Social marketing platform Roost set out to determine what types of small and mid-sized businesses rule the roost in terms of growing their social audience and remaining active in marketing.
Roost’s findings include:
- Small and mid-sized businesses involved in music, entertainment, and luxury goods had the most reach.
- The most active small and mid-sized businesses were in the medical and health industries.
- The most efficient “signal-to-noise” ratios were posted by companies in the music and broadcast media sectors.
Medical practices were the most confounding, coming in dead last out of 28 industries analyzed by Roost in terms of reach, but topping the activity list.
Other industries with similarly large gaps included:
- Music, number one, 26th in activity;
- Consumer electronics, number five versus 23, respectively;
- Hotel and hospitality, six versus 25;
- Commercial real estate, 25 versus seven;
- Fitness, 26 versus five; and
- Insurance, 27 and eight.
The keyword used to be the exclusive province of Google, and one of the things that may ensure Google doesn’t become completely overshadowed by Facebook. But then Twitter’s trending topics began to eat into that monopoly.
Now Facebook may show you stories from multiple people about the same topic. How does the social network do it? How do they prevent you from seeing a bunch of stories about dogs or bananas?
It turns out, one of Facebook’s engineers revealed the secret sauce on Quora. But he did so in quite opaque, academic language, so I’m going to break it down into real-people-speak (for myself and you).
Ken Deeter explains:
I was the lead engineer on this project so I’ll give this a shot. Without going into too much secret sauce…
1. We build language models based on publicly available corpora for our entity extraction. Based on this data we can extract topics at various levels of confidence. To answer your question, yes, it can figure out terms like “arrested development” out of normal text. It can also disambiguate between words like “Apple” the fruit, and “Apple” the computer company.
2. We have a second level of infrastructure that tries to use other data to increase accuracy. Generally you can think of this adding more context into the equation, whereas the first level only takes into account the text of a message.
3. We have some heuristics to decide to show a particular cluster. Generally this is a combination of trying to filter out noise from the extraction system, and deciding when something is newsworthy enough to show. Two of your friends talking about bananas, for example, is pretty uninteresting.
Like I said, we’re going to have to break that down.
Facebook’s Language Models
Facebook probably also uses lists of the names of pages with many likes (including place and community pages).
Perhaps the company dips into other publicly available lists of hot topics like Google and Twitter trends or the Yahoo Buzz Index.
The social network, however, has all kinds of data on what people on Facebook are sharing, what pages they’re commenting on and so on.
So even if the company uses only internal resources, there’s a huge amount of data on what the most popular topics are at any one time.
Context Improves Keyword Groupings
What this reminds me of is Google’s related keywords. One of the things that goes into Google’s rankings is whether you use ancillary words and phrases surrounding the main keyword.
For example, for consideration of whether you should rank for “camping gear,” do you talk about things like tents, boots, hiking, fires, food, and water purification? It could work like that on Facebook, which might also use a social context.
I suspect from Facebook advertising’s topic targeting that the company has quantified the affinities between various precise interests. In other words, Facebook knows that if you like the band Coldplay, there’s a 35 percent chance you also like Death Cab For Cutie.
This is just an example, and probably the wrong value. But if Facebook wonders whether you’re writing about a politician and you have many politically-oriented likes in your profile, that would be a context that would increase confidence that you’re talking about that keyword.
Heuristics, Important Topics and Salience
I just love to use the word salience whenever I can. I once studied attention deficit disorder, and in this mental condition the brain has trouble determining what is most salient (important or high priority).
If you have a low signal to noise ratio, cognitively, you can’t focus on something (signal) and ignore all the other stuff going on at the time (noise).
So Facebook is using some rules of thumb (heuristics) to arrive at whether a topic is important enough and talked about enough to show in the news feed.
The example he gives is something mundane (bananas — who cares?) and a small amount of conversation (two people).
However, we must assume that if 10,000 people talk about bananas and Google News is carrying a story about a problem with bananas, it’s an important topic and we should show posts around that keyword.
Will Facebook Kill Google With This?
The fact that Facebook has developed algorithms around keywords is a big problem for Google. As soon as Facebook includes keywords as an option in Facebook advertising, Google AdWords (Google’s primary revenue source) becomes much less important.
AdWords may always have a leg up since it analyzes keywords for all websites, but why shouldn’t Facebook move this direction? Why shouldn’t the social network make its search functionality as good as Google’s?
Google has not proven they can successfully imitate Facebook’s strengths, but Facebook may be showing they can duplicate Google’s.
Brian Carter is the author of The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money on Facebook. He’s also speaking at Socialize West this Thursday.
So you think you have Facebook all figured out. You have your fan page with a couple custom tabs set up, you've started an ad campaign and every one of your products on your site has the "like" button installed (which increases revenue). Easy peasy, this Facebook stuff is a cinch! Well you're right, it all is pretty easy to implement, but what else could you be doing? What other ways can you utilize Facebook (and its 500 million active users) to help market your company?
These four tactics we're talking about today aren't all new necessarily, but they're fairly new to me. Which got me thinking, if I didn't know about these (or why they were so great for inbound marketing) how many other people also don't know. I'm not trying to claim that if I don't know about it, no one does, because clearly there are people already using them. But the question is... are you? If not, could or should you be? Let's dig right in and take a look at these four Facebook marketing tactics you might not know about (but now you will).
1. Facebook Insights For Your Website
Yes, you read that right. Now, I'm sure you have all seen Insights for your fan pages, but did you know that you could get Facebook Insights for your website? This is a great way to get information about content people are sharing from your site, user demographics, likes and other goodies. We recently set this up and were quite surprised at how much data you could get. Here's a quick blurb straight from Facebook:Facebook Insights for Domains offers a consolidated view of key metrics for any website, even those that have not implemented Facebook Platform. For example, if a user links to your site in their Facebook status message, that data is included in the analytics for your domain. You can access sharing metrics and demographic information per domain and per URL so you can optimize your content for sharing and better tailor your content to your audience.
First off, it's super easy to set up. Go to http://www.facebook.com/insights/ and click the green "Insights for your Website" button in the upper right hand corner. You'll get a pop up box like the one below, then you just simply add the meta tag inside the
Once you have this in place, the next time you go to the Insights page, you'll not only see your fan pages, but you'll also see your website show up as an option. Below are a couple views of the data Facebook gives you about your site.
This view shows the organic shares of our content by days
This view shows the demographics on people who have liked our content. WHOA!
- Official Insights page on Facebook
- How To Activate Facebook Insights for Your Website from HubSpot
- Facebook Launches “Insights For Your Domain” from All Facebook
2. Facebook Comments
I'll be honest here, I was a big skeptical about why anyone would want to use Facebook comments... that is, until I saw it in action. Let me just walk you through my reaction the first time I posted a comment on TechCrunch which now uses Facebook comments.
1. This is cool, it looks like my comment will get posted to Facebook. Hmm, I wonder what that means really?
2. Cool! It means my comment showed up on my wall.
3. But wait... what? It also showed up in my friend's feed! This is what my boss, Jamie saw in his feed:
4. Within minutes, my boss and husband replied to my comment on Facebook. But not only did their replies show up on Facebook, they also showed up in the TechCrunch post. Whoa... imagine the possibilities!
What makes Facebook comments so great:
- Your comments get read by a lot more people.
Neither my boss or husband would have ever read that simple comment I made on TechCrunch. But because it showed up on Facebook, they saw it and replied right then and there. TechCrunch ended up with three comments which they would have only gotten one in a different commenting system. Hello UGC!
- Cuts out a lot of spam!
Facebook does all the work of figuring out if a real person is commenting or not. The person has to be logged in to Facebook in order to comment, so you don't get anonymous users. Obviously there are some drawbacks to this since not everyone has an account (the horror!), but you could offer multiple ways to comment like TechCrunch does.
- Simple comment moderation
Facebook makes moderation pretty darn easy. You have quick access to edit, ban and subscribe yourself to certain feeds.
- Facebook Rolls Out Overhauled Comments System (Try Them Now On TechCrunch)
- Why and how to use Facebook Comments on your blog from Raven
3. Local Business Listings
If you're a small business owner or local business, you may have already noticed these random Facebook pages showing up for your company. These are pages automatically created by Facebook. Initially I was pretty annoyed by these, but then realized you could utilize them for your advantage. Let's take a look at an example of a bar in NYC.
Run a search for "billy marks west" and you'll see one of these pages in the SERPs
Ok so these pages can rank for your branded name, which could help you take over a SERP for your name. The crazy part though, is that Facebook lets anyone (yes... anyone) edit these pages.
Sure it's a little crazy that the edit button is open to everyone, but if you keep it on your radar and remember to check the page often, you can ensure the information doesn't get changed incorrectly.
Facebook is trying to get updated information about all types of locations, including cities. For example, when I went to the New York, New York Facebook City page, I got a pop-up asking me to edit it.
This page shows 3 of my friends have checked in at the MoMA
Which led me to the "community edit" page that asks me to add detail about New York City. Whoa... so I can add information about New York? Again, imagine the possibilities.
Of course, this could also lead to people adding incorrect information, trolling your company and many other negative things. But if you keep your local page up-to-date and keep track of the edits, you have yet another page in your marketing arsenal!
Anyone have a good post about this I could link to? :)
I'm going to be honest here, I sometimes just like to yell out "Facepile!" It's just a fun word to say. :) Ok, ok I'll get back on the subject at hand. You may not know the name for it, but I'm sure you've all seen something the image below before, right? Facepile is the plugin that displays photos of your friends (as long as you're logged into Facebook) who like the particular website you're on.
But have you thought about taking this one step further and adding Facepile to a conversion page? Just how much do you think your conversions could increase if users saw their friends smiling faces right before they signed up for or purchased something? Foursquare does a great job of this if you go to one of their location pages not logged in.
I went out looking for other great conversion pages that use Facepile and I ran across the MailChimp sign up page. Sadly there's a big huge "white space" area which could probably benefit from adding this feature. Here's a (horrible) mock-up of what it might look like if they added Facepile to that bare area.
- Official Facebook Facepile developer page
- If you can find other great information about using Facepile, please let me know and I'll link to it
Now there you have it. Four Facebook marketing tactics you might not know about. For me it's always fun to find these "hidden" gems, especially when there right there staring you in the face. What other tactics do you use that may not be very well known?
This post was originally a presentation I did for our meetup in NYC earlier this month. Feel free to check it out on Slideshare:
Rand - Exploring the New Opportunity in Google's Social Search Features
Rhea - Supplemental Hell - How to Fix "New" Indexing Issues
Avi - Google Instant – For Keyword Research, Content Generation, and Competitive Analysis
heavy stuff. companies don't need you to want a relationship to have one...
Most companies approach the problem of finding customers on social sites through the slow, arduous and expensive process of participating themselves. On Facebook, for example, businesses can gain access to the profiles of anyone who clicks the “Like” button on the company’s business site (depending on each customer’s privacy settings). With the right pitch, offer or game, companies can gradually gain an enhanced understanding of a subset of their social customer base.
With new matching technology that’s now available, the process is faster and more comprehensive. For example, matching technology uses artificial intelligence to figure out whether a given “John Smith” in a company’s customer database is the same individual as a particular John Smith on Facebook. The algorithms that accomplish this are extremely sophisticated, and they work. In fact, matching technology has been successfully used by law enforcement agencies to locate criminals.
If a company has one or two key pieces of information about its customers — e-mail address is often the most important — that company can accurately identify them on a social site and extract a substantial amount of data, including both profile data and transactional data that can reveal relationships important for marketing purposes. (Again, the amount of data available for any given customer depends on that customer’s personal privacy settings.)
We are excited to introduce major improvements to Pages. These new features will help you manage communication, express yourself, and increase engagement.
Many people have asked for better ways to keep up with activity on their Page. We are introducing a set of features to help manage your Page communication. Starting today, you can navigate and interact with other areas of Facebook as your Page. This means you can choose to receive notifications about fan activity, Like and comment on other Pages as your Page, and get your own News Feed where you can engage with the latest and most important news from other Pages you like.
More Opportunities for Expression
We are introducing new opportunities for Pages to share. We recently launched a new Profile design, to give users more ways to tell their stories with people they care about. Now, Pages will benefit from many of the same enhancements. Starting today, you can feature photos of your Page’s most recent experiences at the top of your Page. You can highlight other Pages you are connected with as well as the people who are managing your Page.
Finally, we are very excited to announce some new features to make your Page even more engaging for users. The “Everyone” filter on the Wall provides a new way for people to see the most interesting posts first. We’ve also created a place for people to discover the friends and interests they have common with your Page.
We plan to develop even more features and improvements for Pages over the course of the coming months.
This posts covers a new Edelman Digital Insights package we're releasing today on "Attentionomics." You can find the deck below and on Slideshare.
The essence of this deck is that attention is linked with economic value creation. However, with infinite content options (space) yet finite attention (time) and personalized social algorithms curating it all for us, it's going to be increasingly challenging to stand out.
Let's consider Twitter, for example. They are seeing a staggering 110 million tweets per day. And the volume is growing. But therein lies the challenge. Each tweet decays almost as soon as it is released. Some 92% of all retweets (and 97% of replies) are within the first 60 minutes according to Sysomos.
The situation in some ways is worse on Facebook where a highly personalized algorithm called EdgeRank curates our feed based on personal affinities, content formats and timeliness. There's not just one Facebook but 500M Facebooks. And, according to Vitrue, the majority of us participate at top and bottom of the hour. This means that anything you post to your Facebook page needs to create a social surge well before then.
So how do you make this work in your favor? Simple, businesses must obey the laws of attentionomics (e.g.) time and space. In the deck above you will find two sets of solutions.
The first set of solutions covers space. It explains how to scale their surface area via digital embassies by...
- Hand-crafting your content for each embassy
- Activating employees as thought leaders
- Tightly integrating owned and social assetsThe second section covers time and how to make it your ally through "dayparted engagement." The action steps here include:
- Practicing mindfulness with bifocal awareness (different than, but related to monitoring)
- Optimizing for the best times to engage
- Testing, planning and measuringIf you're an Edelman client you will also get access to specific tools and techniques, but I will share one with you today. Check out Timely, a brand new tool from Flowtown that helps you optimize your tweets and track their performance. It's a good start and they are planning to add some Pro services soon that I hope will elevate this into a must-use tool.
As always, we are eager to hear your feedback on this important topic.
Facebook has redesigned its Page creation flow to be more intuitive and user friendly. The different Page types are represented with images that when clicked reveal fields for required information and a drop-down menu of specific Page categories.
The redesign should reduce the likelihood of new admins miscategorizing their Pages — a costly mistake that confuses potential fans and can’t be undone without deleting the Page. Below we include a guide for admins with tips on selecting a category.
The old design lumped all Pages into either local business; brand product or organization; artist, band or public figure; or community. The new “Create a Page” breaks Pages up into the following types:
- Local business or place of interest: Things with a physical address
- Company, organization, or institution: Education providers, corporations, and general categories
- Brand or product: Websites and anything you can buy
- Artist, band, or public figure:: Professions
- Entertainment: Sports, media or content and the entities that organize them
- Cause or Topic: Community Pages for things no one actually owns
There is some overlap between categories. Local business includes categories from across several of the other types, but admins have to include a street address and phone number to choose this type.
The visual representations and more distinct categories should ease admins through what can be a stressful process.
Why Page Categories are Important
A Page’s category determines what fields on the Info tab users see, as well as what section of a user’s Profile it will appear in when Liked. Certain categories, such as people, sports teams, athletes, and musicians have significantly more prominent placement than categories like games and activities. Some categories, including local business, website, organization, company appear at the very bottom of the profile in the Other Pages section that require an extra click to be revealed.
To increase the chances of their Page being discovered, admins should choose the most prominent category that accurately describes them. For instance, a baseball team and its associated business departments should designate itself as a sports team rather than an organization because sports teams are more prominent in the profile.
Page categories also appear in hover cards and news feed posts to inform unfamiliar users of what a Page is. The more specific yet accurate a Page’s categorization, the easier for users to recognize it as something they want to Like.
JetBlue has announced a new program with Facebook Places that lets customers earn rewards when they use the service to check in at airports.
Members of JetBlue’s TrueBlue rewards platform can register on the company’s Facebook Page. Registered users will then receive 25 TrueBlue points every time they check in to an official JetBlue airport location on Facebook Places. The first 100 customers to check in at Boston’s Logan International, Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International, Long Beach, New York’s John F. Kennedy International or Orlando International airports will receive 100 points. Those who accumulate 5,000 or more points can trade them in for free flights.
JetBlue is the latest to attach a rewards program to Facebook Places. Over the weekend, Sears Outlet, a unit of Sears, ran a promotion that awarded 10,000 Shop Your Way Rewards points to anyone who used Facebook Places to check in at one of its outlet stores and then made a purchase.
Though marketers have been running loyalty programs for ages, a gamification overlay adds another reason — aside from a desire to earn points — for consumers to actually use the programs. Given Facebook’s huge consumer base, the average shopper is more likely to have Facebook on his or her smartphone than a competing location-based service like Foursquare or Gowalla.
What do you think? Would you be more likely to participate in these loyalty programs now?
David Hartstein is a partner at JG Visual, an Internet strategy company that works with organizations to develop and implement their online presence. You can connect with David on the JG Visual Facebook Page.
You’re a small business owner and you’ve decided to create a Facebook () Page for your company. Or you’re an employee in an organization and, since you are the only one who “gets” social media, you’ve been charged with running a Facebook Page.
You set it up and make it look nice. You put up some photos and videos that you think represent the organization well. You e-mail a bunch of your friends and the page has almost 100 “Likes.” But one day, your boss comes in and asks you the question that you have been dreading: “Is this Facebook Page helping us or just eating away most of your time?”
Enter Facebook Insights, a powerful analytical tool that can help any organization evaluate the effectiveness of its Facebook presence. But, for a small business where time is perhaps the most important (and often rarest) resource, Facebook Insights can help you evaluate whether you’re investing or wasting your time.
If your business is using Facebook as a part of its inbound marketing strategy, then it is likely that a goal of your marketing team is to expand your reach by attracting more people to like your Facebook page. For a long time marketers have faced a challenge in inviting new users through Facebook. While they have been encouraging people to visit their Facebook Fan Pages, it hasn't been easy to do the reverse--get email addresses into Facebook and send invitations through Facebook's messaging system.
This process has now changed. This week, Facebook has enabled business page administrators to import email addresses into Facebook to invite people to like their page. Check out the rest of this post for a walkthrough of these process!
Step 1: Go to your Facebook Business Page and click "Edit Page"
Step 2: Click on "Marketing" and then select "Tell your Fans."
Step 3: Upload your email list and invite fans.
Have you used this feature to tell more people about your Facebook page?