Have you taken a look at your Facebook business page lately – not just on your desktop computer or tablet but also via your smartphone?
Facebook now (Q1 2014) has more than a billion monthly active users who visit the site via mobile device, representing 79% of total Facebook active users, so if your Facebook page doesn’t look as smart as it should on mobile, you just could be discouraging three-quarters of your prospective customers/followers.
Facebook Cover Image Dimensions Have Changed
The most important visual element of your Facebook page is your Cover Image, which sits at the top of the page welcoming visitors. Below, you’ll see the real estate you have to play with (we’ve borrowed a template from these fine folks and added a few extra bits and pieces of our own).
Looks complicated doesn’t it? The key point that you need to note is that the true active area that you have to play with (the area that should be safe on both mobile and desktop) is just 563 pixels wide by 175 pixels deep.
Yes, it’s a relatively small proportion of that seemingly glorious cover space, 851 pixels by 315 pixels, but the rest of your image is at risk of being covered by your profile photo, the title or category of your page or the like, follow and message boxes (except of course for the left and right-hand sides of the image, which simply won’t be displayed on mobile).
You still need to surround that active area with other imagery that reflects your brand values – but understand that most of that real estate is likely to vanish. A mobile visitor will never see it, while a desktop traveller may see only some.
Facebook Cover Images: Before And After
Here (gulp!) is what our Netmarketing Courses Facebook page, optimised for Facebook’s 2013 design, looked like under these new design parameters. Note that our subtitle “online training courses for businesses” was partly obscured by the profile picture.
The mobile view was far worse:
So we gave our cover image an extreme makeover, shedding many of the design elements in favour of a centred logo, with the result below. It won’t win any awards but at least it communicates what we do (and we’re no longer losing any of the information featured in the image).
A quick look at the page on mobile shows that we’ve achieved our branding goals there as well.
It’s time for you to take another look at your Facebook page (start with your mobile device, ideally through the dedicated Facebook app) and see if you still scrub up as well as you should.
By now, most marketers understand that it’s a good idea to monitor what’s being said about you in social media, for self-protection at least. How can you know if your brand or company is being trashed online, so that you can take appropriate remedial action, if you’re not listening?
Now an article from Contently highlights some of the other ways in which Social Media Monitoring can directly help your business:
What happens when a minor TV character get major social attention? In the digital age, how do you take advantage of it and adjust? That was the challenge faced by BET [Television] Network’s Being Mary Jane.
The show’s Twitter analysis showed that an unexpected character was emerging as a fan favourite: Avery, the wife scorned by the affair between Mary Jane and her husband. It was too late to reshoot the series, but the fans’ love forced BET to rethink its social media strategy and the way it was promoting the show.
It all began around the time the series premiered in January 2013. JP Lespinasse, BET’s senior director of social media, got a shiny new toy: Adobe Social, a social media management and analytics tool that he began using to monitor the chatter around Being Mary Jane.
Two shows into the eight-episode series, an intriguing insight emerged. While of course the romantically challenged Mary Jane herself got the most attention, the Twitter analysis showed that Avery garnered the next highest number of mentions.
“The next step was, let’s see where we can begin to amp up our coverage of Avery from a content perspective,” Lespinasse recalls. BET recut some of its broadcast commercials to feature Avery more. They also gave her more visibility on the show’s website and digital promotions, and recruited the actress who plays Mary Jane, Robinne Lee, to live tweet the episodes that featured her character.
When the social media staff used their human brains to parse the social media chatter, they gleaned another useful insight into just why Avery appealed so much to the audience. “There were a lot of people quoting her,” Lespinasse says. “The stuff that made Avery resonate was the stuff that came out of her mouth. So, not only do we want to feature her generally, we want to feature what she’s saying.”
So how did the BET social media team glean these insights? They began their social listening program two weeks before the premiere. Then, every morning after the show aired, they’d peruse the analytics. They also produced weekly reports charting the total audience against social media mentions.
Most of us don’t have TV shows in our product portfolio, but any brand promoting its wares to a public audience (whether B2C or B2B) should have a social media monitoring strategy that reports on what’s being said about the brand online.
By actively listening, you can identify any problems and concerns, of course, but the monitoring process can also highlight:
product features that particularly appeal to your customers
unexpected uses for your product that might create future opportunities
category problems that consumers have but that your product could solve
In the latter case, social media monitoring provider Infogluttongives an example of how monitoring can improve product design:
We ran InfoGlutton to monitor problems people are expressing about espresso machines. Here’s two mentions we found out today on Twitter:
Joe Hall, writing at SearchEngineLand, provides a useful protocol for turning social media monitoring into effective new product design:
Recommended Monitoring Tools
So how can you listen effectively without the process taking up too much time? At a minimum, you should:
Sign yourself up toGoogle Alerts for your company name, products, executives or brand terms so that you’re alerted by email whenever your name pops up online. To do so, enter your search terms and select to receive updates as they happen.
Choose “As-it-happens” and “All results”
Check Twitter for chatter about your company or brand. Use tools like TweetBeep or Twitter Search to monitor conversations about your company in real-time.
Get email notifications for specific search phrases on Facebook through Hyperalerts.
(B2B)Join a few LinkedIn groups to which your key customers and prospects belong. Search for questions or comments that you or members of your company can address.
Get yourself up to speed with RSS readers and use Feedly to check Flickr, Delicious, Digg and others
It’s been apparent for the last couple of years that posts to Facebook Business Pages are being seen by fewer and fewer page followers. In October 2012, the Dangerous Minds blog published its (unhappy) views on the trend:
Spring of 2012 was when bloggers, non-profits, indie bands, community theaters, photographers, caterers, artists, mega-churches, high schools, tee-shirt vendors, campus coffee shops, art galleries, museums, charities, food trucks, and a near infinite variety of organizations; individuals from all walks of life; and businesses, both large and small, began to detect—for it was almost imperceptible at first—that the volume was getting turned down on their Facebook reach. Each post was now being seen only by a fraction of their total “fans” who would previously have seen them.
But it wasn’t just the so-called “fan pages,” individual Facebook users were also starting to notice that they weren’t seeing much in their newsfeeds anymore from the various entities they “liked”—or even updates from their closest friends and family members. Something was amiss, but unless you had a larger “data set” to look at—or a formerly thriving online business that was now getting creamed—it probably wasn’t something that you noticed or paid that much attention to.
When we first noticed the problem, our blog had about 29,000 Facebook “likes.” Our traffic was growing 20% month over month, but our Facebook fans grew at a far faster pace. We were getting hundreds of new ‘likes” every day. Still do. As I write this, our Facebook fans now number over 53,000, not quite double what it was then, but give it another month or so and it will be.
53,000 is a more than respectable number of Facebook fans for a blog that’s only been around for a little over three years. So why is it that our pageviews—our actual inventory, what we sell to advertisers—coming from Facebook shares are off by half to two thirds when the number of new “likes” has risen so dramatically during this same time period?!?!
In a widely read—and widely shared on Facebook—NY Observer article titled “Broken on Purpose: Why Getting It Wrong Pays More Than Getting It Right,” (emailed to me by a friend, a prominent blogger, with the subject line: “Why putting a lot of energy into building a Facebook presence is a sucker’s game”) PR strategist and social media expert Ryan Holiday succinctly laid out the case against the damage Facebook had inflicted upon its most active users with its recently rolled out Promote “option”:
It’s no conspiracy. Facebook acknowledged it as recently as last week: messages now reach, on average, just 15 percent of an account’s fans. In a wonderful coincidence, Facebook has rolled out a solution for this problem: Pay them for better access.
As their advertising head, Gokul Rajaram, explained, if you want to speak to the other 80 to 85 percent of people who signed up to hear from you, “sponsoring posts is important.”
In other words, through “Sponsored Stories,” brands, agencies and artists are now charged to reach their own fans—the whole reason for having a page—because those pages have suddenly stopped working.
This is a clear conflict of interest. The worse the platform performs, the more advertisers need to use Sponsored Stories. In a way, it means that Facebook is broken, on purpose, in order to extract more money from users. In the case of Sponsored Stories, it has meant raking in nearly $1M a day.
Organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero. It’s only a matter of time.
In 2012, Facebook famously restricted organic reach of content published from brand pages to about 16 percent. In December 2013, another round of changes reduced it even more.
By February 2014, according to a [email protected] analysis of more than 100 brand pages, organic reach hovered at 6 percent, a decline of 49 percent from peak levels in October.
For large pages with more than 500,000 Likes, organic reach hit 2 percent in February. And Facebook sources were unofficially advising community managers to expect it to approach zero in the foreseeable future.
The ability to build communities of fans, and then maintain contact and encourage engagement using content published to fans’ News Feeds was a critical aspect of Facebook’s early appeal to marketers. The opportunity of achieving engagement at scale motivated many brands and corporates to invest millions in developing communities and providing for care and feeding via always-on content.
With the impending end of organic reach, what are the consequences for marketers and others who use Facebook to connect with their communities? How can brands and corporates get the most from Facebook in the future? Is Facebook still a driver of “earned” conversation and word of mouth? Or is it just a straightforward paid channel? How should communities approach content and engagement going forward?
This isn’t an academic exercise. Facebook Zero is a reality now facing every brand and business with a presence on the platform. Action is required, and specific decisions will need to be made with regard to content planning, paid support for social media activities, audience targeting and much more.
Our own analyses support the [email protected] calculations. Across our database of 27,444 New Zealand Facebook pages, as at March 1 2014, we found that:
NZ pages with more than 100,000 Likes were talked about in the preceding seven days by just 2.78% of their followers
NZ pages with less than 100,000 Likes were talked about by 5.82% of their followers
If marketers want success on Facebook, sorry, but you have to pay. This shouldn’t come as a shock or a disappointment. When was the last time you saw ITV offer a free 30-second spot, or The Guardian hand over a cover wrap because they sympathised that a brand had spent years building up a community among its readers? Marketing success on Facebook is no different to anywhere else: it requires ruthless media spend, efficient targeting and fantastic creative.
Getting Your Followers Talking About You
So what should you do? Simply abandon your carefully-constructed Facebook presence? Or pay every time to reach your followers?
BTW, we’ve also added appropriate advice into our Advanced Social Media Marketing course, for those who want to learn more about not just Facebook but also Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn.
It’s that time of year when the Internet giants crunch their Big Data and report on “the most _____________ of the year”.
Here’s Facebook’s contribution to the mix:
Conversations happening all over Facebook offer a unique snapshot of the world, and this year was no different. Every day, people post about the topics and milestones that are important to them – everything from announcing an engagement, to discussing breaking news, or even celebrating a favorite athlete or sports team.
Facebook analyzed the past year’s worth of these posts to reveal the top global trends of 2013:
Top Life Events
Check out the life events people added to their Timeline most frequently in 2013.
Global Life Events
Added a relationship, got engaged or got married
Ended a relationship
First met a friend
Added a family member, expecting a baby or had a baby
Got a pet
Lost a loved one
Got a piercing
Quit a habit
Most Talked About Topics
Take a look at the most mentioned people and events of 2013, which point to some of the most popular topics around the world.
Tour de France
“Election” appeared in many languages, and was the second most mentioned term on Facebook worldwide in 2013. With high-profile national elections in countries like India, Kenya, Iran and Italy year, it’s not a surprise to see it near the top of the list.
Facebook also took the pulse of regional conversations in 16 different countries (alas, not including New Zealand). Here’s what our neighbours across the ditch were sharing:
Topics Shared – Australia:
Top Check-Ins Around The World
Explore the places around the world with the most check-ins (excluding transportation hubs).
Argentina: Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires
Australia: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), East Melbourne, Victoria
Brazil: Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo
Canada: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Egypt: Sharm el-Sheikh, South Sinai Governorate, Egypt
France: Disneyland Paris, Marne La Vallée
Germany: Reeperbahn, Hamburg
Hong Kong: 香港迪士尼樂園 | Hong Kong Disneyland
Iceland: Blue Lagoon, Reykjavík, Iceland
India: Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple)
Italy: Piazza San Marco, Venice
Japan: 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland), Tokyo
Mexico: Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City
Nigeria: Ikeja City Mall, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Poland: Temat Rzeka, Warsaw
Russia: Центральный парк культуры и отдыха им. Горького | Gorky Park of Culture and Leisure
Singapore: Marina Bay Sands
South Africa: Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
South Korea: Myungdong Street, Seoul
Spain: Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Catalonia
Sweden: Friends Arena, Solna
Taiwan: 花園夜市Tainan Flower Night Market, Tainan City
Turkey: Taksim Square, Istanbul
United Kingdom: The 02, London
United States: Disneyland, Anaheim, California
We’re still waiting on Google to publish its most popular searches of 2013, but here’s Bing’s list.
If you haven’t already mastered Social Media Marketing, you’re missing out on a vital weapon in your marketing arsenal.
Not yet convinced? Check out these key statistics which show why you should be marketing in Social Media in 2014:
90% of Kiwis between 18 and 39 now use social media (Colmar Brunton research, July 2013)
Facebook alone reaches 75% of 35-54s in a typical month(Nielsen Online Ratings, September 2013)
Older audiences can be found there too. 70% of those in the 60-64 age group use social media, as do 66% of those aged 65-69 and 58% of those over 70(Colmar Brunton research, July 2013)
A word of warning:Social Media Marketing is not just a matter of tossing a few ads on Facebook. “Kiwi social media users are open to connecting with brands but brands must have a good reason to be using social media understand who they’re engaging with, and what they’re interested in. Overt advertising on social media is seen as intrusive – 78% of people don’t like advertisements on social media and that rises to 82% when it is on mobiles or tablets.” (Colmar Brunton Innovation and Business Development Director Vanessa Clark)
Social Media is not just for connecting with friends.40% of New Zealanders have been contacted about a potential job opportunity via a social media network and 17% of New Zealand respondents had successfully secured a new job opportunity in this way (Kelly Global Workforce Index, November 2013)
Kiwis use Social Media for purchase recommendations. 85% of buying decisions are made by researching the web for recommendations and information. 92% of Kiwis trust recommendations from their peers.(Localist, November 2013)
They’re very frequent visitors. 24% of Kiwis use their 4G smartphone or tablet to check social media apps at least 20 times a day(Vodafone 4G Network Report, November 2013)
Social media is now considered more important than traditional print advertising in [industries such as] the food and beverage industry (Grant Thornton International Food and Beverage report, October 2013)
“Social media has increased the speed of delivery of the message to market, enabling adaptability and a quick reaction time, but only if the organisation is geared up for it.An online presence can be a game changer for companies operating in a country like New Zealand, where retailer power is concentrated.” (Grant Thornton New Zealand Partner and National Leader, Food and Beverage, Simon Hunter)
Male business owners (in particular) need to lift their social media game. Over a quarter of women SME operators (27%) use a social media site to promote their business, compared to 21% of men. (MYOB Business Monitor, August 2013)
Mastering social media can lead to more effective business development too. 92% of business people say that networking is a key part of professional development and business success, but only 8% of respondents chose social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as their preferred method of networking. (The Icehouse survey, August 2013)
Social Media drives Engagement with Consumers. “The X Factor NZ has become the most socialised television show in New Zealand listeners, the show’s Facebook community numbers 109,000 fans (and counting), with up to 70,000 people actively talking about the programme at any one time, and individual status updates having an organic reach of 300,000 users.” (TV3, July 2013)
Have we made our case about the strategic importance of Social Media Marketing? Then may we recommend that you take advantage of our special Summer School offer of a 25% discount on one or more of our online training courses.
The special Summer School editions of each course begin on Friday December 20.
How the Summer School works: on the first day of each course, we send you login and password details, at which point you are able to access all lessons. Then twice a week over the next several weeks we send you Course Notes for each Lesson.
Please note that you are able to access the course anytime 24/7, and can proceed at your own pace through the course — the course remains online for you to access when convenient.
Here are the course details (click through for more information):
The Principles & Practice of Social Media Marketing
This is a seven-part eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to Social Media Marketing, from the Basics to detailed instructions on how to build and run a Social Media Marketing programme.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for our Social Media Marketing online course, please click here.
Advanced Social Media Marketing course
Because Social Media never stands still, we’ve developed a course that has as its focus the very latest developments in the medium. This course is designed for those who already have a solid understanding of Social Media Marketing and wish to keep themselves as up-to-date as possible. The course covers the latest happenings on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, LinkedIn, YouTube and a great deal more.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for our Advanced Social Media Marketingprogramme, please click here.
Facebook Accelerator Programme
So you have a few hundred (or a few thousand) followers on Facebook but now you want to know how to get to the next level? Our Facebook Accelerator seven-part online course will lead you through the steps necessary to supercharge your Facebook presence and get Kiwi consumers engaging with you and your brands.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for ourFacebook Accelerator programme, please click here.
Our online course, “Mastering eCommerce”, tells you what you need to know about selling effectively online in a seven-week programme that steps you through the principles and practices of eCommerce in New Zealand.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for ourMastering eCommerce programme, please click here.
The Complete Facebook Marketing Course
For those who wish to master Facebook Marketing in its entirety, we’ve created a ten-week online training programme which will take you from absolute beginner on Facebook to highly effective Facebook communicator.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for ourComplete Facebook Marketing programme, please click here.
How to Use LinkedIn Effectively – For Your Business And Your Career
This is a seven-part online training eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to LinkedIn, from the basics to detailed instructions on how to use LinkedIn to promote your organisation, build your personal reputation, find a job, recruit prospective employees and even make sales.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for ourHow to Use LinkedIn Effectively programme, please click here.
Don’t get left behind! Get your marketing knowledge up to speed for 2014 with one of our Summer School courses!
We live in increasingly glass houses, where our lives are (in the finest tradition of The Truman Show) broadcast live to the world. Even if we avoid posting selfies in flagrante delicto, we can still end up tagged in photos that unflatter us. In the process of sharing stuff with our friends, we’re more and more likely to end up sharing with Google and its few billion acquaintances as well.
We’ve tended to view this is as an inevitable social transition, as the archaic notion of privacy is abandoned in favour of an always-connected “what happens in Vegas … now stays online forever” transparency paradigm. Yes, today’s employers may tut-tut and refuse to hire those whose indiscretions are blatantly displayed online; but tomorrow’s employers, their own failings similarly emblazoned across social networks, are likely to be more tolerant (or so we hope).
What we’re now seeing, however, is a move away from open social networks to the closed user spaces of OTT* messaging applications, especially amongst teens and young adults who are tired of leaving a digital trail which can be seen by parents and employers and by which they can be judged.
* These messaging applications are called OTT (Over The Top), to indicate that they sit on top of the mobile infrastructure, using internet data connectivity rather than the cellular messaging facility, usually at a much lower pricepoint
The move to OTT messaging is problematic for marketers, however, for several reasons:
“The messaging landscape is fragmented. Teenagers are ditching social media to chat on services like WhatsApp, Snapchat, WeChat and KakaoTalk. Apps like Kik, Line and Tango are other popular SMS replacements, [along with] Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, GroupMe and Skype.”
2. Advertising May Not Be Welcome
It doesn’t help that service providers such as WhatsApp are saying they don’t want to include advertising:
The people at WhatsApp say explicitly that they “are not fans of advertising.” Because of this, “WhatsApp is currently ad-free and we hope to keep it that way forever.” Are you listening, every other company? Because this is what users want.
Mainstream OTT messaging providers such as Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts will be more sympathetic to marketers’ needs — but first they need to capture a significant market share.
3. Messaging Platforms Are Aiming To Keep Those Eyeballs Engaged
As always in the mobile space, the Asian markets demonstrate the future of OTT messaging platforms. According to BGR:
Mobile apps linked to messaging services are taking over the two most important Asian app markets, Japan and Korea. Today, nine out of the ten biggest revenue generators on South Korea’s Google Play app chart are Kakao apps. It is effectively becoming impossible to launch a major hit in the Korean app market unless you use Kakao’s messaging app as your platform. This in turn means that everyone interested in mobile apps is using Kakao. The messaging app has turned into the dominant platform for game distribution. LINE’s role in Japan is not quite as strong, but games for this messaging app regularly hold about half of the positions in Japan’s top-10 iPhone and Android app revenue charts.
… Time spent on messaging apps is exploding even in markets where games linked to these platforms have not yet taken off. According to The Hindu, people in India now spend 27 minutes per day on chat apps, up from 7 minutes just two years earlier. Many of the most populous countries in the world — China, India, Japan, Korea — have now fallen in thrall of the messaging apps. Their share of the daily leisure time of consumers is rapidly expanding. This will inevitably give messaging app vendors a golden chance to turn into content delivery companies. And to stage a serious offensive against Facebook, Twitter and Google.
Second, revenue growth generated by games linked to messaging apps is unearthly. LINE is now generating 67% revenue growth — between quarters, not annually. China’s WeChat is already on a big, global marketing binge, which has helped it boost its presence dramatically from Italy to Nigeria over the past summer.
Finally, one of the hottest app industry topics in Tokyo [at the Japan Game Show in September 2013] was the expansion of content services that we are about to witness. Over the next year, a rapidly expanding selection of comics, videos and music will start flowing to users of WeChat, LINE and Kakao.
4. OTT Messaging Is Taking Over from SMS
OTT Messaging isn’t only competing with Social Media, of course — it’s also taking on good old SMS text messaging, and (according to an April 2013 study by Informa) it’s already won. Business Insider reports that 41 billion OTT messages are now exchanged every day, compared with 19.5 billion SMS messages.
A late-2012 white paper by McKinsey highlights the key drivers of OTT adoption:
Technology Readiness, in the form of 3G or 4G networks; and penetration of smartphones
Cost Incentives, with SMS too expensive relative to data charges
Social Propensity, particularly driven by smartphone adoption amongst teens and young adults
Market share of specific OTT messaging applications
Here’s how those triggers drove adoption in South Korea and the Netherlands, according to McKinsey :
Do most of these triggers apply in New Zealand? Indeed they do.
5. Blink And You’ll Miss It
As if the proliferation of messaging platforms was not enough to worry about in itself, we’re now seeing the development of content that, like SnapChat, self-destructs. Forbesreports:
[Ephemeral apps, such as, in this example, Frankly, work like this:] send a message, and your recipient will initially see a box of blurred text. Once they tap it, a set timer counts down the seconds till the message has been deleted; sent to the digital afterlife. Chat windows, for the most part, thus stand empty at all times. Each time someone sends a text, they can also tap a black “x” afterwards to take it back, in case they change their mind. The idea is that the sender is always in control.
“Maybe, just as the rise of big data and government surveillance and privacy concerns and the over-curated self images on Facebook, people are saying, ‘I miss the days when I could have a private conversation,’” says Frankly founder Steve Chung. “‘Maybe I’m not saying anything bad, but you and I sit down in a coffee shop and we remember what we remember. When we leave, we don’t have reams of paper that recorded it all.’”
The question then isn’t if people want their messages deleted — plenty seem perfectly happy to keep reams of recorded texts — but whether they want more control over what is recorded.
Other ephemeral messaging services include such little-known names as Wickr, Blink, Gryphn, Ansa, SecretInk and Tiger Text. They’re fighting for market share in a still-developing arena, responding to consumer demand for a little more privacy.
Your messages probably still aren’t safe from the likes of the GCSB, Julian Assange or Edward Snowdon, but at least your boss shouldn’t be able to read them without your permission.
LinkedIn continues to work on expanding its revenue potential beyond the recruitment industry, an evolution which we encourage and support — in our view, LinkedIn offers far, far more than just a place to strut your stuff in front of prospective employers.
In this latest development, announced earlier this week, LinkedIn has added a new facility to its Company pages — the ability to add up to 10 free Showcase Pages which (as the name suggests) allow companies to showcase specific products and services.
Yes, you can already have separate product or service pages linked to your Company page, but these new Showcase pages offer two significantly different features:
Showcase pages attract their own individual followings — they do not inherit any followers from their parent Company pages. For some, that may seem like a negative (“you mean, I’ve put all this effort into building up a following for my company page, now I have to do the same for each individual Showcase page?”), but the reality is that if you provide several products or services that appeal to different target markets, then each product/service can have its own Showcase page with its followers.For example, we’ve just launched a new Mobile Marketing course (details here, if you’re interested: http://mobilemarketing.ac.nz/ecourses), which may not appeal to the same people who are interested in our Social Media or eCommerce courses. We can now encourage those interested in Mobile Marketing to follow our new Mobile Marketing showcase page on LinkedIn. .
Showcase pages have their own Status Update facility. This is the key element that makes Showcase pages worthwhile — you can now post updates specific to an individual product or service (or even topic), and only reach those people who are interested in that topic.Using our Mobile Marketing example again: we can now post mobile-related updates to our Mobile Marketing showcase page followers, without bothering those interested only in social media.
So how do you create Showcase pages?
Glad you asked. First, you must be an Administrator of a Company Page, because all Showcase pages are linked to Company pages.
Secondly, note that the Showcase pages are rolling out around the world this week, so the facility may not be enabled on your page yet (if not, check back again in a day or so).
With those caveats out of the way, head to your Company page — and in particular to the “Edit” button on the right hand side of your Company page. You’ll find the “Create a Showcase page” option at the bottom of the accompanying dropdown menu:
Select that option.
You’ll be prompted to create a title for your Showcase page, and also (optionally) to add Administrators:
A couple of points to note on page title creation:
The words you choose for your title will also become the permalink for your Showcase page (for example, our selected words above meant that the address for our new page is http://www.linkedin.com/company/the-principles-&-practice-of-mobile-marketing). This has the usual implications for being found in the LinkedIn search engine and via Google, so choose carefully. (NB: LinkedIn advise that they’re not currently offering customizable URLs for Showcase pages, but are exploring the opportunity have this feature available in the future. )
The title words you choose will also appear over your main image, so shorter is better (we went back and shortened our title once we’d seen what happened to our image). However, if you want to benefit from the longer title in the search engines, you can always edit your title later, as we did.
Next, you’ll be taken to the main Edit page, for you to add:
a main image (LinkedIn calls it a “hero” image) — this image is not currently clickable
a short description (at least 75 characters but no more than 200 characters in total)
a small logo and an even smaller square logo
a website URL where Showcase page visitors can go for more information
If you think this is minimalist, so do we. Still, the main point of this page is to serve as a rallying point for tightly-targeted updates, so don’t be too perturbed that you can’t include very much on your Showcase pages.
Here are the specs for the images:
Hero Image: Minimum 974 x 330 pixels. PNG, JPEG, or GIF. Maximum file size 2 MB. You can crop your image once it’s uploaded.
Logo: 100 x 60 pixels. Image will be resized to fit.
Square logo: 50 x 50 pixels. Image will be resized to fit.
The process for uploading images is simple enough: click on “Add Image” and follow the instructions, cropping your image as necessary.
Do the same for the logos (which will show up in your updates and search results).
Add in the URL for the website page related to this specific product. You can also choose an industry category for this page (which need not be the same as the category of your Company page) and decide whether or not to display other Showcase pages related to your company.
Once you’ve finished filling out all these details, click on “Publish” and check out the results:
As we said, minimalist. But it’s what you do next that counts:
Start creating highly-targeted status updates
Invite relevant LinkedIn contacts to follow you
Got it? Good. Then start creating those Showcase pages. Just remember, though: only create pages that you can feed with highly-targeted content, otherwise you’re just wasting your time.
If you’ve taken any of our Social Media courses, you’ll know that we keep harping on about Engagement — creating content that your followers want to talk about and share with their friends.
We thought it was time once again to check out which Kiwi Facebook pages are the most engaging right now, as at 19 August 2o13. We’ve sliced and diced the numbers two ways, firstly measuring Engagement as a percentage of Page Likes and secondly in terms of total volume.
Leading the first list by a country mile: Made4Baby.
This Kiwi brand, which provides natural skincare for babies & children, has only 2,457 Likes but was talked about by 14,300 last week, representing 584.2% Engagement — nearly six times as many people talking about the Facebook page as it has followers.
And the most talked-about post? This one, on August 6:
This image attracted 286 likes and a staggering 7,393 shares — the sentiment too good not to spread. Clearly Made4Baby understands its audience!
What other New Zealand Facebook pages got people talking? Here’s our Top 10 list:
Most Engaged NZ Facebook Pages August 2013 Engagement as a percentage of Page Likes
Kaukapakapa Veterinary Services.
The Natural Parent Magazine
O’Neill New Zealand
Dairy Womens Network
On the other hand, if we just look at the total numbers talking about Facebook pages, these are the Top Ten:
Most Engaged NZ Facebook Pages August 2013 Highest Numbers of People Talking About The Page
The Natural Parent Magazine
Flight of the Conchords
Air New Zealand
Tip Top Ice Cream
NB: We’ve discarded a few pages which were Australia/New Zealand pages (eg BlackBerry Australia/New Zealand) or which were parent/child pages (eg Nissan NZ, where reported Likes and Talking About statistics were cumulative totals of all official Nissan pages globally).
Source of this analysis: the 19 August 2013 edition of our own Netmarketing Courses database of more than 31,000 NZ Facebook pages, for which we gather updated data weekly.
The annual celebration of all things Nutella was ordered to cease and desist by Ferrero, the hazelnut spread’s manufacturer.
Nutella superfan and World Nutella Day creator Sara Russo announced the news on her blog, Nutelladay.com, late last week:
“On May 25, 2013, I’ll be darkening the World Nutella Day site, nutelladay.com, and all social media presence (Facebook, Twitter), in compliance with a cease-and-desist I received from lawyers representing Ferrero, SpA (makers of Nutella).”
The existing News Feed displays a mash-up of posts from friends alongside Facebook pages you’ve liked . Those posts include check-ins, photos, videos, and status updates in some arcane order determined by an algorithm. The updated News Feed, by contrast, separates types of content, and lets users choose to view only photos, or only music, or only updates from businesses like yours—in other words, the pages they’ve liked.
One of the biggest changes to the design is the way it handles music. There’s a new feed to deal only with music-related stuff. You just choose the feed from a feeds drop-down list at the top right of the page.
The Spotify music your friends are listening to is now featured in the music feed. Facebook has moved your friends’ song listens out of the old ticker at the right hand side of the screen, and into the music feed.
And Facebook is doing a lot more with those Spotify listens. It looks for artists and songs that multiple friends are listening to and groups them together in an article in the news feed. The article contains a large picture of the artist, and at the left you can see all your friends who’ve listened to the artist lately. Mouse over any of the pictures and you can see what those people said about the artist.
The Following feed
Some of these themes are continued in other feeds. In the Following feed, Facebook now builds media rich articles using content from the pages of publications or public figures you like. For instance, if you follow the Onion’s page, you might see an article in your feed with the three most recent articles from the publication. Each article has its own image, and a 20-word summary. You might also find in-page videos of public figures you follow.
The Photos feed
The Photos feed simply displays all the posts that include photographs. The photos appear larger in the feed, as well as the text around them. Even the text in the comments boxes below the photos appears to be a little bit bigger than before. At the top of the Photos feed page, you’ll find a small header image that incorporates one of the images from your feed. (Actually, all the new feeds pages have these header images.)
2. Larger Pictures for More Visual Impact
Images are to be given much more priority in the new-look News Feed, for which we can probably thank Pinterest and Instagram (and the fact that, as revealed by Mark Zuckerberg, 50 percent of the content in the Facebook News Feed already comprises photos and videos). Little wonder, then, that the News Feed is being given a visual makeover.
Here’s what you’ll see if you look at a typical Facebook News Feed now:
And how it will look once the revamp rolls out:
3. Facebook Albums Look Better Too
4. New Look For Shared Stories
Perhaps the most dramatic change is to the way that links are shared on Facebook. You’ll be familar with the current appearance:
The new Sharing layout resembles (and was probably inspired by) the table of contents of a magazine. The new look includes:
A much larger image
A more prominent title
And a longer summary that tells you what this article is about
Facebook is also starting to add the logos of the publishers in the corner, its own effort to add authority and credibility to the shared content.
5. Desktop Mobilised
This visual makeover will see Facebook adopt similar layouts across both desktop and mobile, taking advantage of recent mobile styling.
What About The Marketers?
Collectively, the changes add up to a bold new look to the Facebook News Feed, at least for consumers. But where are marketers in all this?
AdWeekreported on the reaction from the marketing industry:
Many marketers gleefully anticipated that the content-specific feeds that Facebook was reportedly prepping would improve their ability to target ads. But when Facebook announced the new feeds on Thursday, advertisers were all but shut out—many of them feeling none too happy about it. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company has yet to determine how it wants to handle ads in the four new feeds.
The ability to target, say, image-rich ads to the Photos feed, or promote a brand-related jingle to the Music Feed ads would be “definitely a great opportunity for advertisers. I don’t know why they’re not making that available right now,” said Performics global CEO Daina Middleton.
Facebook isn’t leaving Madison Avenue completely in the dark. After the announcement, the company emailed marketers with a follow-up overview of the new feeds and design “and said right now ad units aren’t going to change,” said iCrossing’s head of social media Amanda Peters, who received such an email.
Despite that outreach, “I was surprised that there wasn’t any mention of ad units [during Thursday’s announcement],” Peters said. “I think [the new feeds] do present an opportunity for new units and potentially more dynamic units, more targeted units for specific feeds. My guess is that would come very soon.”
But maybe marketers shouldn’t be surprised about a lack of initial ad talk, given past Facebook announcements regarding product changes, said MEC managing partner and social practice lead Kristine Segrist.
“I feel like historically whether it was Timeline or other big platform changes, they roll out the user experience first, get some learnings, test it in the wild, then roll out the accompanying ad products,” she said. However “the scary story for marketers is whether users have newfound controls and can choose to spend time where brands or businesses can’t be part of the conversation.”
“There will be a section of the new News Feed dedicated to pages that users have liked”, saysTony Bradley. However:
Borrowing the personalized newspaper analogy, that section will be the equivalent of the classifieds section.
It’s fair to assume that the users who have liked your Facebook page are at least peripherally interested in your products and services. However, people spend time on the social network to be, well, social.
Their first thought won’t be, “Hey, I wonder if that company I liked has anything new to say.” It probably won’t be their second or third thought, either.
Don’t wait for users to find you in the equivalent of the classifieds. To stay in the game and engage with your community, take your business to them. How do you do that? Use lots of photos and videos to help you business show up in the sections of the new Facebook News Feed, such as Photos, that will have the most traffic.
In other words, even in the new-look Facebook News Feeds, old-fashioned Engagement is as essential as ever.