Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Not feeling the social media love? When to change course (or even abandon ship)

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Unplugging an electrical cordRob was at the Inbound conference last week in Boston, joining thousands of communications professionals sharing experiences and ideas on using content to engage audiences.

When do you pull the plug on a social media channel?

That’s the question that faced Copyblogger, a service that’s all about communicating through social media. Yet they decided to leave Facebook — the single biggest gorilla in the social menagerie.

Graph in front of Facebook logoIt was actually a simple decision. Copyblogger was getting likes and shares, but very little engagement. Or, as their Chief Content Officer Sonia Simone told a packed room for her session The Intersection of Content and Social Media, “We didn’t love Facebook.” And great content, she added, is about love.

Copyblogger wanted a thriving community on Facebook, not just a presence. And if they were only participating reluctantly, that lack of enthusiasm would probably be picked up by their followers, and damage engagement.

They turned comments off on their blog for similar reasons.

English: Comment iconMany of the comments were low-value “Good post!”-style responses… along with a ton of the usual spam. And while they were also getting longer, more engaged comments, Copyblogger decided that — consistent with the company’s mission of promoting great written content — those conversations would be more powerful happening on the commenters’ own blogs.

Both decisions allowed them to focus their resources where they’d have the most impact, and engender the most productive engagement. Because the often-overlooked truth is that even “free” platforms like Facebook and Twitter have a cost to them: the time and attention they require you to spend to keep them fed with content, take part in conversations and uproot whatever weeds poke their heads out.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you should ditch Facebook; you almost certainly shouldn’t.

But it’s worthwhile to give every platform a hard look now and then, and ask yourself: What do we intend to accomplish here? How are we measuring it? And how are we doing? And based on the answers, lay in a few course adjustments.

Those probably won’t be as drastic as shutting off blog comments or bailing on Facebook. But they can help ensure you’re making progress instead of spinning your wheels.

Your Facebook Page probably got less popular. Here’s why you don’t need to panic.

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Facebook logo with a downward-trending graph

Obsessing over metrics like the number of “Likes” your organization’s Facebook Page has received is a fool’s game.

It’s also damn near irresistible, which is why a few cheers went up at NOW headquarters recently when we passed a minor milestone on that front. No bottles of anything were uncorked, mind you—we’re not that numbers-crazed.

And besides, we all took a hit on March 12. (more…)

Download this tool to check your Facebook ad images instantly

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Advertising on Facebook can be an effective way of reaching a highly targeted audience, especially when you use a compelling image. But Facebook has an arbitrary, maddening requirement on images in ads: a 20-per-cent limit on the amount of the image with text on it,

That limit is understandable; Facebook doesn’t want newsfeeds full of big blaring marketing copy. (They want newsfeeds full of photos of kittens and sunsets, onto which small blaring marketing copy has been squeezed.) It’s how they implement that limit that turns would-be Facebook ad moguls prematurely grey. The company asks you to divide your image into a five-by-five grid. And if even a little bit of text appears in more than five of the resulting 25 squares, they’ll disqualify your image.

You can check your image by uploading your image to Facebook’s own grid tool, tweaking, uploading, tweaking and finally getting it right. But smart designers drop a grid on the image from within Photoshop.

Now you get to be an even smarter designer. Thanks to this tiny Photoshop file and these five steps, you won’t have to recreate the grid every time.

  1. Download this handy file from us here at NOW. You’re welcome.
  2. Open it in Photoshop.
  3. Select the layer labelled “Shape 1”.
  4. Click on the “Edit” menu and choose “Define custom shape.”
  5. Give your new shape a name like “Facebook ad grid”.

From now on, that grid will be as close as your Custom Shape Tool. Drag it across your image from upper left to lower right, and voilà: instant Facebook grid!

Download the file

For your Facebook Page, stop thinking News Feed. Start thinking search engine.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

magnifying glass on the Facebook News FeedIt wasn’t that long ago that when you posted something to your Facebook Page, you had a pretty decent shot of winding up in your followers’ News Feeds — that stream of stories a user sees on the Facebook home page.

How times have changed. These days, you’re competing against literally thousands of other pieces of content for a precious slot in a user’s News Feed. No wonder one study showed a typical Facebook Page post reaches only six per cent of its followers.

There’s been a lot of gnashing of teeth over this among brands and organizations. Facebook is very consciously reducing the organic reach of Page posts, and holding up paid promotion as a way to close the gap. And while it’s hard not to resent that, Facebook is a commercial enterprise, and a lot of commercial Pages have had a good, long free ride. It would be awfully nice if Facebook gave non-profits and civic organizations more unpaid profile… but don’t hold your breath.

So the days when you had a pipeline to your Facebook followers are gone. How do you adjust? (more…)

A little accountability for your Facebook Page

Friday, February 28th, 2014

A screen capture of a really bad Facebook postOne big challenge when you have a team managing a social media presence is accountability. Someone accidentally posted a photo of yesterday’s lunch to your Facebook Page. One of the people with the keys to your Twitter account just responded to an innocent question with an offensive tirade. But how do you know who?

If you’re paying for team collaboration features with a tool like HootSuite, you may well be able to answer those questions. But otherwise, unless someone owns up, you won’t be able to have the conversations that can prevent future misfires. (And conversely, you won’t be able to give the real author of a great post the recognition they’re due.)

(more…)

When tragedy strikes, take stock – and hit the social media pause button

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Photo of a thumb pressing the pause button on a remoteWhen the news broke of last Friday’s attack on a Newtown, Connecticut school, many people turned to social networks: some looking for news, others for comfort, and still others a forum to express themselves.

But amidst the flood of messages of concern, sympathy and anguish on Twitter, you could also see businesses blithely tweeting about deep discounts and holiday sales, and organizations asking their followers to retweet cute photos of cats. And they reaped a whirlwind of online anger over their callousness and insensitivity.

In most cases, though, callousness wasn’t the problem. Automation was. (more…)