Social media is without doubt one of the most popular communication platforms. Since its rise in the early to mid 2000s, it has proven to be one of the greatest ways for a business to not only improve their brand, but increase reach and exposure. There are many features that enable this, with one of the best being Facebook Ads.
Facebook Ads is a way for businesses and users to get their content and advertisements seen by other users. There are two main types of advertising on Facebook: Ads and Featured Sponsored Stories.
Sponsored Stories is content created by Facebook users, usually through interaction with your Facebook Page, or content your company has posted (liking, sharing, etc.). Because actions like this show up on user newsfeeds, companies can pay to have these interactions featured on friends of the friends they originally interacted with. The idea here is to increase who can see your content in the hopes of finding new fans or more specifically, new customers.
Ads on the other hand is similar to traditional advertising in that you create and have more control over the advertising content. You can control the imagery, wording, title and even who sees the content. This gives you a great way to create targeted ads that specific customers and users respond to. Hopefully bringing them to your Facebook Page or even website. There are four different types of Ad:
A common question many businesses ask is whether these ads are actually useful and do in fact pay out. A recent study conducted by Internet advertising company AdRoll, which looked at the benefits and click-through rates (the number of clicks on an ad divided by the times it’s shown) of social vs. traditional search advertising such as through Google, has found that yes, ads do work.
The study found that ads that show up on newsfeeds have a click-through rate 21 times higher than targeted Web ads. What’s interesting is that the newsfeed ads have a click-through rate 49 times higher than ads that are posted on the right-hand side of Facebook. What this means for you, and companies posting ads on Facebook, is that your content will achieve greater exposure if it’s posted on newsfeeds.
If you are looking to learn more about Facebook and how it can help your business, you need to contact us today.
The hashtag has long been an intrinsic component of Twitter, becoming so popular that people began using it on other social media platforms. Because of its popularity, Facebook introduced hashtag support allowing posts to become searchable and giving businesses the ability to possibly get their posts in front of more users. The only issue is, hashtags can be a challenge to master.
If you are looking to use hashtags on Facebook, it is going to take some time to master how to do so effectively. Here are three tips that should help make using hashtags easier.
Create a personalized hashtag Because the hashtag has made its way into mainstream social media, it has become another way for companies to promote and grow their brand. If they can develop a personalized hashtag and use it effectively, users will likely start to use that tag when speaking about the company.
When tags are used, they can be clicked on and users can see other posts that have also added this specific tag. If you have used tags in your own statuses before, these posts will also show up, which could prompt people to visit your page, interact with your content and maybe even continue onto your site.
There is no official way you can claim your own personalized hashtag. What you can do is come up with a few ideas related to your company or brand and do a search for them on Facebook. If you see a tag has been used on numerous occasions and doesn’t refer to your company or Facebook Page, then try another one. When you find one that has either been used for your company or hasn’t been used at all, start using it in posts and other content. Be sure to use it on a regular basis and it’s highly likely that your followers will start using it as well.
Be warned however that companies struggle with this. Some Facebook users will use the hashtag to troll, or post negative comments. It is a good idea to track comments that use the tag to see if this happens. If it does, it may be beneficial to stop using it, or try another one. That being said, if it works, it can work really well.
Use hashtags to emphasize While putting tags into posts and content will make them searchable, there is another effective way to use hashtags. If you create posts and want to emphasize certain words, hashtag them. This will change the color of the word and make it stand out, drawing the viewers attention.
When this is done correctly, it has proven to be quite effective. For example, if you are selling a car words like #reliable and #efficient could really make the post stand out.
Just be careful to not overuse these tags, as this will detract from the emphasis. Aim to use a maximum of two tags, three if the post is longer.
Use hashtags to identify and latch on to trends Some of the most popular and efficient social media campaigns leverage current events and trends and the hashtag has made it even easier to find and track these trends. The easiest way to be effective with this method is to latch onto bigger events. For example if your company operates in Austin Texas, and you are hosting an event or having a sale related to the F1 race in November, you could put the #F1 tag in your posts promoting the event if you notice that it starts to trend.
It is important to remember that mastering hashtags and seeing a benefit from them takes time and effort. You are going to have to try a number of different approaches, but one should eventually work. If you are looking to learn more about Facebook and how your business can leverage it to full effect, please contact us today.
In August 2013, Facebook officially enabled Graph Search for all English speaking profiles and Pages. This change implements a smarter, more natural type of search that could help improve business exposure and help customers find what they are looking for. As with more traditional search engines, as a business you will want to make your Page more visible. The question is how?
Want to make your Facebook Page more visible to people using Graph Search and possibly improve your search Graph Search rank? Here are four tips on how you can make sure your Page shows up when users search using specific keywords.
1. Ensure that you have the right name Companies often go by numerous names. There’s the full name on the masthead and registries, the name employees use, as well as the name your company uses when talking to customers and possibly what customers call you. With your Facebook Page, you should use the name that your customers most frequently identify with. For example if you are Ricky’s Pizza Joint LTD. and your customers frequently call you Ricky’s Pizza, try naming your page Ricky’s Pizza.
Beyond that, it’s not a good idea to pad your name with too many keywords, as chances are high this will be associated with spam and your rank may be punished. If you notice that other pages use the same name as you try adding in a location specific word e.g., Ricky’s Pizza – Vancouver.
2. Include as many details as possible in your profile Facebook Pages include sections like About, Mission, Company Description, etc. where you can provide valuable information about your company. Take a look at each of these sections and ensure it includes the information you want your customers to see. For example, in the About section include your website, contact information and even brief 1-2 keyword rich sentences or paragraphs about your company.
Under the Company Description box make sure you actually say what your company does, or how your services and products can help customers. Again, you can include keywords here that you think people will use when searching for either your company or a solution/product that you offer.
At the very least you should ensure that the basic information like address, company name, website and contact information are provided, but having some more information will improve the chances of your Page being found in Facebook searches.
3. Grab a customized Facebook URL Did you know that Facebook allows businesses to customize their Facebook page’s URL? This is a good idea because it makes your page more visible and easier to remember/find. An optimal Facebook URL would be facebook.com/yourbusiness. You can customize your URL by:
4. Keep creating awesome content Despite the changes, Facebook is still a social oriented site where sharing of quality content is the name of the game. You should be sure to focus on creating content that your clients, customers and fans on Facebook want to share or even engage in and interact with.
With Graph Search, the more content that is shared, liked and commented on the higher the chance that you will be not only found in searches but also be ranked higher. If you are active and customers/users are interacting with you, this could really help your Page and your brand gain valuable exposure.
Facebook is looking to make Pages more relevant and if you take the time to optimize your profile, while working to create interesting content, you should see increased exposure and maybe even a higher search rank. If you are looking to learn more about Facebook and how the recent changes can affect your business please contact us today.
An ever increasing number of businesses, especially small to medium ones, are finding that an online presence is a necessary part of attracting and retaining customers. One of the best ways to establish an online presence is to be where your customers are, and right now this is Facebook. While Facebook is great communication tool, there is always a chance that someone could post inappropriate and profane content on your Page, impacting your corporate image. But, did you know that there is a proactive solution to this?
If you are an admin for your business Facebook Page, there is a good chance that you likely would prefer to be as proactive as possible when it comes to monitoring what is posted on your News Feed and Page. The best way to do this is to use Facebook’s built-in word and profanity filters.
All Page admins have access to a word filter which can mark all posts or comments that contain words you have set as spam. You can block words by:
When entering your blocked words, you will need to enter both the singular and plural versions because the filter works on a per-word basis. Be sure to also separate words with a comma. When you do get a post or comment that contains the blocked word, it will be sent directly to your Spam folder.
You can access this by going into your Page’s Activity Log and clicking on Spam. All spam messages will pop up, and if you would like to approve a post click on the circle with a line through it, followed by Unmark as Spam. For comments, simply hover over and click Unhide.
No business wants profanity to appear on their Facebook page, it simply looks unprofessional and can harm your online brand and corporate image. Facebook has a profanity filter that can help and you can enable this to work on your Page content by:
The profanity filter works off of a list curated by Facebook which have been marked by other users as offensive or words which are commonly reported as profane and offensive. If you are looking to learn more about using Facebook in your business, contact us today to see how we can help.
Facebook is widely believed to be one of the most important and usable tools for businesses looking to establish or further their online brand and marketing efforts. For business owners and managers that have a presence on Facebook there are a number of tools and features that are highly beneficial, some of which you may not yet know about.
If you want to get get more out Facebook as a social media marketing platform and potentially increase your overall reach and campaign effectiveness, then follow our three tips.
As a business, there is a good chance that if you run your company’s Facebook Page you will be connecting with other business owners, managers and employees. This is especially true if you are primarily B2B oriented.
There is also a good chance that you are connected with individuals from other businesses you deal with. However, increasing your business reach means trying to connect with more people from your target businesses. The question is, how you do it.
One way is to use the search bar and to locate individuals working at companies you work with. The method will usually show up the people you are already friends with first. Instead, use a different search technique. Enter randos at company [replace company with the company name] in the search bar on Facebook. This will search for names of people you don’t know or aren’t friends with at the company.
This can be a great way to find new people to connect with, and grow your network and increase brand recognition.
We all know that the messages section of Facebook is like an Inbox where you are able to view and send messages and chats to your followers and friends. But did you know that there is an Other folder that could contain important messages that you may have missed?
This Inbox is actually part of your Messages Inbox that holds messages that are filtered out of your main Messages Inbox. You can access the Other Inbox by:
It is a good idea to look at this Inbox on a regular basis just in case an important message comes through that you would have otherwise missed. If you click Edit Preferences you will be able to edit the filtering that takes place automatically.
Keyboard shortcuts are among the most useful features of any program, and what many people may not know is that Facebook actually has shortcuts as well. These shortcuts work across most browsers, however the first keystrokes are slightly different for each. For example:
Here are some of the more useful keyboard shortcuts:
If you are looking to learn more about using Facebook in your business get in touch with us today to learn more.
With Facebook change is the rule not the exception. However, changes can be a challenge for business users to keep track of. One of the most common features that is changed or updated, is the algorithm that determines what content is shown on a user’s News Feed. With many of the recent feature changes many business owners are commenting that it feels like they are being shoehorned into buy ads in order to reach their audience. While ads can be beneficial, one way to get your content in front of users is by improving your newsfeed performance.
There are many ways you can improve your News Feed performance and the best is to improve the reach of your content. Before we get into how you can do this, we should first describe what your Facebook reach is. Basically, your reach on Facebook is the number of unique users who see the content you post and your updates. When it comes to reach there are four actions you can take to influence it:
By combining these four actions together, you can get a picture of your overall reach. By increasing the reach of each post through the above actions you stand a higher chance of getting your content in front of other people. The more people who see your updates the higher the chance of interaction with your company on Facebook or through other mediums, including avenues of sales.
The question is: How can a company do this? Here are seven of the most effective ways to improve your News Feed and its performance.
The key to posts being shared is that they need to be useful and interesting to your audience. Take a look at your Page’s Insights (Open your Page’s Admin panel and click on Insights) to see what content has been popular with your followers. From there develop a content strategy that covers what content to produce, when it should be produced, and when it should be shared.
Take a look at the most popular posts and see when they were interacted with most. This will give you a good idea of when your followers are most active and likely to interact with your content – thus increasing reach and overall effectiveness of your posts.
This will take time and research, but you should be able to paint a pretty solid picture as to who your audience is. If you can define a few personalities or even target individuals, you can better come up with content your audience will be more willing to interact with, or be more receptive to should you promote it.
Some companies have allowed users to post content on their News Feed or even tag companies, having the post show up on the company’s News Feed, only for the content to be trolling or negative. This can potentially harm your company brand and reputation.
While there is a chance of this happening, the benefits of allowing your fans and followers to mention you in their posts far outweighs the potential negative outcomes of a few. This is because when a user mentions or tags you in a post on their News Feed, their friends are more likely to see it too. In other words, this can be a massive contributor to your overall viral reach.
Don’t just post content onto your Page and leave it. If people are interacting with it by commenting then you should make an effort to reply to the comments. This shows that you are interested and responsive, and willing to communicate and create a dialogue.
Mentioning the poster using @username when you comment will highlight the name and post your comment on their News Feed, thereby increasing the number of people who view your original content and encouraging the commenter to return to your Page.
If you have had successful posts in the past, don’t be afraid to reintroduce them. You could try updating the content a bit if need be and reposting it. This will increase the chance of other users seeing content they may have missed and interacting with it. Just be sure to comment somewhere that this content is a repost. You could comment that it was popular in the past and you think it is still relevant to today.
Be sure not to recycle too often however, as this can be viewed as lazy and turn users off. Aim for one to two posts every couple of months.
While there is a good chance that your posts will be seen on Facebook, try boosting this by sharing your most popular content on other mediums. For example, paste the link into your email signature asking people to check it out, or add a list of your most popular posts to newsletters. This will encourage more people to visit the content and even interact with it.
In order to tell what is working, use the information on your Page’s Insight panel.
If you hit on a strategy that works, that’s great! But, you should not be afraid to try new ideas. If, for example, you see that captions on photo posts are becoming popular with your audience give one a try to see how it works. The key here is to be resourceful and always on the lookout for new ideas. Looking to get more out of Facebook? Contact us today to see how we can help.
Anyone who has used Facebook for any period of time is likely to know that the company is constantly making changes to the platform. One week they are introducing a new update to their mobile app, the next they are changing how we view posts and so on. Many of these changes are made to policies regarding use. Over the past few months Facebook has changed the Pages policy for businesses. These changes are something any business using Facebook for promotion needs to know about.
Business that have Facebook profiles orient the majority of their activity around their Page. Much like a user’s profile this is where all the content and information about and from the business is posted. When business Pages were first launched many companies started to join and run promotions, often to the point of spamming or at least annoying users.
To curb this, Facebook implemented a series of regulations as to how companies can run promotions. Break these regulations and you could see your posts and content punished in the form of showing up lower on user’s News Feeds, or not at all. This is obviously something many companies don’t want, so it would be a good idea to keep up with the rules supporting how you can use the platform for promotions.
The problem with this is that it’s easier said than done especially since Facebook is known to change regulations on a regular basis, often making it hard for businesses to know whether the promotion they are running meets regulations or not. In recent months, Facebook has actually changed their Page guidelines around promotions, actually eliminating some that you should be aware of. Below are four of the old guidelines along with the recent changes made.
This guideline meant that if you wanted to run a promotion, you had to use an app from facebook.com, usually on your Page. Facebook dropped this rule in the summer of 2013, and now allows businesses to use third party apps (not developed by Facebook) to host a promotion on their Timeline.
This guideline stated that you could not have a promotion where people can enter by using Facebook features, for example liking a post or commenting on it. With the removal of this guideline, you can now encourage people to enter a promotion by liking a post or commenting on it.
You can’t however ask your fans to enter a contest by sharing the promotion on their timeline.
In conjunction with the change above, Facebook had to also allow users to vote using the established features. The most common example of this is a promotion that encourages users to comment which counts as an entry. Then others vote on the comment they like by pressing Like. The comment with the most likes at the end of the promotion wins.
This has been removed and Facebook is now allowing businesses to contact promotion winners through a status update or a direct message. You can also use other methods such as direct email, an update on a blog or even another social media service like Twitter.
While Facebook has removed some of the guidelines, they didn’t get rid of all of them. It would be a good idea to read their guidelines for Facebook Pages which cover not only how to use promotions but your Page properly.
If you are looking to learn more about using Facebook as a part of your marketing strategy or to represent your business, contact us today.
Facebook had a pretty big February this year. First, the company celebrated its 10 year anniversary by creating a video for every user that showcases the best from their profiles. Then, there was the news that the platform is reaching 1.25 billion active users. Finally came the news of a new mobile app – Paper – that has piqued the interest of many.
The mobile device is quickly becoming the main way people access their Facebook profiles. While some open the browser on their device and navigate to the website from there, most use the Facebook app. This app is really a smaller version of Facebook that is formatted for mobile devices.
While the app is heavily used, many users are unimpressed with the layout and general functionality of the app as a whole. It’s really Facebook minus some functionality and a slight bit clunkier to navigate.
To address this and other issues the company launched a new division called Creative Labs, where teams can develop new ideas and features that could one day be incorporated into Facebook. One of the first major developments to come out of this division is Paper.
Paper is a new app for the iPhone that combines your traditional Facebook News Feed with something like an online newspaper. The whole idea of Paper is essentially Facebook reimagined into something that not only looks better but is easier to use.
When you download and open Paper using your iPhone you see a brief tutorial video of how the app works. Essentially, your Facebook Feed has been broken down into about 20 different categories, including: Headlines, Tech, Cute, Score, About, Photos, etc. Each section contains relevant stories and posts from your News Feed and from popular posts and publicaly shared content on Facebook. The posts are displayed differently and look more visually appealing.
These sections are then individually displayed in a horizontal manner, often with pictures and text, much like a mini article. For example, when you start the app you may be looking at the Headlines section and all relevant content. If you swipe to the left or right a new section will be brought up allowing you to view the content related to that new section.
What’s cool about this app is that you are in charge of what categories you see. If you want to see the Headlines section (news headlines from around 40 sites) first, you just have to rearrange the sections. This is interesting because the app allows you to customize how you view Facebook.
This app could be great news for businesses, largely because it gives them yet another avenue to have their content seen by users. The creators of the app want it to be content forward. In other words, content displayed in a visually appealing way that draws the eye and potentially increases interest. Businesses creating visually appealing posts will really shine on Paper.
For now, Paper is currently only available for Apple’s mobile devices and can be found on the iTunes store for free. Unfortunately, the app is only available to users in the US for the time being.
We are unsure as to when this app will be made available to more countries and devices, largely because the team developing this is small. We will undoubtedly see it come out in more countries and on other platforms but we can’t say when.
If you are looking to learn about Facebook and how your business can get more out of it, contact us today.
Facebook is without a doubt the most popular social network currently out there. Businesses have taken to it in an effort to forge better connections with their customers and to even harness the vast quantities of data generated. However, it’s the advertising and marketing potential that often really draws businesses. Facebook has recently announced though that it is actually pulling the plug on one form of advertising – sponsored stories. So what does this mean for businesses?
Sponsored stories is an advertising feature on Facebook that allows businesses to capitalize on word-of-mouth recommendations. The way it works is that it allows businesses to essentially promote user activity to that user’s friends.
Say you own a coffee shop and have allowed users to check in on Facebook when they visit your store. When a user checks in, their friends will sometimes see this on their News Feeds. However, a check-in may be missed because of the sheer amount of content shown on our News Feeds.
With sponsored stories you can pay to promote, or sponsor, these check-ins, or other interactions with your company’s Facebook profile. When you do this, the post or story will show up higher on user News Feeds or in the bar to the right of the News Feed. These posts will say Sponsored on them and will tell the user that their friends have liked the content, or interacted with the business e.g., checked in.
While this is a great feature for businesses – they have a higher chance of their name and content being seen by users – it hasn’t been so popular with many users. Many users don’t mind seeing ads for things they have just looked at, but to have Facebook tell other users about it without their consent has created some criticism.
In fact, in 2011 Facebook was hit with a class action lawsuit over misuse of user data directly related to sponsored stories. In the summer of last year, it was ruled that Facebook had been violating user privacy and was fined $20 million. Largely because of this, the company implemented the ability to opt out of sponsored stories. It is estimated that this has cost the company around $100 million in lost revenue, which is highly likely the real reason why the company has decided to drop sponsored stories as of April 9, 2014.
The news that Facebook is removing a potentially valuable advertising feature could cause some business users to worry, especially those who have benefited from this feature before. This change, along with the recent lawsuit that highlighted how Facebook uses data, doesn’t mean that the company will stop collecting data and showing ads to users. Instead, users will no longer see names of friends attached.
For your business this means that you will still be able to advertise, and your content and even ads will still continue to show up on News Feeds, only they will lack other contact information usually seen at the top of sponsored posts.
There are also a number of other options available, including promoting posts and content on yours and other people’s News Feeds. Another option involves using the teo Custom Audiences features. These two features allow you to create an ad that can be sent to existing mailing lists or a market that is most likely to respond positively to the content. For businesses that don’t have mailing lists or a target market in mind, Facebook also offers Lookalike Audiences which can help you find potential audiences based on your current connections.
In fact, both of these features are currently used by many Facebook users to set up sponsored posts. Now, the main difference will be that the word-of-mouth style of sponsored posts will be gone and will only appear in the right-hand sidebar of user News Feeds.
If you are looking to learn more about using Facebook with your business, contact us today to learn more.
Facebook, the king of social media, had an interesting year in 2013. From changes to the way companies are showcased, to increased reliance on their mobile app and browsing, Facebook has solidified its position as the most popular social media platform. Now that 2013 is over, it’s time to look forward at what trends small businesses can capitalize on this coming year.
Here is an overview of five popular Facebook trends small to medium businesses can capitalize on in 2014.
In early January, Facebook started rolling out their newest ad feature – auto-play of video ads. If you post a video, you can sponsor or promote it so that it may show up on a selected target audience’s News Feed. When they scroll by it, the video will begin to play automatically – with the sound muted – if the user clicks on it, the video will open in full-screen and play with sound.
While video advertising isn’t the newest feature, the ability to set your ads to auto-play is. While this feature is still in testing, open to a select few marketers for the time being, you can bet that this will likely become a full-feature some time in late 2014.
What this means for many businesses is that they will need to start creating higher quality video content. If you plan to use this feature, you should start looking into creating content that your followers enjoy. Try posting videos to see the number of Likes, Shares and Comments and from there tweak your content so that more users enjoy it and respond positively to it too.
The hashtag first saw widespread use among Twitter users and has since been introduced in almost every other major platform. Browse most people’s News Feeds and you will see posts using the hashtag, which calls attention to the content and makes it searchable, (click on it to see other posts that have the same hashtag).
It is highly likely that the popularity of the hashtag, especially among companies with Pages, will increase in 2014 and beyond. If you are looking to integrate these into your content be sure to use them sparingly, as too many hashtags will make your content harder to read, and could turn readers away.
Instead, try using them to highlight one or two keywords you want people to focus on. You can also use one or two keywords each time you mention your company name, so that visitors associate a specific tag with your company. The biggest benefit to this is that it will make your other posts searchable and give users a quicker way to see similar content.
Well over 25 million small businesses have a Facebook Page, a number which is sure to grow in 2014. However, the full number of how many of these businesses actually use Facebook’s Ad client, which can place targeted ads in front of a categorized audience, is quite a bit lower – at roughly 1 million regular users.
This leaves 24 million users who aren’t using the service – something Facebook undoubtedly sees as a great opportunity. Through 2014, businesses with Pages should see an increase in Facebook Ad marketing. The company is also working on ensuring that the ads companies promote are targeted at relevant profiles.
Facebook recently enhanced their Promoted Posts feature, which allows companies to pay to promote a specific post, with the hopes of it showing higher on people’s News Feeds. With the recent change, companies can now promote content that is older than three days, potentially breathing new life into older content that was once popular.
The overall trend for small businesses is that you should see further improved ways of advertising and interacting with your clients on Facebook. You can be sure that the company will be targeting you with Ad promotions, which if acted upon could see your brand awareness and even sales increase.
The mobile device is quickly becoming the most talked about tech gadget – take a look at tech-related ads, they are almost all focused on the smartphone. As the demand for these devices increases, hardware manufacturers are working hard to develop mobile versions of just about everything. And following the hardware, is the software or app. It seems like every major Internet related site has an app these days, one of the most popular being Facebook.
In Q1 2013, nearly 70% (68%) of users accessed Facebook from a mobile device with 17% doing so exclusively. These numbers undoubtedly grew throughout 2013 and will continue to do so into 2014.
What this means for small businesses is that a large percentage of their users will be viewing their content on a mobile device, and small businesses need to start creating content that can be easily viewed on smaller screens. Try starting to come up with content that is centered around high quality images with small amounts of text, and grabs attention quickly. Ending with a strong call to action will also be beneficial.
The idea of social media is that it’s a two-way street. For companies, this means that simply posting content on a News Feed won’t cut it. You need to interact with your ‘fans’ in order to see any success with this type of marketing.
By interacting with your followers, you are showing that you do in fact pay attention to your social media profiles and are therefore listening to your customers. This makes the customer feel appreciated and will increase the chance of them staying loyal to your company. Take a look at the number of “Thank you” videos, or videos that give back to fans and customers like the WestJet video that went viral on social media shortly before Christmas.
It is content like this that customers love, and are eager to share. Companies are highly likely to be creating more content like this in 2014. If you can create something that thanks your customers, or even rewards them in a way they are happy with you should see some increased traffic, interaction and even calls.
Looking to learn more about Facebook and how you can use it in your company? Contact us for a chat.