Thursday, April 5, 2012

Updated Tips on Facebook Engagement


At the LinkedOC event with Amy Porterfield, I learned what is currently working for her to get customers engaged on Facebook. She recommends short posts of 80 characters or less. Twitter limits you to 140 characters, so basically, less is more with any of your social media posts. This blog post is going to cover some new best practices for Facebook profiles and pages.

Status Updates: Questions are good, but make them quick and easy to answer. My friend, Judy Kucharuk does a good job of this with her “question of the day”, which, by the way, she posts on her personal profile and not a business page. Many people answer her questions and so they get a lot of traction in the news feeds of her friends. Don’t be afraid to ask silly off-topic questions once in awhile on your business page as well. You don’t want to stray too far from the subject matter of your expertise, but you also want to seem like a real person who genuinely wants to know your audience better.

Facebook profiles are a great place for engagement. Don’t forget to provide useful information. I had started a Facebook group called “IndustryFriends” just so I would have a place where I could post meetings industry content in a place where everyone who saw it would benefit from it (as opposed to posting that type of content in my status updates where all my friends and family would see it). The group is now a thriving community where many people actively help each other with questions or problems they are facing.

Business Pages: You might want to try a program like Crowdbooster to help you determine when your audience is online and on Facebook. The number of times in a day that you should post is tricky. You want to make sure you are posting 2-5 times per day, however people will unlike you if they see you in their news feed too much. This is the reason for Facebook’s algorithm, Edgerank. Your posts won’t make it into your fans’ news feeds if they don’t get likes and comments.

I had been using HootSuite to post articles to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn at the same time and had noticed I was not getting a lot of engagement from my fans. There have been studies on both sides of this issue; however, I am going to try to post directly to each of these platforms for awhile to see if I get an increase in engagement.

404 x 404 pixel graphic posts for the new Facebook timeline are best! Photos or photos with text are the most viewed content so if you can find a way to say something in a graphic way, you should do it. Also, use subtle calls to action in your posts: “like”, “comment” and “share”. If you have a blog where you want to drive traffic, create a two minute video teaser to lead them to the blog.

Have you noticed any changes in the types of posts that show up in your news feed? What have you done that works for you?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Facebook Timeline for Pages


Facebook’s changes to both personal profiles and business pages have some people scrambling. Without putting some effort into it, people who view your page will be able to quickly determine that you have not made the necessary adjustments and will judge your business accordingly. I attended a LinkedOC event featuring Amy Porterfield, a Facebook expert, to get up to speed on the changes and how to leverage the new format.

If you don’t do anything else, at least add a cover photo. Here are the new specs for the cover photo and profile photo: 851x315 cover photo and 180px sq profile photo. No “calls to action” are allowed in your new cover photo. It should be mostly graphic (more pictures / less words). Note: you can’t have the word “like” in your new cover photo.

Once you have completed that task and you are ready to move on to the less obvious apps / tabs features, you will notice them now located under the cover photo. It appears that you can re-arrange all of them except for the photos tab and you can have up to 12 apps or tabs, however only four appear until you click on the arrow on the right-hand side.

With a free version of Lujur.com, you can pull in tweets or blog posts into one of your top 12 boxes that show up under the cover photo. It isn’t completely intuitive, but it isn’t rocket science, either. You can see an example of one I created for my Facebook page here: I don’t love it, but for a free version of something that took me less than one hour to create, it isn’t terrible. Notice, one of the new features of these apps / tabs is they have their own URLs to link to.

You have to adjust your settings on each of the tabs to change the pictures and titles of these new apps: 111 x 73 pixels for custom thumbnails on apps. There is another tab creator called tabsite.com, however I found their free version more limited or not as easy to use – however, they have more affordable paid versions worth checking out.

E-mail is still critical. One of the most important uses for one of these custom apps is to pull in your e-mail subscription form. Many times, people will find your Facebook page before they find your website, so you want to capture their e-mail address while they are there! Either create a tab that focuses on the e-mail capture or put it at the bottom of your tab page that has your best blog post. If they read all the way to the bottom, they are your best prospects.

If you are currently creating a new website or have a graphic designer who can create some of these elements for you, the best case scenario is to use these new tools to brand your Facebook page so that it looks like it belongs to your website.

Have you tried to make these changes yet? What challenges have you come across?