.

Think about the typical conference. There’s a reason they have a separate area for vendors: The selling approach doesn’t always jibe with the conversational focus of the main part of the conference. And similarly, a fan page is a bunch of fans who typically are fans of something besides your offering. What they’re fans of is related to your offering. You have to continue to fan the flames of desire around that passion. My rule of thumb is to engage, converse and stimulate four times as much as you sell. Go for 80 percent interaction, 20 percent selling. There’s a wisdom to this that goes beyond Facebook.

Why does Corona sell relaxation and the beach rather than just show people drinking beer? By reaching beyond features and benefits to sell the dream implied by the offering’s benefits, playing with follow-through, focusing on the vision beyond, companies knock the ball out of the park.

Conversely, companies that focus on themselves and selling immediately end up disappointed, much like the college freshman looking for a one night stand. Not knowing the value of romance, he ends up rejected and alone. There’s a reason why it’s called foreplay and there’s a reason that flowers are a billion dollar business.

7 Quick Tips For Becoming A Cover Photo Genius

So Facebook upgraded you to Timeline? Yeah, they did that to us, too.

In the short time the cover photo/profile picture dynamic duo has been around, we’ve seen both stellar and simple minded decisions made in regards to this piece of real estate. Here are some best practices for your cover photo that will help you on the road to Fan Page fabulousness:

  1. KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid. If you’ve decided that this space was made for a diatribe about your company and how fantastic you are, think again. People respond well to clean and attractive, not crowded text boxes and convoluted CTAs. It can be a tricky line to walk, so here’s a quick way to tell if your cover photo is working for you: ask a friend or family member to visit your Page. Can they tell you what your brand is about after looking at your Timeline for ~5 seconds?
  2. Consistency is clutch. Utilize brand artwork to showcase the one and only YOU. Whether you are all about smurf icons or you enjoy a simple white/black juxtaposing, bring a consistent (and memorable) look, tone, and feel to life in this 851 x 315 chunk of property.
  3. Make it a combo meal. The combination of your cover photo, profile picture, and About section on the bottom left should clearly tell first-time visitors what you do and why they should stick around for a beer or two. Prominently displaying your logo in the profile picture is a great way to lay the branding foundation for the entire Page and any apps you may be using.
  4. Be a drama queen. We’ve all got a touch of Jersey Shore in us and here is the place to let it rip. Note: it’s not always easy to notice the difference between tacky and classy (insert sarcasm here), so watch yo’self, Liberace.
  5. Color within the lines. To avoid being blackballed by the Facebook overlords, take note of their few, but often ignored, cover photo regulations. While you can’t demand users “Like us now!”, promote your latest fan-only discount, or share your contact info in this capacity, there is still plenty of creative space.
  6. Play it up. Customer quotes of the week, catch phrases, event titles, new product call-outs, or the company tagline are all resourceful ways to incorporate your fresh content, without getting a slap on the wrist from the big guys in Silicon Valley.
  7. Bust a move. Turn your cover photo into a “signature move” that makes it an active, instead of stale, feature of your Page. Radio stations can thank their “caller of the week”; bakeries may promote a “Friday Frosting Fiesta” with their latest flavors; fashionista blogs can show-off the latest trends and runway ready styles.

Need to kick start your creative juices? Check out some visual inspiration below:

 

Facebook Admin Roles

Facebookers, Romans, Countrymen – lend me your ears. Facebook has made yet another change to Pages.

In an interesting twist of events, admins now have tiers with different capabilities for each role. There are five different types: Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser, and Insights Analyst. Different roles and responsibilities can be great for you, as an admin, and for your Page. Here’s why: instead of all admins having the option to create content, remove and invite other admins, and change Page settings, admins can split up the responsibilities. Think of the possibilities – different tasks for different roles.

Managers have the widest range of capabilities on the Page. Not only can they edit and create posts, but they can manage the Page’s admins, create ads, edit applications, and view the Page’s insights. It’s the most powerful tier of the five apps. All admins begin as managers, and roles can be assigned later.

Next up is the Content Creator. This role has all the functionalities of the Manager, except for being able to manage admin roles. Content Creators can post as the Page, respond to comments, and view insights. Right-brainers, take note, because this role is for you.

Below the Content Creator is the Moderator. This role is is great for managing the Page’s fan base by responding to Page comments, likes, and messages. Community managers can devote their precious time to interacting with what really drives a Page: its fan base. Interacting with a fan base is key and lending a personal touch to your posts in the form of responses to fans is invaluable in creating your brand as one that fans can really interact with.

After this is the Advertiser. This admin can create ads which will in turn drive fans to your Page and hopefully become fans – perfect for a brand’s marketing team.

The fifth admin role is the Insights Analyst. This role is limited to viewing the Page’s insights and interactions with fans. It’s ideal for someone who needs to learn the ins and outs of FB, such as an intern or a social media volunteer. It’s overwhelming to get thrown into FB’s admin panel, so let’s slowly wade in.

Facebook’s new admin tiers allow admins to divide and conquer when it comes to managing the diverse elements of your Facebook Page. Go forth and use it well for brand, my friends!


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