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I crossing pov_new_facebook
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I crossing pov_new_facebook


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  • 1. ICROSSING POV: HOW TO MAKE YOUR BRAND MORE VISIBLE IN THE NEW FACEBOOK Written by: Shawn Shahani, Sr. Audience Manager Stephen Sharma, Manager, Strategy & Planning Nick Roshon, Natural Search Strategist Alisa Leonard, Director, Strategy & Planning FACEBOOK UNVEILS NEW BRAND PAGES, SPONSORED STORIES Facebook just gave savvy marketers a gift with its recently launched new Page layout and creation of Sponsored Stories. Now brand pages can become far more engaging and visible – and advertising more hyper-targeted. But only marketers who take the time to understand the new Facebook will prosper. Let’s take a closer look at how brands can succeed in the new Facebook world. IN CASE YOU MISSED THE NEWS First, a quick recap on what Facebook did: + Changed the Pages. Facebook introduced a new Page layout, and more interestingly, the ability for Pages to act more like user profiles — which allows brand Pages to be able to interact with and engage with other Pages, just like a person can. This new capability brings with it opportunities for increased brand visibility and engagement as Pages interact with other Pages and their audiences. + Also, status updates and wall posts no longer appear in chronological order, but are ordered based on Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm — a move that makes the concept of visibility, and the importance of content publishing and community management, even more critical for marketers to succeed on Facebook. + Announced a new advertising product. Facebook launched Sponsored Stories, an expansion of its Social Ads offering, which pairs a brand’s ad with actions that an individuals friend has taken (such as "liking" a Page). Sponsored Stories now pairs brand content (such as status updates and Wall posts) with the actions of an individual (such as "liking" or "sharing") to create hyper-targeted, socially intimate advertising opportunities for brands. A NEW FOCUS: EARNED VISIBILITY To succeed with the new Facebook, marketers need to appreciate something that sounds geeky at first — which is the impact of Facebooks EdgeRank algorithm on content visibility. With the revised Facebook Page layout, status updates and wall posts no longer appear in chronological order, but are ordered based on Facebook’s EdgeRank — a move that makes visibility even more pertinent to success Facebook. Statuses and posts no longer default to appear in chronological order. Instead, such content is filtered as "Top Posts," ranked by Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm.© ICROSSING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 1
  • 2. HOW TO MAKE YOUR BRAND MORE VISIBLE IN THE NEW FACEBOOK MARCH 2011 Instead of using links to determine importance like Google’s PageRank, EdgeRank uses "ikes" and comments to determine importance (known as edges). In addition to this shift toward merit-based visibility, marketers should note another important change: Pages now have the ability to engage with other Pages, just like people can. This change creates opportunity for greater content propagation and visibility across Facebook. But be careful! Engaging with other Pages takes insight and skill. Expert community management is crucial for success. Marketers need to consider these new elements of visibility when engaging in Facebook. Success is predicated on an insights- informed content strategy supported by expertise in community engagement. Engagement programs should be adaptive. They should leverage your inputs from your Page’s Insights Dashboard, qualitative insights from your community manager and performance insights from across your media mix to inform new content and engagement. PAID VISIBILITY: SPONSORED STORIES Sponsored Stories constitute another way for the marketer to become more visible on Facebook. With Sponsored Stories brands can target highly valuable friends-of-fans from the actions of individuals interacting with their content — creating a new form of "word-of-mouth" in the Facebook age. "[It’s] a way for marketers to sponsor activities that happen throughout the NewsFeed," said Product Marketing Lead Jim Squires in an interview with Mashable. And making it to that News Feed is crucial. No matter how interesting a brand’s content program, visibility is required to get users to interact with it. You should approach Sponsored Stories with the mindset of a beta tester. Using a fan’s own network, as the following check-in story shows, Starbucks creates an interesting, new soft sell for Pages to encourage interaction.© ICROSSING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 2
  • 3. HOW TO MAKE YOUR BRAND MORE VISIBLE IN THE NEW FACEBOOK MARCH 2011 BEST PRACTICES Let’s take a closer look at a few best practices for success in the new Facebook: 1. ACTIVATE AUDIENCES IN DIGITAL DIALOG Engagement is not simply about posting content. Activating audiences through dialog influences consumer behavior and affects the frequency with which users engage and interact with Page content, increasing affinity. Higher affinity increases the strength of the connection between the individual and the Page, meaning that you’ll be able to reach someone’s own Newsfeed more often than competing content. Focus on topics and consumer-centric questions that are aimed at enhancing the customer dialog. Answer and respond to comments. Posting consumer focused-questions and soliciting user feedback can be a great way to generate dialog. But be genuine. Don’t just post questions because you feel you need to meet a content quota. Dialog should be fluid, and in many cases engaging in genuine dialog can lead to exciting opportunities. This is where expertise in community management, more than ever, becomes crucial to the success of any Facebook initiative. 2. VARY YOUR CONTENT If engagement will ultimately increase the reach of your message, a simple call to action such as “what do you think?” added to any post drives significantly more engagement than declarative posts without a call to action or question. And your posts don’t all have to be status updates (though they perform great in optimizing for the Top News feed). Post images, polls and even video and see how your fans interact with them. It may surprise you that Facebook actually ranks sixth in the U.S. in online video viewing. So evaluate the diversity of your content. Recency is also highly weighted by EdgeRank for gaining visibility on the Top News feed. Frequent, fresh content is important to gaining relevancy, so long as you do not post too much. Careful though: don’t post too much, as posting too frequently (particularly if content isn’t relevant and engaging) is the leading reason users will make the effort to actually unlike a Page. Find a balance by regularly reviewing and assessing your Page’s Insights Dashboard, noting when fall-off occurs, when fan activity is highest, and what kinds of posts and topics generate the most interaction. Remember, it’s a good idea to post during hours of high traffic, typically between 11 a.m. EST and 5 p.m. EST. In case you’re having difficulty recalling that window, there’s no coincidence that this captures the workday of most Americans. 3. CURATE CONTENT – AND ENGAGE WITH INFLUENCERS Now that Pages can act more like Profiles and interact with other Pages on Facebook, marketers are faced with new engagement opportunities and challenges. This new functionality empowers brand Pages with the ability to share content and engage with influencers and their audiences – and also creates a potential for spam, irrelevancy and hindering user experience. People will not perceive as spam a genuine interaction with other Pages so long as the interaction is relevant and transparent. But posting your own content to another Page without context or personalization may be unwelcome. So be sure to do your due diligence and understand a Page’s audience, tone and behavior before engaging. Crafting a content propagation program based on initial research and insights is the key to creating an effective Page interaction approach. Taking time to observe and analyze community behavior is essential to successfully building relationships and creating value for consumers. Curating content through sharing or liking another Page’s posts is a low- barrier way to engage with influential Pages and their audiences. Fans will appreciate that your Page offers high-quality and diverse content. Influencer Pages with whom you engage will be receptive you as you demonstrate value to their audience through relevant content and dialog. Having a community manager who understands how to navigate the nuances of community and influencer behavior becomes even more important given these new opportunities.© ICROSSING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 3
  • 4. HOW TO MAKE YOUR BRAND MORE VISIBLE IN THE NEW FACEBOOK MARCH 2011 4. LEVERAGE INSIGHTS AND ITERATE Your content strategy should be a living program, tightly coupled with a community management and content propagation program. If your content isn’t gaining traction, assess both the quantitative insights from your Page’s Insights Dashboard as well as the qualitative feedback from the community manager and adapt your program. Your content strategy should be a living program, tightly coupled with a community management and content propagation program. If your content isn’t gaining traction, assess both the quantitative insights from the Dashboard as well as the qualitative feedback from the community manager and adapt your program. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans for input, either. Surveying your fans by simply asking them what they would like to see more of can be a surprisingly effective way of getting qualitative, insightful feedback from your customers themselves. 5. TEST SPONSORED STORIES As with any paid initiative in social spaces, success is predicated on pairing paid initiatives with genuine, long-term engagement. That said, taking a beta approach to Sponsored Stories may prove to significantly enhance Page performance and engagement for those brands with an existing fan base, a robust content strategy and top-notch community management. Be sure to leverage the Insights Dashboard to understand what kind of posts draw the most engagement and which topics drive actions – these insights can help better inform a Sponsored Stories campaign. And, as always, be ready to quickly adapt your campaign based on performance. The new Facebook is a more sophisticated marketing environment with increased competition — and opportunities — for engagement in the world’s largest social network and number one web destination. Taking a strategic, analysis-driven approach to your content strategy, and investing in WOMMA-certified community management expertise, can drive significant ROI for your Facebook program — creating long term value for both brand and customer. STAY CONNECTED Find out more at Call us toll-free at 866.620.3780 Follow us on twitter @icrossing and @thecontentlab Become a fan at© ICROSSING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 4