Daily Archives: October 12, 2012

5 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Engagement

5 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Engagement | Social Media Examiner.

Having trouble engaging your Facebook audience?

If your fans are not interacting with your brand and sharing your content, what value are they?

In this article, you’ll discover how to get more likes, comments and shares. I’ll reveal five strategies for Facebook posts that get your fans buzzing.

#1: Keep Your Updates Short

Research repeatedly shows that the longer a post is, the less engagement it will receive.

Blame it on Twitter, but people don’t have the time or patience to read anything over 140 characters anymore.

Results vary, but research shows that 100 characters or fewer seems to be the sweet spot. This will also allow for easy cross-posting on Twitter.

Want even more engagement? Let a photo do the talking.

starbucks

Posts with fewer than 140 characters combined with bold, beautiful photos get the most response.

According to Facebook, posts that include a photo album, picture or video generate about 180%, 120% and 100% more engagement, respectively.

Starbucks is a great example of a brand combining short posts with beautiful photos. Their posts generally fall within the 100- to 140-character mark and elicit thousands of likes and comments.

#2: Don’t Use URL Shorteners

A recent study by Buddy Media found that engagement rates were three times higher for Facebook posts that use a full-length URL, rather than a link generated by a URL shortener like bit.ly.

bad bitly post

Converse fans may have liked this post, but how many actually clicked on the link? Generic bit.ly URLs are less likely to drive traffic to your site.

Why is this?

The likely explanation is that Facebook users want to know where you’re taking them. This makes even more sense considering the fact that Facebook users are increasingly accessing the social network exclusively from their mobile devices (20%, or 102 million and growing).

A shortened URL does not indicate what type of website you’re taking them to, which is a deterrent to mobile users.

But didn’t we just learn that longer posts have lower engagement? Yes, but a URL doesn’t seem to count in this instance.

If you’re worried about post length, use a brand-specific URL shortener that lets users know you’re taking them to your website.

For example, Victoria’s Secret uses http://i.victoria.com/wSl instead of this crazy-long link: http://www.victoriassecret.com/shoes/whats-new/studded-suede-pump-betsey-johnson?ProductID=68804&CatalogueType=OLS&cm_mmc=fb-_-stores-_-status-_-suedpump090512.

victoria

Get more clicks by using a brand-specific URL shortener. Fans want to know where you’re taking them.

#3: Post at Times Ideal for Your Fans

Getting your post at the top of fans’ newsfeeds is paramount for engagement. So how do you do this?

For one, make sure you post at the right times.

Recent data from bit.ly shows that the optimal time to post on Facebook is between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, when Facebook traffic peaks.

Links posted between 1 and 4 pm get the highest click-through rates, with Wednesday at 3:00 pm being the best time to post all week. Links posted before 8:00 am and after 8:00 pm are less likely to get shared.

Another thing to consider is the TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) factor. As office burnout peaks toward the end of the week, more people will be escaping to Facebook.

Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursday and Friday than other days of the week, according to Buddy Media. Engagement rates fall 3.5% below average for posts Monday through Wednesday, when people are more focused at work.

If your goal is likes, not comments, Dan Zarrella of HubSpot found that Saturday and Sunday posts get the most likes.

disney

Don’t forget about the weekend. Saturday and Sunday posts get the most likes.

Finally, make sure you post enough content to stay visible in the newsfeed without annoying your fans. The key to walking this fine line is to know your posts’ lifespan.

The average Facebook post lifespan is 3 hours, although this varies by page.

A post is considered “alive” when it’s occupying the newsfeed or is a Highlighted Story and receiving a continuous stream of engagement.

A post is considered “dead” when its engagement stops growing more than 10% per hour.

Never post while another post is alive or you risk losing engagement.

How do you find your average post lifespan? EdgeRank Checker Pro analyzes your post engagement on an hourly basis (found in the Post Grading section at the bottom of your page analysis).

edgerank

EdgeRank Checker Pro lets you know your average post lifespan and the best time to post again.

It also tells you the best time to post again. Once engagement has fallen below 10%, your post is considered dead and it’s safe to post new content.

If your average post lifespan is 3 hours, then wait at least that long before posting again.

#4: Use the Right Words for Higher Engagement

What you say—or don’t say—on Facebook matters. Certain words elicit more engagement, while others will leave your post dead in the water.

Buddy Media found that action keywords like “post,” “comment,” “take,” “submit,” “like” or “tell us” are the most effective. Be direct in your request, and fans will listen.

macy's

Want your fans to do something? Tell them! Fans respond well to specific instructions.

On the other hand, if you’re running a contest, sweepstakes or other promotional offer, fans don’t respond well to direct or aggressive language.

Softer-sell keywords such as “winner,” “win,” “winning” and “events” will make fans excited rather than feeling like they’re being sold to.

Aggressive promotional keywords like “contest,” “promotion,” “sweepstakes” and “coupon” will turn them off.

#5: Ask Questions

Asking a question is a surefire way to elicit comments, but not all questions are created equal. How and where you ask a question matters.

questions

Place questions at the end of posts to increase engagement.

Questions placed at the end of a post increased engagement by 15% over questions placed at the beginning.

Where,” “when” and “should” drive the highest engagement rates, with “would” generating the most likes. Avoid asking “why” questions, which have the lowest like and comment rates.

Beauty retailer Sephora has mastered the art of when to use action keywords, promotional keywords and questions to get fans engaged.

This Facebook post generated 38,028 likes, 2,188 comments and 4,778 shares.

sephora

Combining action keywords like “shop” with soft-sell keywords like “score” will encourage fans to take action. End your post with a question to get 15% more engagement.

For even more tips, read 5 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement.

Now it’s your turn.

What do you think? Did you find these tips helpful? How do you keep your fans engaged? Please share your questions and comments in the box below.
Source: Social Media Examiner

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AIG + All Blacks: Sharing a Vision of the Future

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What’s Holding You Back From Taking Full Advantage Of The Cloud? – Infographic

Few words in tech have had more buzz over the past couple years than the omnipresent “cloud.” Cloud computing has ushered in a new era of technology, changed the way many companies do business and facilitated the age of mobile devices and social networking.

But not every organization has been so quick to flock to the cloud. A major outage to cloud computing servers used by Instagram this summer showed the potential pitfalls for businesses and brands.

The following infographic from CA Technologies’ CloudViews is based on a recent survey of IT leaders; it shows just how and why some companies have been slow to adapt.

Among its more interesting findings: While 80% of respondents say cloud computing drives innovation, more than 50% say they had no immediate plans to implement it. Why the disconnect? Job anxiety could be one reason. A shade under half of respondents say they believe companies will have to create entirely new IT jobs to accommodate a transition to the cloud, while 56% say cloud computing will require current employees to learn new skills.

For more, check out the full infographic below. Then, tell us in the comments: Do you think cloud computing is critical for all organizations today, or can some afford to sit out?

Source: Mashable.com, CA Technologies

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Global Most InDemand Employers – Infographic

LinkedIn released a list Wednesday of the 100 most in-demand employers, based on interactions between the more than 175 million professionals and companies on the social network, including how often professionals visit and follow a company’s page.

Tech companies — and particularly software companies — dominated the list. Google ranked highest overall and proved to be the top company for marketing professionals, software engineers and students. Apple and Microsoft ranked second and third on the list, respectively, while Facebook came in fourth. Other tech companies like Salesforce and Twitter ranked among the top 20 companies worldwide.

Interestingly, LinkedIn found that half of the 100 most sought after companies were smaller businesses with fewer than 7,000 employees. As LinkedIn points out in the report, “Bigger isn’t always better.”

The infographic breaks down some of the data by category and region. You can check out the full list of companies on LinkedIn’s website.

Source: Mashable.com, LinkedIn

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The Social Sickness: Social Media Addiction – Infographic

Social media addiction: a disease likely affecting millions, but one that’s hard to track because it comes in many forms. The afflicted may reveal themselves as serial likers. They may have push notifications set for the most minor of social media updates. They may self-identify as “mavens,” “gurus” or “ninjas.”

But regardless of their appearance, they do walk among us. Of that we can be sure.

The following infographic, which comes by way of the marketing software company Marketo, details 10 of the most common types of social media fiends.

There’s “The Constant Checker,” who can’t go more than a few minutes without looking at his Twitter mentions or Instagram likes. There’s the Klout-obsessed “Self-Proclaimed Influencer.” There’s also the “Multi-Mayor,” who has to check in to a location every time she moves ten feet.

Any of these stereotypes hit a little too close to home? We certainly have to admit some do here. Check out the full infographic  for more. Then let us know in the comments — which of these personalities do you identify with? Are there any you would add?

Source: Mashable.com, Marketo