Bethany

Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Facebook Knows What’s Important to YOU

In Facebook on September 21, 2011 at 7:11 am

Facebook has come along to help us decide what’s important to us, or at least in our NewsFeed.  The top social networking site now has a Top Story feature. Here’s how the Facebook blog describes it:

When you pick up a newspaper after not reading it for a week, the front page quickly clues you into the most interesting stories. In the past, News Feed hasn’t worked like that. Updates slide down in chronological order so it’s tough to zero in on what matters most.

Now, News Feed will act more like your own personal newspaper. You won’t have to worry about missing important stuff. All your news will be in a single stream with the most interesting stories featured at the top. If you haven’t visited Facebook for a while, the first things you’ll see are top photos and statuses posted while you’ve been away. They’re marked with an easy-to-spot blue corner.

Here’s a picture of the visual cue that will help you not think about what is important to yourself because hey we’re just too busy to bother with that kind of stuff.

Check out this video for a quick update/summary on the new changes to Facebook:

Uncovering Your Target Market with Facebook

In Facebook on May 5, 2011 at 8:53 am

People are still curious about the value of Facebook for business – and in reaching their target audience.  Check out this article Article Featured on Marketaire:

The majority of people and companies who are presently involved in Internet Marketing can appreciate the power of Facebook, but it’s important to think about the value that it can provide for your business apart from the popular social media aspects – consider advertising.

Facebook certainly has the reach when it comes to user frequency and time spent in one place, there’s clearly a reason Facebook has 600 million users, but the catch for businesses is that they don’t care much for ads. If we consider the typical Facebook user we’ll find that they’re much more interested in what their friends are doing, browsing photos, searching for people they know or want to know, and of course playing social based games. Uno, anyone?

Facebook knows what the user wants. In order to maintain the traditional Facebook experience they’ve chosen to keep advertisements unobtrusive in the sidebar rather than presenting them directly to the user. From a business perspective this is very important to keep in mind, and it essentially boils down to two things: Facebook won’t drive tons of traffic to your business and CTR percentages will be very low (often below 1%).

So what’s the value, right?

Demographic Relevancy

Anyone familiar with Facebook knows that users fill out their profiles with very detailed information about themselves, including age, sex, marital status, geo-graphical location, books, movies, Places they’ve visited and checked-in at, and fan pages of brands that they ‘like’.

Given the way that Facebook allows advertisers to view the types of people clicking Facebook ads, you can easily use this data to identify trends, possibly uncovering a target market that you may not have approached in the past. If you consider this social aspect from a highly strategic point of view, businesses have the ability to optimize an entire marketing strategy around this data to reach a highly relevant audience. This is clearly great for branding.

Remember, the more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them.

Goal: Getting Liked

In Facebook on April 21, 2011 at 11:17 am

New research shows that social media predictions were right on for 2011.  Companies have indeed increased their social media spending.  More interestingly though, marketeers are focusing on getting as many Facebook “Likes” as possible.

Helen Leggatt shared the following article in Bizreport:

Marketers are increasing their social media budgets in a bid to get more fans to “Like” them, according to a new poll from Effie Worldwide and Mashable.

The poll of agency executives and marketers from companies such as Mini USA, Bank of America and Colgate-Palmolive revealed the growing importance of social media. A whopping 87% said social media was “important” or “very important” to achieving their biggest marketing goal this year.

The majority (70%) of respondents plan to increase their social media budget by more than 10% during 2011. Furthermore, 11.9% of their overall marketing budgets will used for social networking activity, not too far short of the 13% being allocated for television.

Over a third (35%) of those polled cited attracting Facebook “Likes” as their main goal this year.

As well as targeting Facebook users, respondents also want to prioritize increasing their presence on mobile, while a massive 80% said they were planning either iPad-based advertising and/or an iPad app for 2011.

Your Personal Social Newspaper

In Facebook, Twitter on April 1, 2011 at 12:04 am

You read the heading correctly.   You can create your very own social newspaper based on what your friends post on Facebook!  How perfect is that – especially for those of us that are busy and sometimes miss what’s going on in our newsfeed!

The site is called PostPost.

It takes links, photos, and videos from your friends’ posts, and collates them onto a page.  From there you can move your content between sections, decrease/increase the social newspaper size, and funnel or block posts from certain sources.   The best comparison is that it’s like the Flipboard on the iPad – but accessible through your browser.  And what’s great about it… it’s free, and you only need to sign in to your Facebook account.

You can also check out paper.li – which does the same thing for Twitter.

Go ahead…check it out and have some fun!   Let me know what you think!

Have you made these Facebook Updates?

In Facebook on March 2, 2011 at 8:37 am

Hey friends!  Many of you have been asking about the Facebook updates that are going on.  I wanted to repost this blog by Susan Kuchinskas.  She summarizes the three big changes to Facebook…

Facebook is in the process of rolling out three new features that you should know about. Why should you care? Because, early last year, Facebook became the top website in the United States, surpassing Google, and it’s remained the most visited site since then, according to Experian Hitwise.

Facebook is where your customers are — as well as your competitors. Putting up a page is no longer enough.

Here’s what’s new:

Let’s take a look at what you need to do right now.

1. Brighten up your profile.

All business pages will automatically upgrade to include this new feature on March 11, although Facebook has let businesses manually upgrade ahead of that. With the new profile, the most recent photos that you post to your wall or photos that you tag your page in will be displayed in a row along the top of the page. Unlike with personal Facebook profiles, this area will not include any photos posted by your fans.

This feature gives your page visual interest — but if you don’t take the time to post photos, Facebook will automatically grab elements from your page and leave the rest of the squares blank. Your page will look drab and deserted.

Be imaginative and play with this. You can post photos of yourself and your staff, your location, products, book covers, personnel in action, even the office cat.

2. Don’t get lost in the shuffle.

People can now opt for an e-mail address @Facebook.com. Messages, chats and texts all show up in the same place.

Facebook began offering Messages to all users on February 11. And you should definitely pay attention, according to Simms Jenkins, CEO of Brightwave Marketing, a digital marketing agency. The change reflects the way young people communicate, with a preference for texting and Facebook, according to Jenkins.

“They want these messages to read as a thread, rather than in a clunky inbox,” he says.

While you now reach most or all of your e-mail subscribers through traditional providers, you should monitor your list for prospects who are using the @Facebook.com domain, he says. You will need to mail to them differently.

“If you get a message that isn’t from one of your friends or a brand you’re a fan of, it will end up in the Other folder,” he explains. “That might as well be a spam folder.”

In fact, the Other folder might be worse. Most e-mail applications at least show a Junk folder, but Facebook’s Other folder will be automatically hidden from view.

He advises you to segment your @Facebook.com users and encourage them to move your messages from the Other folder; once they do so, future e-mails will arrive in their message threads. You can also ramp up your efforts to get them to “like” your page.

3. Bring prospects to your door.

Last August, Facebook launched Places, a service that lets people broadcast their locations via an iPhone app or smartphone Web browser. The idea is to let your friends know you’re around by “checking in” to a café, restaurant or other venue. The social network followed this up in November with Facebook Deals. The service lets you reach prospects when they’re nearby.

“For a small business with a loyal following, for example a café, people checking in there provides free advertising and spreading the word in a way that doesn’t cost anything. Others see that so and so is there, and think, ‘That’s a place I should check out,'” says Victoria Ransom, CEO of Wildfire Interactive, a company that provides simple tools for launching social media marketing campaigns.

If you don’t have that loyal following, Facebook Deals may be the answer.

First, you need to claim your Facebook Place, and then sign up for the Deals service. Then, when a Facebook user checks in to a location near you, you can offer digital coupons to lure him or her to your business. Customers do not need to have previously liked your page to take advantage of your deal.

“It’s fantastic if you can get people to spontaneously check in to your business, but it’s a lot easier if you have a deal associated with it,” says Ransom. “Deals opens a connection between the online world and your small business offline.”

 

Search Engines Now Paying Attention to “Likes”

In Facebook, Strategy, Trends on February 25, 2011 at 6:26 pm

If you’re part of the 50% of Facebook users, signing in daily – there’s a good chance you’re “liking” some of the content you come across  (videos, updates, pictures, pages, etc.).  And of course we enjoy it when other’s like our content too – as it gives us insight into what our audience is interested in.  Well, Google realizes how powerful and relevant this social information is for search results.

As of a week ago, Google, announced they would start placing a greater emphasis on social results in a search, based on their relevancy.  Same with Microsoft’s Bing.

From “our” business/marketing perspective – this makes sense and we should consider doing the same in our Facebook advertising.  Perhaps, targeting ads based on likes (what the user likes/groups/pages) over interests.

Here’s the article from Marketing Vox:

Microsoft’s Bing has followed Google’s lead last week and tweaked its search algorithm to emphasize social results. Building on a partnership it announced a few months ago with Facebook, it has introduced Liked Results, which promotes links friends have publicly liked or shared via Facebook. Bing is extending Liked Results to annotate any of the URLs returned by its algorithmic search results to all users in the US, it says in a blog post.

Last week Google announced it would start placing greater emphasis on social results in a search, based on their relevancy. The reasons for both search engines’ decision to move in this direction are similar: As Bing explains “this is the first time in human history that people are leaving social traces that machines can read and learn from, and present enhanced online experiences based on those traces. As people spend more time online and integrate their offline and online worlds, they will want their friends’ social activity and their social data to help them in making better decisions.”

Liked Results will pull up any publicly liked or shared search results by a fried below the result. “For example, when I was planning a trip to Napa, I wanted to find a great bed and breakfast for my stay,” Lawrence Kim on Bing’s Social Team writes. “A traditional search result showed me a long list of web links and captions, which would take up some time to parse through individually. Fortunately, several of my friends that have been to Napa in the past have liked Churchill Manor. Using Liked Results, the Bed & Breakfast that my friends have liked gets highlighted with their pictures and names – making it easier for me to quickly refine my search and decide where I should stay.”

Changing SEO Strategies

If that sounds like a brand’s social strategy can be used to boost SEO, that is correct. If that sounds like a brand’s social strategy can be used to boost SEO, that is correct. As one example, Jen Lopez, Community Manager at SEOmoz, tells of how one tweet from an unexpected source drove its page’s ranking and traffic.

Targeting By Likes

Also, as more people incorporate Likes and their equivalents into their online activities, marketers are beginning to target their campaigns accordingly. Decanted Wines, for instance, great success with using psychographic targeting based on likes, company marketing guru Jessica Fialkovich tellsMarketingVOX. “With the increasing number of ‘pages’ that are replacing interests, we are starting to phase out targeting by interest and instead focus on likes/pages that would reach the same group,” she says. According to Fialkovich, since implementing the psychographic targeting, the company has seen an increase of click through rates of 150%, increased fans of 75%, and surprisingly a decrease in click through rate cost by 30%.

Facebook Pages: New Layout, Strategies

In Facebook, Strategy on February 12, 2011 at 6:34 am

Yes, Facebook has done it again …  a new layout!  This time, the change is for Pages (vs. your profile).  And like with any change, it takes a little time to get used to the location of items.  More exciting though, you’ll be happy to hear how you can utilize these changes for your business.  Honestly, I think these are some of the best improvements to the pages! :)

Here we go…this information is from Mashable (one of my favorites) and Facebook’s Guided Tour:

1. Photos: Take ‘Em, But You Can’t Leave ‘Em


When the photos across the top of Facebook profiles first appeared, people were in a panic. Now anyone could tag you in a photograph, and it would automatically show up at the top of your page. You can, however, “X” them out, if and when you notice them. You can also remove your name from photos when tagged by others. On Pages, fans cannot tag or post an image and have it show up at the top. They appear based on images you post to your own Page wall as well as images where you tag your Page.

Be strategic: If photographs are part of what you do, this is a nice showcase. If images aren’t as relevant to what you’re conveying, this can begin to look random and distracting. Upload several key images to your Page’s photo area and remember to keep it pruned in order to present a cohesive and clear visual message.


2. Navigation: Farewell Page Tabs, We Knew You Well


Not to sound the panic alarm, but tabs as we know them are gone. Facebook tries to assure us that this is fine because it is “Just like on people’s profiles,” but that brings us back to the question “Why does a business want their Page to look like a person’s profile?” The reduction in prominence of the tools that helped communicate your company’s calls to action is a blow to the effectiveness of Pages.

Be strategic: One thing that the new navigation forces you to do is to examine what superfluous tabs you used to hide next to your six visible tabs. Now all someone has to do is click the “More” link below the first six “tabs” and see the entire list of links including Discussions, which most Pages hide or remove to avoid diverting comments from the Wall to yet another area that requires community management.


3. Wall Filters: And The Top Posts Are…


Facebook is providing two Wall filters: Showing posts by your page and top posts from everyone. This ostensibly gives people a way to see the most “interesting” stories first. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean they see the stories that are most important or relevant to the messages you hope to communicate to the public. If you’re the only one posting updates, this becomes moot. But imagine what will happen to the view for Pages where the fans post very frequently.

Be strategic: For best engagement, you will want to show “Everyone” as the default setting. For more control — which isn’t always advisable if you are looking to provide people with compelling, interactive content — set the default view to just your Page posts.


4. Admin View: Sign-In as a Page on Facebook


You, as the Page or the brand, can now interact with other parts of Facebook. Before, you could only post to other parts of Facebook as yourself, the admin behind the Page. While you still cannot post to people’s personal Facebook profile Walls as a Page, you can post to other Pages as a Page. This can be useful, but also confusing and potentially disastrous.

You have to make sure that before you post to a Page that you are in the proper setting (human or brand). Also, for less scrupulous brands, this is a new opportunity for spam. You may need to be more diligent about checking for posts from your competitors displaying their brand to your fans. You can view most recent and hidden posts while in Admin view

Be strategic: A good use of Page-to-Page Wall postings is when you have multiple Pages for brands you own. Or when you want to do co-promotions with business partners who have Pages. If you manage Pages for multiple partners, you could also do some thoughtful cross-posting, with your clients’ permissions, of course.


5. Settings: Getting in Control


One of best Page changes for brands is that you can now get e-mail notifications when someone posts to your Page or comments on your post. This has been a long time coming and an invaluable feature for helping you monitor your Page activity. You can change your e-mail notification settings for each Page.

In Settings, you can also set the default to how you post –- as yourself or your Page -– and specify which featured pages will appear down the left side of your Page. To choose the pages you want to show up under Favorite Pages, go to “Edit Page” and choose “Featured.” This is similar to choosing your featured friends. You can also feature Page owners or admins if you so choose. This is a big change from the previously hidden identities of admins.

Be strategic: While there will be much debate about whether or not you should post as a brand or as a person, the best practice is to post as yourself. One of the tenets of social media communications is transparency. Posting behind the banner of your brand is fine on your Page, but moving into other spaces as a brand can be invasive and unwelcome.

You can get to your e-mail and posting preferences by going to “Edit Page” and “Your Settings.” If you own multiple Facebook Pages, you can switch over individually or take the plunge and upgrade them all at once, but you’ll still have to go into each admin area to manipulate individual Page settings.

If you have any questions, or would like guidance on making this ‘upgrade’ change – feel free to email or call. :)  It has been neat to see how many of my current client family members have reached out to learn more about the changes & to set up a quick 30 min one-on-one. :)

Facebook vs. Google

In Facebook, General, Strategy, Trends on August 25, 2010 at 10:20 am

Facebook vs Google. In the battle of Pay-Per-Click advertising effectiveness, which platform is it going to be?  Google is the ever-popular search engine which can identify who’s in the market for a product or service, while Facebook – the most popular social networking site – knows “which causes are important to you, which videos you like to share and how often you make recommendations to your friends.”   As a result, “social media advertising opportunities are yielding better-qualified, higher-ROI results compared to the Google ad network” and making it hard for Google to compete.

Here’s a quick comparison of the Facebook and Google models to help you determine which is best for your business.

Keyword Targeting
Facebook: Targeting with keywords is optional
Google: Keyword specification is required

Targeting Details
Facebook: Can target by location, keywords, interest, workplace, birthdate and/or age
Google: Can target by location and keywords

Ad Placement
Facebook:
Direct to users right on their profile page
Google: Ads are often placed on obscure, undisclosed websites

Market Saturation
Facebook:
It’s a newer platform, so fewer advertisers
Google: Crowded, it is still one of the top-producing online advertising networks

For full article, check out: Entrepreneur.com

Facebook will not charge…

In Facebook on July 18, 2010 at 6:44 am

With over 400 million users, Facebook could easily make billions of dollars by charging a membership fee.  And to be honest, I would be inclined (or almost feel obligated) to make the purchase – from a business stand point and on a personal level (so many pictures, notes, messages, memories are stored on there since I began using it in college)!

Well, no worries!  Any talk of Facebook charging is just an ongoing rumor, which “Facebook continues to deny, stating that their service is ad supported.” (AllFacebook.com)

For more confirmation, check out Facebook will not charge users, spokesman says.