This is the eighth post in our social blog series. Throughout the month of May, we'll be featuring posts from some of Boston's most expert thought leaders, answering these questions: “How is the new technology landscape changing social marketing? What do marketers need to understand now and in the future in order to be prepared for these changes?” This post is by Seth Lieberman, CEO of SnapApp. Seth has more than 15 years of online marketing experience. When he is not immersed in social media marketing, you can find him at home in Brookline with his young family or indulging in one of his many hobbies, from gardening to photography to music to woodworking. You can reach Seth at @sethwlieberman or slieberman at snapapp.com.
We are now one month into Facebook Timeline for brands, and companies that have not adapted their Facebook strategy are starting to see the fallout. If you have no idea what I am talking about, start here with a video tutorial & overview of the changes. If you know what I mean, read on to learn a bit more about EdgeRank and Favorite Apps slots (formerly tabs) and how you can use these to get the most out of your company’s Facebook marketing.
EdgeRank—even savvy Facebook marketers are only now starting to hear about and think about EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm for determining what items get served up most often and most visibly (in News Feeds) to Facebook visitors. How exactly EdgeRank is calculated, ala Google’s search algorithm and the formula for Coca-Cola, is one of the world’s best kept secrets, but we know it is a combination of interaction, time and personal relevance (Weight, Time, Affinity).
Why the new attention on EdgeRank, which has been around for much longer than Timeline? Because with the new Timeline layout, EdgeRank scores are dipping—and companies are seeing the results in terms of fewer visits, comments, likes, shares, etc. If this is happening to your company’s Facebook page, what can you do about it? Lots, as it turns out. But I am just going to focus on the Favorite Apps/Tabs slots, because these slots have huge potential to engage audiences and drive shares, likes, comments, and more—and using these spots effectively will can have some of the biggest impact on your overall page’s performance.
- Fill your Favorite Apps slots. You have 12 of these top and center of the page. (These are the little 111x74px boxes at the top of your page). Do not leave them empty. Do not leave them with default graphics. These are above the fold spots where you can share your most compelling content. Do it!
- Fill your slots well. You need to do more than just replace the default images, you need to create great content that will drive interaction and shares. Coupons and contests are the perfect fit. Funny video memes are well-loved. Sweepstakes and personality tests and trivia quizzes drive entries and shares. This is the kind of content that boosts interaction and thus visibility.
- Fill your slots often. Stale content is exactly that—stale. Keep it fresh and engaging and you will see interaction jump. The old newspaper “poll of the day” strategy is not a bad one. Consider monthly contests, weekly coupons, daily specials and more. Make some well loved things predictable so your audience learns to know to look for it. Make other content “surprises”—but train your audience to look for and expect surprises if you want them to follow you closely.
- Measure your success. Collecting Likes or comments for the heck of it is very 2011. Focus on what the goal of the Likes is—leads, branding, sales? And use the tools available to measure success—Facebook’s Insight tool is a great place to start. Some apps and app software platforms offer reporting features. Take advantage of these in order to see what is working (and what’s not) and make changes as appropriate. Managing a Facebook page takes real effort; make sure you are being smart about it.
What will you do with Your Timeline Dozen? Take this poll and let us know.
Now, go update your Favorite Apps/Tabs slots with the content your target market is looking for!