Tag Archives: Facebook

Running a Successful Facebook Contest—The Right Way

So you’ve finally decided to run a Facebook contest. That’s great! Social media contests can improve engagement and likes, and encourage your audience to interact with your brand. Besides, everyone loves the chance to win something!

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  1. Give away something people actually want to win

If you make consumable products, you have a built in prize. If not, try looking into branded hats, mugs, t-shirts, keychains, or anything that makes sense for your business. You might be surprised how excited people will get over a plastic cup or a notepad. If those don’t seem to be good options, you can always give away a gift certificate.

  1. Add pictures of the prize, if possible

Engaging content has swiftly shifted more and more to video and photo content and if your Facebook fans can actually see the prize they have a chance to win, they are much more likely to interact with your contest. This is your chance to get creative by arranging the prizes in a way that looks the most appealing.

  1. Create a strategy

What do you want to get out of this contest? More engagement? More interaction? More new likes? Take the time to think about what you want out of the contest and plan the terms around it. For example, if you want more engagement, you might want to ask your audience to like and comment on the post. Or if you want more new page likes, you might run a contest to get to your next milestone. Keep it easy and engaging, but somehow tied to your brand.

  1. Promote contest posts

This is important! You can’t just rely on word of mouth or shares for your contest to do well. In order to get the most engagement you need to reach the largest possible audience. As most of you may know, Facebook’s algorithms don’t show every single post to every single member of your audience. Even if you have a small budget, promoting your posts is definitely affordable.

  1. Stay involved

While the contest is going on, be sure to interact with the audience as they are commenting. You don’t have to like or comment on every single post, but some engagement is necessary. When you host a social media contest, you’re bound to get a variety of comments, so make sure you’re checking them regularly and commenting as necessary.

  1. Choose your winner fairly

It might be tempting to choose a winner who often interacts with your page or maybe even someone you know. Don’t. I use Fanpage Karma’s “Good Luck Fairy” to randomly pick a winner from likes, comments, shares or a combination. The best part? You can download a spreadsheet of everyone who interacted with the contest so you can have a hard copy of your winners.

  1. Notify winners and send prizes promptly

Don’t delay with notifying winners. They are excited to hear who won, and I’m willing to bet you’ll be excited to notify them after you’ve ended the contest. Facebook has recently allowed businesses to contact winners directly, but it’s also not a bad idea to write a post notifying the winner or winners.

  1. Study your analytics

Look at your engagement numbers and percentages to see how well you did and learn from it. If you didn’t get the engagement that you hoped, you might want to switch gears and go with a different strategy. Or maybe you want to spend more on advertising or give away a bigger prize.

At the end of the day, running a contest on Facebook should be fun! It’s exciting to see people get so pumped up over winning a prize. You users will be more engaged and watching you to see what contest you’re running next, which leads to more traffic to your Facebook page and eventually to your site.

Own the Space You’re In

When it comes to effective content marketing, it’s important to establish your brand as a trusted resource for content that is relevant to your industry. Instead of creating content that is just trying to make a sale, try creating relevant content your audience actually wants to seek out. Whether your content is educational, helpful, entertaining or persuasive, you need to make sure it resonates with your audience and stands out from the competition.

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Ways to own the space you’re in:

Brand Journalism
By writing your own authoritative content or curating articles from reputable third party sources, you are able to establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. If there are no editorial authorities in your area of expertise, start your own conversation – possibly through a blog, podcast or video series.

Social Media
Consistent and compelling social media is one of the best ways to gain exposure to your editorial brand content. Effective social media is visual, interactive and draws users in with headlines that make them curious to learn more. Don’t expect these messages to lead directly to sales; this content adds value in a different way. It helps tell your brand’s story and explains how that story fits into your audience’s interests and lifestyle.

Audience Focus
When you set your content strategy, don’t just think about ways your content will help you sell products or generate leads. Think about the types of information your customers will actually find useful. If you are a razor company, try creating content about men’s heath and grooming (Dollar Shave Club does this really well). If you are a clothing retailer, try creating fashion and lifestyle content (Modcloth is a leader in this space). By creating content that your audience actually wants to interact with, you will make huge strides in establishing brand recognition and customer loyalty.

To sum it up, we recommend content that meets your audience where they are. Your audience wants you to speak to them in a way that is informative, engaging and not overtly promotional. Trust us, when you give them the content they want, your audience will return the favor with likes, comments, shares and repeat purchases.

Want to own the space you’re in? Contact TKG and discover new ways to elevate your digital presence.

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Facebook Adds Call to Action Button for Pages

If you own or manage a Facebook business page, you may have seen a new feature that allows you to add a Call-to-Action (CTA) button to your page. This button is a useful tool that will invite your Facebook fans to shop, visit, or contact your business via the website.

Here’s a quick step by step guide to creating your page’s Call-to-Action button.

Begin by logging into Facebook and switch your role over to your page’s administrator (this might happen automatically when you go to your business page). You will see a button on your cover photo that says Create Call-to-Action. You may also receive a pop-up box to begin this process when you land on your home page.

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Choose Your Call to Action

A box will appear to begin stepping you through the CTA process. The first thing you will want to choose is the type of action you want your customers to take. If you have an ecommerce website or sell your product via a third party like an Etsy shop, you can choose the Shop Now button. Other choices include, Book Now (great for travel sites or hotels); Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Sign Up and Watch Video.

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Choose the Destination

During the next step – you will enter the website or page where you want your users to land. If your site is responsive, you can enter your regular web address into both fields. If you have a page designed specifically for mobile users, you will want to place it in the mobile field. Once you enter your website information, select the next button.

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Mobile App Uploads

The following two screens are prompts specifically for mobile devices. If your goal is to have your visitors go directly to your website just hit Next for the following two screens. If your goal is to have your users download an App or game, choose the App option from the next two dropdowns and upload your App’s deep link URL for both iOS and Android devices. Click the next button to complete the process.

Observe & Report

Your CTA button is now live on your site. You can view the results of your page’s CTA button from the quick-glance statistics. The high level statistics will provide you with the number of views your button received over the past 7 days. You can go to the Insights view of your page to further analyze these results.

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5 Facebook Tips for Small Businesses

It’s no secret that the Facebook algorithm–more and more designed to ensure that companies don’t get to advertise for free on the platform–has hit small businesses and pages hard.

The problem is, for small businesses, budget for Boosts and paid ads is likely non-existent (which is likely why you turned to Social Media as a way to communicate in the first place). And after playing with numerous “grass roots” workarounds it’s easy to feel like your page has turned from an effective tool to a nuisance.

But go revisit that page, Small Business Owner, and rebuild it. Here are 5 great tips to “beat the system.”

  1. TAGS

You’ve already figured out that your page posts will not reach every single person who “Likes” you. By employing tags, you garner new views from people who have probably never heard of you (yet), or have heard of you, but aren’t one of the lucky ones who organically receive your posts.

Tags can involve people, places, and things already available on Facebook, and depending on a user’s privacy settings, go right to the tagged user’s page. It’s like the stationary version of one of those dancing flipboard guys!

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  1. PICTURES

We love professional photographers. We really do. But nothing drives a page like Kaitlin–who happens to work for you–and her 40 photos she took with her iPhone of your event, product or service.

People LOVE to see pictures of themselves featured on a Social Media page. And when they see those pop up after attending your event, or interacting with your product, or happily smiling after a completed service, others see them too, which gives your page more views.

Separate albums for separate dates or events are an easy way to direct people to your page. Ask customers to tag themselves or tag their friends to create a fun sense of community.

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  1. VIDEO

If there’s any way you can take video of what your page represents, you should definitely do so. Video is the best way to showcase what your brand allows to people who have never experienced what you have to offer.

Pro tip: when it comes to video, the shorter the length, the better. Anything video recorded should be between 6 seconds and a minute. Anything over a minute has the tendency to be overlooked (and yes, you can see if your visitors actually watched to the end of your video, as shown in the stats pictured below).

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  1. #HASHTAGS

Before you let out the obligatory groan, hashtags are actually being integrated into Facebook more and more. The problem with hashtags is that they are not always used properly (and that’s probably why you gave that obligatory groan).

Make sure your hashtags are short and relevant to your post. #thisisnotanappropriatehashtag. Example: Search the hashtag #nintendo. Any search done on the internet or internally about Nintendo will automatically be grouped into the search results, giving your page’s post more of a chance to get a “hit” (view). The more clever you are with the grouping of your hashtags, the better.

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  1. ENLIST

Before the Internet, there were TV Commercials and newspaper spreads, and then those spread via word of mouth or became a part of the collective pop culture conscious (Cha-Ching, anyone?).

However, people are now entrusting the Internet (and sometimes solely the Internet) to carry their brand message for them. This is where it’s imperative to have a “Gang of Maniacs” (loose term) to be core supporters of your brand online, especially if you’re trying to build a presence on Facebook.

Start with your friends and family, especially if they fit your core demographic and support your mission. Then identify fans that are vocal online supporters. Reach out to a group of 5-10 and specifically ask them, individually, to support and share your Page and its content.

Many times you won’t even need to ask, but you’d be surprised by just how much this “Gang of Maniacs” wants to help and support you and your efforts online. And each time they Like and Share, they create more exposure for your Page, thereby short-circuiting that pesky algorithm.

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No matter which tactics you employ in your overall Facebook marketing, make sure to monitor your analytics and adjust accordingly. Also remember that consistency is absolutely key on the platform, so no matter how you approach content, pick a frequency and stick to it.

Facebook Still Drives Traffic

We have discussed Facebook’s organic reach decline on TKGenius for the last several months. At the risk of angering big and small brands alike, Facebook slowly reduced the organic reach for business pages over the last year, resulting in some brands leaving for other platforms such as Twitter and Google+.

Was this a good decision on the part of the brands saying “Adios”? Probably not. As new traffic numbers are released by Shareaholic for the second quarter, the infographic below shows that Facebook is still by and large the biggest driver of traffic.

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As you can see, referrals began to climb from March to June, but really took off in the second quarter, with Facebook driving 23.39% of ALL referral traffic in June, with Pinterest coming in a distant second. This is an increase of more than 150% from last June, allowing Facebook to continue to be the dominant force in social media.

Pinterest, the darling of the web, also saw a dramatic increase over last year. Image as content is getting more and more love from users – proved by the more than 69% in growth since last year.

Coming up third in referrals is Twitter. While Twitter remains very popular among users, it doesn’t have the reach that Facebook continues to garner. Most brands use it for branding alone as opposed to trying to actually drive traffic.

What does all of this data mean to you? Basically, Facebook, even with the organic reach nosedive, performs. It will still provide the best ROI of any of the social media platforms out there. Facebook changes just enough to keep users interested. The newsfeed changes constantly, creating an environment where users can’t help but to read, click, share, like and save. It still provides an enormous amount of interaction for brands and the traffic numbers speak for themselves.

So, did you decide to just muddle through Facebook’s organic reach decline, or did you choose to abandon ship and spend your online marketing dollars elsewhere? If you left, we’d love to hear what you’ve been doing instead of Facebook.

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Do Social Media Best Practices Work for You?

best type of tweetIt’s easy enough to read article after article on general best practices for Social Media. We’ve even posted some of those general best practices here, because they are great guidelines for businesses looking to get started or to enhance their Social Media efforts.

While these general best practices are named so for a reason (they do indeed fare well on Social), there are, of course, exceptions to every rule. Adhering blindly to any practice without monitoring and testing to ensure its best for your audience can often mean plummeting results in engagement or followers.

Businesses and brands who use best practices as initial guidelines only, and move forward to develop their own unique formula for Social usually fare well in the mercurial world of selfies and viral Kickstarter campaigns. Here are some ways I’ve been seeing how non-general-best-practices have been working for clients lately.

1. “Normal” Tweets

Twitter upgraded its platform to be much more visual. In fact, a Twitter feed is now virtually identical to a Facebook feed, with links, photos and videos blended seamlessly together in a single stream.

While this visual experience can make for a richer interaction with your brand, some of our clients are actually seeing better results with “normal” Tweets, or Tweets that are simply statements or questions, with no photos, videos or links attached.

The important thing with normal Tweets is that they contain compelling, shareable or engaging content to help them stand out from photos or videos. Often, they come in the form of a question, a fact, or even just a witty take on a service or brand promise.

2. Tagged Posts and Mentions

Facebook, of course, swings heavily visual, especially with recent updates including more video in feeds. If you’re running a Page on Facebook, however, you’ve probably noticed that even visually compelling posts have taken a nosedive in organic reach.

You’re not alone. Recent algorithm changes have hit Pages hard, meaning that less and less of your content will be seen organically by your fans (the platform is gradually moving toward a world where brands will likely need to pay for, oh, just about any exposure in individual user’s feeds).

However, we have seen some better than average engagement with posts that not only feature a photo, but also tag or mention other businesses or brands in the photo caption or status update. Not only does this tactic seem to push the post a little further into the feed, it can be a great help to fledgling pages that need as much exposure as possible.

Do be careful here, though, to use this tactic in a natural and friendly way, since it can very easily morph into spam.

instagram clean photos3. “Clean” Photos

When sharing photos, especially on Instagram, it’s tempting to overuse enhanced controls and filter options. Sometimes these filters can be used to great effect…and sometimes, well, less is more.

For some of our clients (and even TKG!), we’ve seen higher engagement with photos with no filters, or with filters that only subtly enhance or alter the photo.

While I’m currently monitoring from month to month to check numbers against each other (it’s possible that certain hashtags are coinciding with no filter posts, or that we simply haven’t stumbled upon the “right” filter for our audience yet), it is interesting to note what is working in the present. In a sea of harsh burnouts and overly wide frames, it does appear that simple, well-lit photos are outshining layer after layer of poorly used tilt shift.

Again, best practices are named so for a reason, and they’re always a great place to start for your brand or business. But as the competition to be heard continues to increase on Social Media, it’s more important than ever to closely monitor analytics and insights and adjust general best practices to your best practices.

This Week in Social Media: Should Facebook Suggest You Unfollow Pages?

Should Facebook suggest you unfollow pages? Have you noticed that Facebook has started asking if you want to unfollow pages as you scroll through them in your newsfeed?

As if people didn’t already know they could unfollow pages, now the option is right in front of their face – and the dreaded unfollow is just one click away.

Allfacebook.com reported the new practice is a test by Facebook.

The worry for marketers, of course, is that the test will become permanent and pages will lose even more visibility in newsfeeds.

The reason it matters to you? Your posts need to be primo – top notch and on-target every time – in order to retain your fans. More than ever, brand posts are going to have to matter to fans, so make ‘em good! Posts will also need to reach out to fans in more substantial ways than, “Like and Share if you agree!”

Why? Because you need interested and engaged fans.

It all boils down to what is more important: visibility or engagement?

Visibility vs. Engagement

Some think that having inactive fans unfollow a page could be a good thing. They may have followed the page to win a contest, get a coupon or whatever, but there was not further engagement after that time. Having them unfollow enables a brand to target and reach a specific audience that they know is interested in their products.

On the other hand, many brands may take less followers as adding insult to injury after also watching their organic reach decline rapidly over the last several months. The visibility they feel like they have built up in their fan base may now begin to decline as well.

Many companies, especially smaller businesses, have had to work hard for each and every “Like” or “Follow.”

Fans, on the other hand, are often glad to “clean up” their newsfeed and drop brands they don’t want anymore.

So what’s your take? Will this invitation by Facebook to “unfollow” pages result in a decline in visibility for brands? Or do you think it will it just foster engagement with those who are truly interested in the brand?

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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This Week in Social Media: PayPal CEO heading to Facebook

A press release by Facebook on Monday of this week announced that PayPal CEO and former Zong founder, David Marcus will be leaving PayPal to join the Facebook team. Marcus will be developing instant / mobile messaging products for Facebook.

David MarcusFrom Marcus’ Facebook status announcing his move:

“Mark (Zuckerburg) shared a compelling vision about Mobile Messaging. At first, I didn’t know whether another big company gig was a good thing for me, but Mark’s enthusiasm, and the unparalleled reach and consumer engagement of the Facebook platform ultimately won me over. So… yes. I’m excited to go to Facebook to lead Messaging Products. And I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty again attempting to build something new and meaningful at scale.”

Based on Marcus’ entrepreneurial background, his work at PayPal and Facebook’s constant product development, my guess (and anyone who takes a look at this story’s) is that we will be seeing instant pay options in Facebook and mobile messaging in the relatively near future. This will change the way many people do business – businesses will have to learn to adapt to changes quickly – and find ways to offer purchasing options right on Facebook and other social media outlets.

For someone who already shops on Facebook and Amazon to a large extent being able to pay someone for a product directly in the message, or requesting payment without leaving the message or site will be a bit of a time saver. Taking the time out to go to PayPal or some other payment site to request or send funds can be a bit tedious in a world where immediacy is expected. However, I would not be surprised at all to see that PayPal and Facebook collaborate to some extent on the next generation of instant message payments and mobile payment.

Do you use PayPal or another mobile payment option to create or pay invoices for an online or brick and mortar business?
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Is Your Business Keeping Up on Facebook?

In a fast-paced social media world, it’s not just important to stay up to speed; it’s an absolute requirement. The relevancy of your business is critical in the digital landscape, and there’s no place that shines brighter than through Facebook.facebook logo official

It can be hard to keep up with such a rapidly-changing social world, especially for smaller businesses without a lot of resources to devote to marketing. Worth it? Definitely.

So if you haven’t been keeping up, here is a little cheat sheet detailing a few of the biggest changes Facebook has rolled out so far this year that are affecting brands:

Pay to Play

This is the big one that has all the brands and marketers talking. It’s true, organic reach of business Facebook posts are plummeting. While most businesses jumped on the FB bandwagon over the last few years because it was easy and produced great results, it was an easy decision because it was also free. It’s still easy and continues to produce great results, but now you have to pay for them. A major algorithm switch this year pushed brands to the bottom of newsfeeds. No longer can brands have the expectation that because fans like their page, they will be able to see all posts show up in their newsfeed. In the pay-to-play world, being strategic in selecting posts to sponsor – and ensuring the content is always great – will always work in your brand’s favor. Free posts were nice while they lasted, but the truth is the small fees associated with sponsored posts can produce some really great results. It will be interesting to see how the change plays out in the months to come for big and small businesses alike.

Brand to Brand Tagging

Let’s say TKG posted a status update and tagged another brand, like Google. FB recently changed the algorithm so that status may show up in the newsfeeds of people who like that page as well. So TKG’s post may reach some of Google’s much larger audience. Until that switch, users only saw the posts of those they followed directly. This is a great marketing win, and opens the door to many new possibilities, such as brand-to-brand partnerships and cross-promoting. This only works for brand pages; an individual can’t tag a brand and get that same audience. All that said, while this sounds great in theory, I haven’t seen a lot of first-hand successes yet. Stay tuned on this one.

Trending

You may have noticed the “Trending” section to the right of your desktop newsfeed. Facebook has indeed jumped into this Twitter favorite. It’s being rolled out in batches, so it isn’t available to all FB users yet. Click on a trending topic to see what others are saying about it right now (note: Status shared in the Trending feed are only those set to be shared as Public). This addition offers some interesting options for brands, and makes real-time marketing an essential. It can be another way to join a larger conversation in an effective way.

Layout

Some layout changes rolling out this year should allow Facebook admins easier access to information and insights. Rather than the two-column layout for business pages, the info will stream in an easier-to-read single column. An additional column will include the business basics (hours, likes, photos, contact, etc.). All the info about your business will display nicely in this format. The tabs currently shown under your cover image won’t be there – they will show up in a drop-down menu. And, wait for it, new visitors to your page will get prompted to like the page to see your posts show up in their newsfeeds. Among the new insights available to admins is a Pages to Watch tool. Admins can create a list of pages similar to their business and compare their performances. The layout change has just barely started to roll out, so we’ll see if it implements as well as it appears.

This list could go on and on about FB changes for businesses in recent months. Has your business been affected by any of the changes? I’d love to hear what is (or isn’t) working for your business. Share in the comments or on our Facebook page!

Facebook Celebrates 10 Years!

Happy Birthday, Facebook!Happy Birthday Facebook
Today marks 10 years since then 19 year old Mark Zuckerburg launched Facebook from his Harvard University dorm room.

In a message from his personal Facebook profile this morning, Mark reflected on the last ten years, saying

It’s been amazing to see how all of you have used our tools to build a real community. You’ve shared the happy moments and the painful ones. You’ve started new families, and kept spread out families connected. You’ve created new services and built small businesses. You’ve helped each other in so many ways.

I’m so grateful to be able to help build these tools for you. I feel a deep responsibility to make the most of my time here and serve you the best I can.

Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey.

In honor of this important milestone, check out these interesting Facebook facts and figures…

5 Facebook Facts You May Not Know

  1. Everyone on Facebook has an ID number and founder Mark Zuckerberg is #4 (the first 3 were reserved for testing)
  2. You can change your language on Facebook to “pirate”Facebook Pirate Language
  3. 350 million photos are uploaded per day
  4. 600,000 hacking attempts are made to Facebook accounts every day
  5. Facebook has been blocked in China since 2009Facebook Banned in China

How Much Time Do You Spend on Facebook?

Do you remember when you joined Facebook? Ever wonder how much time you’ve wasted spent on the site? TIME offers a handy tool that helps you estimate how much time you’ve spent on Facebook along with the number of posts you’ve made! I was curious so I ran the tool for my own personal profile and here are my results:Facebook Time Machine

How much time have you spent on Facebook? Share your results in the comments….
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