From connecting friends and family members to bridging the gap between brands and their customers, since its inception in 2004, Facebook has become a way for people to communicate and interact online. This makes marketing on Facebook a powerful and efficient way to:
- Drive online sales
- Increase local sales
- Promote your mobile app
- And raise brand awareness
In essence, Facebook connects businesses with people, helping you build lasting relationships with people beyond those that happen during normal transactions. These relationships, in turn, help in keeping customers coming back and increase both customer loyalty and retention.
The challenge is that, as more and more brands jump on the social network, the noise level for individual users increases. To stand out from the crowd, brands need to be unique and remarkable. A big part of doing this successfully is knowing how to promote your content on Facebook to ensure that it is seen.
Tips & Best Practices for Promoting your Content on Facebook
On Facebook, you can use your Page to bring your business to life. The trick is to choose what kind of content to publish, how to share and publish your content and earn familiarity, trust and likeability in your community. Read more
When Facebook was conceptualized in 2004 as a social network aimed at connecting college students, who knew a decade later it will become the most widely used social network, connecting not only people but also bridging the gap between brands and businesses and their customers? Today, Facebook has 1.49 billion monthly active users.
The pitfall here is that as more and more people and brands jump onto the social network, the noise level for individual users increases. For businesses, this means that they need to be remarkable and interesting to stand out from the crowd and improve the organic reach for their Facebook Pages. What does that mean exactly?
By definition, the organic reach of your Facebook Page refers to how many people you can reach for free by simply posting to your Page. Recently, brands and businesses alike have been expressing concern over the declining organic reach for their Facebook Pages. The reason for this is two-fold.
1. Firstly, Facebook is one of the most popular social networks for promoting blogs and businesses with 18,000,000+ business pages! As more and more content is published to the social media outlet, content is published faster than it is consumed. Consequently, competition to appear in people’s News Feed is fierce.
2. Secondly, News Feed works in such a way that rather than showing people all possible content, it sifts through the potential stories and deliver those most relevant to each person based on previous engagement with content from specific businesses.
But make no mistake: Organic content still has value on Facebook. It’s just a matter of increasing your organic reach on the social network by providing high-quality, high-performing and interesting content on your Page. Read more
Whether your current sentiment towards social media leans more towards enthusiasm or trepidation, there is no denying that the number and popularity of social media sites has grown exponentially over the last several years. It is now one of the primary ways people communicate and interact online and this shift in web consumerism has great significance for businesses. After all, Facebook has over 1.44 billion monthly active users while Twitter has 236 million monthly active users.
If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest right behind China and India. Whether you run a small, local business or head a global enterprise-level operation, your customers are online and if you are not interacting with them on the social media networks, your competitors are.
In effect, social media gives you the opportunity to add value and even delight your customers. The key to success is using the right tools to pull site data and consumer data to help you focus your marketing efforts. And when it comes to social media, if knowing what kinds of content to publish and share is important, how you share and publish your content is equally (if not more) important. The challenge here is that there is no best practice set in stone. Your best posting time and frequency will depend, to a large extent, on your audience and their appetite for what you have to say.
However, like with most things when it comes to online marketing, some research has been conducted to determine the best times to post on the social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest among others. The findings from these researches can act as a general guideline in your efforts.
As you probably already know, everything you post on Facebook is content. If you want every piece of content to be an opportunity for increased engagement, when and how you post it matters. In particular, you need to investigate and assess what time of day your fans are most active. According to research, the best times to post on Facebook are as follows:
The best days to post are Thursday and Friday. According to Buddy Media, “the less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook”.
The best time to post on Facebook is early afternoon. Furthermore, posts published at 1 p.m. get the most shares; Posts published at 3 p.m. get the most clicks.
In the last 10 years, social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest, have seen an explosion of growth, both in terms of the number of users and popularity. Facebook, for instance, has 1.39 billion monthly active users and an average of 890 million daily active users while 89% of 18-29 year olds
Indeed, social media is an opportunity and not only because of the audience on the different platforms but also the sheer amount of data that customers make readily available to marketers. The question is: Are you listening? After all, the magic of social media lies in its application in growing long lasting and scalable relationships with your customer base. Therein also lies the pitfall of the social networks. You have an online responsibility towards your customers. At the end of the day, social media can make or break your business.
Some social media practices that could hurt your business include:
1. You’re Publishing the Wrong Kinds of Content
Marketers often make the mistake of using the social networks for the sole purpose of pushing promotional content and updates. The problem with this lies in the fact that social media is all about building trust, engagement and community. There is a time and place for promotional messages but you also have to add value to the conversations and interactions you have online by sharing content meant to indulge or help your customers.
For instance, not every post you make on social media has to come from an original idea of yours. Sometimes responding to what others are saying and bouncing your ideas off them could be as plausible a way of getting yourself heard as any. Then there are other types of content such as non-promotional company information, for example if your employees are taking part in some volunteer work or if you have a job opening for job seekers.
2. You’re Publishing too Much Content too Often
How often should you post on the social networks? That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Sadly though, there is no right answer to this. There is no best practice set in stone because the social networks, for example Twitter and Facebook are very different from one another. One thing that’s true for all the social media sites is that updates and posts don’t last long and users move on to more recent items quickly. The other consideration is the type of organization you are. A media publication, for instance, can get away with many updates a day whereas a online shoe store sending out updates at such a frequency will exhaust and consequently turn off users. One thing you absolutely don’t want to do is talk just for the sake of it. Content you post on social media should add value to the community around your brand or business.
Social media has become one of the most effective forms of communication for organizations in today’s fast-paced world. With social media, company managers are able to strengthen relationships with their current consumer base via many different social platforms. It also allows company managers to target potential consumers who are not yet familiar with the organization and develop new relationships with them.
Much like a gun, while social media can be used for a company’s good, it can be dangerous for the company itself if used wrongly. There are a number of practices and procedures that company managers can develop that will help an organization manage its social platform strategies professionally and lower the chances of potential negative effects that can jeopardize an organization’s standing. This is known as a social media policy.
Here are 3 fundamental social media basics that company managers can implement into an effective social media policy and begin practicing throughout their organization:
1. Inform all Employees of their Role within the Organization
Advising all employees of the company’s mission statement, goals, and objectives is the first step in aligning all employees together in an effort to accomplish the organization’s sole mission. When employees understand the purpose of an organization, what the organization is attempting to accomplish, and that the organization needs the help of each employee to achieve its goals, employees will begin to understand their role in the company, take pride in their position, and take the organization’s desires seriously. Employees who respect their employer, and who take the company that they work for seriously, will become more aware of their own actions and will conduct themselves in a manner that prevents their employer from being represented in a negative light in public.
Facebook’s “Year in Review”
In 2014, Facebook users posted about:
1. The FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup captured the attention of Facebook users more than any other event in Facebook history. The all-time highest-scoring semifinal in the Brazil v Germany game and other standout matches drove millions of conversations.
When Ebola started to appear outside of Africa following an outbreak in March in Guinea and the neighboring countries, the world took an interest. The outbreak, which claimed thousands of lives so far, is the most widespread in history and organizations including UNICEF and International Red Cross are working together to contain and stop the zoonotic disease.
3. Robin Williams
On August 11, 2014, American actor and comedian Robin Williams passed away leaving behind a huge legacy. Fans and public figures from around the world including friend and comedian Billy Crystal paid tribute to the Academy Award winner. His death also prompted many conversations regarding mental health.
4. The Ice Bucket Challenge
Pioneered by Chris Kennedy, the Ice Bucket Challenge is campaign that went around the world between June and September this year and catapulted Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) into our lives. The movement raised more than $100 million in donations. Famous faces who embraced the challenge include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Bieber, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and David Beckham. Here’s a video that shows the CEO’s of Facebook, Apple, MS, Google & Amazon taking the #IceBucketChallenge. Enjoy!
5. Conflicts and Humanitarian Crises
In 2014, the world saw its fair share of conflicts and crises. From the actions of Boko Haram to ISIS attacks against civilians in Kobane to crisis in Crimea & Ukraine and the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that lasted 7 weeks, Facebook users responded quickly to traumatic news. The conflict in Gaza drove the most conversations. The year 2014 also marked the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.
And just as we were bidding a happy goodbye to 2014, Taliban militants stormed an Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan firing on school staff and children. 145 lives were lost including 132 school children between 8-18 years of age. Social media was flooded with messages of grief, condolence and solidarity to remember the kids who died in this ghastly terrorist attack.
6. Malaysia Airlines MH370
When Beijing-bound international passenger flight Malaysia Airlines MH370 carrying 239 people disappeared in the early hours of March 8, 2014, people around the world took notice. 9 months later, the mystery remains unsolved. On July 17, 2014, the airline again appeared in the headlines and conversations on Facebook when another flight MH 17 bound for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam crashed, having been shot down, near Torez in Ukraine killing 283 passengers and 15 crew members.
7. Sporting Achievements
2014 started with a bang when the Seattle Seahawks destroyed the Denver Broncos at the Super Bowl XLVIII. Other sporting events that trended this year besides the World Cup include the Winter Olympics, the Champions League Final and the Indian Premier League. The 48th Super Bowl, which was played on February 2, is 4th on Facebook’s “Top 10 Lists” for US topics.
Here’s a Look at Facebook’s Year in Review Video
Google’s “Year in Search 2014”
In 2014, people around the world made trillions of searches and these searches say a lot about us. We searched for:
Like on Facebook, the 2014 FIFA World Cup was the most searched sporting event not only in the past year but also in history. The top trending players were James Rodriguez, Luis Suárez and Ángel Di María. The world also searched for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in which Russia, the host nation won an impressive 33 medals and the 48th Super Bowl played in New Jersey, USA.
In 2014, people searched to make sense of headlines including facts and fiction about Ebola, the mystery and conspiracy theories surrounding the disappearance of flight MH370, political and humanitarian crises around the world and global news
3. Famous Faces
Jared Leto, this year’s Academy Award winner for Actor in a Supporting Role dominated search in 2014 ahead of co-star Matthew McConaughey who won the award for Actor in a Leading Role for the same movie: Dallas Buyers Club. The World Cup also saw Colombian footballer James Rodríguez shine for the first time on the world stage. Searches for the winner of the Golden Boot grew more than any other player of the tournament. Last but not least, Conchita Wurst, born Thomas “Tom” Neuwirth became a global superstar overnight when she won the 59th Eurovision Song Contest in May earlier this year. Here’s the video of her award winning performance for the song “Rise like a Phoenix”.
4. Science & Technology
In 2014, Apple, Samsung and Nexus dominated search in the mobile technology category. Searches for certain products also spiked including ‘wearable tech’ (clothes and accessories that allow users to track and measure their movement, sleep patters and other parameters), lightweight HD cameras, remote-controlled flying vehicles (or consumer drones) and mobile apps with the purpose of helping people get or stay active. Another technology and science related topic that drove a lot of searches this year is robotic space probe Rosetta that successfully reached its destination- Comet 67P on November 12, 2014.
5. Pop Culture
And finally, let’s talk movies and shows that conquered search the past year. Between Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, it’s nothing short of a fight to the death. Both are giant shows with huge global audiences. Jon Snow of Game of Thrones was this year’s second most searched character behind The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper.
Movie wise, the highest grossing animated movie of all time and the winner of three Oscars- Frozen was 2014’s most searched movie on Google ahead of Interstellar and Divergent. Jennifer Lawrence who was 2013’s golden girl is still driving the most searches beating big names like Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio although the former stole the search headlines for a while around the time of the Brangelina wedding. The top search was for Angelina Jolie’s wedding dress by Luigi Massi of Atelier Versace. Here’s a look at Google’s Year in Search 2014 video:
Wrapping things up, 2014 was a year with challenges, triumphs and moments that affected us all. We saw new beginnings, extended frontiers of knowledge, witnessed courage and said goodbyes. As we approach 2015, let’s reflect on what we achieved in the past year and build on that to make 2015 awesome.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve all seen the importance of social media skyrocket for businesses.
- Facebook has over 1.19 billion active users monthly. This means that if Facebook were a country, it would have been the world’s third largest with 3.5x the size of the U.S population.
- 1 in 5 young adults aged between 18 and 24 use Twitter daily.
- Overall, Twitter receives an estimated traffic of 300K users per day.
- Between 2011 and 2013, LinkedIn experienced a 105% growth.
- 72% of online adults use social networking sites.
It’s safe to say that the need for businesses to get their social media marketing right is only going to get stronger over time.
Social Media Marketing 101
1. It all starts with picking the right types of social channels
Most marketers have limited time and resources to invest in social media. This makes deciding where to focus your social media energy an increasingly important decision. The thing to remember is that not all social media sites are created equal. Three things will determine which network you should sign up for.
- Your business objectives and goals
- Your customer demographic
- The type of product and/or service you offer
For example, if you run a website that sells beauty products, you will be sharing a lot of image-based content. This makes Pinterest an ideal social site. It also has a more women-skewed user base.
2. Publishing and Sharing Content
Many marketers limit their social media content to promotional updates. This won’t help you build trust or a community around your business. You need to broaden the scope a little. In addition to the occasional promotional update, try other types of updates including:
- Adjacent content. This includes content relevant to but not exactly about your business that may interest your audience.
- Joining conversations. Social media is all about interacting and communicating with people online. Take an interest in the conversations happening around you and jump in if you have something of value to add.
- Non-promotional company information. It’s always a good idea to humanize your brand on the social media sites. Let people in on what’s happening behind the scenes like if you’re doing any volunteer work or if you’re having a Christmas lunch for your employees.
- Humor is subjective and it’s not always acceptable so this type of post can be tricky. If you’re not sure about what you’re doing, it’s always better to put safety first. Remember that a joke is supposed to be funny. Not awkward. Not inappropriate. And not painful.
Then of course, how often you should update your social media accounts is another important consideration. The bad news is that there is no best practice that’s set in stone. The best frequency for making updates will depend on what’s appropriate for your business, the best practices in regards to the social channels you use and your audience. You will need to experiment to know what works best for you.
Over time, we’ve all seen businesses, celebs and politicians fail epically at social media. When a campaign burns to the ground, there is always an underlying reason. For example:
- Humor only works on social media if you’re actually funny
- Twitter bots are dangerous
- Customers can be critical and it’s impossible to please everyone
Then there is another reason. The good old maxim “any press is good press”. But that’s unlikely in most circumstances. The social media landscape today is way too precarious for businesses to deliberately make blunders for publicity.
What You Can Learn from the Worst Social Media Mistakes in Recent Years
1. Your Facebook or Twitter Account is an Extension of You
– London Luton Airport
In March 2013, London Luton Airport was slammed for using the picture of a fatal crash in Chicago, which killed a 6-year-old boy, in a Facebook post that was meant to be amusing. The caption read:
“Because we are such a super airport….this is what we prevent you from when it snows……Weeeee :)”
The insensitive picture was removed within 90 minutes after it was posted following an outrage by Facebook users.
– American Airlines
Called the “largest, shittiest airline in the world”, American Airlines replied to a tweet by an obviously unhappy customer with “Thank you for your support! We look forward to a bright future as the #newAmerican.” The tweet has since been deleted but this just goes to show that while there are some situations where an auto-tweet is acceptable (for example when someone subscribes to your monthly newsletter), there is a danger to auto-responding to everything.
2. Don’t Tie your Business to an Unrelated Event just Because it’s Trending
Baked goods purveyor Entenmann learned the hard way that words can be a tricky thing. Following the verdict in the controversial Casey Anthony murder trial, Entenmann sent out a tweet that read:
“Who’s #notguilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?!”
Naturally, there was backlash and the inevitable apology wasn’t long in coming.
Maybe it was ignorance or maybe it was heartlessness but following the Aurora Shooting in the early hours of July 20, 2012, CelebBoutique made a massive and unforgivable social media misstep tweeting:
“#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress;)”
The company’s PR clearly did not have the time or inclination to check on why Aurora was trending and the resulting tweet was incredibly insensitive. They later followed up with an apology and an explanation about what happened.
Do you ever wonder why some posts on Facebook go viral while others barely collect a dozen likes?
It’s not about luck if that’s what you’re thinking! A Facebook post going viral has little to do with luck and everything to do with what you post, when you post it and the words you use to send out your social message. For example, Facebook users are known to share content relating to certain topics more than others including posts about positivity, technology and health. And if you use certain words like “Facebook”, “Why” and “How” in your title, the corresponding post tends to get more likes and shares.
So with these considerations in mind, how can you maximize your overall user engagement on Facebook?
What you Need to Know about Facebook Engagement?
Worldwide, Facebook has over 1.5 billion users. Of those, 699 million people log on Facebook everyday with the average user spending 15 hours 33 minutes on the social network every month. In total, the traffic to Facebook every month amounts to 700 billion minutes.
To tap into that traffic, certain skills, stats and tips are more useful than others.
- Posts with 80 characters or less get more interaction
- The use of emoticons in posts increases comments
- Question posts get 100% more engagement comments wise
- Quotes collect 26% more likes and 19% more shares than “normal” posts
- Posts published on Thursday and Friday receive 18% more engagement. This number increases to 32% on weekends. The best time to post on Facebook is 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. to get the most shares and clicks
- Contents relating to some topics get more engagement than others. The top 5 topics include sex, positivity, learning, technology & social media and food & drink in that order
- 80% of U.S social media users prefer Facebook to the other social networks as their preferred way to connect with their favorite brands.
A 4-step Process to Increase your Facebook Engagement
1. Use the Right Social Media Tools to Inform Your Marketing Strategy
With tools like Mondovo, Hootsuite and SocialMention, you can build a brand that resonates with people. Think about it. Do you know if your social media efforts are paying off? With the right tools, you can narrow down on the social channels that are sending you the most traffic. You can listen to your audience and join relevant conversations. If you can identify your best content and most engaging posts, you can create more of what your audience wants from you.
Social media is now held to the same standard as print and broadcast in the count of essential marketing channels for businesses. As such, your social media ROI needs to contribute to your bottom line.
The challenge is taking a look at your existing business goals and setting social media goals to complement them. For example, your business goal this quarter may be to generate a specific number of leads or it may be to increase your landing page conversion by 15%. And since social media is pretty top-of-the-funnel, the corresponding social media goals will probably revolve around increasing engagement and traffic to your site.
Social Media Metrics that Matter
So you are using social media to reach your business goals. Engagement is a great corresponding social media goal because it impacts a business three-fold.
- It increases traffic
- It grows brand awareness and builds a community
- It shows your voice
But “engagement” is not a concept as simple as the number of followers you have on Twitter or Facebook. It’s a fuzzy word digital marketers use to mean “interactions with your brand.” On top of this, you have to account for the fact that every social channel is different and unique in its own way and engagement isn’t the same for each.
So how can you measure social media engagement? And which tools do you use?
The most important social media metrics are touted to be:
– Conversation rate
This is the number of conversations per post. So on Twitter, this is the number of replies to a tweet and on Instagram, it’s the number of comments on any pin, post or photo.
– Amplification rate
In social media, any post that’s retweeted or reshared is, in essence, being amplified. So think of this metric as the number of repins, retweets and/or reshares a particular post garners.
– Applause rate
Every social network has a touch point to show applause. For instance, Twitter has favorites and Facebook has likes. Applause rate is based on this concept. It’s the number of “likes” a post gets.
– Economic value
This is, quite simply, the sum of short- and long-term revenue and cost savings.
– Relative engagement rates
And finally, should you ever wish to compare your conversion rate on Facebook as compared to your conversion rate on Instagram, this metric averages the number of conversations you accumulated per post per follower for each of your social media accounts.
How to Track Them
Once you establish your social media goals, the next step is to set up tools to measure the ROI on your social media. Measuring your social media efforts is critical to assessing whether or not you’re making an impact to the business.
To measure the ROI on your social media as well as social media success, there is a number of social media analytics software that you can use. Some to consider include:
A social media analytics software designed to help marketers get in-depth analysis and insights into their social media performance, Mondovo’s social tools include Facebook Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Facebook Competition Analyzer and Twitter Competition Analyzer. Access all your Facebook and Twitter data from one location and benchmark your performance against your competitors. With these tools, you will be able to keep a tight control over the nittiest, grittiest details that contribute to social media success.
– Facebook Analytics
View and assess the performance of your Facebook Fan Page. This includes but is not limited to measuring your page’s amplification, reach, impact and engagement trends, all in one place.
– Twitter Analytics
This tool is designed to let you view and understand your Twitter account performance. This includes but is not limited to measuring your account’s performance and engagement and keeping a tab on your followers, retweets, mentions and engagement trends. Measuring these metrics is essential to assessing the impact of your tweets on your audience.
– Facebook Competition Analyzer
In social media, it sometimes becomes important to benchmark your brand’s performance against competitors. With Mondovo’s Facebook Competition Analyzer, view and understand the audience and engagement trends of any Facebook page. This tool is designed to help you assess your position and relative performance compared to your competitors.
– Twitter Competition Analyzer
And finally, a tool very similar to the one we just saw above, if you want to analyze the audience, content and engagement trends of any Twitter account, Twitter Competition Analyzer is your solution. Stalking has probably never been this easy or this fun.
Offering 3 plans (Free, Pro and Enterprise), HootSuite is the preferred social media analytics tool of many marketers. With HootSuite, you can
– Manage your social assets
– Create engaging campaigns
– Find, track and nurture leads and customers
– Get to know your audience
– Be at the right place at the right time when your customers need you
Some of the products by HootSuite include:
– uberVU via Hootsuite: This tool gives you real-time data about your brand making it easy to track influencers, stories, trends and more.
– Analytics: Helps you get all the data about your social media outreach and displays it in comprehensive and easy-to-read reports.
– Hootlet: Lets you post to multiple social networks with one click. This saves time and extends your reach.
SocialMention is a social media analysis platform that allows you to easily view and keep a tab on what people are saying about you, your brand, a specific product or any topic across the web’s social media landscape. It monitors Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and quite a few other social media networks to provide a real-time social media search and analysis service.
With SocialMention, you can also set up an RSS feed, email alerts or even add a real-time widget to your website. SocialMention’s Realtime Buzz Widget, for example, is a tool you can use to view the latest buzz about you, your brand or a product over the web.