In contrary to the Samsung’s first quarter report, HTC has registered some shockingly low returns in this quarter of the year. Though HTC One is expected to neutralize these losses by a good margin but HTC is struggling at the moment in the smart phone arena. With the reports that came out for the very [...]
From a marketing and advertising perspective, Facebook is a game. It may not be very fun for businesses, but just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean that you don’t have to play along to be successful. On the other hand, some businesses have plenty of fun on Facebook. Whether you do or not makes absolutely no difference, though some will say that if you’re having fun with it that you’ll be more successful. I contend that fun or no fun, you still play the same way if you’re doing it right.
The “game” aspect of Facebook is affinity. It’s the component of Facebook marketing that a business has the most control over while simultaneously having not true control at all. It’s not a conundrum. It’s not double talk. It’s just the way it is.
You see, affinity is a measurement of the engagement you’re receiving on each post. If you’re getting more engagement because of the quality and strategic placement of your content, the affinity portion of your EdgeRank will be higher. It’s for this reason that you do have control. Technically speaking, there really is no true “EdgeRank” anymore. It’s an antiquated algorithm that has been replaced without a name given to the replacement, and since there aren’t a ton of differences in the factors applied to the new algorithm, the name has stuck. Regardless of the name, you have the ability to affect how popular your posts will be based upon the weighted factors attached to affinity.
Facebook really started playing around with how posts from pages appear in the news feeds around the middle of last year. It became noticeable around September. Those who were popular before were seeing dips in their exposure. Things have leveled out now, so wherever you stand currently is a good starting point, particularly if you’re trying to correct errors from the past or reviving a dormant or semi-dormant page.
Your fans and friends of fans are the ones who have the real control over how your posts show in the news feeds, which is why affinity is still the most controllable without giving you any actual control. If your posts are getting ignored or reported as spam, your posts will not show up as well on news feeds. It’s that simple. It’s the reason that you have to play the game whether you like it or not. You can control your own content but you can’t control how people will react to it. All you can really do is learn what works and try to improve.
By improving the quality and focus of what you post, you’ll be able to have the most positive influence on your affinity. Here’s how:
Make Every Post Count
We keep mentioning it here and on other publications, but it definitely cannot be overstated. You cannot waste Facebook posts. You do more harm by posting weak content than if you didn’t post content at all.
Regardless of what you’re running as your strategy, be sure to identify the content that is resonating with your audience. A car dealer should post pictures of cars and the local area, for example. The pictures should be extremely interesting, not just boring pictures of people smiling in front of the car they just bought.
Part of playing the affinity game is making sure that every time your posts appear in front of people, that there’s a chance they’ll like, comment, or share the post. Content that might bring value to you but that brings nothing to the table for the Facebook audience is worthless. In other words, links to your inventory will hurt your efforts. Images of important and interesting parts of your inventory with an accompanying link is better.
Source and Type Matter a Lot
One of the parts that many businesses don’t understand about the way the Facebook algorithm works is that it affects different posts from different sources… well, differently. Let’s say you have an amazing image that you post. It gets a lot of comments, shares, and likes. That popularity will affect all of your posts a little, but it will affect your image posts by far the most.
Sources are another indicator that Facebook doesn’t talk much about but that have an affect on news feed placement. If you post something from Buffer that does well, it will affect future Buffer posts more than it will affect Hootsuite or direct Facebook.com posts, for example.
Keep in mind that the opposite is true as well. If posts of a particular type or from a particular source perform poorly, the algorithm will stop trusting your posts from those sources. They will be presented lower on the news feed.
The Two Things to Avoid
There are a couple of things that hurt you when you post. The first is obvious: spam reports. Every business will get reported for spam from time to time regardless of the content, particularly if the posts are promoted through Facebook advertising. Users in general do not understand how sponsored posts work (or they may understand them too well) and will try to keep your promoted message about the big sale this weekend from ever popping up ahead of pictures of little Timmy sliding into third base by reporting your posts as spam. That’s fine. It happens. Facebook knows this.
What you don’t want to happen is for too many of these reports to come in. Facebook gives your posts a little leeway knowing that there will be some reports no matter what, but when your posts get more than what Facebook believes is reasonable, your future posts and your page itself will be affected. This is bad. It’s very difficult to reverse, even with Facebook advertising. In a conversation with Facebook, I was told that if a page has been posting too much spam when I take them over, that it may be easier to build it back up from scratch rather than try to fix the problem.
The other less-known thing to avoid is getting passed over on the news feed. Every time your posts appears on someone’s news feed, it’s your opportunity to shine. You earn trust in the algorithm when people interact with your posts, but there’s a catch. If they see your posts and do not interact with them in some positive way, Facebook registers that as well. It’s not just someone who saw your post and didn’t do anything. It’s an actual negative that gets registered in Facebook’s data. They know when your posts were viewed. If they get viewed but don’t get liked by a user, they are less likely to be presented to that user as well as that user’s friends in the future.
It’s for this reason that we don’t want posts wasted. Regardless of how many times I say it, it just won’t be enough. You must make every post count.
Look at your posts before you make them live. Are they incredible? If the answer is no, work harder to make it incredible. You can’t post for the sake of posting. Not anymore. You have to “bring it” each and every time you post. Don’t damage your account. Make it shine. The difference is extreme.
One last quick note: everything that I just mentioned about Facebook is very similar to how Google+ handles their network. As it continues to rise, playing their game is also a necessity. Thankfully, it’s so similar that if you work the same basic strategy on both, the results will be similar.
Promoted posts on Facebook is a simple, inexpensive way to gain more views on an article, promotion or exposure for your Facebook page, depending on what your marketing goal is will ultimately decipher your end result. Although it is an easy way of getting seen further on Facebook, you need to know when and what to promote so your efforts don’t become a waste of time or lose the true effects a proper promoted post can do for your business.
A promoted post on a Facebook page certainly reeks of an advertisement, you must remain socially focused, which means that you cannot fall back into the traditional way of promoting your business, instead, you need to think of the consumer/Facebook user and write for them in order to gain attention.
You need to be aware prior to attempting your first promoted post on Facebook that although you are willing to pay to extend your brands reach on Facebook this does not mean you will. Therefore your wording is just as important as the dollar sign’s you put forth within a promoted post. You do not want to simply randomly pick a status update, article or promotion, think it through and come up with something that appeals to the masses, especially if you are looking for engagement.
Here is an example of a small community oriented page regarding social media (a page I own) and with just $ 10 I wanted to see what a promoted post could do for my page, if anything. I chose to promote a post the weekend of the movie, The Hobbit and my goal was to increase engagement. With that said I thought of a status update, found and credited a related image and proceeded to promote:
“As The Hobbit movie premieres this weekend, we want to know what are some of your favorite quotes/sayings from the previous LOTR film trilogy? [image: filmofilia http://bit.ly/UKMvO8]”
My reach was to have the promoted post shared with people who liked the page as well as their friends. The results concluded that the $ 10 paid for 594 views but it ended up receiving 2,008 people seeing the post, 1,420 people saw the promoted post organically (which means they saw it within their news feed or on the page itself) and 217 people saw the promoted post virally (from a friend). This generated 8 page post likes, 6 page photo views and 5 comments. Perhaps this may not sound like a lot to many but for a small sized page, this in fact was and the promoted post became the most popular page post for the page.
I chose to promote the post for two days and began it in early morning due to my time zone (this will also be the time in which it will end). I also put a daily limit of $ 10 as well, in the instance that it did take off I did not want to end up paying too much. Even so, the limitations did not prevent the promoted post to be successful at gaining attraction and engagement to the post. Ideally you need to choose a time that will also have the post seen more so than in the middle of the night. Good times would include mid-morning, mid-afternoon and possibly early evening, again depending on what type of post you are promoting.
If you are looking to promote a post on Facebook be sure to choose carefully, use a trending topic to increase your chances and be sure to ask questions, remember to go outside of just the people who have “liked’ your page and keep an eye on your Ad manager statistics as well as your insights for your page to see if the promoted post worked for you (ideally you want to reach for more people than the number of people who have liked the page). Of course, promoted posts may not be for everyone, but can be ideal for niche topics, subjects and industries, especially when done the right way.
A promoted post is not advertisement, it is a way to gain more attention to your page, even website and can gain you more “likes” not just for the promoted post but for your page as well. If you make an effort to think like the customer you just might gain one, or two but ultimately the way in which you choose to promote, what you promote, when you promote and what is said within the promoted post falls on you and the results will show if done properly.
[promoted posts image via socialtaps]
As more businesses start to embrace the cost-effective method of social media promotions that Facebook Sponsored Stories offers, I’m seeing some mistakes pop up. As Louie Baur posted last week, you have to be careful what you advertise, as pushing the wrong content can do more harm than good.
I want to take that concept a step deeper using this analogy. It can be confusing to some who wonder why so much money is paid to sponsor racing teams. After all, their logo is placed on something that is attempting to travel so fast that the logos themselves cannot be read properly. What’s the benefit?
The reality is that everyone wants to be associated with a winner. They want to be associated with the sport itself and their hope is that their logo will appear on a winning vehicle and/or piece of racing apparel.
The same holds true with Facebook Sponsored Stories. You can throw money at anything and get it more views than it otherwise would have gotten, but I see too often that businesses are advertising the content that they think needs more help. The spammier it is, the more likely they are to sponsor it. This is the exact opposite of what businesses should be doing with Facebook advertising. If something is a winner – that’s the story you want to be pushing. You want to pick out content that would probably get likes, shares, and comments even if you didn’t sponsor it in the first place.
This has an affect on the rest of the “spammy” content that you might be posting more than if you sponsored the spammy content itself.
Black Friday is approaching, the ideal opportunity to pick out bargains and get Christmas shopping done early. To remind us, Apple has posted a nice teaser banner on it’s online Apple Store (via MacRumors).
The day itself is this Friday on the 23rd of November, but interestingly, as of writing, the banner doesn’t seem to be present on the US store, online other international ones.
For reference, here are last year’s discounts from the US store:
iPad 2 – $ 41 to $ 61 Off
iPod nano – $ 11 off
iPod Touch – $ 21 to $ 41 off
MacBook Air – $ 101 off
MacBook Pro – $ 101 off
iMac – $ 101 off
However, the real Black Friday deals can be found in Best Buy, Target and other third party retailers, so check those out first before splashing the cash directly with Apple.