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4 Quick (but Necessary) Changes to Make to Your Facebook Page Right Now


Is your Facebook page optimized?  Are you missing opportunities because you don’t have something set up quite right?  You could be getting more out of Facebook with just a few quick adjustments to your Facebook page and your posting strategy.  Here are 4 quick things that you can do to get more out of your Facebook page.

1.  Link Your Profile to Your Page

I see many people who don’t have their Facebook profile properly linked to their Facebook page.  You want to make sure your friends and personal connections can easily find your page and business just in case they are trying to refer business to you.

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In this case, the person had an “official” Facebook page but the profile was linked to a “community” Facebook page.  When someone types in the name of a business as their employer but doesn’t link it officially to the page, Facebook creates a “community page” that doesn’t tie to the page and doesn’t allow posting.   Now, people can actually like that community page and you aren’t getting “credit” for those likes on your own page – the horror!

To get rid of this linkage on your profile, edit your about section and then delete the community page.

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Now, add a position to your work and education section and start typing the name of your Facebook page.  You should see the page in the drop-down menu to select it.

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2.  Add Your Website in Your About Section

You want people to easily click to your website to find out more about you.  Sometimes your website address can be a bit hidden in your about section and you don’t want people to struggle to find it.

The “short description” area in your about section is the part that shows up the front of your Facebook page.

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You can actually write more characters in the about section than actually show up on the front of your timeline so that some of the words may be cut off.  Keep the blurb (including the website address) to about 175 characters max to avoid this.  To edit the short description, go to edit page, update page info, and navigate to the short description.

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3.  Change Your Posting Strategy

We’ve all noticed that the reach of our posts has changed.  Unfortunately, photos and posts with links are not getting the reach that they used to which means that they don’t have the potential to get as much interaction as a text-only post.

So if you have been posting more photo and link posts, it’s time to add in more text. But images and links can still be quite engaging so you can’t abandon those posts completely.  I’ve been starting to advise people post around 40% of their total posts as text, 40% photos (maybe with a link in the status area as well), and 20% Links.  If videos are part of your strategy, add those into the mix where appropriate.

One thing you can do to have a link post have the reach of a text post is to post the link in the status area just as you would normally do but then delete the link preview.  Now the post will get the same reach of a text-only post but have a link embedded in the text area to drive traffic.

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But don’t take my word for this – do your own testing on your own page – see point #4.

4.  Set up some posting experiments

We get into ruts.  We post sporadically.  We are all rushed.  But it’s important to find out what the ideal types of posts, the ideal number of posts, and the ideal times to post are for our own personal audience.  And those numbers can change.  And sometimes people suggest a certain type of post (or ratio of posts) that doesn’t work as well with your own audience.  So we need to be doing continual testing for ourselves.

First, look into your Facebook insights to get some good ideas about what types of posts your audience likes.  Under the posts section, look at the “best post types” to see what works.  On my page, I see that status posts have been working the best lately.  But that needs to be tested further.

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If you normally post 1 time per day, try upping your posting to 3 times per day for 1 week and measuring the results.  Or if you post a text post and a link post, try posting all text posts for a day at different times and measuring the performance of those posts.  Then post all photo posts for a day at different times an measuring those results.

Don’t let someone else tell you what is best for your audience, do your own experimentation.

As Facebook constantly changes, we know we must constantly change to keep up.  Sometimes the little tweaks can make the biggest differences.  And the nice thing about these tweaks is that they are easy and quick to implement.

Have you made a quick tweak to your page that has made a big difference?  Tell us in the comments below! And hope to see you at New Media Expo in January! (Editor’s note: Andrea will be speaking about Facebook at NMX, so make sure you have your ticket to the show.)

An End to EdgeRank: What Does Facebook’s New Feed Algorithm Mean for Your Page?


facebook like button Facebook EdgeRank has officially been retired, but that still doesn’t mean every single user will see every single post you write. Facebook has a new feed algorithm, and if you’re managing a page on this platform for your business, blog, podcast, or web series, it’s important to understand how Facebook’s changes are going to effect you.

Storybumping: It’s Good News

The feature everyone is talking about right now is called storybumping. In the past, Facebook annoyingly decided which posts users would and would not see based on a calculated value. A post that got a lot of attention quickly could go viral, but if you didn’t post at exactly the right time, it didn’t matter what your update was about: people wouldn’t see it. In a few hours, that post would be buried by newer posts.

Now, Facebook is “bumping” stories that you haven’t seen yet, instead of just looking at the publish time. That means Facebook users still have a chance of seeing your posts, even if they’re older. Post timing isn’t as important as it was before.

The results are extremely positive for those of us wanting our page updates to be seen. In initial tests, TechCrunch reports that these changes mean an “8% boost in interactions for stories from Pages and public figures” and that people are seeing about 70% of all possible updates in their stream, as compared to just 57% in the past.

As a user, this means that Facebook will be more interesting for you, since you’ll see new updates whenever you log in, even if the posts are a bit older, instead of just seeing recent stories that you’ve already read.

Last Actor: It’s Even Better News

Even more interesting that storybumping is the “last actor” concept. This way of showing posts to users runs on the theory that the people/pages you’re interacting with most (by looking at their profiles/pages, liking, commenting, browsing their photos, etc.) are the updates you want to see.

This is good news for anyone actively engaging with users on Facebook. If people are interacting with your page, that means they’ll be more likely to see updates from you in the future. It keeps your most rabid fans involved with what’s going on with your page.

So What Does This Mean for Your Page?

It’s all pretty good news, in my opinion, for people who are consistently sharing awesome content and actually engaging with fans on Facebook. It’s bad news for people who just “check in” occasionally, even if your posts do tend to be interesting.

But more importantly, what it means in a broader sense is that if you market a business online or create content online, you have to be flexible. The rules for any platform are fluid, so being stuck in your ways of doing things will bite you in the behind in the the end. Always be experimenting, learning and evolving, on Facebook and otherwise, so you can continue to tweak the way your share and create content. If you stop, you’re really just going backward.

Does Your Business Facebook Page Really Matter?


facebook page Online marketers often put a lot of emphasis on Facebook pages for small businesses. More and more often, I see restaurants, bars, retailers, and other businesses posting signs alerting customers of their Facebook page. And some of these Facebook pages are really good; they’re filled with interesting updates, announcements, pictures, coupons, and more.

So what?

You can’t take your Facebook likes to the bank. So, I have to wonder: Do business Facebook pages really matter? Or are they just taking up time that could be spent on actually building your business?

Like Conversion

I see people boasting about how much engagement they get on their Facebook pages. Engagement is great, because it means that your customers are interested in what you’re saying and they enjoy your brand. But if those likes are directly correlating to sales, does it really matter?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • How many people found out about my product/service because Facebook?
  • How many of my fans are actually buying from me?
  • How many of my fans are repeat customers?

More importantly, you should ask yourself: How many of my customers are ONLY customers because of your actions on Facebook? If people would have purchased from you anyway, Facebook doesn’t really matter, even if they are engaged with what you’re posting.

Determining this is the tricky part, since often Facebook fans are people who were already customers or thinking about becoming customers. Here are a few ideas:

  • Poll your customers. One restaurant in my community, Dishes of India, includes a short survey card with every single bill so they can learn about their customers and find out how much you enjoyed your meal (they also ask you to give your email address for their mailing list, which is really smart). You could easily ask “How did you hear about us” on this kind of survey card.
  • Do a promotion with a coupon that you distribute across all your channels (email, print flyers, social media) including Facebook. Later, do a similar promotion where you don’t offer the coupon Facebook, but still distribute across your other channels. Of course, there are other variables here as well, but this can at least give you an idea of how much Facebook helps you make sales.
  • If you’re a local business (i.e. people buy in person, not online), measure your local fans. Are people liking you because they like your products or service? Or are they liking you because you post funny pictures and interesting quotes? If you’re a restaurant owner in Idaho, it doesn’t do you a lot of good if half of your fan base live outside of the United States.

Brand Advocacy

Understanding the benefits of Facebook for your business is tricky, because sometimes it isn’t just about sales. It’s also about letting your fans work for you as a “street team” of sorts.

Street teams began as a way for record labels to promote music in a really inexpensive way. Often in return for little more than a t-shirt and tickets to the next show, street teams distribute flyers and serve as brand advocates for the band in question, doing all they can to promote their music. They do this not for the money, but because they love the music.

On Facebook, that fan who never makes a single purchase can still be extremely valuable if they introduce your brand to 50 people who do make purchases. Or, depending on what you’re selling, even if they introduce your brand to one person, a single purchase could mean a lot of money in your pocket.

The benefits of brand advocacy are really hard to measure. Again, polling can help you determine how people found out about you, but it isn’t an exact science.

Updates that Matter

If you’re going to be on Facebook, the key is to post updates that really matter. That way, you know that likes and shares from your audience are really benefiting your brand. What kind of updates matter?

  • Announcements about Your Company
  • Event information
  • Success stories
  • Pictures Showcasing Your Products and Services
  • Testimonials
  • Blog Posts
  • Fan Photos
  • Coupons and Sales Information

Essentially, the type of updates that matter are about your company. Funny pictures, cartoons, quotes, etc. don’t matter as much because they don’t really relate to your business.

That doesn’t mean that you should never share that hilarious meme photo you came across. It just means that you shouldn’t measure your success by how many people share or like this image. When people share a coupon or a picture from your latest event, it matters a lot more.

So Does Your Business Really Need Facebook?

Yes. Probably.

It really depends on your business. Sometimes, it just doesn’t make sense. But if your target audience uses Facebook, you should at least give it a try. Measure your results and remember that raw like and share numbers don’t matter as much as conversion matters.

At the very least, be there so you can listen. If someone talks about your business online, you want to be there to answer them, whether that means responding to a complaint or thanking them for praises. Sometimes, social media is less about finding new customers and more about taking care of the ones you already have.

Do you think Facebook really matters for small businesses? Should all businesses be active there? Leave a comment below!

Google+ is Delighted to Be Underestimated by Facebook


During an interview between PBS’s Charlie Rose, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg Monday evening (November 7th), Zuckerberg was asked what he thought about Google+. He called it Google’s “own little version of Facebook”.

Google+ VP of Product Management, Bradley Horowitz, has fired back in reaction to that statement by Zuckerberg saying, “We are delighted to be underestimated. It’s served us very well to date.”

Of course everyone looks at Google+ and Facebook as competitors, especially now that Google+ Pages have rolled out. Horowitz has a slightly different view of the whole competitor aspect.

He says it’s less a direct competitor and more a new way of using all of Google’s existing products.

As for when we can all start to create our own Google+ Page, the answer is right now. It is open to the world and any Google+ user can now create their own page.

Watch the video interview below to hear Horowitz talk about engagement, Google+ growth, Facebook and more. To create your own Google+ Page, go to https://plus.google.com/pages/create.

Do you see Google+ and Facebook as competitors or are they two different social networks used for different purposes?

Facebook’s New Hybrid News Feed Causes Low Impressions for Facebook Pages


Have you noticed impressions are down on your Facebook page? I sure did and it’s because of their new hybrid news feed Facebook introduced two weeks ago.

It was disappointing to see the numbers down, by quite a bit actually, but according to this new study by EdgeRank Checker, it might not be all that bad.

They did a two week study to see the effect the new news feed would have on Facebook pages and here is what they found:

  • Impressions down by -25.15%
  • Likes up by 9.43%
  • Comments up by 21.15%

So basically, while impressions may be down, this shows engagement is up – which is a good thing. You can read all about how they analyzed the data on their study here.

What’s their conclusion? It’s still too early to tell what long term effect will be.

Have you noticed your Facebook page impressions are down? And if that means more engagement, are you okay with that?

Honestly, I’ve seen the low impressions, but haven’t noticed an increase in comments or likes. Maybe I need to pay more attention to my Facebook pages and interact better with my “fans”.

AppAddictive Helps You Demystify Facebook Pages


According to AppAddictive, a new New York City startup, Facebook pages will soon replace most web site’s main functions.

Whether you are a blogger, business owner, a band or a brand, having a Facebook page is essential to growing your business. Big companies spend big bucks to make sure their Facebook pages are handled well and that they are acquiring fans – who are as precious as gold.

AppAddictive’s platform helps you have a page almost as good as big brands like Coca-Cola or DKNY. No coding abilities or the funds to hire someone? No problem. Their apps offer you the following things for your Facebook page which are easy to set up:

1. Customized Landing (Home) Page
2. Video Galleries pulled from YouTube
3. Offer your products for sale directly from your Facebook Page
4. Sign up users to your email list and many more!

The team behind AppAddictive is in the process of raising $1 million dollars for its free platform. According to The Next Web, CEO and founder Mike Onghai says they have already raised $250,000 and are looking for more strategic partnerships.

You can read more about the company here and sign up here. What do you think – does this sound like a valuable tool for your Facebook pages?

Overheard on #Blogchat: Blogging is Hard (@griner)


Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night (or Monday morning), I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.

(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)

This Week’s Theme: Blogs versus Facebook Pages for Businesses

I love the fact that this week’s #blogchat wasn’t purely for established bloggers – it was for small business owners as well. The topic, in my opinion, lent itself well to some awesome debate, since you could make a case for blogging or for using just Facebook – or for the need to do both as a small business. This week, @griner (David Griner) was the co-host, so I wanted to highlight something interesting her said:

griner: Bloggers need a reality check: What they do is hard. And doing it in corp. bureaucracy is far harder.

Most of the people participating in #blogchat are bloggers, so a lot of the advice being thrown out there was stuff about how you need both Facebook and a blog to succeed, how you can leverage one to increase the popularity of another, and so forth. But let’s not forget that the vast majority of pages on Facebook aren’t for blogs are all. They’re for brands.

And, at least in my opinion, not every brand needs a blog. What David says makes a lot of sense – blogging is super hard. It takes a lot of time, and for a business, that time might be better spent on another promotional tool. I love blogging. I really do. But your business might not need one.

Here’s the thing – if you own a small business, what would your goals be with a blog? There are some corporate blogs that are awesome. They give updates on the company, they teach their consumers something relating to the niche, or they otherwise give the business a unique way to interact. There are some really bad corporate blogs, too. They are updating infrequently because there is little to announce, they serve mainly as a promotional tool without giving away any value, and they are otherwise uninteresting. Sometimes, blogs can hurt your brand.

Facebook, on the other hand, gives you a way to make quick announcements and interact with your fanbase without having to commit to writing blog posts regularly and do all the promotional work that comes along with building blog traffic. For example, let’s say you run a small photography studio. Sure, you could start a blog that gives photography tips or makes camera recommendations, but is that kind of thing really going to bring you more business? Probably not, especially since you have a local customer pool. On the other hand, if you have a Facebook page, you could use that page to post pictures, announce upcoming specials, highlight special services you might have, and more. As fans like your stuff and interact with you on Facebook, their friends will see that activity and could decide to check you out, and there’s a higher chance that these new people coming to your page will be local. That could very easily spiral outward to bring in new business.

Of course, if you want to start a photography blog because you have interesting ideas you want to share with the world or want to run an online business through your blog, go for it! I’m not trying to suggest that small businesses shouldn’t have blogs. It can definitely work in some cases.

Just don’t feel forced into it. Sometimes, social media is really the best route to help promote your products or services.

Facebook Pages Get a Facelift


Facebook started rolling out newly designed Facebook Pages today – making them look like the newly enhanced user profiles. Here’s the rundown of new features:

  • New Layout:
    The old tabbed navigation has been moved to the left and the right hand side showcases the page’s administration plus a section to show how a fan how many of their friends have also liked the page. The “Information” box is now gone (just like it got removed in the profile pages) but you can now incorporate information about your brand at the top of the page under the main title.

  • Photos:
    Like the new profiles, Facebook Pages now feature images at the top of the page. It will be interesting to see how creative companies get with this layout.

  • Wall Filters:
    Pages now have the option to show new readers the most interesting posts on the page – instead of the standard posts ‘by page’ or ‘posts by everyone’.

  • Logging in as Your Page:
    This is probably my favorite feature. You can now login to Facebook as your Page – so you can interact with other Facebook members as your page, not your individual self! You don’t have all rights (no ability to post on a user’s wall or comment) but it’s still a great addition.

Want to upgrade your pages today? Head over here to activate the new look!

Do you like the changes? Now that I’m used to the new profiles, I think these are an improvement. I just wish they’d go back and add the custom information at the top of the profiles too!

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