Facebook news

published 29-11-2011

Developing a good Facebook Posting content strategy

A Facebook Page can help you achieve many different objectives, think branding, research, increased traffic, CRM and also sales. However in order to achieve these objectives it is important to have a strong content strategy in place that clearly defines your brand values, tone of voice and the type of content that will be posted on your wall.

A content strategy will:

  • Provide individuals within your company with clear guidelines for content development;
  • Ensure the content plan aimed is focused on achieving your Facebook objectives;
  • Ensure that your communication on Facebook is consistent with your brand values.

Step 1: Define the (corporate) character of your page

Define the (corporate) character of your page, what your brand values are, what tone of voice these values translate into and lastly the type of messages that will you use to get them across.

For example: If you a fun & energetic brand, your tone of voice will probably be chatty & lively and informal. This could translate into messages that are short, upbeat and optimistic.

Step 2: Define the type of content to post

In order to develop a strong content strategy and content schedule it’s important to clearly define what type of content you will use.

Types of content:

  • Tips & Help – e.g. general tips or product/service specific
  • Brand Promotion – e.g. promotional campaigns, product promotion, events
  • Active Engagement – e.g. polls and / or questions
  • Press and Media – e.g. links to relevant articles, press releases
  • General Content – e.g. video’s, images, general comments

For example: Advice for fans about using your products and related products or services. Let people know that you have product guidelines available if you’re aware that some people might need help using your product or service.

Step 3. Developing a Content Delivery Schedule

A content delivery schedule is a monthly calendar specifying which content will be posted when (date and time).

Post frequency will depend on:

  • How your fans use Facebook
  • The type of content you have available

You can prepare a content schedule using information such as seasonality, specific company promotions, scheduled blog posts, questions you might have for your fans, press coverage, videos etc.

To make sure your content reaches your fans at the right time try and find out when your fans are active on Facebook by using the fan demographics information available in the Insights section and try and find answers to:

  • Do my fans use Facebook during the day? (i.e. are they at work?)
  • Are they likely to have Facebook alerts set up on their mobile phone?
  • How often are they likely to check Facebook?

Finally it is important to not spam your fans, less can indeed be more! Learn from statistics such as fan interaction, CTR and viral activity to judge the optimal frequency of posts over time and vary your content!

Hopefully these tips were helpful!

 

published 11-10-2011

Facebook’s New Open Graph

By: Anneke Onwijn,  77Academy

A couple of weeks ago Facebook announced Timeline and at the moment users are implementing this new feature and brands are wondering what the affect will be for their Facebook pages. And even though this  was exciting news , underneath all of this there is much more is going on which concerns Facebook’s Open Graph.

Facebook’s “social graph” consists out of connections between people and things they care about and initially you could only ‘like’ and comment on content and photo’s on Facebook and ‘like’ Facebook pages. In 2010, Facebook expanded on this model and called it Open Graph which made it possible to ‘like’ & connect pages to the social graph that were outside Facebook, but the recent updates are taking this concept much further as they are allowing developers to integrate objects and actions from 3rd paty applications.

Media companies are now allowing their content to be accessed through the new Facebook Social Applications, through the Open Graph concept these applications publish details about what users are using & reading and spreading this information via the News Feed and the new Facebook Ticker, (which shows the latest updates in real time). Possibilities with Open Graph have become what seems like it, never ending as now your friends can see what you have cooked, ordered online, listened to and read!

One thing that I am not sure about whether it is a good or a bad thing is the fact that once a user has allowed an application to publish his or her activity it will never have to ask  permission again when another activity has taken place through the app. This basically means that everything you do in the allowed app will be added to a your timeline and ticker. I guess from a brand perspective this could be a good thing as long as you don’t abuse the permissions given by a user and stay away from spamming people. However from a user perspective I am not so sure if this is what I want or maybe it will force me to pay more attention to the terms connected to the many Facebook apps that are out there and brands will be forced to be communicate very clearly in their apps what will be shared, with whom, and when, and how to opt out.

One important question that brands should be asking themselves before embarking on developing a social app is: “Am I adding value to a customer when I (brand) communicate with them and have I already got a relationship with these customers?” It will for sure ask a lot more creativity of brands to come up with an application that stands out from the rest and that provides value to people, in order to convince them to allow a brand into their already busy social live! However if a brand succeeds, it will be a lot easier for users to share updates related to their interaction with a brand and share it with their friends!

published 07-10-2011

Creating a great Facebook page!

By: 77Academy

A Facebook page is important part of your social media strategy. These pages if developed well can help improve the relationship you have with your current & potential customers and/or users of your products or services. In addition they give you the opportunity to interact in real time with users and find out more about who they are and why they are interested in your products or services, BUT it will also give you insight in what might need to be improved!

Here are some of our top tips to create a great Facebook page:

  • Give your page a clear purpose
  • Define your strategy
  • Page should be fun, useful and shareable
  • Use applications, games and competitions to add depth
  • Provide ‘fan only’ content
  • Include plenty of links to your website
  • Use Facebook Ads to gain fans quickly
  • Make regular and relevant status updates
  • Keep content on your page fresh
  • Ask your fans what they want to see!

But remember by having a Facebook page you give users the opportunity to express their opinions, good or bad, about your brand, company and/or services. So be prepared to also deal with potential negative comments and so think about what they potentially could be about and how you want to handle them before launching your page!

Do you have more tips for creating a successful Facebook page? Let us know by leaving a comment!

published 06-10-2011

Successful Applications

By: 77Academy

Recently I was put in charge to project manage the development of a Facebook app and even though I had tested quite a few and used some myself, being involved in the development is a whole different ball game. What I found the most interesting part is the marketing of the actual app and taking away learnings for when the next one comes around!

Facebook claims that people install 20 million applications every day, however by far not all of these apps become a success and there some important aspects to remember when you are developing a new Facebook application and the importance of getting your marketing right! So today’s post is all about building successful applications to promote a brand or service!

1.The Concept: For me this is the most important stage, because during this stage you actually create a concept for your app that is exclusive, unique and user friendly but moreover you also define the purpose and social benefit for people using your app!

2.Target Audience: Think about who you are targeting with this application, are you creating something that provides benefits to everybody or you building something for just women lets say? Either way put yourself in the shoes of the people that may feel affiliated with your product and/or service and think of what they might like or need, be creative & think outside the box!

3.Usefulness: Make sure that the application is useful for its users. For example it can provide users with information about a product, service, event, new cinema opening, opening hours of a store, by using the app you can avoid queues for a show etc.

4.Sharing & Virality: People like to share and therefore any application should provide the ability for users to share their participation or comments regarding your app so make sure you make use of the sharing options such as “post to wall” when building an app! This will help to spread the news about your app (which will hopefully be positive!) to a wider audience! Also the share functionality will help achieve virality if of course your app is interesting and entertaining enough!

5.User Engagement: The content of your app can also help improve your engagement with the users and /or Facebook page. Especially when an app allows the users to express their opinion and that is why it can also be a good idea to leave the “share pop up” free of text so people can put it their own comments. Or use a phrase that entices the user to finish it and/or customize their message about your app. You can also use an app to get feedback from users about your product or service.

6.Collecting data: People are becoming more reluctant to share just any information with companies so make sure that you only ask for the necessary information when asking them to allow your app, as this will influence the “allow rate”. Also make sure that the information share by the users is not misused or shared with 3rd parties unless they have given you approval. Neglecting to do can lead to people to removing your app but it might also result in people no longer wanting to engage with your brand.

7.Privacy policy / Terms and conditions: Make sure your app has a terms and conditions and privacy policy, even though users might not read them all the time they need be present to make sure people understand what they are signing up for and/or allowing. Of course by providing these you also protect your company from liabilities.

8.Promoting your app: Lets be honest with the amount of apps that are available how many actually are extremely successful…not that many. Most apps need that initial promotional push. A good way to ignite attention to your app is to use Facebook advertising which can be extremely targeted to ensure the right users are made aware of your application.

Have you got more tips regarding building successful applications or common mistakes we should all watch out for etc? Please share them via our comment section below!

published 06-10-2011

Facebook’s new expandable ad unit

by 77Academy

This week it is the week of Advertising in New York and Facebook will announce the arrival a new expandable ad unit, the ad unit will expand when a user has “liked” a brand. The ad unit is slightly different from the Sponsored Stories because:

1. It will never appear in the news feed

2. The new expandable ad unit will not only show interaction with a brand but will also contain an advertiser message.

Next to that, it is also different from Social ads, (the ones that tell you if a friend took an action that is related to the brand) as the new ad unit expands to let users comment and see other comments that are related to the ad.

The reason for Facebook to develop this type of ad is the belief that an ad with recommendations from friends is more effective than the standard ones plus they should improve a brand’s reach.

The ad unit is based on the belief that ads with recommendations from friends will be more effective than standard display ads and magnify a brand’s reach. For instance, research Facebook undertook in May with comScore found that Starbucks fans and friends of fans spent 8% more at the coffee chain than other Internet users.

What do you think of this new ad unit? Facebook research did show that Starbuck fans and friends of fans spent 8% more at this popular coffee chain compared to other Internet users…will you try the new ads?

published 06-10-2011

Writing successful Facebook ads

by: 77Agency

In January 2011, EMarketer estimated that ad spending on Facebook will reach $4.05 billion worldwide in 2011 and also we @ 77Agency, have seen an increase in Facebook ad spend and more over are convinced that this advertising platform is indeed a powerful tool which enables you to promote your page, website or application in a very targeted and cost effective way.

Because of these great targeting opportunities it has become much easier to reach your current and potential customers, however running a Facebook advertising campaigns can also be quite a challenge! Here are some quick tips to help make your ad stand out from the competition:

1. Write clear and targeted ad copy that really speaks to the audience you are trying to reach

2. Communicate your USP’s or special offers that might help you stand out from your competitors

3. If your main objective is creating brand awareness, it is important to use your company name in the title or in the body of the ad text

4. Select the right destination for your ads to align the  campaign with your objectives, e.g. are you promoting a page, application or an external website

5. Create simple and easy to read ad text. (avoid long and difficult sentences and make sure they are grammatically correct and free of spelling mistakes!)

6. Make sure your ad communicates the most attractive message to your target audience, there is no need (and no space) to fit every detail into your ad. Communicate what you feel will attract the most and moreover the most relevant people to your page, app or website but save the details of your message for your landing page!

7. Use a strong call-to-action to support the advantages of the product or service you are promoting with your ads. Using a clear Call-to-Action stimulates users to click on your ad and it tells them exactly what is expected of them when they land on the destination of the ad. Examples of CTA’s are: Order, like, buy, sign up, register, contact and download

8. Use an attractive and relevant image in your ad, which represents the product or service that you are promoting. The maximum image size is 110 pixels wide by 80 pixels tall, so when using text images remember that when you shrink an image it might become difficult to read or see. Images influence the success of your advertising campaign and can have a great impact on your CTR (click-through-rate) or CR (conversion rate) and therefore it is important to test different combinations of text and images in order to find the winning combination.

9. Use keywords to target your campaign to the most relevant people that relate to your offering and who are most likely to show interest in your product or service. Targeting options available are: demographic such as gender and age, geographic such as country, city, county etc, but also potential relevant interests. If you are a high fashion brand you might want to target people that are interested in fashion in general, other competitors, style icons, fashion publications etc.

Try different targeting combinations, run multiple campaigns with different target audiences to  optimise your campaign and find out that winning combination of ad & target audience!

10. Analyse results and take the necessary actions to maximize the results of your campaign. Monitor your CTR as this is a key indicator of how well your ads are performing, but also keep a close eye on your impressions, clicks, CPC (cost per click), CPL (cost per like), or CPM (cost per impressions)

Have you ran a successful Facebook advertising campaign and would like to share some of your best practices, Please do by leaving a comment!

published 06-10-2011

Are people talking about your brand?

by 77Academy

Facebook is releasing new page insight metrics that will help marketers and page owners understand what people are actually doing with their content and how they can make it more engaging and shareable. Making your content more shareable of course helps to increase reach and that is for many brands an important objective.

So what are the new metric called? Well for now it is called “People Talking About This” however most likely that will change but most importantly what does it imply?

The new metric will analyse all user initiated activity related to a page, such as wall  postings by fans, “liking”, “commenting”, share a page post or content, answering a question posed to fans, mentioning a Page, “liking” or sharing a deal or checking in at a Place.  The total amount of people that “are talking about this” is visible to users under the number of likes of a page.

Other metrics which are created for admins of pages include “Likes”, “Friends of Fans” and “Weekly Total Reach”. We already are familiar with the Likes but Friends of Fans shows you the actual number of friends your fans have and Weekly Total shows how many people in total have posted about your page, how many companies within Facebook have referenced it and how your page has performed virally.

Finally Facebook will also list the last 500 posts of your page and show the number of engaged users, People Talking about it and virality, the last one means the percentage of users that commented on a post.

One important aspect that is not taken into calculation is Sentiment and so if a user is posting negative comments it will still count the same!

What do you think of these new metrics and how important is it to measure Sentiment for you as a brand?

published 27-07-2011

Integrating Facebook’s Open Graph Protocol

By Anneke Onwijn, 77Academy

I remember attending the Facebook Developer Garage in London in April 2010 where Mark Zuckerberg introduced the Open Graph protocol and how excited I was that sites like Lovefilm and MyDeco had already started the integration of this concept into their websites. But what is it actually and how can it benefit your online marketing strategy? Today we are taking a quick look at the protocol and what it offers brands!

Facebook Connect was introduced in 2008 and actually represented the start of the Open Graph protocol. We all know the connect functionality from the blue Facebook buttons that allowed you to comment on blog posts, more than a 100 million users used Facebook Connect within a year!

In April 2010 Mark Zuckerburg introduced Facebook Open Graph, which enables the integration of Web pages into the social graph. Websites are viewed as objects in this protocol and it gives users the opportunity to establish connections between websites and Facebook. By including Open Graph tags on your Web page it turns your page into the equivalent of a Facebook Page.

What does this then mean? Well when a user clicks a Like button on your page, a connection is made between your page and the user. Your page will then appear in the “Likes & Interests” section of the user’s profile but because of this established connection it also becomes possible to publish updates to the user. Your page will show up in the search of Facebook and you can target people that like your content.

Below you can find the top four of Facebook’s Social Plugins and how they can benefit your business.

1. The “Like” button: Which lets users share pages from your site back to their Facebook profile by clicking “Like” and when the user clicks the Like button on your site, a story appears in the user’s friends’ News Feed with a link back to your website.

How & why to use it: You can include a Like button next to any piece of content on your site, from a product listing to an article or a video. If users end up liking your content it can quickly result in a sizable number of free impressions.

Example: StyleFactory, a crowd-sourcing site for home decor, enables shoppers to vote on which products should be produced and which ones should be offered at a discounted price. The site also encourages shoppers to share its products on Facebook to help “tip” the deals. When a user “likes” a product, the product is posted to the user’s Facebook Wall along with a message noting how many more orders are needed to “tip” the deal.

Especially E-retailers should think about including a Like button as part of the checkout process — customers are normally excited about their order and enabling them to share their purchases with their friends could be an easy win for your brand!

2. The “Like” box: The “Like” box enables users to like your Facebook Page, see whom of their friends like it too and view recent page posts directly on your website.

How & why use it: You can choose a pared-down box with your Facebook Page name, logo and Like button. On the other hand, you could choose a more fully featured “like” box that displays how many users already “like”the page (and which of their friends “like” it, too), it also shows recent posts from the page and allows users to “like” the page with just one click.

If there is not much activity on your Facebook page or when you have a small number of fans you can also just use the simplified version of the “like” box.

Example: Lovefilm uses the simplified “like” box on their product pages which enables you to like the film and see how many of your friends like it, however Visit Britain uses the more extended integration of the “like” box.

3. Facebook Recommendations: This plugin provides users with personalised suggestions for pages on your site that they might be interested in or like based on what people are sharing.

How & why  use it:  You have to specify a domain for which you want recommendations to show up, for example CNN has placed the recommendation button next to all of its articles. People place a lot of importance on what other people think and are more likely to click on or even buy something if it comes highly recommended and this increases the possibility of more & improved brand exposure and performance.

You can even see how this feature will look on your site before you add it — simply enter your website address here, click on the page and it will show you the recommendations Facebook already has for your site.

Example: Sporting News from AOL has implemented the recommendations plugin to provide a simple and intuitive way for people to share articles from Sporting News back to Facebook.

4. The Comment box: This social plus enables users to comment on the content of your site and it can be for a webpage, an article, photo or any other piece of content. The user can than share the comment on Facebook by posting it to their wall and into the streams of their friends.

How & why use it: This plugin can really boost the viral engagement to your site but using the Comments box can also help reduce the amount of spam comments on your site. Users need to be logged into a real Facebook account to comment, and they won’t be able to post anonymous comments. It allows for easy commenting as many people are probably already logged into Facebook when they arrive on your site.

Example: The comments box is a popular feature for blogs  and a good example is the popular site TechCrunch.

That is it for the top social plugins of Facebook of course there are many more, which you can read up about here! Let us know if you have any other good suggestions regarding the use of social plugins.