Let’s dive in shall we? I think one of the most important things we can remember is that Facebook is a tactic. It’s a part of the bigger plan. In and of itself, Facebook is not a strategy. Everyone in this room has a different reason for playing in the Facebook space. The first step to supercharging your Facebook presence is understanding where it fits, IF it fits, into your broader strategy and your organizational goals.
Before we dive into the guts of my presentation, I think one of the most important things we can remember is that Facebook is a tactic. It’s a part of the bigger plan. In and of itself, Facebook is not a strategy. Everyone in this room has a different reason for playing in the Facebook space. The first step to supercharging your Facebook presence is understanding where it fits, IF it fits, into your broader strategy and your organizational goals.
How many of you have seen House of Lies? Great show. This clip is from a scene earlier this season and when I saw it, I immediately felt like Don Cheadle here. Now I didn’t want to take up a whole minute showing the rest of the scene, but the reason I connected with this is because I absolutely loathe marketing jargon and buzzwords. I loathe them because they mean so little to so many. We’ve all been in that meeting, usually one in which someone is trying to impress a C-suite-er with a whole lot of nothing:“We feel that it’s best to continue with TRANSPARENCY, so we can continue to build a community of BRAND AMBASSADORS, and really get a 360 VIEW of our company from their point-of-view to, um, better LEVERAGE the ENGAGEMENT that, AT THE END OF THE DAY, will help us better determine SOCIAL MEDIA ROI.” By the way? “Leverage? Not a verb.Did I miss any? The reason I hate this word so much is that it’s used in small talk that isn’t tied to anything, which brings me to the next point…
The concept of engagement has no value to your organization unless it’s tied to a goal – new product feedback, brand awareness, customer acquisition, recruiting – any of these things and many more are goals you can tie to engagement, but you have to tie it to something. Looking for engagement alone will not advance your business.The other key consideration here is that “engagement” is not a one-size-fits-all term with a singular definition. Engagement is SOOOOO loosely defined by Facebook itself, not to mention re-defined by every social media software company, that it’s almost pointless at this time to even render a singular definition. So when you’re tying the concept of engagement to one of your strategic goals, give it a definition. If you’re tying it to brand awareness, consider measuring “engagement” by reach and audience size, for example. Figure out what works for you and your organization.
I wanted to take a quick second to mention Edgerank because this is branded as a beginner’s session and some of you may not be familiar with it, but it’s important to at least be aware of through the rest of my deck here.Just like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have their own algorithms that determine search results, Facebook uses and algorithm to determine how to serve up content to its users. The algorithm is constantly being tweaked, and many times users aren’t even aware of the minor changes that take place throughout the month.But in order to understand how to manipulate Edgerank in our favor, we must first re-examine who exactly it is that we’re trying to beat.
Everyone loves George, and his page is a great example of serving up the right content to the right people. But when Facebook launched promoted posts last year, he, and a wealth of other Pages, completely misunderstood how it worked. They didn’t realize that their posts weren’t reaching 100% of their fans ever! Facebook Insights, people, it’s your friend! So after he posted this, a FB employee responded, and it ended up being a great way to spread the word about how some of this crazy algorithm stuff works.Unfortunately, though, many marketers had already figured out that getting high “engagement” was a good way to manipulate Edgerank in their favor, and they started going to town.But in order to understand how to manipulate Edgerank in our favor, we must first re-examine who exactly it is that we’re trying to beat.
If you’re Pepsi, you may think that Coca-Cola would be one of your top competitors. But Edgerank changes the competitive landscape. Facebook, being a place where people mostly interact with people of varying degrees of importance in their lives, isn’t just serving up marketing content all day, as much as we’d like to think it is.The new look of the news feed, just announced a few days ago, will keep everything primarily the same. However, fans who want to see 100% of your posts will have to subscribe to your page and then go to their subscriptions area to see them. The posts that make it through Edgerank will still appear, as well.
This is blatant manipulation. It provides little value to your fans, and even less to you as a brand. Remember, your Facebook fan base is comprised of people who have opted in to allowing you to share your messaging in their personal social media space – the same space they share with their parents, their friends, their college roommates, and so on.On this note, this is a good time to remind people that it’s against FB terms of service to ask your fans to like or share a photo or comment on a photo to enter a contest. So quit doing that.Likes and comments are great, but they matter less than shares. Even more importantly, perhaps, is a metric that I am always surprised more people are not checking on a regular basis – the Negative Feedback
So how can you find value in manipulating Edgerank?At the time, Matco had just over 100,000 fans. Posted before a big marketing initiative that was tied to a tangible goalOrganic fan growth out of itAs well as boosted Edgerank for the marketing post that followed.
Facebook Insights provides you with an insane amount of value. Use it. Love it. You don’t need a Radian 6 or a Sprout Social or an enormous analytics package to start finding the patterns that will tell you how your audience thinks and acts. Better yet? Hire a community manager. A good community manager will be able to rattle off most of the analytics that you need to know because he or she lives and breathes your behavior.When you go into your Facebook Insights you’ll see a lot of great data, but one of the most overlooked tabs is the negative feedback tab. Negative feedback not only hurts your Edgerank, it means you are losing fans, even if your “like” numbers stay the same or grow. Once a fan has chosen to “hide all” of your posts, it means they will never see another post from your business unless they remember they like you and go back to your page and opt-in all over again. And that’s just too many clicks. They’re gone. I’ve spoken with some companies who were excited to see that they were gaining 1000 fans a month, but shocked to find out that 400 of those fans were “hiding all” of their posts.
The companies that find the most value in their social media efforts are the ones who approach it with a holistic and inclusive philosophy. When I worked as a community manager with Estee Lauder companies, I sought out ideas from marketing, from the PR group, from the product development people, from the supply chain team, and so on. But one of the BEST sources of information and ideas I could always count on was the customer service call center.They’re the original community managers, answering the phones and dealing with your consumers day in and day out. There isn’t a social media dashboard in the world that can provide you with the ideas and the insights you will find from engaging your entire business.
Once you’ve gained input from the many departments and people that make up your business, create a calendar. This isn’t a set-in-stone item, but it’s a living breathing document that creates an efficiency for your social media teams. It allows them to be more nimble and focus on creating relationships and less on “what am I going to say today?”It’s also a way to police your content. When you have it all laid out in front of you, you can identify where you’re spending all of your time, or if you’re focusing too much on one thing. Everyone has their own belief about how much of your Facebook content should be marketing vs. for your fans. I personally feel that you should aim to spend 80% of your time creating valuable content for your fans that is not marketing oriented, but focused on your user.
Stick to those best practices. Invest in your social media team. It’s not a fad. It’s not going away. If there is a theme you’re going to hear a lot of at conferences like this, it’s going to be that you have to create quality content that provides value and generates a positive user experience. There are no shortcuts. I run into a lot of people who try to find the shortcuts. They hire their nephew who loves Facebook instead of a community manager who has experience in SEO and analytics and actual community management. Or they spend a lot of time worrying about updates…. Like all panda or if you remember farmer or buffy or even florida. Updates happen. Whether on Google or on Facebook. Your best defense is the strong offense that has always worked…
Put your energy into thinking like a consumer and asking yourself if you would care about the content you’re creating.
Annalise kaylor smx west 2013
Engagement is Killing YourSocial Media Strategy@annabelleblue
Facebook is a TACTIC, not a STRATEGY. @annabelleblue #smx @intrapromote
40% of the time people spend on Facebook is in the News Feed 65% of likes take place in the News Feed35% of comments are made in the News Feed That goes up to 45% on mobile! @annabelleblue #smx @intrapromote