As noted in 21 (of the) Best Facebook Guides, Tools and Rants of 2012 So Far a few months back, Facebook remains the 800-pound gorilla of the social networking world. It’s now exceeded one billion users, and as noted below, 80% of all businesses maintain an active Facebook presence.
But its incessant changes, moves to charge brands and celebrities for exposure they’ve become accustomed to getting for free, and possibly even (gasp!) aging demographic may be cause for concern.
Will Facebook lose ground to Google+? Is it becoming uncool? Or if not—how have recent changes in Facebook’s layout changed best practices for marketers? what are the secrets to Facebook advertising success?
Find the answers to these questions and more here in two dozen of the best Facebook guides, tips, stats, facts, raves and rants of 2012.
Facebook Tips and Guides
The Simple Science of Facebook Engagement by MyBeak Social Media
Laura-Lee Walker shares an infographic that reveals the “formula to follow” for greater engagement on Facebook. Among the key findings: “Include images with posts. This increases the likelihood that fans will engage with your fan page (39 percent higher than average).” The infographic also shows the best (and worst) times to post, contest ideas, “winning words” to include in updates and more.
SEO for Facebook – New Video Revealed by Search Engine Journal
Adria Saracino points readers to a video produced by Facebook that provides business owners and marketers with tips on how to optimize their Facebook pages for search engines. She writes that “The video takes users step-by-step through a number of processes for building an optimized Facebook page with a good name and quality, relevant content.”
Mustaza Mustafa presents a richly illustrated, step-by-step process for using the CertifiedSeller app to add a Twitter profile link to your tab on Facebook timeline. Commenters note that Facebook could certainly do something to make this process easier, but the method here does work.
Nine Ways To Improve Your Facebook Engagement and ROI by MENGonline
David Lund details nine tactics for improving marketing effectiveness on Facebook, such as “Use Facebook to communicate your new news and introduce new products. Your followers are more interested than most consumers in news about your products and brand. They will likely be early adopters and advocates that can help build word of mouth BUZZ about your new products.” Though targeted at consumer marketers, many of the tips apply to b2b marketing as well.
Understanding the 6 Facebook Post Types by Practical eCommerce
***** 5 STARS
Paul Chaney explains in detail the six types of posts that can be added to a Facebook page along with “reasons why you would use them and best practices for each post type” and tips for the best use of each post type, for example on video posts, “Don’t put logos in the video. Harvard researchers found that the more prominent or intrusive the logo, the more likely viewers are to stop watching, even if they know and like the brand.”
How to Do a Facebook Personal Profile Security Audit by Seriously Social
Ian Anderson Gray shows how to do an in-depth personal security audit on Facebook, covering everything from password updates and recognized devices to adding a “do not track” plugin and navigating Facebook’s privacy settings. While this process is for personal profiles, Ian notes “if you do manage a Facebook page, make sure all your admins run a security audit on their personal profiles each month. There are serious issues here, because your page could be compromised by the security settings of one of your page’s administrators.”
Jonathan Greene provides a detailed, illustrated five-step process for using Facebook Insights to identify patterns and trends that can make your social media marketing much more effective, or as he puts it, “Filtering your posts by certain KPIs might reveal very rewarding patterns in engagement and syndication, which could be the push you need to take your social campaigns to the next level.”
13 ways to boost your Facebook Page reach by Socialbrite
Arguing that “Marketers who are whining about (Facebook forcing people to pay to have their page updates reach their Facebook fans) need to put down the tissues and realize that promoted posts are simply one option among many to amplify reach,” John Haydon delves into the inner workings of Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm and offers 13 recommendations for reaching fans without writing a check, including posting awesome content (based on thorough analysis of past performance) and using your blog, events and webinars to increase visibility.
5 Successful Facebook Marketing Campaigns – Case Studies by jeffbullas.com
It’s easy to generate tremendous traffic and buzz on Facebook if you’re a major brand advertiser with buckets of money to spend, but what about small businesses with much more limited means? Jeff Bullas very helpfully here offers small to midsized business marketers some proven tactics for Facebook marketing success and then shares five case studies from small firms that have made a splash on the giant social network with cleverness and creativity, on a budget.
Stop Looking at Facebook’s Insights by Inkling Media
Ken Mueller makes a compelling case for, well, not quite ignoring Facebook’s Insights, but at least putting those numbers in proper perspective. Noting that “I honestly put very little weight in Facebook insights. They change how things are measured on a regular basis, and if you spend any time poring over the numbers, you know they clearly don’t add up. I wish they did, but they don’t,” he outlines five reasons not to obsess over these metrics—and what to focus on instead.
Facebook Promoted Posts and Other Recent Updates of 2012 by Vertical Measures
Sarah Schager shares updates on nine post-Timeline Facebook changes, including promoted posts (only for brands with at least 400 fans), changes to how to links are handled within status updates, events, and the inclusion of mobile views in the reach metric (finally).
Facebook Simplifies Ad Creation With Redesigned Self-Serve Tool by Sprout Social
Jennifer Beese explains Facebook’s recent changes to its self-service ad creation tool and notes “Once you’ve chosen what you’d like to advertise and listed your main objective, Facebook will recommend a combination of traditional sidebar ads and Sponsored Stories. Additionally, you’ll receive a preview of how our Sponsored Stories will appear in people’s’ News Feeds.”
12 Latest Facebook Page Features You Might Have Missed by Social @ Blogging Tracker
The delightful Wong Ching Ya details a dozen of Facebook’s relatively new features, including onsite notification (which provides page administrators with “instant page notifications in your profile’s homepage for new posts, fan messages, comments or whenever someone liked your page posts”), target page posts, and Facebook custom audiences (“Brand pages can now target their offline audiences on Facebook through relevant ads by uploading info such as email addresses, phone numbers or Facebook user IDs”).
You’ve probably read about the dismal click-through rates for Facebook ads, but Dan Slagen here offers guidance on beating the averages through high relevance and a compelling call to action, then presents examples of brands generating strong performance with Facebook advertising.
Facebook Upgrades Small Business Site by MediaPost
Noting that small business advertisers are vital to Facebook (and Facebook is an important marketing platform for many small businesses), Mark Walsh reports on efforts by Facebook to help small businesses create more effective ads and generally use the social network more effectively, including tips like: “Ensure you know people are coming to your business because they found you on Facebook: whisper codes, unique Facebook links to your site, friend referrals, exclusive Facebook discounts. Also, put your Facebook URL on more of your in-store materials—receipts, napkins, brochures, etc., to increase fanning of your Page.”
15 Tips For A Successful Facebook Ads Program by MediaWhiz
Adam Riff shares 15 “secrets” to optimize Facebook advertising, such as rotating ads frequently to combat banner blindness, tracking metrics beyond basic “likes,” testing occupational targeting, and leveraging Facebook data to make smarter media buys through other channels (“The great thing about Facebook data is that it can give you insights about your consumer base that you might not have otherwise known”).
Noting that “Facebook seems to be launching a new form of advertising—or some new feature within the advertising—every day,” Amanda Sibley details the features and usage of Facebook’s five forms of on-page advertising in this thorough and helpfully illustrated post.
Facebook 2012 Facts and Figures for Small Business Success by MyBeak Social Media
Laura-Lee Walker (again) shares a huge collection of Facebook facts in this infographic, such as that 58% of Facebook’s one billion+ users visit the site daily; the average Facebook visits lasts 20 minutes; 80% of businesses are active on Facebook; the two most popular apps are the Blackberry Smartphones App and Texas Holdem Poker; and much, much more.
Frequent best-of writer Laurie Sullivan reports on Facebook’s efforts to make it simple for small businesses to connect with their customers on Facebook, noting “About one-third of the 100,000 small businesses that have published Offers are new Facebook advertisers, and about 30% are claimed on mobile devices,” and that “Facebook (now) supports more than 13 million small and local business pages.”
Facebook Rants and Raves
Is Google Unstoppable? by MediaPost
John Capone details advertising statistics and projections that suggest, over the next couple of years, in terms of advertising revenue, “Google will begin to leave Facebook and the rest (of the major ad sellers) in the dust.” He describes Google as The Predator of the online advertising world, while Facebook is more like Barney the purple dinosaur.
5 reasons your brand doesn’t need Facebook by iMedia Connection
Peter Platt sets out to dispel five “myths” of Facebook marketing, among them that Facebook is an engagement platform for brands: “A couple of years back, we wanted to ‘like’ brands so we could see what their offers were. But all too often, brands became that annoying friend who posted too much, and we quickly learned to hide or unfriend those brands. Brands also started building out complex Facebook platforms with lots of functionality and engagement tools, but the reality is that the news feed is the core of Facebook activity. Complex portals garner some interest, but at the end of the day, the news feed is where most of the users are.”
Kyle Spencer advises investors that although Mark Zuckerberg may have discovered he really does need to listen to the market, there are five things to keep in mind before diving into this stock, such as that the kids are somewhere else: “There was a time when Facebook was cool. Not anymore. 65% of Facebook users are 35 and older, and adults are the fastest growing demographic…Why is it important where teens hang out? Because parents follow their kids around on the Internet. Teens are the first adopters, the fastest social innovators and have more free time to surf the net. Jumping ship keeps teenagers one step ahead of mom and dad. Remember AOL? It’s an old folks home, now.”
Facebook is for Likes Not Leads by Brent Price Carnduff
Writing that “The truth is, most of those 900 million people (actually over a billion now) aren’t there to be marketed to. And frankly, Facebook doesn’t make it that easy for businesses to connect with them,” Brent Carnduff outlines what he believes Facebook can, and can’t, do for marketers and business owners.
Facebook: Are the Good Times Really Over for Good? by WindMill Networking
Chris Treadaway laments recent changes by Facebook that make it more expensive—much more expensive—for brands to reach fans with their content. He cites recent criticism of the social media network by Mark Cuban, George Takei, and a range of Facebook community managers, yet in the end concludes “It’s going to cost us more to do the things that we’ve gotten for low cost so far…but we won’t go anywhere.” Maybe.