Facebook has recently made 2 updates that will shake up how you use the Social Networking platform to market your business. And, if strategized correctly, you will see a positive outcome from both these changes!
Change #1 | Facebook Page Manager Tracking
On February 20, 2014, Facebook introduced a new feature to allow Page Administrators to see which of their page managers posted a status update. The update shows under the company name of each post ( see visual below). All admins of the page including moderators, advertisers and insight analysts will see the name of the poster next to the update. It is not visible to the public.
Benefits of Tracking Facebook Mangers’ Posts:
For companies that have multiple managers or content creators on their business page this will help with tracking, metrics and success measurements of each employee.
- You can now track whose content generates the most likes, shares or comments and provide incentives or bonuses based on performance.
- You can utilize this information when training social media interns or entry level employees as a means of providing constructive criticism and suggestions.
- If you outsource your social media to freelancers or a marketing company, you will gain better insight as to who is doing what and when.
- It is an overall means of holding all your digital marketing employees accountable.
Change #2 | Tagging Another Page In A Status:
On February 25, 2014, Facebook began rolling out a new algorithm for page status updates. Going forward, if your page writes a post and tags another page in that post, your post may been shown to the followers of that tagged page. It is worth noting, however that Facebook will only show the posts that are relevant to followers with a history of interacting with that correlated content.
Benefits of Tagging Another Page in your Page Status Update:
- Exposure to the followers of the tagged page, which may have thousands of more fans than yours.
- Creating a give/take relationship with the other brands/pages that have the same target audience. For example, when you tag another page, you are giving them exposure to your fans. Hopefully, they will want to “give back” and promote you as well!
Facebook is rolling out a new feature titled “Trending” (currently only in a few countries and only available for certain users) on the right side of your homepage.
Trending According to Facebook:
“Trending shows you the popular topics and hashtags that are being talked about on Facebook. You’ll see stories from people and Pages who’ve shared them with you or have shared them as Public. From the right side of your homepage, click a topic that’s trending to see what people are saying about it.”
How The Trending Feature Can Increase Your Business And Brand Awareness:
Up until now, using hashtags was not something that proved to be effective for businesses. A Social Media Examiner article from October 2013 explains:
“According to EdgeRank Checker, Facebook hashtags have done nothing to help with additional exposure for your brand. In fact the opposite is true.
The research indicates that posts with hashtags are not only less likely to go viral, but also make people less likely to engage with the content.”
Now however, Facebook is using popular hashtags, personal preferences, user engagements and user “likes” to decide what they display in that user’s trending column. This means it is very important for your Facebook strategy to now include trendy hashtags to increase your exposure. When a user clicks on a “trending” keyword, they will see all posts about said keyword. You want your posts in there!
3 Tips To Using Hashtags On Your Business Page:
- Find an already popular industry related hashtag and use it in your post.
- Create an amazing hashtag unique to your business and ask your best fans to use it as well in related content posts. As an example: ask fans a question and tell them to use the hashtag in their answer.
- Use a well known celebrity name, something big in the news or an upcoming popular event. It’s already trending, the work is done all you have to do now is incorporate it into your posts!
It goes like this: You think you’ve created something that will go viral. You post it and wait….and wait…..and wait. 30 minutes go by and there is still no comment, “like” or share at all.
Here are 5 reasons why your Facebook posts may not get the reaction (or any reaction) your were hoping for:
- You ask yes or no questions. You have to give people the opportunity to express themselves. If you are asking a question with an obvious answer or one that doesn’t require much thought, you won’t generate much response. Ask open ended questions, and give your followers the chance to share their full thoughts!
- You are posting yesterday’s news. It’s nice to share the viral video that everyone is talking about. Guess what though: if everyone has already seen it, they will scroll over your post. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to share, but it’s even better to be one of the first pages releasing it! Tip: when you first wake up, peruse your industry news and post on your page the top story/video/picture. Be the thought LEADER… not follower.
- You post the same things over and over again. So many pages do this. They love to promote a specific E-Book, product or service and they keep posting about it. Think about meeting someone and, after that first time, every time you see them they tell the same story. You will start avoiding them. That is exactly what will happen to your page posts. People will hide them, ignore them and because of the Facebook algorithm, they will eventually stop seeing your posts altogether on their feed.
- You are boring. Post something funny, exciting, provocative, scary, visual or even confrontational. Switch up your tone every once in a while. Some of the most interactive posts are the ones that drive emotion (good and bad) from followers.
- You are self absorbed. The best way to get people to share your post is if it’s about them. Not you or your business. Don’t just concentrate on your services, concentrate on your followers. Follow the 20/80 rule. 80% of your posts should be industry or client related and 20% should focus on your business.
It was only a few years ago when the term “Word of Mouth” was interpreted literally: Person A heard about Product or Service directly from Person B’s mouth. Through the past few years, it has taken on a completely new meaning as communication on a whole between people has drastically changed.
Many businesses, primarily small-medium sized ones were built on and sustained by customer recommendations and through the “old word of mouth method”. As technology expands, our communication skills among people, customers, families and friends has adapted as well. Many schools have lessened curriculum on cursive writing, and increased curricula surrounding computer skills and even teaching coding and social media. People now share life history, pictures, and personal stories through social media, texts and emails. When someone is looking for a suggestion of a doctor, service or product, they crowd-source online.
So how do we utilize this relatively new way of communication and still hold on to our word of mouth marketing strategy?
5 Ways to Increase your Word of Mouth Online Marketing Success:
- Generate likes on your products, services and pages. Make sure your website is optimized with social media buttons. While in the past, people verbally told their friends they liked something, now people are share their preferences through “likes” and clicks. When one person “likes” a website, Facebook business page, LinkedIn update etc. all of their followers are potentially exposed to seeing that “like”. Just as with the traditional word of mouth, this new way is powerful in that people “trust” what their friends share and like online.
- Solicit Positive Reviews. Set up your company YELP, Google Maps, Facebook and LinkedIn pages and encourage your happy customers to write a short review about why they come to you. These reviews are magnificent in that they are always available (24/7!) and can be found by just about anyone looking for information on your company.
- Watch your “company” with Google Alerts. Strategically outline important Brand and Industry keywords and sign up for notifications whenever those keywords are mentioned online. Then, JOIN THE CONVERSATION. If someone is searching in an online group for a product or service you sell, Google Alerts will let you know so you may answer them in that group in real time.
- Become the thought leader in your industry. The more you position yourself as the expert, the higher the likelihood people will recommend you to others for that service. If you are blogging all the time about a specific subject, you will be seen as the professional, even if that reader has never used you before. When people read your blogs, watch your videos, see your tweets and posts about industry related services or products, they begin to respect and TRUST your knowledge. They then feel comfortable recommending you to others as that expert!
- Find influential people in your target industry. This one takes a bit more research work, but there are always tweeters, bloggers and facebookers who love to write about YOUR product and industry. They have tons followers who already trust them, and they can become a very strong ally when it comes to recommending your services. Find them, befriend them and join forces to create an equally beneficial partnership!
Before covering the tips on how to increase sign-ups, you need to be clear on why you want more. People often think the larger number of sign-ups means you are doing better at marketing your business. This is not the case. It’s what actions the subscribers take after reading the content- that matters. Therefore, you need a newsletter goal. Each piece of communication should have a planned purpose and desired outcome prior to sending it. Once you have an idea of what action you would the readers to take, you can strategize the content you want in it.
6 Tips to Increase Newsletter Sign-ups:
- Create Sign-Up Forms. This seems simple enough, yet I have seen many clients that enter in emails personally whenever they get them and don’t provide website “passerby’s” to sign up on their own. Remember that there may be a potential customer who is not ready to call you about services, but is still interested in your content. By providing sign-up forms on your site, you are supplying customers with an easy and non-pressured way to learn about your company.
- Place the forms everywhere! Have a link in the navigation of your site titled “newsletter”. You should provide sign-up forms in the sidebar of your site and buttons to sign up on appropriate pages. You should also have a sign-up extension on your Facebook business page.
- Opt-in option. No reputable email platforms these days allow you to use unauthorized or purchased emails. If you want to gain the trust of your readers, gain their subscription and ultimately gain their business, make sure your opt-in (and opt-out for the matter) options are set correctly and easy to manage!
- Provide subject choices. Email open rates will increase when the email is specific to the needs of the reader. Provide a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 different subject check-boxes for new sign-ups. See example here by click here.
- Clearly state the value. Explain in a sentence or two above the newsletter fields, what the reader will receive or how they will benefit by signing up. What makes your emails unique? Keep it short and sweet.
- Make the emails forwardable and sharable. Make sure you have a “forward to a friend” option inserted in every email communication that goes out to the public. You also want to connect your newsletters with your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages to autopost. And thirdly, insert social sharing buttons in each email campaign. As outsiders see the emails from a friend’s (whom they already trust) page or a forward, they are likely to sign up as well.
Previously only permitted to developers, Facebook now allows people and businesses to embed a facebook post, picture or video on a webpage/blog. See below for an example of an embedded post:
How Embedding a Facebook Post On Your Website Can Help You:
- Create engagement right there on your blog
- Allows readers to “Like” your facebook page from the post
- Readers can like, share or comment on the post immediately from your blog
- Readers can even embed the post onto their website increasing brand awareness for you
How to embed a facebook post on your website:
- From your Facebook Page, choose the post you want to embed (note: only public posts can be embedded)
- Click on the ‘down arrow’ in the upper right corner of the post to open a pop up box of options
- Choose “Embed Post”
- Highlight the code in the new pop up and copy it to your clipboard
- Paste the code on the webpage you want it to appear on
The position and title of “Online Community Manager, Social Media Manager, Online Marketer etc.” is fairly new to many companies. If you are striving to take your company to the next level and utilize the web to gain a greater online presence and ultimately increase new customers, you have likely already started planning to add this new role to your marketing department.
Below are 7 qualifications to look for when hiring an Online Community Manager:
This person should have at least 3 years experience with Social Media Marketing. Just because someone is active on twitter and Facebook, does not necessarily mean that he or she is qualified to run your Online Marketing Campaigns. What blogs and websites do they follow? This will show you how current this person’s social media knowledge is. How many facebook friends does he/she have? This is important for a couple of reasons. First, you want someone who is social. Second, you want someone who is well networked already, giving you instant access to hundreds or thousands of new people.
Other important questions to ask:
What Linkedin, FB groups do they already belong in?
How do they leverage those groups for their social media strategy?
What Social Media publishing tools do they use?
Does he or she know what Facebook EdgeRank is?
2. They know and LOVE your product:
The Online Community Manager is going to be the face of your company also known as your company ambassador. Do they want to SCREAM with excitement everything your company offers? This person needs to be proud to be a part of your team. An ideal candidate will not be hesitant to use his or her personal accounts/name to promote the company.
How well does this person know your product and services? The online community manager should know your products and key audience so well that he or she can feel confidant promoting, marketing and fielding questions. You do not want someone who has to depend on you to develop content conception. When it comes to Social Media, passion is key. Your company is best represented by those who are passionate about it!
3. They are a marketing maven:
This person knows how conduct market research, has experience with brand development and brand awareness. Ask if he or she has experience tracking marketing analytics. Many print marketing practices can be re-purposed for online strategy. It’s equally important that this person has online marketing experience and knowledge. This includes basic tech comprehension, best practice understanding of how, why and when to post online and more.
4. Awesome and engaging personality:
We used to hire introverts as our IT/Computer people. Nowadays however, we need outgoing people to represent us online. Does your OCM have a great sense of humor? Great posts and status updates are often the funny and witty ones. Your hire needs to have the ability to engage customers online. Usually the way people talk in person is reflected in how they converse on Social Media.
5. Creative, strategic and analytic:
Yes, usually it is hard to find an extrovert (see above) who is also analytical, but if you do- you’ve hit the jack-pot! Ask your candidates to provide a 3 month strategy plan for your Facebook page. See how creative they are in these plans. Creativity comes into play with how this person goes about executing such strategies. Another question to ask is how this person would turn Facebook Fans or Twitter/Pinterest Followers into customers. It is one thing to generate “likes”, it’s another thing to convert a Like or Follower into a paying customer.
6. Great time management skills:
Re-activity is extremely important in building online relationship with potential customers. If someone asks a question on one of your social media platforms, an answer cannot and should not take more than hour to appear. By then your potential client has already moved on. And so have all the other people watching. Find someone who is willing to be “on-call”. Most OCM’s have every social app on their phone so that they can be accessible on the go!
7. They have a common community with your company’s community:
If you are interviewing someone who claims to be “well-connected”, great! Please note though of who these connections are! It does not really do much for your business if their connections do not coincide with your target audience. If they are sharing content from your site to their connections, how effective will it be in getting you qualified leads?
Obviously, there is no perfect candidate. If you can find someone who possesses the majority of the above 7 qualifications you are on the right track!
Click the button below for more on how to hire and train a rock star Social Media Professional:
Congratulations! You finally put together your facebook page. Now you need to grow your fan-base, figure out what to post and how to post it. Below are a few best practice methods to getting started on your facebook business page.
- Think about your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? What type of things would they like to know? What age group does your fan base consist of? Is it mostly female or males? You can actually find all of these statistics on your page’s “insights”. Once you can answer those questions, you will be better equipped to providing a great “fan” experience.
- What you post. Is it relevant to your followers? Are you posting something that will be of interest to them? Are you providing your fans with original material? People like your page because they like your business, brand or what you represent. Everything you post should have something to do with your business or industry. It is very beneficial to create a “publishing calender” with enough content to post for 3 months out.
- Be the first to post. If something comes out in the news, you want to be the first to share it. That way you own the post that everybody is sharing. Therefore, I suggest that every morning, you search different news sites for important information in your industry.
- When you post. When are your fans likely to be on facebook, and thus see your updates? If your target audience is comprised of retired empty-nesters, 2:00pm may be the best time to post. If your fan base is mostly stay at home moms, nap times are the best time to post. Common practices show that 7:00am, 11:00am, 3:00pm and 8:00pm are the prime times for facebook activity, but that may vary depending on your audience demographics. This takes us back to the first tip of knowing your audience.
- How often you post. This is an important one. You don’t want to be posting so often that your followers start hiding your updates. Likewise, you don’t want to have any empty page. Most successful pages post 3-4 times a day, and post different things. There isn’t anything more annoying to followers than seeing the same post multiple times a day! Make sure to spread the posts outs throughout the day. You can use social media tools such as HootSuite, Sprout Social or even on Facebook, using the scheduler below your actual post.
- Keep posts short and sweet. When you start rambling, people stop reading. It’s that simple.
- Don’t just sell your business. If people want to learn about your services or products, they can visit your website. You should use facebook to engage your customers. Show them that you want to provide them with valuable information, listen to their wants and needs, and every now and then let them know about a sale or new service.
- Give them something to talk about. If you want your fan-base to continuously grow, you have to provide buzz-worthy information. Sometimes the most shared content is the most controversial. Use this method to ask questions and encourage your followers to participate in the conversation and share with their friends!
Good luck and may your facebook page numbers continue to grow!