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A Few Tips On How to Beat the New Facebook Organic Reach Issue

Recently, while researching Facebook’s new issues with organic reach, I discovered that many organizations have experienced a drastic drop in their organic reach. “According to a Social@Ogilvy report that analyzed over 100 brand pages, Facebook organic reach was around 6% in February, 2014 — a decline of 49% from October. For brands with more than 500,000 likes, the fall-off was much steeper, with reach dropping to about 2%. Facebook has told marketers that they should consider paid distribution “to maximize delivery” of their messages in news feed. Translation: You must pay to play” (Dryer, n.d.).

In short, Facebook is looking to organizations to pay for content distribution if they wish to remain seen on the walls of their fan base. However, Facebook isn’t completely blind to the importance of great content. By their own admittance, Facebook’s ultimate responsibility is in keeping their billion plus members happy and, in order to keep them happy, Facebook relies on engaging content, created by the millions of brand pages, to be shared by their users.

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With that being said, I firmly believe that paying for reach is not the only way that organizations can continue to reach new and existing Facebook fans. Facebook still measures engaging content as a factor in whether or not your organizations content is shown on a Facebook users wall/news feed. Since organic reach relies, mainly, on word-of-mouth marketing, the more content likes, comments, and shares an organizations status, story, or picture receives, the more chances that an organizations content will appear on a Facebook users news feed.

It’s not enough that an organization create content. It’s not enough that some readers like reading your content. The key to attracting users to your page is to keep the readers so engaged that they not only want to spend the majority of their social networking time on Facebook, but that they want to spend their precious social media free time on your site and sharing what they see with others. This is how you begin to build organic reach.

#1. Boost Engagement

Engagement is the most important factor in building and maintaining a successful social media relationship with fans and, if an organization is not interacting with their fans, someone else will. So, how can your organization be more engaging? Don’t just share content, ask your fans questions, post fan polls, respond to comments and messages, and encourage fans to share your content and share content with you.

Facebook-Tip-ask-questions

Creating an ongoing dialog between the organization and your current fan base. “How you interact with your targeted audience is at the heart of social media engagement. The higher the frequency and quality of these interactions will not only develop a better relationship between brand and consumer, but will also get you higher visibility on search results as will be explained later. The key principle to remember here is that social media engagement is interaction, and interaction signifies a two-way communication – a fact traditional advertising is not capable of” (Gregorio, n.d.).

Facebook-Tip-fill-in-the-blank-posts#2. Online Chat Event

Although Facebook now frowns upon sending out mass messages to users, Facebook does provide users with chatroom services and event postings that can be directed at your fan base. Schedule an online chat event, wherein; your organization can invite your sites entire fan base to a chat forum on a specified date and time. This will allow your organization to reach a majority of their fans in real-time and in one central location. Fans can express what they would like to see on your Facebook page and it offers your organization the chance to build a stronger relationship with your fans.

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#3 Optimal Posting Times
Another surefire way to make sure your content is being read by your audience is to post at the most optimal times so that your content is seen by the most people. “A Facebook brand post will get half of its reach in the 30 minutes after it is published, according to updated data provided to MarketingCharts by Socialbakers. Socialbakers analyzed a select group of brand posts published on October 31st, finding that an average of one-third of post reach was obtained in just the first 10 minutes after publication” (Marketing Charts, 2012). Check your own Facebook Analytics to see when your current fan base is most active on your page and post content accordingly.

howtoincreasefacebookengagement
#4 Reduce Frequency of Posts

A recent 32 page report by Buddy Media analyzed engagement on over 1,800 top brand Facebook pages and found that posting too many post during the week could actually lower your engagement factor. “Think posting often is the key to gaining Facebook engagement? As long as you don’t exceed more than 7 posts a week and 1-2 times a day. “Brands that post one or two times per day see 19% higher interaction rates than those who post 3x per day. The key is not to bombard fans with too many posts, as Facebook News Feed Optimization often penalizes for this.” Additionally, brands posting more than seven times a week on Facebook saw a 25% decrease in interaction rates” (Vertical Response , 2013). My advice? Reduce the amount of posts to no more than 3 times a day and utilize the 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. window for optimal viewership.

#5 Use More Photos or More Links?

One great suggestion comes from Social Media Examiner (2013). They advise organizations to post pictures on Facebook and ask fans to caption the pictures. They point out that a photo caption combines the appeal of photos with people’s love of interacting with the brands they identify with. “Think about the emotion you want to trigger and choose an image that makes participating irresistible. Upload your image and write a short description that invites fans to provide a caption” (Bunskoek, 2013).

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According to Social Bakers, engagement correlates with reach and 85% of the most engaging posts on Facebook, in 2013, were photos. “Most brands on Facebook choose to publish photos (they constitute 53% of all posted unpaid content), links (21%) and updates (15%), which has proven to be an effective practice to generate the most interactions (Likes, Comments and Shares) and reflects the most engaging content. When gathering the most engaging (unpaid) posts during Q3, we found that 85% of them were photos, 7% links, 5% status updates and 3% were videos” (Socialbakers, 2013).

If your organizations use of Facebook is to bring attention to your website, using links seems to be the best way to go about driving clicks to your website. However, if your organizations goal is to grow their Facebook followers through organic search/reach, then posting photo’s seems like the ideal way to realize this goal.

#6 Utilize Fan Mentions

Another important engagement tool on social media is mentioning ones fans. Think about how great it makes you feel when someone shares your content. Each and every one of us likes to be recognized for contributing something positive. Thank your fans for following your page, create a fan-of-the-week post, and/or highlight a great comment a fan may have made on a recent post. The fans who are mentioned will most likely share the mention on their own page which will then be seen by their own friends and family and ultimately lead to greater reach.

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#7 Utilize Hashtags

Another suggestion for expanding an organizations organic reach is utilizing hashtags whenever possible. Facebook has recently started highlighting trending stories on the wall of Facebook users. These stories highlight topics and the hashtags connected to these trends and, if your content contains one of these trending hashtags, most likely the story will be highlighted in the trending menu. “As hashtags gain momentum on Facebook (they’ve been in use on other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+), they’ll help you expand your reach to people who are looking at posts in your topic. Hashtags have been a great way to help people interested in niche topics find each other and find the conversation. By including a hashtag in your post, you can possibly get in front of people who may not have seen your post otherwise.  But you’ll have to monitor this in your Facebook Insights.  Make sure you watch your Reach and Engagement Numbers to see if your hashtags are making a difference in your posts” (Vahl, 2013).

Summary

It’s no secret that Facebook is leaning more towards paid search over organic search/reach. But the thing to remember is that Facebook does place importance on organic reach when the content is engaging. Engaging fans is the most important factor in boosting the popularity of any organizations organic reach. Cultivating organic reach means that you must create a more engaged fan which, in turn, will lead to shared content and additional fan growth. If your content is being read and shared by the Facebook community, Facebook algorithms will pick up on this and boost your organizations posts through organic reach without the need for paid advertising.

Gloria Husk, M.S., Integrated Marketing Communications

 

 

References

Bunskoek, K. (2013, September 18). 8 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Engagement. Retrieved from Social Media Examiner: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-fan-engagement-tips/

Dryer, P. (n.d.). Facebook’s Organic Reach Decline: How to Respond. Retrieved July 16, 2014, from Building Buzz in a Connected World: http://www.pamorama.net/2014/05/03/facebook-organic-reach-decline-4-steps-to-take/

Fletcher, A. (2014, January 10). Geek Free Marketing. Retrieved from How to Increase Your Facebook Engagement by 275% [Infographic]: http://geekfree.net/increase-facebook-engagement-275/

Goldenberg, A. (2013, March 23). Socially Gold. Retrieved from Facebook Tips [Images]: http://sociallygold.com/facebook-tips/

Gregorio, J. (n.d.). Comprehensive Look at Social Media Engagement and Why It’s Important? Retrieved July 16, 2014, from Digital Marketing Philippines.

Kahla The Sailor. (2014, May 01). Retrieved from [Image]: http://www.kahlathesailor.com/social-media/2014/5/1/rip-facebook-organic-reach

Marketing Charts. (2012, November 2). Retrieved from Facebook Posts Get Half Their Reach Within 30 Minutes of Being Published: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/facebook-posts-get-half-their-reach-within-30-minutes-of-being-published-24453/

Mega Fan Apps. (2014, March 10). Retrieved from [Image]: http://blog.megafanapps.com/2014/03/10/facebook-organic-reach-reaches-0/

Quick Meme. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2014, from Facebook Group Chate [Image]: http://www.quickmeme.com/img/48/48e349e05aa24e009dbea61b299474af60ee20bd28af8fe8cbf69f739f4278d2.jpg

Socialbakers. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.socialbakers.com/blog/979-watch-it-live-roe-proven-engagement-correlates-with-reach

Vahl, A. (2013, July 29). 4 Ways Marketers Can Use Facebook Hashtags. Retrieved from Social Media Examiner.

Vertical Response . (2013, January 11). Retrieved from Want Better Facebook Engagement? Stop What You’re Doing: http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/want-better-facebook-engagement-stop-what-youre-doing/

Wishpond. (n.d.). Retrieved July 30, 2014, from How to run a Facebook Contest or Facebook Sweepstakes [Image]: http://corp.wishpond.com/how-to-run-a-facebook-contest/

 

 

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Smartphone Tracking: Are You In Or Are You Out?

Smartphone Tracking: Are You In Or Are You Out?

 

Lifehacker’s Alan Henry provides a breakdown of the smartphone information collected by many major stores in the U.S. and abroad, “Most stores use your phone’s MAC address to identify you, and records when you enter and leave a store, where you go inside the store, and how long you pause to inspect specific products, aisles, and counters. Combined with video surveillance, those stores also collect your gender and demographics (ethnicity/general age/anything that can be determined visually), differentiate children from adults, note specific products you looked at and how long you looked at them, and so on” (Henry, 2013).

I believe advertisers should be allowed to target a smartphone’s location as long as the smartphone user has been notified of the potential of tracking and they have been given the option to opt-in or opt-out, if they so desire. The user should also be provided the specifics of how their information will be used, prior to opt-in/out options. The last thing a business would want is a bunch of angry customers boycotting their store over tracking their information without their consent, so it would be wise that the companies, who do track smartphone’s, give the consumer a choice to opt in/out.

Smartphone tracking

If companies can get the opt-in, the information could be invaluable. “As consumer behaviors evolve in tandem with emerging mobile capabilities, businesses that don’t monitor and track these behaviors risk being left behind” (Crum, 2010). Companies can utilize smartphone tracking information to create a more complete profile of their target demographic, build a better paid search ad, improve loyalty programs, set up in-store layouts and product end caps to attract more customers, analyze the potential for success when choosing a new store location, choose the best selling products to keep in stock, generate the most effective coupon offerings, and evaluate the potential consumer interest in new product offerings.

Sen. Charles Schumer has been a very vocal advocate when it comes to stricter laws regarding consumer protection and privacy. “A new type of in-store marketing using the signal from your smartphone will now come with a warning, Sen. Charles Schumer announced Tuesday. The senator told The Associated Press on Tuesday that eight of the 10 leading location analytics companies have agreed to a new code of conduct. It includes signs posted in stores to alert shoppers that tracking is being done and instructions on how to opt out” (CBS New York, 2013).

Consumer smartphone users do receive some benefits by providing their tracking information: they receive more relevant search results based on their locations, they receive better coupon and loyalty offers, and the receive help in locating sales and bargains. Some companies can even send instant SMS or MMS messages containing instantly redeemable in-store coupon/code offers.

Can you provide any other examples of the benefits the consumer receives when their smartphone information is tracked?

Gloria

References

CBS New York. (2013, October 22). Retrieved from Schumer: Deal To Protect ‘Consumer Privacy’ Lets Shoppers Opt Out Of Wireless Tracking: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/10/22/schumer-deal-to-protect-consumer-privacy-lets-shoppers-opt-out-of-wireless-tracking/

Crum, C. (2010). Mobile Marketing. Indianapolis, Indiana, USA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Deepak. (2011, October 29). Grabi. [Image]. Retrieved from How to Stop your Smartphone from Constantly Tracking your Location: http://www.grabi.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/smartphonelocationtracking.jpg

Henry, A. (2013, July 19). Life Hacker. Retrieved from How Retail Stores Track You Using Your Smartphone (and How to Stop It): http://lifehacker.com/how-retail-stores-track-you-using-your-smartphone-and-827512308

The Desk of Brian. (2011, April 01). [Image]. Retrieved from Smartphone tracking: http://deskofbrian.com/2011/04/privacy-risks-of-smartphone-photos-a-must-watch-video-for-parents/smartphone-tracking/

Blogging: The Power of Influence

 Blogging: The Power of Influence

Blogging is one of the best sources of word-of-mouth information for consumers and are often ran by the most influential people in a specified field. Blogging offers one of the most inexpensive online social media marketing tools that reaches over 80% of online consumers and can easily fit into any business marketing budget, no matter how big or small.

 Influence Business to Business

According to Social Media Business to Business, company blogs generate 61% business leads over those companies who do not have a blog. The reason is, consumers will often visit a blog of someone they trust in order to gain a more in-depth look at the products and/or services a business offers. Blogs offer a variety of information about products and services that a company offers, with most bloggers sharing both positive and negative insights. “Blogs are the single most important inbound marketing tool. When asked to rank the importance of the services they use, 25% of users rated their company blog as critical to their business, while a further 56% considered them either important (34%) or useful (22%) for a total of 81%” (Pick).

SEO
With so many businesses using social media to compete for consumers, having a powerful online presence is essential. Blogging is a great tool for building search engine optimization. With the recent rollout of the new Google Hummingbird semantic based search engine program, updating content and adding relevant tags are important in pushing businesses to the top of search engines but so is the frequency of updates.

This is where blogging can play a key role in increasing a company’s SEO. A Blog draws more organic search than does referral traffic. “As technology has evolved, Google (and other search engines) are using advanced formulas that determine how frequently you post and update your website in addition to the origination and quality of the content you post. Where you rank in search engines matter. One of the most effective ways to increase your search engine rankings is to add unique, high quality content on a regular basis—to blog” (Beachum, 2013).

Influence on Consumers

Word-of-mouth influence matters when it comes to making a purchase decision. “According to research by Nielsen, 92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing. The same study found that less than half of all customers consider traditional paid advertising to be credible—that’s a decrease of more than 20 percent since 2009!” (Ambassador, 2013).

So, what does influence have to do with blogging? Well, according to Patricia Redsicker, writer for Social Media Examiner, blogs are now the third most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchases, behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%). Additionally, “consumers said that blogs rank higher than Twitter for shaping their opinions and higher than Facebook for motivating purchasing decisions” (Redsicker, 2013). When it comes to making purchasing decisions, consumers prefer blog recommendations over the two largest social media sites: Facebook and Twitter.

Women seem to be the most influenced by blogs and, since women account for 90% of the purchasing decisions in the household, blogs should be considered a major part of a company’s marketing strategy. “Among BlogHer network respondents that are active users of each of the following media sources, 98% trust the information they receive from blogs, ahead of Facebook (86%), Twitter (85%), and Pinterest (85%). Among general population respondents, blogs and Pinterest (both at 85%) are the most trusted, with Twitter (73%) and Facebook (67%) trailing” (Marketing Charts, 2012).

Summing it Up

Blogs are a must have for any business. Blogs have a greater influence on purchasing decisions than do the top social media sites. Blogging reaches at least 80% of Internet users, can increase B2B leads by 61%, offers an easy and affordable way to increase SEO, and 98% of those accountable for making purchasing decisions within a typical household, women, trust what they read on blogs. With blogging having so much to offer, a business would be insane not to focus more effort on blogging than other social media sources.

Gloria

References

Ambassador. (2013, July). Retrieved from 6 Amazing Stats That Prove Word-of-Mouth Marketing Is Here to Stay: http://blog.getambassador.com/6-amazing-stats-that-prove-word-of-mouth-marketing-is-here-to-stay/

Beachum, N. (2013, April 06). Social Media Today. Retrieved from Blogging is More Important Today than Ever Before: http://socialmediatoday.com/nicolebeachum/1338806/blogging-more-important-today-ever

Cohen, J. (2012, March 29). Social Media B2B. Retrieved from Generate More Leads with B2B Social Media: http://socialmediab2b.com/2012/03/b2b-social-media-leads-infographic/?utm_source=Webbiquity

Google Images. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2013, from Purchase Inflencers: http://bit.ly/1781Gfd

Marketing Charts. (2012, March 01). Retrieved from Frequency of Blogging Makes a Difference for Customer Acquisition: http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/frequency-of-blogging-makes-a-difference-for-customer-acquisition-21276/

Pick, T. (n.d.). Jeff Bullas. Retrieved November 06, 2013, from 72 Fascinating Social Media Marketing Facts and Statistics for 2012: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/07/24/72-fascinating-social-media-marketing-facts-and-statistics-for-2012/

Redsicker, P. (2013, March 06). Social Media Examiner. Retrieved from Blogs Outrank Social Networks for Consumer Influence: New Research: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/blogs-outrank-social-networks-for-consumer-influence-new-research/

Bone Conduction-The future of marketing?

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Both Daily Finance and Mashable ran recent articles regarding advertising agency, BBDO’s, bone conduction technology that allows vibrations from train windows to transmit advertisements directly into your brain.

“Confused? Well, allow us to explain: Ever notice how your voice sounds a little odd when you’re listening to it on a recording? That’s because when you talk normally, you’re not just hearing the sound of your voice coming in through your ears — you can also hear sound vibrating through your skull, which distorts the sound of your voice. By contrast, when you’re listening to a recording of your voice, you get none of that skull vibration distortion, so you hear what you really sound like to the rest of the world. Well, someone at BBDO apparently decided that if you can hear noises through your skull, then you should hear ads through your skull” (Brownell, 2013).

Check out The Talking Window YouTube video:

As a marketing professional, I am excited about the potential of the technology, and its use, on numerous levels. The technology could eventually be used in personal vehicles and other modes of transportation as a means of entertainment for long road trips. This bone conduction technology could be used in conjunction with vibrating headsets and placed about retail locations to provide information on products and services. The technology could also be implemented by music bands through speaker sound waves and used at concerts to help make the music clearer. The list goes on and on.

However, with all new technological discoveries, there are still many questions to be explored such as privacy issues, public acceptance, and the long term effects of the technology on brain function. “We can see why the concept might intrigue advertisers, but consumers seem skeptical. A YouTube video showcasing the technology already has more than a quarter-million views, but the reviews were overwhelmingly negative: 70 percent of voters gave the video a thumbs-down, and commenters are calling the system an invasion of privacy” (Brownell, 2013).

How does a marketer get past public skepticism? With Google Glass, of course!

ImageAccording to Wired, Google Glass has filed documents with the FCC that they plan to use bone conduction technology, in place of traditional speakers, to transmit sounds to the wearer (Warr, 2013).

Additionally, the technology is being sold by Cynaps as a Bluetooth wireless hat headset transmitter that you wear whenever you desire hands free communication. Check out the Cynaps here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cynaps-get-yours-now-at-www-maxvirtual-com

References:

BBDO. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bbdo.com/#!&pageid=0&subsection=2&itemid=765

Brownell, M. (2013, July 9). Daily Finance. Retrieved from Vibrating Train Windows Can Now Transmit Ads Straight Into Your Skull: http://www.dailyfinance.com/on/vibrating-train-windows-transmit-ads-into-skull/

Indiegogo. (n.d.). [Photograph]. Retrieved from Cynaps: Get yours now at http://www.maxvirtual.com!:http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cynaps-get-yours-now-at-www-maxvirtual-com

Noris100. (2013, June 20). YouTube. Retrieved from The Talking Window: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azwL5eoE5aI&feature=youtu.be

Ramachandran, V. (2013, July 5). Mashable. Retrieved from Vibrating Train Windows Transmit Ads Directly Into Your Head:http://mashable.com/2013/07/04/vibrating-train-window-ads/?

Warr, P. (2013, February 03). Mashable. Retrieved from Google Glass to use bone vibration instead of traditional headphones: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-02/04/google-glass-bone-vibration

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