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social media - Confluence Digital

3 Quick Tips for Making Your Facebook Page Posts Irresistible

By | Social Media | No Comments

 

I’m glad you’re interested in making the best out of your Facebook posts but let’s first get on the same page as far as what it is that you’re trying to accomplish with your posts.  

  1. You want your posts to get maximum exposure/reach
  2. You want your posts to start conversations and get comments
  3. You want your posts to be liked and shared 

Can we agree on all 3 above? If yes, then check out my 3 quick tips below on how to make your Facebook posts noticeable, irresistible, and supremely shareable. 😉 

Tip #1 Find out your most successful times to post 

When to post for maximum exposure?  

One performance metric that I look at to find out when I should be posting for most exposure is Reach, which you can find on the Facebook Insights tab.  

Usually what I do is:

  • Click on the Insights tab on the right side of the Facebook Page to access page analytics. 
  • Sort the summary by Reach in the Page posts section to see the posts that got the most amount of exposure/impressions.   
  • Look for patterns in these posts on a micro level by looking at times and sometimes on a macro level by looking at days or even weeks when they were published

Research may take some A/B testing, but trust me, your secret formula for maximum exposure is waiting for you at the end of the path 😉  

For example in one of the Facebook pages that I manage where the majority of fans are local college students, it was really easy to find that my best time to post posts for maximum exposure there is between 5 to 6pm.  So yes it gets easier if you have an specific audience… which is exactly why you should never buy your fans!  Keep your network relevant, quality beats quantity when creating relationships and in this case getting your posts in the spotlight of the day.   

And before we move to the next tip, there are studies out there to help you get started on optimizing your posts like Dan Zarella’s Science of Timing findings, but at the end of the day you still need to find out what works for you.  Learn globally and execute locally 🙂 

Tip #2 Keep your posts short and craft your questions right

The truth is that when people are skimming through their Facebook news feed, their attention span is short because of all the updates/information they are consuming at the same time, so yes I agree with this mini article on the topic. 

This is why you want to keep your posts short and engaging so that you may get your fans’ attention in that split second before their eyes scan across it and leave your post hanging without engaging. Rule of thumb is less than 80 characters, use it as a reference point, it’s OK if you do 81 this is not Twitter strict 😉 

And  yes you need to ask questions but you need to ask them right. Why? Because if you don’t people won’t answer.  

This is a popular tip in the social media world but I hope that after reading this you get some extra traction from executing it 😉 

From personal testing I found that questions beginning with “When”, “Where”, “Would” and “Should” have been most effective at starting conversations on Facebook.  Now, I am not saying that you should do this all the time as it could get annoying for your fans after a while, but whenever you have a chance of crafting without forcing a question like this, you should do it and you’ll be happy with the results.  I am happy just sharing this with you 🙂  

Again remember, balance for everything, you don’t want to abuse this tip by asking questions all the time or you’ll remind me of a character in a cartoon I used to watch when I was a kid. 

Tip #3 Use photo and video more often

Getting your posts shared is going to take more than just asking people to share them.  We are dealing with humans here, so unless you aim to  trigger their emotions, they won’t share your posts.  

After reading a couple of articles and testing some popular recommendations on the topic, my quick tip would be to step up your efforts with more photos, videos, infographics, or something where the end user can make a visual connection with your post. 

And no, I am not saying that only photo or video posts will get shared or liked, but that they are just more likely to get shared than plain status updates.  Guy Kawasaki says that Facebook is a photo economy, so if you want to invest in it, you need to use the right currency at least once in a while.  Here is an example of a viral post I had to share today (yep, it is a picture).  

OK, hope you enjoyed this article, try these tips and share your results with me later on.  Also if you have some other tips with some examples to back them up, share them with me here and I may feature you on a follow up post; a quick extra inbound link for your collection. 🙂 

 

Craving more social wisdom?

No worries, I got your back.  Here are 2 more posts you may also like 😉

Three Tips To Boost Your Social Media Game

By | Social Media | No Comments

So, you’re using social media to market your product or service online. You look to find prospects and you hope to get them interested in what you have to offer. You spot them online under a category list and offer them a free demo or gift.

You think they would be interested and that things should go pretty well until you check back on your efforts, only to see that nobody clicked on your offer. What is missing? Here are some tips on how to be more successful.

#1 Connect with your audience in the right places

Here is the thing:  people typically don’t like to connect with businesses that they never heard from before.  Sure, your product is well packaged, has a lot of great benefits, even some case studies to prove your results, but you keep failing to get others to give it a try.

A direct approach may seem like a great spot to find an audience, but people are rarely open to becomimg quality prospects through this tactic.  You need to approach them and start a conversation with them in places where they are receptive to engage with you.  

An audience analysis tells you who your fans are, what they care about, and where they are having those conversations you want to be in.   

#2 Become interesting and make them want you

Photo: Social Media rock star - Confluence Digital blog

What does your audience want? I’ll tell you what they don’t want: they don’t want to be bored.  
 
Sadly, most unstructured social media efforts are boring and they don’t get more than a glance from chance readers, and then you wonder why you never see engagement, that’s why.  
 
The solution is to create deeply interesting content.  Smart content development will help you find the kind of Like-able content your audience will love to get more off and won’t resist following you on Twitter or subscribing to your RSS feed. When they do that, it will take your social media effort to the next level.  
 
Empower others through interesting, helpful content and they will be your best prospects.
 

#3 Yes, actually listen to what they are saying 

 
Active listening is one of the most important social media activities.  This means to be actually listening to what your audience has to say and taking the time to understand them and their needs, as well as relate to their problems. 
 
Provide solutions without overstuffing your content with unwanted self-promotion.  If you want your social networks to work, you need to learn how to listen properly because talking and sharing can be a powerful bonding experiences which will help you build strong relationships.
 
Learn how and who to trust by communicating and paying attention to the smallest of details.  Whenever you spot a thought leader in your industry, listen carefully, and ask questions.  
 
When you learn how to listen to your audience, they will feel understood, respected and reassured and it will lead to trust and credibility with your business. If you value your business, you should listen to your customers and prospects. Otherwise, you run the risk of having them find someone else who will listen to them better than you.
 

Contact us if you you are looking for advice on the effectiveness of your digital strategy. We’re happy to answer questions about SEO, paid search, web analytics, social media or any other digital channel.

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Political Marketing: Jay Inslee vs Rob McKenna for WA State Governor

By | Social Media | 5 Comments

Photo: Jay Inslee vs Rob McKenna for WA State Governor

Getting Your (Political) Message Out, Then & Now

Running for political office has always been about spreading your message to the widest audience. The candidate with the ability to reach the greater number of constituents would have the advantage of being able to gather more supporters, thus – in theory – leading to a higher percentage of voters supporting him or her on Election Day.

Not that long ago this outreach effort was all about television commercials and radio ads. It didn’t matter if you were running for state assembly, governor or even President of the United States—if you didn’t have a media plan that involved mass marketing, you cut your chances of being elected down to nearly zero.

How the times have changed. With explosion of the Internet and the advent of social media networks, Facebook pages, Google+ and Twitter profiles and a slew of other online forums and communities have become the least costly, most effective and also most efficient way to spread a candidate’s message.

Candidate Barack Obama used social media very effectively in his 2008 election campaign. His success was not lost on politicians. Almost all are using social media to some extent, but not everyone is doing it effectively. A poorly managed social media strategy can do more harm than good.

Evaluating McKenna and Inslee’s Social Media Chops

We decided to evaluate the current race for Washington State governor in which Democratic Representative Jay Inslee is running against Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna. (Full disclosure – we’re all Dems here and rooting for Jay Inslee.) We got worried when we took a closer look. To borrow an overused cliché, a picture is worth a 1000 words (especially one chock full of data), so we created an infographic comparing the digital marketing efforts of Inslee and McKenna.

 

Results: McKenna Stronger than Inslee on Social Media
When it comes to social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, there is a clear line that divides these candidates. McKenna is an active participant on all of these networks, averaging 500 LinkedIn connections, 82 Google+ followers, 19 YouTube subscribers and nearly 13,000 Facebook fans. Meanwhile, Inslee has also adopted a social media policy, though it is not nearly as extensive. Inslee has just eight YouTube subscribers and no LinkedIn or Google+ followers. He relies mainly on Facebook and Twitter to communicate his messages, although he still falls behind in tweets, with just 61 to McKenna’s 119.

Social media is wildly important when spreading key messages because it’s all about connectivity. For every post on Facebook or Twitter, a person is opening the conversation up to an exponential number of people who haven’t yet had the chance to join in. For example, let’s pretend that every Twitter post is seen by three new people. Even though McKenna and Inslee will still have the same ratio of posts, the number of people their messages reach begins to differ greatly, especially if those new people decide to spread the word to three others. For McKenna, 119 people soon becomes over a million, while for Inslee, 61 people becomes just over 225,000. The difference is staggering.

However, social media is more than just a one-way tool these days. In fact, it offers candidates something that they’ve never been able to achieve: two-way communication on a massive scale. This has also been a key component in McKenna’s social media campaign that has put him at a clear advantage. Not only does he interact on Facebook more frequently than his competitor, but he also operates a blog that is updated weekly and elicits comments and questions. By keeping the lines of communication open with his followers, McKenna is able to solidify his standing with those who support him.

Welcome to 2012 – Elections in the Era of Twitter, Facebook & Google +
It’s clear that social media is the key to campaigning on a massive scale. Facebook posts are the new fireside chats, tweets are the new bumper stickers, and a candidate’s LinkedIn profile is a billboard for all to see his/her credentials. If he lacks any one of these, he risks losing out on hundreds of thousands of followers! The example of McKenna and Inslee may be a small-scale representation of how presidential candidates have begun to utilize these new mediums, but regardless, the method and the message remain the same: those who master social media can win the support of the majority.

 

Like the Infographic? Copy the Link Below!

Political marketing infographic Inslee vs McKenna for WA GovernorPolitical marketing infographic Inslee vs McKenna for WA GovernorConfluence Digital and Search Engine Optimist

 

 Or download the political infographic in PDF format.

 

If you liked this post you may also be interested in:

www.confluencedigital.com/blog/5-reasons-why-mckenna-is-winning-over-inslee-with-social-media-sep-11

www.confluencedigital.com/blog/immigration-reform-pro-vs-anti-whos-winning-online-july-11

www.confluencedigital.com/blog/using-social-media-for-change-welcomes-alonso-chehade-mar-11

Confluence Digital has teamed up with Search Engine Optimist to offer comprehensive, high-impact internet marketing for political candidates and causes. Let us help you make the most of your campaign budget whether to your constituents or fundraisers. We can help answer your questions about any digital tactic from social media to search “basics” like SEO and PPC as well as help with website design & optimization, email marketing and more.

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How to Get People Talking About You: An Interview with Andy Karuza

By | Expert Interviews, Social Media | No Comments

Andy Karuza Word of Mouth Expert - Confluence Digital blog

How to get others talking about you, your business, your product, or your service?  Word of mouth can give you social proof. 

Social proof will make you a likeable candidate to talk to or do business with; and this is exactly how I learned about a young entrepreneur here in Seattle and CEO of branddbuddee.com, Andy Karuza.

Meet Andy Karuza

People talk about him, share his content and engage with him.  We are talking Facebook, Twitter and on the ground in networking events. 

His new startup brandbuddee.com, officially launching in early 2012, is a marketing platform in development that promises to change the advertising relationship between brands and their customers. 

Andy has worked with many clients including well known brands like Microsoft, Google, Ducati and more.  As Director of Marketing at Seattle Fashion Week, Andy helped generate many conversations for the event helping it rank in the number one spot in search engine results for several years under “Seattle Fashion” by fostering organic word-of-mouth. 

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Andy to ask him more about what he does and how he does it.  Enjoy!

Video Interview with Andy Karuza

In our video interview Andy shared with us:

  • How he got started in social media
  • His strategy for the content he produces and shares 
  • How to generate word of mouth
  • Andy’s startup company brandbuddee.com 

Find Andy Online 

You can find Andy Karuza online on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.   

Want more?

Here are three blog posts you don’t want to miss:

What Musicians Can Learn from Blue Scholars’ Social Media

By | Content Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

Photo Credit: Blue Scholars Facebook Page

The Blue Scholars is a Seattle-based music group who has been able to forego signing a deal with a record label by distributing and marketing their content by themselves through the use of social media.  As a fan of their work and after recently attending a social media event for musicians at the Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle, I decided to take a deeper look into their social accounts to find out what they are doing and how are they making it happen big.  One word – Impressed!  

Here are three reasons why every musician should look up to the Blue Scholars to make the best out of their social media programs:

#1 CONSISTENCY – Strong Presence & Highly Engaged Fans    

To start with, below is an screenshot of Blue Scholars social media channels.  As you can see they have established a strong presence in different social platforms and distribution channels; top 3 being Facebook, My Space and Twitter.  Most of theirs accounts are updated almost daily keeping their fans engaged with their progress and adventures as they tour different cities around the country.

(Click to enlarge)  

#2 FULL ACCESS – Media Rich Content

When it comes to finding and discovering their music, the Blue Scholars get an A+ not only by pushing their content in a diverse range of platforms through soundtracks and music videos but all the way to LIVE streaming.  Their commitment to their fans is incredible as far as taking them with them wherever they go to share the experience.   The Blue Scholars will regularly give you full instant access to their adventures. 

#3 CREATIVITY – Fund-sourcing  Music Pioneers  

 After 4 years of traveling and making a lot of music,  the Blue Scholars decided to try something completely new to fund the release of their third album called “CINEMETROPOLIS”.  They turned to Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform to raise $25,000 to release their music and videos instead of signing with a record label.  The outcome — after leveraging their social media programs to reach out to their fans for support, the Blue Scholars raised over $62,000 at the end of their campaign!   

OK, enough with the writing.  Ready to see some examples? Click on the link below

3 Unmissable Social Media Ideas for Musicians

 

 

Two Google+ Bugs You’ll Want To Know About

By | Analytics, Social Media | No Comments

Google Plus Bug - Confluence Digital blogSince Google introduced the long-awaited business pages on Google+ I spent some time developing and configuring the page for our business as well as checking out the various features of this new(ish) social media platform. In the process I ran into a couple annoying bugs I though I would share with you in the hope of sparing you the runaround I went through trying to get some answers.

Need to Create 2 Google+ Profiles, Really?

Yesterday I discovered that Google+ is finally available with Google apps, which means I can now create a profile on their social platform with my work e-mail.  The problem? I have already created a Google+ profile for myself under my personal Google account and I don’t want another one. Ideally I would like to have access to my Google+ profile page whenever I am logged in either with my personal or work Google account.  

I did some research to find out if there was a way to have both of my e-mail accounts under the same Google+ profile, but unfortunately for now, because they are both Google accounts — I can’t.

Google Pages Improvements – Please Hurry

Currently Google pages only allows one admin per page, which means I can’t add other people to help manage the page.  Funny thing is that I ended up creating my company’s Google page under my personal Google account because I didn’t want to create another Google+ duplicate profile for myself on the platform. The problem? Now I have to keep switching accounts or opening new browsers to log into my personal Google account every time I need to post on the page when I am at the office.  

I researched this issue, and unfortunately for now there is no workaround here folks. Well, now at least you know so you don’t have to do the research to figure this out on your own or wait until Google catches the problems and does something to fix this.  Cheers!

Have you found any Google+ issues that bug you? Or do you have suggestions for how best to handle any of them? Please share your ideas in the comments below or post them on our Google+ page.

Contact us if you need help with any aspect of your digital strategy. Our inbound marketing solutions cover SEO, social media, paid search, web analytics, conversion rate optimization and more.

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What Can We Learn from Klout Stars?

By | Analytics, SEO, Social Media | No Comments

Image: Jay Baer Klout Score - Confluence Digital blogThere is nothing better than learning how to rock in social media from the “Doers” instead of the “Talkers”, which is why I am big a fan of the Klout Stars series.

The blog series highlights top influencers in social media and how they got to where they are today.

That said, in my experience, even though the platform aims to measure user’s influences across all their social networks, for now it is really only a reference point for how influential they are on Twitter.

Now back to the Doers and what can we learn from them, I decided to do an analysis on the last 10 featured Klout Stars.  Here is my analysis and 3 takeaways:

Chart: Klout Stars analysis - Confluence Digital blog

 (Click on picture to enlarge)

#1 Know Your Audience then Choose Your Style

The majority of the last 10 featured Klout Stars are either “curators” or “thought leaders” who have been on Twitter for almost 2 years or more.  These two types of influencers know exactly who their audience is but differ in the way they make them fall in love with them.

The curators do a great job of filtering massive amounts of information to deliver the most interesting selections to their audience, which is why they are much appreciated.  The thought leaders on the other hand not only share relevant news but give their opinion, which is highly valued as they help their audience understand the information better.

Both styles of influencing require a deep connection with the audience which can be achieved by building persona profiles and by actually meeting some of your followers offline.  Klout Star Dan Shawbel recommends to narrow your focus and to be consistent.

#2 Interact with People and Tweet Often

The average number of tweets per day of all the Klout Starts’s accounts I examined is around 31, which follows Klout Star Jay Baer’s advice that if you want to make social media work for you, you really have to put in the time.

Also more than one Klout Star emphasized the importance on interacting with your followers to keep them engaged and active.

#3 Listen to Be Listened but Don’t Over Do it

Most of the Klout Stars have a follower-to-friend ratio or around 1 or above, which means they are listening and being listened at a healthy rate.

Some users follow accounts regularly to get followed back to build their network on Twitter.  This is fine and it works because I tried it, but if at any point you stop getting followed back where your follower-to-friend ratio starts getting far below 1, then it’s time for you to check back on your social media strategy and re-analyze your audience and the content you are sharing.

Also please keep in mind that the downside of this technique is that your Twitter profile feed will become useless in the long run and you will need to create lists to keep in touch with your close or most interesting followers.

Useful Link: What is your Follower-Friend Ratio?

Are you a “Doer” and rocking your social media? Share with us what’s working for you in the comments below.

 

Contact us if you you are looking for advice on the effectiveness of your digital strategy. We’re happy to answer questions about SEO, paid search, web analytics, social media or any other digital channel.

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Money Can’t Buy You Love, But It Can Buy You Like: A Look at Facebook Fan Sellers

By | Analytics, Social Media | 5 Comments

Facebook fansLet’s face it, whether you like it or not (no pun intended), if you’re trying to compete for eyeballs in today’s digital space, it’s likely that Facebook likes matter to you. If you are a private person with a personal blog you’re pushing to Facebook and sharing with your network, then likes are one way you know that people read your blog and enjoy what you have to say there.

Facebook likes definitely matter to your bottom line if you are managing a Facebook Page for your organization. Your Facebook Page serves as a very public point of engagement for your brand, possibly as a tool for testing the market with new ideas about your product or service, a place for fielding kudos and complaints and connecting with your existing and future customers. Your Facebook Page exists to help you become and remain relevant to your market.

There’s solid data out there suggesting that we really care about what our friends (and really, anyone we find relatable) think about products and services we’re considering. According to a recent survey,  84% of of respondents said that online reviews influenced their purchasing behavior. This is significant because in our rapidly evolving information economy a small fry competitor can come from behind and beat us to the punch if they are better at engaging the people who should be our customers with compelling, like-able content.

And so likes matter because they send a signal about the value of your content and help you attract new fans. They function like a visual “word of mouth” since they are visible to your Page’s fans’ friends and acquaintances who automatically become part of your Facebook Page’s extended network and more likely to visit your Page.

The attraction of the Facebook “chain reaction effect”

But forget mere likes by your friends and their friends and simple, modest WOM. The story out there (I would like to see some data – if you have it, please send it my way!) is that at 1,000 likes something magical happens. This phenomenon called the “chain reaction effect” kicks in and causes likes to generate more likes until your Facebook Page gathers some serious like momentum.

What’s the chain reaction effect? When a person likes your page, it will be posted on their profile and sometimes in their friend’s news feed. When this happens, more often than not their friend will check out your Facebook page and will “like” it as well.

The bottom line here (if I haven’t made my point already) is that with Facebook at 800 million active users, likes have become the social currency and the proxy for actual value for a large number of netizens, including a solid percentage of your current and future customers if you do business in the United States of America. Some recent statistics indicate that 90% of all people go online to buy or make purchasing decisions and nearly 42% of individuals have Facebook accounts.

Cashing in on the like market

Given the high value of being like-able, it was just a matter of time before some enterprising individual figured out that there was money to be made here by selling likes for your Page. Call me naive, but I was not aware of the existence of this “seedy underbelly” of the Facebook like world. Sure, we all have heard about “Black Hat” SEO techniques that involve buying shady links from doubtful sources as a way to boost a site’s rank in search engine results. (And as we posted here and also on our website, we don’t play that way – we believe in honest links and earned rank, not gimmicks that can hurt you in Google search listings.) So the first time I came across an instance of peddling likes for dollars – on a nifty little website called Fiverr, I don’t recommend going there unless you have an hour to kill, it’s quite addictive – I was surprised (well, for about a minute). But it makes perfect sense. And so I decided to investigate and check out what’s “out there” in the world of like peddlers. Here’s my brief report from the field.

Disclaimer: None of the sites I list below have been vetted by us or anyone we know. I found them the “old school” way, I Googled buy facebook fans. So if you choose to partake, it’s caveat emptor, baby. And just to be clear, I don’t recommend you do this, but neither do I explicitly recommend against it. Buying “fans” feels vaguely dirty to me (it makes me want to take a shower), but hey, it’s not illegal, and apparently a booming business. All of Confluence’s likes are earned thanks to the awesome content we share as well as asking our friends to like our page lest we un-friend them… kidding! But yeah, we did ask our network to like our page.

Where you can buy likes for your Facebook Page

The following list of “lucky” 7 is organized from most expensive to least expensive. One thing that’s obvious is that all of the the like sellers are “wholesalers”. The business of Facebook likes is mostly about quantity, not quality – although a few of the companies differentiate between “untargeted” (and therefore less expensive) and “targeted” likes. The idea is to trigger that desirable “chain reaction” which supposedly starts at 1,000 fans, so forget likes by the dozen. The lowest number offered was 500 and so I standardized to cost/1000 “untargeted” fans for the purpose of the comparison.

1. FanBullet.com: Fan Bullet promises to get your fans… fast! Their price per 1,000 is $69.95. They also will sell you Twitter and YouTube followers and even offer Bundled Deals.

2. LikesandFollowers.com: Like their name implies, these guys also sell Twitter followers and all manner of other followers. They suggest clients start at 1,000 fans, since “Buying 1,000 or more fans usually kick starts the chain reaction effect”. Their price for 1000 is $69, guaranteed in 1-2 days – that’s under 7 cents per like. They offer plans up to $499 for 20,000 (yes!) fans.

3. 100sFBfans: This company specializes in Facebook fans, no other followers can be bought here. But they do offer 1000 Facebook fans for a mere $67. That ‘s less than 7 pennies per like!

4. Fan Page Hookup: (Who came up with that name?) These guys to go even lower: $57 for 1000 fans. That brings your cost-per-like (new metric – CPL?) to under 6 pennies. Nice. In all fairness, fan peddling is not their only business. They also design Facebook landing pages.

6. Bulkfans: (Oh, why bother pretending, it’s about quantity, not quality… Buy Fans in Bulk, much like any other commodity) Bulkfans’ angle is all on international fans. They don’t just go low on cost, they go high on speed. They promise 1000 fans for $55 in 3-5 days! And they offer plans.

6. fbfanshop: fbfanshop is an Australia-based outfit offering 1,000 fans for $25 (their “Bronze Fan Package”). They’re up on the latest as they now also offer Google Services, meaning they’ll sell you Google +1 votes along with your Facebook likes.

7. Fiverr: You can’t go any lower than Fiverr in your quest to buy likes. Dozens of individuals on there are pimping their Facebook “friends” for a mere $5 for anything ranging from a few dozen to nearly 5,000 likes. It’s crazy cheap digital love. They don’t guarantee results, but hey, there are some very happy people on there who vouch for the effectiveness of this approach. One of my personal favorites on there is Daytona, who offers to use her “Hooter Girl powers” to get likes for you page from her nearly 5,000 “very hungry, eager and responsive friends” who “are ready to jump” at her signal and like your page. So, if your product or service is likely to appeal to a fan of a Hooter Girl  – do you sell action figures, video games or adult entertainment – then Daytona may be able to help you.

OK, so should you buy your Facebook fans?

At this point with no data to prove or disprove my point, all I can offer is my gut-feeling based opinion spruced up with some common sense. Take it as you want.

Since the fans you buy (provided they’re actually real people, not bots) are not likely to be selected based on their interest in your product or service, why would you want them? What business wants a bunch of likes from people who are not likely to ever be customers? And doesn’t adding all those “fake” fans muddy the waters by hiding the true indicators for how well your content is working at attracting and retaining customers? Buying likes takes away the reason for having good content on your Facebook Page. But if you don’t care to engage with your actual customers, why bother having a Facebook Page at all? So I personally plan to stay away from buying Facebook fans. I hope that the content we create attracts the right, targeted clients.

If you disagree, please respond. I don’t mind being proven wrong. Maybe in your line of business buying likes makes sense? So if you choose to proceed and buy likes through any of these sites, please report back. I’d love to hear about your experience.

Photo Credit: Reuters

Give us a call if you want to talk about ways to grow your social media fan or follower base naturally or if you want to talk about search engine optimization, paid search, conversion funnel optimization or other digital tactics.

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A Systematic Approach for Creating Engaging Facebook Content

By | Content Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

Image: Facebook login page - Confluence Digital blogRecently I have spent some time reviewing different sources of “How To’s” and “Tips” for creating Facebook Page content that would engage existing fans and attract new ones.

One of my favorite tips is #7 from Guy Kawasaki’s 12 Pillars of EnchantmentAlways be photographing. Guy has got it right when he remarks that Facebook is a photo economy. What catches your eye is typically an image, not the accompanying text. But once you look, you may read, and even “Like”. So using compelling images is critical to success on Facebook (probably even more now with the unveiling of the new layout that has added to the visual chaos).

But a list of tips – even good ones like Guy’s – does not amount to a practical solution for day to day content creation for your Facebook Page. So I took all those useful tips and combined them to develop my own methodology for easy, systematic Facebook content creation. I thought it may be useful and decided to share it with our readers and fans.

The Facebook Content Strategy Albums approach to content strategy planning

The approach is simple and useful; if Facebook it’s a picture economy, then plan your content around images!  For example, below are some bullet-points on content categories for Facebook that I got from HubSpot’s awesome e-book called 100 Inbound Marketing Content Ideas.

  • Community Ideas – E.g. Reaching out to fans asking them what they would like to see in your next blog post or webinar
  • Community Opinion – E.g. Reaching out to fans through questions to get their opinion on something
  • How To’s & Tips – E.g. Blog posts that contain How To’s & Tips targeting the needs of your fans
  • Holiday Celebrations – E.g. Posts wishing your fans happy holidays, idealy in a creative and engaging way 🙂
  • Infographics – E.g. Fan representation of cool data that no one really wants to see just in numbers
  • Fun Post – E.g. Sharing office fun? Yes it’s OK to take a break once in a while and be goofy haha 

I then created photo albums on Facebook named with the content categories above. By using this tactic I (and you if you choose to follow my lead!) will be forced to always post with pictures but also always be reminded to diversify your content.  You probably don’t want to be see me posting about “Confluence fun” the whole month!

Confluence Digital Facebook Page Content Strategy Photo Albums

How to post content on Facebook using this approach?

OK if by now this is an idea that you’re going to give a try, here is the process on how to do it.  You can watch this video or follow the steps below.

  1. Before getting started make sure to first pick default pictures that you can use for each category.  When posting something under a category and you don’t have the time to look for an specific picture to accompany the post, use the category’s default picture instead.  
  2. Upload an eye-catching picture that for your post that will clearly represent its corresponding category.
  3. Use the picture description to describe the post or the picture.
  4. Save and skip publishing since you only want to publish the picture by itself and the pop up to publish is for the album.
  5. Go back to the category album, chose the new uploaded picture and click on share. Make sure that you’re sharing on your Page and not on your personal Profile. 
  6. On the picture’s sharing message box add a teaser that triggers likes or comments, click on post and you’re done! 
Hope this helps with planning and executing your content strategy on Facebook.  Let me know what you think and ask questions or share your Facebook content strategy tips in our comments section. 

 

Give us a call if you need advice on developing an effective content strategy for your website, Facebook Page or blog or if you want help optimizing your website for search (SEO) or are interested in paid search, social media marketing, conversion funnel optimization, landing page design or other aspects of digital strategy.

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5 Reasons Why Rob McKenna is Winning over Jay Inslee with Social Media

By | Social Media | One Comment

Photo: Rob McKenna vs Joe Inslee 2012 WA gubernatorial race - Confluence Digital blogWe’ve all seen the power of the Internet during Obama’s historic campaign in 2008. Candidate Obama used social media to win hearts and minds, influencing people and attracting followers to his campaign. Since then it has become standard for political campaigns to reach out to potential donors, volunteers, and voters through social media. Candidates now realize that they can no longer ignore the power of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Increasingly people of all demographic and political backgrounds congregate to consume and share information and discuss issues on social platforms. As a result, those relatively new channels can play a vital role in elections and no serious political campaign can afford to miss out on this new trend.

Jay Inslee vs. Rob McKenna on social media

Here in Washington we’re already getting a taste of the no.1 gubernatorial race in the USA between Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna as they warm up their campaigns to become the next governor of the State of Washington.  Currently the polls are leaning to Jay Inslee (D) leading with 47% closely followed by Rob McKenna with 44%.  However after taking a look at the candidate’s social media programs I found 5 reasons why Jay Inslee should be stepping up his game on his social media programs if he wants to keep the polls leaning his way. 

#1 McKenna’s campaign website has a blog

The first thing I look for when evaluating a social media program is whether the company, organization, or campaign has a blog and how often it gets updated with fresh, visitor-enticing (and search engine optimized) content.  I was very surprised to find out that of the two candidates only McKenna was maintaining a blog which he regularly updates with the latest campaign news.

As I wrote in a previous article, a blog is a powerful tool to attract supporters through useful content which if integrated with a a social media campaign, can help a site rank higher in the search engines.  In an election a blog is a great way to continue to shape and protect the candidate’s online reputation. 

#2  If “likes” were votes then McKenna is winning the race on Facebook

I would personally consider Facebook “likes” to be a good proxy for votes. They are in fact public “digital votes”, essentially individual-level campaign endorsements, which means in that case that McKenna is leading by 818 more individual “endorsements” than Inslee. Now if the sample size would be the combined Facebook Page likes of both candidates then McKenna would be leading with 52% followed by Inslee with 48%. Not that distant from the actual results as the difference between the candidates continues to be within 3 to 4%.

#3 McKenna does a great job in making his position on key issues easily visible and media rich

As you can see below even though both candidates are using custom tabs to make it easier for their fans to donate, McKenna has one set up for “Issues”.  The tab includes the candidate’s view on 3 issues that include a video presentation followed by a brief written description.  This is really valuable for undecided voters looking to learn more about the candidate’s point of view while on Facebook. 

Image: Jay Inslee vs Rob McKenna Facebook likes - Confluence Digital blog

#4 McKenna gets that he needs to engage his fans to win 

OK, in Facebook unless you can keep new fans engaging with your page, your Page updates will not longer make it to their feeds because of Facebook EdgeRank.  In the post below, not only is McKenna sharing that he is interested in his supporters’ opinion, but he is using a direct call to action by inviting them to take a survey on his site and share their thoughts on how to move forward.  In Facebook this leads to comments which the post received, 24 of them, and probably also generated new traffic to his campaign’s site – smart move.  

 #5  Inslee is more popular but McKenna is more influential on Twitter

I used an influence metric tool to find out which candidate is doing a better job at pushing tweets to their political supporters in a manner that motivates them to share it with others.  McKenna’s account is more influential because of his ability to engage other influential accounts to respond and share his content even though Inslee has more users following him on Twitter.

Image: Rob McKenna vs Jay Inslee Twitter influence - Confluence Digital blog

Social media will play a vital role in the 2012 elections.  McKenna is winning with social media for now even though Inslee is leading in the polls, but as the election approaches a well-managed and focused social media effort could be what ends up separating one candidate from the other.  My recommendation – it’s time for Candidate Inslee to step up his investment in social media or risk getting left in the dust.

Links to McKenna’s and Inslee’s social media sites:

Jay Inslee for Governor

Rob McKenna for Governor 

Jay Inslee on Facebook

Rob McKenna on Facebook

Jay Inslee on Twitter

Rob McKenna on Twitter

Let us help you make the most of your social media outreach whether to your constituency or customer base. We can help answer your questions about any digital tactic from social media to search “basics” like SEO and PPC as well as conversion funnel optimization, landing page design and more.

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