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Category Archives: Facebook

Facebook’s new ‘friends & family first’ algorithm: What businesses should know

By | Announcements, Facebook, Social Media | No Comments

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Facebook once again tweaks its news feed algorithm (see this post for a history of Facebook algorithm and other changes). This time, it’s ‘friends and family first’ – what’s being shared from friends and family will now be prioritised over posts shared by business and news media pages, rendering them less prominent or less visible to Facebook users.

This will lessen traffic to many business and news media sites that are dependent on sharing articles in their Facebook pages.

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Facebook, the kids are moving out

By | Blog, Facebook, Research, Social Media, Uncategorized, Webpage Monitoring | No Comments

SWEDEN-FACEBOOK-DATA-CENTER-SERVERS

Social media is a finicky business—just ask MySpace.

Just a few months after being acquired by News Corporation in 2006, MySpace somehow lost its ‘cool factor’, turning from a once thriving social network where teenagers shared music, videos, and photos in ways only teenagers could fathom, to the online version of a ghost town.

MySpace losing its reputation as the cool place to be on the Internet can be partly attributed to the rise of Facebook, which has grown to have a base of 1.2 billion active users as of September 2013. But even the social media giant may not be so safe, with a recent blog post casting doubts on the company’s perception among youths, potentially leading to a similar exodus of users.

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Speculations like these are important because Facebook has for the most part, enjoyed the bullish patronage of investors. Since going public, the company’s share price has soared to more than double in 2013, ending the year above $54. It’s a clear indication of how the market just loves to gobble up social media stocks, and it shows their belief that Facebook’s users won’t tire of the site.

Enter Daniel Miller

Stirring up the pot is an article on the academic research site, The Conversation. Published by Daniel Miller, professor of material culture at University College London, the article describes how young users are reportedly turning away from Facebook in large numbers, going as far as to say the social network “is not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried.” Miller notes that most teenagers now prefer to use photo-sharing and messaging mobile apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat—places where parents aren’t around.

Miller drew his conclusions on Facebook’s waning popularity with young Internet users after conducting a survey among 16- to 18-year olds in Britain, part of an EU-funded report on social networks.

Critics responded to the article, pointing out that Miller’s small sample of just 40 students was far too small to extrapolate such a sweeping conclusion from. In response, Miller published a follow-up article to defend his findings, revealing that he had based his conclusions on a wider set of discussions. He also pointed out that a journalist had written his original post, which explains its alarmist tone—something he vowed would be fixed in the future.

Facebook’s safe, or is it?

So as it turns out, Facebook isn’t quite facing a MySpace moment. Still, the social network can’t afford to rest easy, which might partly explain the acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion. As is common with big networks, Facebook has drawn huge numbers of older users, as shown by this chart below from Pew Research Centre.

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It’s also worth mentioning that Facebook CFO David Ebersman  admitted that daily usage of Facebook by younger teens had decreased. It doesn’t help that the social network has a growing reputation of being inhabited by parents, the bane of most youngsters.

But saying there’s a mass defection happening would be irresponsible. It is true, however, that teens now use a wide range of social networks for different purposes, this according to Lee Rainie of the Pew Research Centre’s Internet and American Life project. They’ve observed that ‘safer’ content is posted on Facebook, while more intimate posts (read risqué) are uploaded to networks not penetrated by parents as of yet—it’s an observation echoed by Professor Miller.

The teens may not be leaving in droves, but Facebook knows all too well the dangers of being casted as ‘uncool,’ as evidenced by their recent attempt to acquire Snapchat.

 

Are Facebook Pages Still Worth It In 2014?

By | Blog, Facebook, Research, Social Media, tools, Uncategorized, Webpage Monitoring | No Comments

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From occupying a dominant position just a few years ago, Facebook’s fan (business) pages have seen their ‘fan reach’ sink to an alarming low, leading to speculation of their impending demise. If you maintain your own business page, fan reach is defined as the percentage of your fans that see your post after its published on Facebook.

Fan reach falls drastically

From 2009 to 2010, Facebook’s fan reach on its business pages was at 20+ percent, with many pages enjoying record impression results. Since then, page administrators have seen severe drops in their fan reach, so much so that even with significant growth, it would take at least 2 years to recover. Here’s a brief timeline on the problem put together by Just Ask Kim.

  • 2 years ago: Fan reach falls to 16 percent, a reduction but not enough to worry about
  • 1 year ago: Fan reach falls yet again to 14 percent
  • 8 months ago: Fan reach drops to 12 percent
  • 4 months to present: Fan reach has dropped to an all time low of 9 percent, with several pages reporting lower impressions

Of course, the numbers above are simplifications meant to make the downward trend understandable. But, in any case, several marketers have been forced to rethink their strategies, in particular, just how much time and effort they should spend on their FB pages with the start of 2014.

Not all pages are equal

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Yet despite the fatalistic attitudes of many online and social media marketers, a subset of Facebook pages have actually been spared from this shortfall in fan reach. Marketers who have allocated a stable budget for Facebook advertising and creating effective ads have not been affected as significantly. While fan reach has fallen across the board, the effects are less consequential because they have a funnel that capitalizes on their ad strategy.

In other words, those paying for ads on Facebook aren’t feeling the decrease in fan reach as much as the people relying on ‘free’ reach are.

 Cough up the money

Similar to how Google had shifted its attention to its paid advertisement system, Facebook is slowly making a compelling case for page owners to cough up the cash and protect themselves from dwindling fan reach. And if your plan is to do it on a long-term basis, you’ll have to come up with a strategy that funnels money out of your leads.

Facebook fan pages have gone from being a free way to market your brand on the world’s largest social network, to joining the ranks of paid media. Facebook is of course, well within its right to do this— and are using this to maximize their revenue.

It’s now up to marketers to respond to this paradigm shift.

No budget? Here’s what you can do.

Facebook-EdgeRank-Formula

Just Ask Kim has taken the liberty of outlining some measures you can take to improve your fan reach without having spend one cent.

  • Study the EdgeRank formula to figure out how Facebook rewards pages with more reach and what they ignore.
  • Use your fan list to your advantage. Use posts that encourage discussions among your fans to show signs of engagement on your page, which in turns increases EdgeRank, thereby letting more fans see your posts.

Do note that if you choose not to invest Facebook’s business pages for your brand, you’ll have to do more research and work. In any case, we here at Enform can help you achieve better results with your social media presence.

 

Tips on Increasing your Facebook Page engagement WITHOUT a competition

By | Blog, Facebook, Social Media, tools | No Comments

engage facebook page increase engagement likes

As more and more companies embrace the use of a Facebook Page to grab a share of voice and attention, the use of competitions and draws seem to be reaching the end of their lifecycle as a means to attract “sticky” fans that are engaged with your business/product/services or generate the increase in likes we are used to seeing.

So what next?  We believe that there are many methods that can be used and tailored to suit each unique customer target group.

Form App

A simple form app on your page can be used in a variety of ways, to take bookings for a service based industry for example or lodge enquiries for further product or technical info – a great sales lead opportunity!

Some general rules to follow:

  • Make it one of the first 4 apps on your Timeline so people see it straight away
  • Make it easy for people to complete the information by making it quick and simple
  • Make sure you collect all the information you need to satisfy the purpose, eg to make the reservation or to respond to an enquiry

 

form app facebook engagment

A simple form app can really engage customers, but be sure to keep it quick and simple.

 

Fan Reveal app

For product Launches/special offers make your fans like your page in exchange for information.  This type of reveal app can give you the opportunity to create excitement and anticipation for new products, features or specials.

 

This type of Tease approach to come and take a look has worked successfully in many industries:

The film industry – Star Wars and Iron Man 3 reveal showed glimpses of what to expect in the new movies once you liked the page.

Nescafe – buried a new package in an aquarium of coffee beans and told fans each new like they would reveal a little more.  Within 22 hours they had received more than 3,000 likes.

 

Testimonials / Feedback App

A great way to build credibility amongst fans and to understand what your fans like and don’t like about your business so you can make it better. A few rules to make this type of app effective include:

  • Use best practice research techniques in question formulation to maximise effectiveness/value
  • Always allow both positive and negative feedback – you will learn from both plus it helps build your perceived trustworthiness
  • Provide a small reward for people giving you their opinion – stickers/badges/vouchers/discount coupons
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Review apps are good feedback to see what your company is doing right (and wrong).

 

Newsletter App

One of the best ways to increase your email marketing database is to have a newsletter app on your Page. Use “teaser” posts in your status updates about content in your next newsletter to encourage and promote signup. Most good Edm (electronic direct marketing) systems make it easy to integrate sign-ups straight into your database.

 

So you no longer have to spend a lot of money giving away holidays and appliances to potential fans to gain engagement and increase your likes – the apps above integrated with some simple marketing strategies will deliver you results.

General Motors Bails Out of Facebook, Ford Stays

By | Automotive, Blog, Facebook, Research, Social Media | No Comments

facebook marketing

As if predicting how badly Facebook’s IPO would go, General Motors pulled out all its ads (an investment estimated to be around $10 million) from the social network due to lacklustre results—a sentiment they are not alone in voicing. In a report on the Wall Street Journal, company representatives pointed out that paid ads on the platform created little of the impact on consumers they desired. According to an official statement, GM is attributing its pulling out of Facebook to its regular review of media spend, saying that it’s not unusual for drastic moves like this to be taken.

Fellow automaker Ford on the other hand, is sticking with Facebook marketing and is even ramping up its number of paid ads on the site. Ford cited the success of the launch of its new Explorer on Facebook and offered insight into how best to use the platform. For Ford, the key to succeeding with Facebook advertising is to approach it a different way than how marketers typically approach television spots. It’s something Ford execs believe GM failed to grasp.

Ford looked at Facebook advertising from a long-term perspective, choosing to build a brand over time. For instance, one of Ford’s marketing angles on Facebook is to tap into a younger audience—a generation that has gravitated away from conventional ads—and getting them to like their brand, helping them make a purchase decision once they get older. Ford also cited the benefit of targeted ads on Facebook, which uses resources more efficiently by targeting ads on an audience that actually wants to see them.

While General Motors pointed out Facebook’s unimpressive click-through-rate (ad clicks against impressions) of just 0.05 per cent, Ford argues that looking at click-through-rates is the wrong way to measure the chances of success on the site. The automaker set one of its successful promotions on Facebook as an example; the promo had users customising their own Ford Mustang and voting on which design is the best. The fun activity for users translated to millions of likes and engagements for Ford.

GM pulling out on Facebook before its IPO seems to have jinxed the company’s desired results after going public. In any case, GM still believes in the value of Facebook as a marketing platform, despite pulling out its paid ads. For General Motors, content on Facebook is still important and effective—the word “content” refers to Facebook’s pages for brands.

One thing is certain, marketing in Facebook is a must for most business however, the variety in doing this right is endless. Let us know if you need one that’s tailored made just for your business.