Facebook is a powerful and expansive channel for connecting with your target audience. However, as the number of posts and interactions increase, the likelihood of a specific user seeing your wall post decreases.
Here are 3 ways to change that.
1. Pin or Highlight Wall Posts
Pinning a wall post attaches it as the first post to appear on your Facebook Page’s timeline even when more recent posts are published. Pinned posts will automatically unpin after 7 days if it is not manually unpinned.
Highlighting a wall post enlarges the post to stretch across both columns of the timeline. Compared to pinned posts, highlighted posts still shift lower as new posts are published.
Both options increase the prominence of a post on the Page’s timeline.
2. Encourage Users to Comment or Interact
Newly published wall posts are typically seen by only a fraction of people who Like your Page. If a users comments, likes or shares your post, your post has the chance of appearing in the users’ friends’ news feeds. As a result, your post will be exposed to a secondary audience.
Users who regularly interact on your Facebook Page are more likely than others to see your wall posts on their news feeds.
3. Promoted Posts
Promoted Posts is a Facebook advertising option that lets Page Administrators pay to have specific posts displayed to users or friends of users who like the page. Facebook charges a flat fee based on the number of people the advertisers want to reach. Promoted posts are displayed within the news feeds of users.
Promoted posts may be a suitable option if you have an important event or conversion goal you want to promote.
Online marketing promotes or builds awareness for a product. Often, the decision as to which tactics are used depends on available resources – time and money.
There’s also an important factor to consider, which I like to call the “magnification potential”. By magnification potential, I mean the expected multiplication factor of a dollar spent.
Faced with limited resources, you’ll need to determine which marketing tactics will help you achieve your objectives within the given time. If your objective is to gain as much exposure as you can for your product in the next 2 months, tactics with a high magnification potential will be more beneficial. However, if your objective is to make as many sales as possible, a tactic with a lower magnification potential, but a stronger, more targeted message may be more beneficial.
So what determines a tactic’s magnification potential? It’s quite simple. The likelihood that the target audience will share your message with a secondary audience.
For example a pay-per-click campaign on Google Adwords has a lower magnification potential. A fixed dollar amount spent on Adwords will attract 1 visitor via 1 ad click. It is highly unlikely that this visitor will “share” or discuss the ad with someone else.
An email campaign has a moderate magnification potential. There is a low chance an email will be shared, unless it is requested. The number of people reached in the secondary audience will also be limited because the original email recipient will need to manually add each person to the forwarded email.
A contest that requires public voting has a higher magnification potential because contestants are encouraged to ask their friends to vote for them, hence increasing the motivation to share the message.
A Facebook wall post, depending on the content, has an even higher magnification potential because users are able to Like, comment or share the specific post. Any one of these actions will potentially expose the post to the users’ friends. A popular post may reach a secondary or even a tertiary audience. This is the key benefit of social networks.
When creating your next digital strategy, consider your objectives and the magnification potential of each tactic to ensure your campaign will reach the desired number of people.
Photo Credit: StockMonkeys.com
In our ALERT® digital strategy process we emphasize the importance of measuring your online marketing efforts. Measurement is important because:
- A marketing initiative needs to yield positive returns, otherwise it should be discontinued.
- Tracking and measuring helps you make better business and marketing decisions. For example, see the post about Using Google Analytics to Help Make Business Decisions.
- You need to be accountable to your clients, managers, investors, etc. You need solid metrics to report to stakeholders.
Relevant marketing metrics (especially online marketing metrics) have evolved in the past few years.
- In the early days, a basic ad impression or the number of eyeballs that saw your ad, was the ultimate marketing metric. This measurement was especially important on the broadcast medium (ie. television and radio) because it indicated how much exposure the ad received and subsequently the value of the ad space.
- Next came the ad click or a basic response (eg. newsletter sign up) from the audience. This was a better measurement because it tracked a reaction from the audience, meaning the audience was actually moved-to-action by an ad or message.
- Next came social media and the pursuit to “engage” with the audience. This greatly fragmented the number and types of metrics that could be tracked and reported. Each social media channel and digital property had its own terminology and way of measuring user interactions.
- Finally and most recently, has come the quest to measure user sentiment. Based on the tools I’ve seen and tried, that claim to measure sentiment for you… Let’s just say, we’re not there yet. The English language is complex. How would a computer account for idioms, slang, context and cultural expressions? For example, would you interpret the following statement as positive or negative, “That’s sick!”
As marketing professionals in the ever changing digital marketing space, we are faced with the challenge of making sense of all these metrics and conveying to our clients what really matters. Life would be a lot easier if there was one universal metric that can be used to measure all marketing initiatives.
However, in order to have a universal metric, there needs to be a common factor in every type of marketing initiative imaginable. As it stands, a user could click on a banner ad, or a user could click play on a video, or a user could compose and post a comment on a blog or a user could explore an interactive website — the list of actions and measurables are diverse, and go on and on…
The only common factor is — the user!
No matter what the marketing initiative, online or off, the user is at the heart of it all. Therefore, the universal metric must be measuring the human being.
If we wanted to measure a user’s level of engagement with a marketing message, we’d likely need to measure their level of brain activity. The more engaging the task, the more neuro impulses triggered in the brain. For example, a simple click of an ad wouldn’t require much thinking power, but writing a comment or navigating through an interactive website would. If human emotion could be monitored, we might even be able to accurately track sentiment. All marketing initiatives could then be measured against the level of positive brain activity from its audience.
So… Is there any hope of truly and accurately tracking this elusive and complicated universal marketing metric? With the progression of wearable technology (eg. Google Glasses) and brain scanning technology (eg. EEG), measuring brain activity may actually become a reality. We’ll just have to see where science, technology and society takes us.
Photo Credit: MikeBlogs
A key feature of ALERT & ALERT-TV+ is a way to set up monitoring for your social media channels and general online presence. This is an essential part of any social media strategy. Monitoring not just your own social media channels but also your competitor’s social media channels can pay dividends.
Let’s take a look at two recent case studies to illustrate the point.
Case #1: Samsung – Monitoring and Responding to Its Facebook Fans
In August, electronics giant Samsung showed how monitoring and responding to its social media followers can result in great publicity.
It all began in May 2012 when Facebook user, Shane Barrett posted a picture to the official Samsung Facebook Page. The picture of a crudely drawn dragon was accompanied by a message asking Samsung for a new Galaxy S III smartphone to replace his older model. In return for the phone Shane said that Samsung could keep the picture he had drawn.
Samsung responded, thanking Shane for his picture and query but declining his request for a new phone. Instead, Samsung’s online community manager drew a Kangaroo on a unicycle and sent it back to Shane in response! Shane posted the conversation on the popular social news website Reddit. The post of the conversation quickly became one of the most popular on Reddit and the story went viral.
At this point, Samsung could have sat back and enjoyed the free publicity it had earned. Samsung did not, instead choosing to send Shane a brand new Galaxy S III smartphone with a custom case featuring the dragon he had drawn on his original Facebook post (see below). After receiving the phone, Shane posted a picture of it on Reddit and once again the story and picture went viral earning even more publicity for Samsung.
This token of Samsung’s appreciation for a customer resulted in lots of positive online sentiment for the brand and millions of views of the Reddit posts. By monitoring and responding to its Facebook fans, Samsung gained loads of publicity for the low cost of a new phone.
Case #2: Low Cost Holidays Moves in on Another Travel Firm’s Turf
In November 2011, UK based travel agency Thomas Cook received an interesting request posted to its Facebook Page. The request came from a man who shared the company’s name, Thomas Cook. In his request Thomas asked for a free holiday, posting “Seeing as I share the exact same name as your huge company, and because of this I have been ridiculed for as long as I can remember. I think it’s only fair that you help compensate for this by giving me one of your lovely holidays.” Thomas Cook politely declined and instead directed Mr. Cook to its website where he could book his own holiday.
One of Thomas Cook’s (the travel agency) competitors, Low Cost Holidays was monitoring this conversation. After reading of Mr. Cook’s plight and of Thomas Cook’s reluctance to offer him a free holiday, Low Cost Holidays intervened and offered him one instead saying, “Here at lowcostholidays.com we completely sympathize with your suffering and if your name was “lowcostholidays.com” we would certainly have accepted your request to be sent away on a weekend in Paris. … So how about we send you on that weekend in Paris? In fact why not make it a week for you and a friend?”
After his free holiday Mr. Cook posted a picture of himself in front of the Eiffel tower along with screenshots of the Facebook exchanges he had between Thomas Cook and Low Cost Holidays to Reddit. The posting quickly shot to the number 1 most read slot on Reddit and has garnered thousands of views and comments since. By monitoring its competitors social media channels and reacting in a humorous way, Low Cost Holidays has received lots of positive online sentiment and has been featured across news websites such as Fox News and The Daily Mail.
Despite posting a message to Facebook stating how happy the company was for Mr. Cook and his free holiday, Thomas Cook (the travel agency) received criticism online for its lack of sense of humor when Mr.Cook initially approached for the holiday. Mr. Cooks Reddit post has received over 2,000 comments and has been viewed in excess of 50,000 times, add this to the publication of the story in major news outlets you’ll see that Low Cost Holidays has gained lots of publicity for the relatively low cost of a holiday for two to Paris.
What other great examples have you seen of companies monitoring and responding to their online followers?
I used to believe having a mobile version of a website was forward-thinking, advantageous and just all around smart. A year+ later, I’m changing my mind. And I should. Things change. Habits change. Smartphones are pretty smart. I’m now prepared to argue that many websites, can serve audiences well without the aid of a mobile version. In other words, it’s not a “given” that every website needs a mobile version.
What is a mobile website? Not a silly question. You’ve likely encountered mobile sites and not realized it. Mobile sites are pared down versions of a full website. The content on a mobile site represents a small percentage of the content you can find on a full site. The advantages of such a version are listed below, but the main advantage is it is designed specifically for a small screen and on-the-go viewing. Take WestJet’s website and mobile site as an example:
You can see how the mobile version of the site (on the right) simplifies and directs the experience for those on a handheld device. This is an example where a mobile site makes a lot of sense. “Big” websites that are photo-heavy, flash-based, and/or content-jammed may better serve its audiences with a mobile version for mobile visitors. Websites for festivals and outdoor events would also benefit from a mobile site as the audience is more likely to need to access the website while at the event.
However, in many cases mobile visitors (on tablets, iPads, Androids and iPhones, etc.) can comfortably and easily navigate around a website, expanding on hard-to-read menus and other features without the need for a mobile-designed site. Indeed, some visitors can become annoyed with how limiting mobile sites can be. Take this local bike shop as an example: (Sorry Obsession: Bikes. You’re a terrific shop.)
As you can partially see here on the top image, Obsession: Bikes has a well-branded, fun mobile version of the main website. However, the mobile version only offers ways for visitors to get in touch with, or physically find the shop. Sure, mobile sites should focus the experience, but in this case visitors don’t have the option of clicking through to the main website. That means mobile visitors will not be able to browse through “Stuff We Sell” or “Services”, like they can on the full site (shown on bottom image).
To recap then, there are solid arguments for having a mobile version of your website. Some of those points include:
- It can create a better user experience.
- A mobile site loads faster than a full size website.
- Visitors on a mobile device may spend more time on the site if it’s optimized for the way they’re viewing.
- A mobile version of a website may contribute to positive brand perception, as in: going the extra mile.
Then again, the downfalls include:
- Mobile versions of websites are (most often) stripped down and simplified, limiting what visitors can see and do.
- Because of point #1, mobile sites can look less polished, and sometimes less on-brand.
- Having a mobile site in addition to a regular website means managing two sites.
- Cost. Some mobile websites incur additional costs, although some programming platforms have plugins available.
The bottom line can be found in web data. If your web analytics point to a surge of mobile visitors, who are bouncing en mass because you don’t have a mobile site – or are sticking around and converting, because you do – then you have your answer.
What do you think? What have your experiences been like on mobile sites or on websites you felt should have had a mobile version?