Blog about Internet marketing strategies - social media, & SEO

Tag: Facebook

Five Tips To Improve Exposure on Facebook’s News Feed

Do you have a Facebook page like many other businesses do? If so, then you should also be concerned about something many people involved in SEO have observed. That is, business pages seem to be generally ignored in Facebook’s news feed. Some leading SEO company professionals are even complaining that Facebook is deliberately ignoring business pages so you’ll be forced to pay for a “priority slot” in their news feed.

As things stand right now, it’s likely that only about seven percent of your target audience actually get to see your posts. But, before you rush to pay for an increase in viewership, you may want to try improving your exposure in Facebook’s news feed by making a few tweaks to your page first.

EdgeRank

What is EdgeRank and why does it matter? You may not realize it, but Facebook has an algorithm that largely dictates how much of the content you have on their site is shown to your target audience and what percentage of that audience will actually see each post.

This is EdgeRank and it is the biggest reason why only about seven percent of your target audience gets to see your posts. Once you reach a decent number of fans on Facebook, therefore, your focus needs to shift from trying to acquire more fans to trying to reach as many of those fans as you can. Here are some tips on how you can possibly double the current percentage of your audience who sees your posts:

Facebook EdgeRank
EdgeRank is the biggest reason why you may not have the kind of visibility you expect on Facebook. Image source

1. Measure Your Current Reach

Each business page is different and may have a different set of data. It would be wise for you to find out exactly how well you’re faring in terms of reaching your target audience on Facebook. You just might find that the biggest reason why you’re not getting the results you expect from this social networking site is the fact that you’re not reaching enough of your fan base.

To determine your reach, you simply need to check your statistics on Facebook Insights. Get the total of your reach within the last month and then divide the result by your total number of fans.

Facebook also reveals the number of people that saw each post. If most of your posts are seen by only a small percentage of your fans, the problem could lie either in your content, or the time at which you post.

To ensure your posts get maximum visibility, it’s important that you schedule your posts at a time when most of your fans are likely to be online. This would depend on your time-zone and the demographics of your fan base. A process of trial and error and monitoring how many people see your posts at different times will help you decide on the best posting schedule.

2. Go Viral

There are several ways for you to make your Facebook page go viral, but perhaps the most effective is by running a contest.

If you have a good fan base already, you could create a buzz around your page by choosing a theme and then asking your fans to upload photos in accordance with the theme. Announce that winners would be chosen based on the number of likes each photo gets.

This results in your page link getting shared several times by your fans in their efforts to win the contest. Perhaps the best thing about such contests is that it doesn’t require expensive prizes. Even something as simple as gift checks and getting the winning photo posted as your page’s cover photo is enough to get people excited.

If your social reach is dismal or less that what you’d like it to be, you have start putting a strategy in place to increase fan engagement. The following are among the three best practices that can help:

a) In all probability the demographic profile a large section of your fans’ friends will be similar to theirs. So, if your reach level has become dismal, using Facebook’s ‘Promote This Post’ feature may help. It will improve your post’s visibility, and it will appear in the feeds of your fans’ friends as well. However, you should only use this option for your best posts, or those associated with a promotion you are running.

b)  Create content that your target market would like and find a way to associate your brand with the same. Look at SproutFoods Facebook page, for example.  They do a great job of engaging young mothers with a good mix of fun graphics, baby food advice, and interactive promotional post.

c) Organize giveaways and contests for your Facebook fans. If you use the Fangate, you can encourage non-fans to like your page as well.  Make sure though that the giveaway or prize is related to your brand or branding message in someway. If you are B2C this may be easy, since you can give away one of your products. But, for B2Bs organizing successful contests maybe more challenging.

A good strategy for B2Bs, therefore, is to offer information products like whitepapers, free seats in a webinar, third party invites to coveted Industry events, etc. This way they can use the prizes to add to their brand value.

3. Use Photos to Your Advantage

When we talk about content, we’re not just talking about pure text articles. Particularly in a social platform like Facebook, pure text is significantly less effective than other types of content such as photos.

If you want to increase your visibility on this platform, therefore, you need to share more photos and focus less on status updates. You may even use photos on your Facebook page to drive more traffic to your company website by providing a link on the caption that accompanies each photo.

Perhaps the best thing about photos where Facebook is concerned is that it has been shown to be the most visible type of content on the site.

Pictures, in fact are a great way to generate likes for your promotional posts as well. As per a Hubspot study pictures on Facebook get 53% more likes than the average post! So, if promotional posts are accompanied by attention grabbing pictures they are likely to receive more traction.

Facebook viral marketing

You can increase your visibility on Facebook by running a contest and going viral. Image source

4. Post Relevant Content Only

A lot of businesses make the mistake of posting random content just to get likes. While it may get them some short-term attention, such posts do nothing for the business’ brand value, and even tend to put off genuine fans.

‘Relevant’ doesn’t mean promotional, but content that’s in someway related to your niche, and that your fans would find useful. For instance, while posting funny e-cards and captions may not drive much engagement to a social media company’s Facebook page, an infographic about ‘funny status updates’ that generated a lot of likes probably would.

5. Engage

Engagement is still the primary goal of social media marketing. Therefore, you should do whatever you can to engage your fans and keep them interested in your brand. One very effective way to engage people is by uploading a photo and then asking an open-ended question in the description. Not only will this invite discussion, but it will also encourage people to share your photo, so don’t forget to add a link to your page in the description.

The ‘Like If’ approach works really well too, especially, if you can create a post, graphic, or video that creates an instant emotional connection, or can make people laugh.

Interactive posts related to key events, dates and news developments also tend to drive engagement. However, as a business you have to pick and choose, which dates, events, and/or developments you want to be associated with.

For instance, if you run a fashion and accessories business, you may want to be associated with Valentine’s Day. You could upload a picture of a stunning new top with a question like, ‘What would you pair this top with on your Valentine’s Day Date?’

While these strategies may not be able to extend your reach to a hundred percent of your fans, but they can certainly improve your results.

In order to make sure that the added exposure gets you maximum leverage, it’s a good idea to add a call to action in your posts, wherever it seems appropriate. It could be on the lines of ‘Like Us For More Updates’ or ‘Visit Our Online Store’.  To track the leads and clicks that you get from these posts, you can tag the URLs , through Google Analytics, or use bit.ly’s URl shortner.

These tips should hopefully help you increase your social influence and build greater fan engagement. Good Luck!

About the Author:

Emma-Julie Fox

Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Vancouver company that provides SEO services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to write on your blog too please contact www.pitstopmedia.com

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Facebook PPC Ad Intelligence Tool by SEMrush

SEMrush provides knowledge and research tools for search and marketing professionals. I talked about SEMrush keywords  Google AdWords Analytics tool a while back. Now SEMrush is coming up with something exciting for Facebook advertisers as well – Facebook Pay Per Click Intelligence Tool. Here is a walkthrough on what the tool is going to be like:

Once you login to SEMrush, you can see the Facebook navigation on the Dashboard. This contains three submenus – namely Ads by domain, Ads by keyword and TOP Ads. Let us see more of each. I shall mostly use Nepali Facebook Ad examples for this purpose – but this is applicable for any country or globally as well.

Ads by Domain

Here you can search Facebook ads by the domain name (advertised website). So if you are a travel company and want to know how much ad AceTravels is doing, you can type their domain name acetravels.com and see the results. You can see Total Ad Impressions as well as unique impressions for the week, month or three months. Here is a screenshot.

AceTravels Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads by Domain

Seems that AceTravels targets only Nepal and hence GEO targeting shows insufficient data. So let’s check another travel site, that of Explore Himalaya using their domain explorehimalaya.com.

Explore Himalaya Facebook ads

Explore Himalaya Facebook Ad

You can also click on the single ad to see the details such as first and last seen dates on Facebook.

Facebook ad details

Details for a Facebook Advertisement by LonelyPlanet

Here we see that the ad is targeted mostly on selected countries and there are 3 versions of Ads. The impression chart shows ad impressions across various months. We can also see the impressions for each ads and which ones are performing better. Thus it can be a useful tool to improve your ads as well. Similarly, the ad landings show the major pages that the website is targeting through those ads.

Facebook ads Landing Page

Facebook Ad Landings checks important website pages from competitors

Features that I found need improvements in this section are:

  • The days seen for ads are kind of inaccurate and doesn’t make much sense as it is.
  • Many companies advertise for their Facebook Page itself. There doesn’t appear to be way to check the ads in that case.
  • Data for ads targeted for single geographic region such as Nepal seems inaccurate of non-available in many cases.

We can use a side-by-side comparison like this give good insights on Facebook advertising pattern by competitors.

 

Ads by Keywords

Ads by keywords shows the popular ads with the keywords within the ad Headline or Text. Since Facebook Ads are segmented based on interests rather than keywords, the search by keywords works different than the PPC in Google AdWords. This can however be used to find the competing ads by finding Ads by Keywords. Again, let’s consider the travel industry and use “travel Nepal” as a keyword. This gives an idea on comparison of the ads and ad impressions.

Facebook ads by Keywords

Facebook ads by Keywords

Features that I found need improvements in this section are:

  • Ads by Keywords option seems less logical as the ads in Facebook are not segmented based on Keywords.
  • The monthly / 3 monthly ad impression numbers (average unique hits) seem to be broken as seen on the screenshot

 

TOP Ads

This gives the overall list of top ads and advertisers on Facebook. What is more impressive is this also give option to dig deeper to find the list of top Ads and Advertisers on Facebook based on country and for a given time frame (weekly, monthly or 3 months).

Facebook Top ads

Top Facebook ads and advertisers worldwide

Top ads and advertisers from Nepal in Facebook]

Top Nepali ads and advertisers on Facebook

Here I show the weekly top Facebook ads in Nepal (most displayed Facebook advertisement in Nepal) as well as the monthly top Nepali advertisers on Facebook, along with the total number of impressions they had. Seems like colleges in Nepal and for Nepalis are having a blast at Facebook Ads!

Features that I found need improvements in this section are:

  • Advertiser name alongside the top ads would be better

 

Overall improvements that I wish for:

  • Some way to put the monetary value estimation for the ad into the insights as in Google PPC.
  • The country selection in the search box is confusing and seems unnecessary for Facebook Ads.

The Facebook Pay Per Click Intelligence Tool would be very useful for existing advertisers as well as business looking to start advertising regarding how others are using it and how to get the most of Facebook Ads. A must for PPC professionals – or even upgrade to paid account to start taking the maximum benefits.

 

Need help with PPC campaigns? Contact.

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Patent Rights: Yahoo Warns Facebook

The following is a guest blog. Email me at roshanjoshi@gmail.com with the subject ‘Guest Blog’ if you are interested in guest blogging.

Yahoo has seen some young competitors in the business lately. The company has now got engaged in a patent right fight with Facebook and has also issued a warning to the company over the usage of its intellectual property.

Yahoo has warned Facebook that some of the technologies that it is using have already been filed by Yahoo in its 10 or 20 patents. According to Yahoo, some other companies have also used the Yahoo patent technologies but there is no issue relating to it as they have got the usage licensed by Yahoo.

Facebook can also resolve the issue by getting a license and by paying the license fees. In case Facebook does not opt for the license then Yahoo will be suing the company. Representatives of the two companies met with each other in this regard.

A spokesperson of Yahoo said that Yahoo has a right to protect its intellectual property and the company has also got a responsibility towards its stakeholders, shareholders and employees. Therefore they have to insist that either Facebook goes for the licensing arrangement or they will be protecting their patent rights in a unilateral manner. This message was conveyed by Yahoo to New York Times in an e-mail.

The spokesman for Facebook, Barry Schnitt says that they have not yet been able to completely evaluate the claims that have been made by Yahoo.

Silicon Valley has witnessed many cases relating to patent rights with smart-phones leading the sphere. A whopping sum of $ 12.5 billion was paid by Google to Motorola Mobility last year. This amount was paid by Google in order to access the intellectual properties of Motorola. The defunct communication equipment manufacturer Nortel received an amount of $4.5 billion that was paid by a consortium of companies led by Microsoft and Apple for the 6,000 patents which Nortel had. The different areas of world have witnessed many cases. These cases involved leading smartphone makers like Samsung and Apple.

Yahoo’s warning has come at a very delicate time for Facebook as the company is planning to go public this spring. The event is also one of the most anticipated debut events of times.

Yahoo has last year reviewed it patents to be sold to outside investors also. People who are close to the company have said that these patents included the ‘firsts ‘ also that were awarded to Yahoo. By buying Overture Services, Yahoo has been able to acquire many more intellectual property rights in the year 2003. Overture Services had sued Google over patent issues and was search advertising company.

It is still not clear how much amount will the licensing agreement will cost to Facebook and how much Yahoo will gain if the two companies reach an agreement. Yahoo received around 2.7 million shares in Google when it settled the acquired company battle with it in year 2004.

Yahoo’s patents were rated as being the most valuable in all of the internet and communication services by a technology publication called IEEE spectrum. According to investors the intellectual property rights of Yahoo will give the company more power against Facebook. According to Eric Jackson, a managing member of Ironfire Capital, Yahoo can use the patents for getting a good amount from Facebook.

About the Author:

margaret-jules

Margaret is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on hometone and styleguru.
She recently did an article on Facebook fever. These days she is busy in writing an article on angelina jolie wiki.

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Infographics: 60 seconds in Social Media

60 seconds may not be enough even to enjoy a cup of coffee for a person in real world, but that is a lot of time in the social media world.

Consider this for what happens every minute (60 seconds) in the social networking sites:
Facebook: 700K messages sent
YouTube: 2 million videos viewed
Twitter: 175K tweets
LinkedIn: 7K searches
Pinterest: 1K visitors

Infographics - 60 seconds in social media

Still think your business can afford to miss the social media?

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World of Social Media (Video)

Here is an interesting video on YouTube that shows the boom in social media in 2011. As we approach 2012, the social media are likely to grow even more rapidly, including the mobile social media.

Some staggering data regarding social media engagement are:

  • Facebook is the most visited website in the world
  • 11% of the world population use Facebook
  • There are more Facebook users than vehicles in the world!
  • 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each month
  • There are about 150,000,000 tweets in Twitter each day
  • Average tweet is only 40 characters long
  • 35 hours of videos are uploaded on YouTube every minute
  • 3500 photos uploaded every second on Flickr
  • Every executive of fortune 500 company is listed on LinkedIn
  • 60% admit they are using mobile devices even in bathroom!
  • Women are more active than men on social media
Social media is not an advantage for business. It is a basic necessity.

Start using today.

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Social Media Basics

What about Social Media?

Social Media is the electronic technology that foster interactive communication. Essentially, social media is any internet or mobile applications that allow creation and exchange of user-generated content.
social media
Earlier forms of media were one way only that allowed companies to tell their views or information and wait for users to respond. Now, with what is called as web 2.0, it has become possible for anybody to talk, share information or content such as image or video, or network using the internet. These are the social media tools of the modern age. Some of powerful and popular social media where users can participate in generating ideas and content are Blogs, Forums, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Digg, Flickr, Delicious among others.

While it was possible for companies and brands to get away with having just a website 10 years back, this is not the case now with all users using social media. If you are not there, your competitor will be. So the best is to start using some of the social media basics yourself first.

Blog

Blog is the initial form of social media which allows updating regular information/content where users can participate through comments or feedback. Having a blog is one of the best way online to letting know that your company is alive. There are free blogging platforms available such as www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com to get started with. However customization works best for company blogs. Companies such as Starbucks have used a different approach to user engagement through their blog, whereas companies such as General Electric (GE) or Southwest Airlines have successfully taken the traditional role of brand awareness through their blogs. There isn’t much corporate blogging culture in Nepal, though some organizations post regular updates through blogs. Personal blogs on the other hand have grown substantially in Nepal, including ones like mysansar or others that blog to monetize.

Forums

Forums are good place to allow targeted users to communicate. You can find forums on endless topics ranging from travel to sports or movies to politics to technology. Or very specific forums such as macro photography or ice-cream or Ferrari. While maintaining forums, it is important to foster discussions in the appropriate topics.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular and powerful social media. Whatever your business, Facebook is a great way to reach out to the users. Facebook currently has 800 million users worldwide. To start with Facebook, create a Facebook Page for your brand or company. Once you create a page, complete the basics (such as uploading a profile picture and filling the information) and add contacts. Users can then become a fan of your Facebook page and interact on it. Popular Facebook pages such as that of Coca-Cola have millions of fans interacting everyday in it. Even local Nepali companies such as Ncell or AceTravel have used it to good effect along with Facebook pages for social causes, such as NepalUnites. Facebook advertising on the other hand is a quick way to reach to more uses.

Twitter

Twitter is another social media that allows only 140 characters of public messaging service. Twitter has been used for many purpose such as interacting real-time with customers, feedback system, contests, organizing events or just updating with news. You can reply real-time in twitter privately or publicly. Using hastag(#) is a good way to start discussion in certain topic, such as #elections2011 or #twitter. Companies such as Best Buy have effectively used twitter through @twelpforce for real-time customer service. Even local Nepali organizations have used it well, such as @ibloodnepal and @tfcnepal for social causes.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social media for professional networking. It can be used as a personal resume on the internet or by companies to find employees. This business related social media can be used to foster interaction through LinkedIn groups, LinkedIn Answers or through job openings. It is very powerful in the sense that you get direct leads for your business. Again, advertising is an option to reach to potential users.

YouTube

YouTube is the most powerful social media for videos sharing. It is one of the most viral tools that spreads lot of buzz online as well as offline. Not only is it powerful for musicians or movie makers, this is equally useful for companies of all sizes. Consider the Old Spice Campaigns made totally on YouTube or the wacky Annoying Oranges. In Nepal too users such as lexlimbu have used YouTube to good effect.

These are only few of the popular social media. Each organization or brands have specific requirements and needs to select the social media accordingly. Also there are bookmark tools such as addthis or shrethis that allow users to share contents.

It is also important to understand that it is best to maintain only those social media that one can manage in the long run. Because not managing social media is worse than not having social media. In case your social media strategy backfires, you have to be ready for that too.

Need to know more? Glad to help.

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Twitter Activity Response

Twitter recently introduced the “Twitter Activity” tab and the users are not so excited about it. Most hate it really and I don’t like it either. It looks like the copy of infamous Facebook activity and raises privacy issues. Initial response suggests fewer than 10% users who like the new feature. Few others are neutral to it. Most users just dislike the new Twitter Activity change.

You can see the responses to the new Twitter Activity here.

What do you think of the new Activity feature on Twitter? Do you like it or dislike it?

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Social Media Trend

social media sharing trend
Social Media & Sharing Trend

Social media has been playing a dominant role on the web. The following is a trend of the most popular social media globally. It also presents the comparison of popularity of social media in Nepal, India and USA and globally.

Social Media Global Share Global Growth USA Share India Share Nepal Share
Facebook 41.4% 3% 36.5% 38.7% 63.6%
Email 8.0% -2% 14.5% 6.2% 2.3%
Twitter 9.9% 25% 9.2% 9.8% 7.4%
Facebook Like 7.2% 517% 5.9% 5.6% 7.3%

Taken from the social bookmarking sites such as addthis, what’s interesting in the trend is the gradual decrease in the older sharing method of email and use of new social media such as Facebook, Facebook Like, Twitter and others. Facebook Like is in fact among the most popular way of sharing information on the web right now with up to 517% increase trend.

Another interesting social trend regarding Nepal is the high proportion of information sharing on Facebook compared to other media. While the global social media trend shows increasing portion of Facebook sharing as well, Nepal in fact is well ahead in its way to choosing the right social media.

Interested in building a social media strategy for your brand?

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