Facebook is always making changes to the look, feel and back-end and the system and profiles. This article came out yesterday on HubSpot about  5 Ways You Can Capitalize on Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Update We wanted to touch on this real quick, as a social media management company we are always making sure with the tools and strategy we are using that our clients posts are coming up in peoples news feeds on a daily basis. This can be a very difficult task to achieve for some people.

Here are the 5 steps HubSpot talks about to read this article in full please click here 

5 Marketing Takeaways From the Facebook News Feed Update

1) If you’re using Facebook for lead generation, you need to make sure that every post counts.

With the new Story Bumping feature (which resurfaces older posts that you may have “missed” to the top of the News Feed), you have even more opportunities for your content to be resurfaced to your Fans — that is, if it’s good.

We’re guessing that visual content will be even more important than it already was, as photos get 53% more likes than the average post — so figure out how you can make the most of your images and cover photo updates to benefit your Facebook lead generation. If you’re trying to reach your Fans in order to generate leads, really think about what content would be most engaging; you might end up staying in the News Feed for longer than you used to. (And if you need a few ideas to jump-start your lead generation creativity, check out this blog post.)

2) But if your Facebook posts flop quickly, you’ll have more chances to get it right.

On the flip side of Story Bumping, if your content isn’t performing as well, it will be pushed down much more quickly. While at first glance this means that your content must perform well — and perform well fast — to remain in the News Feed, it actually is a positive thing. According to EdgeRank Checker, Story Bumping will decrease the effect of Time Decay — which means if you’re swinging and missing with Facebook content, you’ll have more opportunities to test content to engage with your audience.

3) At the same time, you could also get knocked for posting a flurry of updates … so find a delicate balance for your Facebook posting schedule.

That being said, once Facebook gets the Chronological by Last Actor feature right, flurries of updates will get grouped together in the News Feed … which means your individual post engagement (and potential for lead generation) could decrease. With this new change, you should really monitor your posting frequency to make sure you’re not posting too much. Plan out spaces between your social media updates accordingly and then test to see if you can adjust the timing between posts to increase engagement and conversions.

The good news about the overall algorithm update is that it won’t help people who send out spam update after spam update, as they’ll get removed again and again from the News Feed.

4) Throw out impression-based metrics: Engagement is king.

The whole Last Actor part of the algorithm is a huge indication of the core metric Facebook values: engagement. So while “post reach” is an interesting metric you may want to keep an eye on, Facebook seems to care more about people actually interacting with your Facebook content. This is a huge win for small businesses or companies who have small Facebook Company Page followings — focus on engaging people with your posts, and you should appear in their News Feeds more often.

5) Supplement your efforts with Facebook advertising to potentially increase engagement.

If you’re trying to ramp up your engagement metric but your current fans’ engagement isn’t enough, you might want to consider testing Facebook Ads. They could help you reach a new audience that would love to engage with you — again, taking advantage of the Last Actor metric. Also, keep in mind that the Story Bumping feature does not affect ads on the News Feed — ads are determined by a different algorithm. If you need help getting started with Facebook ads, check out this free ebook.

The moral of the story all comes down to one thing: with all of these changes, you need to test what works on your Company Page with your Fans. What works for one marketer in one business could completely fail in another. So get testing — with the right data, you’ll start increasing your Facebook engagement and leads in no time!

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You should be regularly evaluating how your audience is reacting to your social media presence. If you are constantly up to date on your social media progress, you will find it easier to identify your strengths and weaknesses and ultimately improve your social media presence!

  1. Are your friends and followers increasing? It is very important to remember that an increase in friends and followers does not mean that profits will immediately increase too. An increase in friends and followers does mean you are doing something to attract attention, which is a good thing! If the number is decreasing, it is definitely time to change your strategy. You may be sharing content that is not relevant to your audience.
  2. Monitor the engagement of your followers. Are your posts and pictures getting comments and likes? Are tweets getting re-tweeted? Do your events have a significant following of people that will ‘attend’? These numbers can be monitored very easily. Make sure to be aware of them. You can also apply various tools (like Google Analytics) to receive deeper insights. Pay attention to which posts and pictures seem to be the most popular – and ask yourself why.
  3. Analyze what is working for your audience.  If you are seeing an increase in sales, consider what it is on social media that could have been responsible for the spike. In other words, what is your audience responding too? Was it a promotional discount or the free shipping option?

Evaluating the strategy on a regular basis is crucial. Remember to stay current!

Any company can give out free gift cards or electronics, so that really is not enough to hold the attention of social media users anymore. What is taking your contest to the next level? If you are running a contest, you must make sure your contest stands out among the rest. Here’s how:

Do your users have a reason to keep coming back to your page? Include your fans and contest participants in every possible step of the contest. Brands often do this by allowing the fans to vote on a winner, respond to a question, or  answer a poll. Get creative here and choose what seems most relevant to your brand and product.

Consumers are constantly interacting with social media on their mobile phones. This means it is vital to take advantage of location. Urge users to check-in on social media when they are interacting with your company’s physical location. Offer some sort of incentive such as a discount, a charitable donation, a few points in a contest, etc.  Getting social media users to check in not only allows you to generate more traffic, but also creates a deeper user interaction (physical and digital).

Would other social media platforms be appropriate for your contest? Your contest may be Facebook based, but ask yourself if the nature of your contest could be enhance on other platforms. For example, say you are the marketer for a line of gluten-free butter and your Facebook contest asked users to post pictures and recipes of things they made with your butter. In this case, it would make sense to start a Pinterest board, displaying the recipes.  Using more than one social media platform can allow you to reach a larger audience. The key here is to make sure your second social media platform is relevant to your contest.

The whole concept behind Facebook contests is to increase consumer brand interaction. Remember that anybody can make a Facebook contest, but your goal is to expand that user interaction as far as possible. Think of ways to take your contests to other social media platforms, physical locations, and beyond.

Who can make a Facebook page? If you immediately thought “anyone”  you are absolutely right.  This is exactly why as a company it is incredibly important to make your page exciting. Getting those “Likes” does not mean all that much if you do not interact with your fans beyond that. One of the best ways to bring excitement to your page is to use Facebook apps.  Keep in mind that some of the ideas below are complex – they are often developed by a third party and then can be run on Facebook.

Create interactive quizzes. The truth is, as ridiculous as it may seem, people love taking quizzes about themselves. So whatever quiz you decide to create, make sure that the quiz is all about your customers. For example, if you are a frozen yogurt company the quiz could ask, “What frozen yogurt fall treat are you?” The bottom line is to make sure the quizzes ask personal questions. Keep it relevant to your business and all about your fan. To get it started, you could offer discounts to the first 100 people that take the quiz.

Use personal Facebook information to create a story about the user. People love interactive apps like this. Typically, apps such as these use the Facebook user’s photos, name, and hometown to fill in the story gaps. This usually gets a good laugh, which is great because it is likely to be shared. If you are a tax company, use the information to narrate a scary tax scandal

Make your apps about your fans. This option is not as complex as the two above.  Ask fans questions and encourage them to reply. Then, each month your company can highlight the fan that had the best response to your question. If you work for a beauty company, ask a question about the meaning of beauty. Offer a coupon or a free product to the participant with the best or most creative answer.

The Takeaways:

1. Make sure you are staying relevant to your business.

2. Be creative. Surprise your customers.

Most small businesses feel a sense of urgency to get onto social media because of the tidal wave big brands have made on all social media platforms. Focus on your social media goals. Whatever they are, the bottom line should be to build relationships and grow customer trust. That means that social media is not the place to display your promotional copy. Get rid of anything remotely resembling a “BUY ME” button. Social media is about social engagement. Think of yourself in a social situation – do you spend the entire time talking about yourself? Hopefully the answer is no. This type of etiquette applies to social media as well. Just as you would in a social environment, strive to be interesting on social media. Post content that gives your followers or friends something to react too. If someone were to walk up to you and give you a compliment or ask you a question, you would never just ignore it. You would acknowledge it with a “thank you” or a reply. The same thing should be done on your social media platforms.

You are a small business. Your budget is probably much smaller than that of Starbucks. Inevitably, your social media strategy will be different than those big brands – that is okay! You don’t have to keep up with Pepsi. If you do not have the budget to giveaway the latest IPad – don’t do it. Offer a prize your company can handle such as a service, discount, or small product.  This also means that the participants in your giveaway are likely to be interested in your company, and not just in it for the free Ipad.

You have probably already picked up on the fact that there is no physical cost to join social media.  As a small business, marketing without fees probably sounds like the best kind.  But don’t be fooled – social media marketing is anything but free. Doing it right requires serious man-hours. The commitment to social media is unrelenting and endless. Engaging with followers and sharing valuable content is a full time job.

As a small business, you do not need to be present on every social media account. If you use Facebook over Google +, it does not mean you are a social media failure. The biggest error you could make is to have a Google + account that is completely neglected and shows inconsistent activity. It is better to have one or two active and up to date social media accounts than have five accounts that are not receiving adequate time and management.

Small businesses tend to make these mistakes, which can do serious harm to their social media success. Make sure your business gets it right!

 

 

 

 

A recent report from Facebook and comScore looked at how using Facebook Pages effects consumer behavior and social media marketing. The report closely examined the impact of paid media exposure on Facebook Fans. Here are some of its key findings.

1. The Facebook Page has become the brand’s new website.

For several companies, Brand Facebook Pages are turning into the hub of the company. For example, the popular candy brand Skittles had 23,000 visitors in May on their website, versus 320,000 visitors on the Skittles Facebook Page during the same month!

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Brand Pages are the main source of brand engagement on Facebook, however. It’s known that Facebook users spend the most time on the News Feed, so the amount of brand exposure on the News Feed is greater

Also, this does not mean that you should abandon your company site and focus solely on your Facebook page. Websites are important for focusing on lead capture and transactions. The popularity of the Facebook Pages is just a shift in consumer behavior, which should be understood by companies.

2. The number of Facebook Fans is not a major measurement of performance.

Many companies are still too focused on taking their number of Fans as the main indicator of their performance with social media marketing on Facebook. The more important measurement however, is how brands are delivering their message to make the most out of their consumer reach and engagement.

In order to increase reach, companies should optimize their posts so they will be more likely seen in all of the News Feeds of Fans. Additionally, the ad platform is another way to help brands increase their reach. By promoting a post, it is more likely that it will reach a greater percentage of the brand’s fan base.

3. Facebook Fans and Friends of Fans are spending more.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether purchasing decisions of Facebook Fans and Friends of Fans are truly influenced by earned media exposure because they are “substantially more valuable” consumers based on actual purchase behavior, according to the report.

The report found that Fans of Amazon’s Page spent over twice as much when shopping on Amazon compared to the average consumer. And Friends of Fans spent about 8% more in purchases.

4. In-store purchasing behavior is influenced by Facebook earned media exposure.

When looking at Starbucks, researchers examined the behavior of Fans and Friends of Fans during a 4 week period and found that on the fourth week after exposure, a test group had purchase incidences that were .58 percentage points greater than the purchase incidences in the control group. Furthermore, the fact that the normal lift in purchases rose with each week following exposure, which shows the effects exposure has in increasing purchase behavior.

 

 

With over 100,000 Facebook applications available, it can seem overwhelming to try and determine which apps will be the most important for your business. To help you out, here are four essential Facebook apps that will help you to communicate and interact with your fans!

1. Tweets to Pages

This app has about 1.2 million monthly active users! It creates a tab on your Facebook Page that shows your company’s most recent tweets displayed in a timeline. This feature is great for giving real-time information to Facebook users without a Twitter account and helps to avoid annoying fans by constantly streaming your tweets to Facebook as wall updates.

2. Static HTML: iframe tabs

With 61.8 million monthly users, this app simplifies the process of creating a custom landing page. You can simply copy and paste textboxes for your custom HTML, CSS and JavaScript instead of creating a developer account and your own application. You can also remove scrollbars and enable Facebook’s FBML if you’d like. And you can enable “like-gate” if you want to incentivize Likes on your Page.

3. ContactMe

This app has 180,000 monthly active users. It adds a contact form tab on your company’s Facebook Page that allows anyone visiting your page to easily contact you the minute they’re interested! It also has customization options, like choosing whether you want to show your company’s contact information or social media icons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Skype. It also lets you add, remove, reorder and require specific fields in a simple user interface through contactme.com.

4. RSS Graffiti

With 1.5 million users, this app lets you post wall updates automatically, whenever there’s a new item in one of your specific feeds. This saves you time and effort in having to create a new wall update every day to distribute your company’s content. It also has customization options to make it stand out. The configuration interface is intuitive and easy to use!

If you don’t have time to sift through the hundreds of Facebook apps available, start with these four apps to better communicate with your fans!