I’m sitting down and starting to write this post on social media day.  I didn’t plan anything this year but as usual have speant most of the day posting to, training on and working with clients on social media.  It seems strange that social media needs a day, it’s not like we have to heighten awareness, almost a billion people are now on Facebook, Twitter seems to have hit the mainstream big time and Google+… is still there.

This week I look at one great update to G+, an artilce on how to display your real email on your Facebook profile again and when is the right time to #tag?

Google+ Events

I’m still a big fan of Google+, I may not be sure where it fits into the social media world yet but I really like the way it works and the content discovery in particular.  Recently Google integrated Google Places into the network, re-naming them Google Local.  This week they launched events.  In my mind this is a brilliant integration and one I know I will use for our KLCK Blogger network meetings in the future. Find out more about Google Events here.

Facebook emails – How to display your own

Without telling anyone Facebook quietly changed the email address that displays by defalt on your Timeline. Instead of displaying your email address of choice they now show your Facebook email.  Your Facebook email is an address you are automatically given by Facebook that when used sends the message directly to your Facebook message inbox.  The reasons behind this move are unclear, except of course to push the use of Facebook email.  Somewhat predictably this has annoyed a massive amount of users.  If you want to switch your display email to another address here’s how.

Twitter tip – Track more than your @mentions

If you are using Twitter for business it is important to keep track of what people are saying about you, your industry and your competitors.  For tracking your own mentions it’s not enough just to rely on people using the @mention to talk to you, you need to see what people are saying when the conversation isn’t directed at you.  Have a look at this simple way to do this using Twitter search.

How often should you post to Facebook?

This is one of those questions that is notoriously hard to answer.  It really depends on the amount of time you have and how much your customers want to hear from you.  However I was surprised to see the statistics in this report that suggest posting to Facebook just once a day is hugely more effective.  I personally tend to post twice a day but can see the advantage of posting just once.   Limiting yourself to this means that not only will you reach more people, avoid the risk of annoying your audience but it also means you will make sure that the one piece of info you do post will be the best you can find.  More on the study here.

How do you reward your Facebook audience?

We ask a lot from the people who choose to Like us on Facebook, we drive constantly for interaction , we ask them to share, comment or Like what wer’e doing.  In return we should always try to provide them with what they want, whether it is tutorials, information, fun or something completely different.  But how do we reward them for their loyalty?  Here are 50 examples of big brands thanking their Facebook fans.  It could inspire us all to think of a way to make our own audience feel valued.

Five editing tips for Bloggers

Do you just write your blog posts and click the publish button?  It really does pay to edit first, I have lost count of the times I’ve looked back on a post only to find it littered with typos or sentences that don’t make sense.  At the very least spell check and read it through before publishing, although this article suggests, quite rightly that we shouldn’t rely on spell check.  These editing tips take it a bit further, all great tips and all worth investigating.

To hash or not to hash?

Hash tags seem to have evolved over the last 12 months, I attribute it perhaps to a new wave of Twitter users. Once they were just about search, it was much easier to follow everyone talking about the same topic using a tag. They were popular for TV shows, conferences and Twitter chats.  Some people used them with humour, to denote the way they were feeling.  Recently I’ve noticed them being used in a slightly different way.  People are beginning to use two or three of them in each tweet to maybe define further what they are talking about.  I’m not convinced of the value of this, do people use these tags to search? Are these tags really that relvent? Recently I saw a tweet that had every other word tagged, this made it very hard to read.  I could just be being a grumpy old social media freak but I did find this article really helpful.  It gives you a decision making guide for taggging.

From Spiderworking.com this week

Using Buffer to shcedule tweets

This weeks cool tool was Buffer, this app is simpler to set up and use than Hootsuite and allows you to schedule tweets into the future, it includes an inbuilt link shorterner and there’s lots of useful add ons.

Do the new promoted posts affect the Facebook newsfeed?

There has been a lot of talk on Facebook recently about the new Facebook promoted posts, some pages have been sharing a meme that is a tad misleading. This week I looked into the newsfeed, how it works and how it is decided if posts feature there. Believe it or not nothing has changed but there is one reason your posts might not reach as many before.  I also suggest a fix for users. Read more here

15 second Facebook marketing tip

If you’ve been keeping an eye on our Facebook page you may have been following my 15 second Facebook Marketing tip.  Here’s this weeks one about posting links.

 

facebook promoted post reach

 

Promoted Posts were launched to Facebook business pages just over two weeks ago and their arrival has upset some small business page owners.  Has their introduction effected the reach of regular page posts?  Users seem to think so but is there any truth to it?

You may have seen the following meme being posted:

Facebook have changed how they show pages’ status updates. When we post something, only about 10% of people that like our page actually see the status updates.

To fix this, simply click on our page, click/hover
over the “Liked” button at the top right of our page, and make sure you have the “show in news feed” option clicked on.

 

Unfortunately the information in this meme is untrue.  The fix as suggested doesn’t work.  If people are seeing a post from you it means that they have already chosen to see your updates in their news feeds, this happens automatically when they click ‘Like’.  To stop seeing updates Likers can choose hide posts from your page.  There is a complex algorithm ‘Edgerank’ that determines which and how many of your posts appear in each of your Likes feeds, we’ll look at this later.

There has been no change to the news feed as suggested.  It has been the case for some time that posts from both pages and personal profiles are only reaching on average 16% of Likes or friends.  What has changed is the way that Facebook shows you the data about who is seeing your posts.  Underneath each post you can now see not only the Reach of your post (how many Facebook users have seen it) but also the percentage of your Likers that have seen it.  If that figure is over 16% you’re above average!

Why don’t all your Likes see all your posts?

People are making more and more connections on Facebook, people have hundreds of friends and like lots of pages.  Interaction is also growing, we’re posting more content than ever.  If Facebook were to show us every post from everyone our news feeds would move too fast.  If you look at the sidebar Ticker you can see how swiftly content moves in real time.  A fast moving stream whilst wonderful on  Twitter doesn’t work on Facebook.

Anecdotally I’ve discovered that most regular Facebook users have their news feeds set to ‘Top Stories’ which orders posts  not by time but by relevance, a relevance decided by Facebook.  If this is the case universally there are a large proportion of light Facebook users that are even harder to reach.  However, even people who select ‘most recent’ as their news feed view don’t see every post from everyone.

How does Facebook choose who sees your posts?

The likelihood of a post appearing on the news feed of an individual is determined by an algorithm called Edgerank.  Each object (or post) that you create on Facebook has Edgerank. This is determined by three key things

1. Affinity

Affinity refers to an individuals relationship with your content.  So if they are a super-fan of your page and comment and like your posts regularly, your updates are more likely to appear in their feeds.

2. Weight

Weight refers to the type of content you are sharing.  For example it is generally thought that Images have more weight than status updates.

3. Time Decay

This refers to the time elapsed since you posted.  The fresher the content the more likely it is to be seen in a feed.

A mixture of these three factors determines the Edgerank of a post.  The higher the Edgerank the more likely it is to be seen.  Following this formula it would seem that an image or photo post, shared at a time when most of your page Likes are online is most likely to appear in the feeds of those who interact with your page the most.

How does the newsfeed work?

Because Facebook doesn’t want to display a fast moving feed (that’s what the Ticker is for) each user only has a certain number of slots on their feed that can be filled in a specific time.

Because of the huge amount of connections each user is making these slots can be quite competative, this is where edgerank comes in.  If the object has good Edgerank it is more likely to fill a slot.  The best thing you can do to ensure your post arrives into one of these slots is to maximise the Edgerank of it .

Do promoted posts make a difference to newsfeeds?

Facebook have told us that there has been no change to the newsfeed due to the new promoted posts.  Creating great content that provokes interaction is still the best thing you can do to make sure your posts reach more people.  However, promoted posts give page owners the option to pay for a further reach.  It seems logical then that these posts are more likely to occupy the slots available on your Likes feeds.

We’re not just competing with promoted posts, friends posts and posts from other pages for slots.  Facebook have added apps such as popular articles and videos, we’re also sharing more on Facebook both from inside the app and from linked applications such as Instagram and Socialcam.  With this huge amount of content it’s no surprise we’re only reaching a portion of our subscribers with each post.

Should you leave Facebook?

Since the promoted posts were launched I’ve seen a number of small business owners decalre that they will be shutting down their pages and keeping Facebook just for personal stuff.  I tend to think this is a mistake.  If your customers are on Facebook you should be there too.  They are not going to move to Google+, LinkedIn or Twitter just because you feel these networks offer better business solutions.  Yes we are going to have to work harder at Facebook marketing if we are to succeed but those who stick it out will be the ones who are reaching your customers.

The real fix

There is a way that you can ensure that you don’t miss updates from the people and pages you like the most.  Facebook lists and Facebook interest lists allow you to keep an eye on your favourite people or pages.  When you log in you can choose which list you would like to view, this helps ensure that you don’t miss updates but it also gives you a way to filter out the noise.  Here’s how to set up a list.

I recently tested promoted posts.  Click here to see what happened.

I looked at Buffer before, way back when Monday morning cool tool was just a little thing I did on my Facebook page.

I use Hootsuite to manage my Twitter account and I schedule some tweets via it.  I’m a big believer in scheduling, I can’t be online composing tweets all day so I find the content I want to share and schedule it  so that people who aren’t up early in the morning get to see it too.  I don’t rely on scheduling totally, I believe you have to check in to twitter, reply and converse with people in real time as it is this relationship building that makes Twitter so effective.  Hootsuite is great for me as it does everything I need it to, however I’ve discovered that some of my clients don’t want to learn a complicated new tool on top of learning Twitter and that is where Buffer can come in handy.

Buffer app automatically spaces out your tweets so that you are not flooding peoples newsfeeds, since I first tried it there is far more app integration and far more bells and whistles so I thought I’d give it another look.  Today I’m just going to look at basic setup but I do recommend trying some of the apps that integrate with it.  I’ve added Social Bro as this allows Buffer to schedule tweets when it knows my followers are online the most.

Here’s how it works:

Go to www.bufferapp.com and sign up using a social network. I’d recommend Twitter.

Next you need to add the buffer button to your browser.  This allows you to share any web page you are visiting by simply clicking it.

Next go to the Buffer ‘Dashboard’ – Here you can add another social network by clicking ‘connect account’

Once you have set up your social networks it’s time to try posting from the app.  Buffer offers you a message to share or you can create your own.

When composing your own you can add a link by simply posting it into the tweet box, Buffer automatically shortens it for you.

You can also add a photo (by clicking on the camera icon on the left hand side)

Now click ‘Add to Buffer’ the app will schedule the Tweet to go out from your Twitter account. (or post to another network if you have selected them).

Once you have scheduled your tweet you are able to edit it, delete it and if you have scheduled a few you can change the order that they appear in your schedule.

If you want to play with some of the other tools that support Buffer click on ‘Apps & Extras’ on the top menu.

If you use Google Chrome to browse the Internet the extension that you added at the beginning of the process automatically adds the option to add a tweet to buffer from the web application.  I’ve also noticed it appear on Facebook as an option when I’m posting and this morning I noticed it pop up as an option on my Google reader, being able to tweet directly from my reader would be a massive time saver.

The great news is that once you have sent a tweet via Buffer you can see some statistics about that tweet, you can see who it reached, how many replies and RT’s it received and how many times any shortened links you added have been clicked.  It really is a simpler version of Hootsuite.

Do you use Buffer?  What is your favourite feature? What apps have you added?  Lets talk in the comments below.

 

 

Google+ For Business by Chris Brogan

That title may seem a tad bold but it’s true.  Google+ For Business is a fantastic book on social media with examples drawn from Google+.  Sometimes we get too carried away with the tools and forget that social networks essentially all work the same way.  Some networks are better suited for particular audiences or target markets but how we approach them should be pretty much the same.

Having said all that since I’ve read this book I’ve been thinking of new ways of using G+, I’ve been more active, more creative and I’m beginning to love the place.  Chris wrote this book back in the early days of the network so he doesn’t delve too far into business pages.  From a personal and social point of view it’s much easier to use profiles than pages but that doesn’t exclude you from doing business there.  You can meet people as easily as you do on Twitter and you can build relationships with prospective clients the same way you might over time at networking meetings. So like most social networks Google+ works because it’s about building relationships, sharing useful and relevent information, letting your personality in and being real.

Back to the book.  It’s an easy read, it’s the first business book I’ve read on my Kindle and this was the perfect format for it.  I could pick it up whilst on a tram or during lunch.  It’s packed with case studies and what becomes clear is that people are approaching this relatively new network with fresh eyes.  They are finding new ways to do things, new content to share. I love the story of Jaqueline Carly, a fitness instructor who posts photos of herself pre and post workout everyday.  It’s this sort of simple but effective marketing that keeps Google+ interesting.  He also interviews some of those social media superheros including Scott Monty from Ford and Darren Rowse from ProBlogger.  He looks at how Michael Dell (from Dell) uses the network, he looks at the different ways people are approaching it and creates some scenarios of his own that small businesses would be wise to look at.

Then there is the bit that is really about Google+, although he doesn’t delve too deeply into the technical stuff he does share tips on how to make your profile more effective and how to manage circles.  Although Google+ has seen a redesign since this was written the tips are just as relevant, it’s a great beginners guide but also useful as a refresher if you’ve been there for a while.

Should you give Google+ a try?  Of course! Should you read this book?  Absolutely!

Buy the paperback on Amazon here. Or the Kindle version here.

It’s always lovely to get a RT or to get people linking to the content on your website.  Wouldn’t it be even better to know who is driving the most traffic to your website from Twitter?  This weeks cool tool BrandInfluencer does exactly that and even gives you ways of rewarding them. You will need to have Google Analytics installed on your website for this to work, it’s pretty handy. Here’s how it works

Visit BrandInfluencers.com and click ‘Try now’

Next you will need to authorise the application to access your Google analytics

BrandInfluencers will then generate a report for you, this can take a few minutes but they will email you when it’s ready.

Here’s mine, I can instantly see not only who had driven the most traffic to my site but also how many page views that has generated.  Not surprisingly I guess I am near the top of my own list.  However there are a few there that I wasn’t aware of beforehand, these are definitely people I shold follow and engage with more in the future.

You can take this data one step forward and try and encourage more shares by creating a campaign, you can either just ask or you can insentivise shares with a prize.

The simple campaign is dead easy to set up. Just click on ‘Simple campaign’.

If there is a specific blog post or page you want to promote add it to the ‘Website’ field.

Click ‘Preview’ to see what your page will look like

If you are happy click publish.

People can now click a simple button to share your site via Twitter.

The final option allows you to add a prize for the person that drives most traffic to your website.  This could make an interesting Twitter contest although I’m a little sceptical about how relevant the traffic you get this way will be.

I really like the way this app can tell me who is influencing traffic to my website.  This is huge and it’s always good to know who I should be thanking and getting to know better.  I’m not sure however I’d use the campaign options, I want people to visit my website because the content is useful to them.  My aim would be to capture a proportion of these as customers, I feel that bribing people to visit will just increase my bounce rate and not necessarily translate to business or even long  term readership.  However I’m willing to be proved wrong!  What do you think?  Would you use the campaign options? Is there value to traffic gained this way?

HTT All Twitter for alerting me to this cool tool.

This week Facebook launched a new kind of advertising a plug in for WordPress that is too complicated for most of us non techies to understand and re-named it’s camera app as camera*.  I’m ignoring most of that, although you will find my own post on Facebook promoted posts below.  I also left out the Buoy that Tweets although I was tempted to include it. Check out @galwaybouy on Twitter if you want to know more about that.

Instead I found some interesting stories about saying sorry, a great Irish tourism campaign and a wonderful post for blogging newbies from Chris Brogan.  Have a great weekend.

Twitter #tag pages

Twitter ran it’s first TV ad.  It seems strange that whilst other companies are trying to find ways to include Tweeting in their ad’s Twitter is buying television advertising space.  In some ways it makes sense, when we watch TV we do so with others, tweeting with the #tag for the show, Twitter advertising their new #tag pages in this space might turn it on it’s head but it brings traditional and new media even closer together.

The first #tag page was for the NASCAR event, this is a new kind of Twitter premium product that will collate stories about a particular topic on a branded page. I can’t really see what’s in it for brands though, it’s already possible to display a #tag feed, I’m yet to understand the benefit of paying for it on Twitter.  I’m sure all will become obvious soon enough.  More on the new pages and how they worked for NASCAR here.

Twitter personalises trending topics

Trending topics as we know them could become a thing from the past.  Twitter has announced trending topics tailored to users, now instead of just being able to see what is trending in a specific area you will see topics that are trending amongst the people you are following.  In many ways this is a good thing, you are more likely to be interested in topics that are discussed by those you follow, those who have been selective about those they connect to will see the most benefit as only the most relevent stuff, the stuff you really are interested in will trend.  On the other hand I’m not sure how this will effect the #tag, and the amusing #tags that you often see pop up in trending topics.  It will be interesting to see how they evolve after they are rolled out.  Here’s Twitter’s announcement about the update.

Tourism Ireland trust one couples holiday to their social media followers

One of the most innovative industries in social media has to be tourism, we see some great campaigns coming from hotels and airlines, we’ve seen some great competitions sending couples on dream honeymoons or trips of a life time.  The latest campaign from Tourism Ireland is allowing the British public to direct the holiday of one couple in Ireland.  It’s unclear quite how much control the public will have.  There are mentions of voting on specific destinations or tasks but it does sound a bit more like a choose your own adventure than giving complete control to the social media crowd, that’s something I’m sure the couple in question are releived about.  I’ll be keeping my eye on their progress.  More on the campaign here.

Chris Brogan’s blogging primer

Getting started with blogging can often be the hardest step, and when you’ve stared you need to make sure you don’t stop.  That’s why I’ve chosen to share this wonderful little post from Chris Brogan. 21 tips on getting blogging and keeping blogging.  If you’ve been putting off starting read this post now and get started!  I’m wondering is this post from Chris Brogan going to be one that fits in to his tip 15.

My best (most popular) posts were the ones I spent the least time writing.

 

Five types of Facebook fans

There is no doubt about it, marketing on Facebook isn’t easy anymore, with so many businesses competiing for the same audience getting someone to Like your page let alone seeing them intereact or buy from you business takes work and we need to be more creative in order to shine. For me step one has to be understanding your audience, if you know what they want you can connect with them better. Even if you do know your customers and feel you understand them it’s important to know they are not all the same. Different sorts of Facebook fans have different needs and that’s where this article on Social Media Today helps, it describes 5 different types of fans and the best ways to reach them.

Saying sorry

I picked this story out this week as it’s an example of how simple responses in social media can mean a lot.  I’ve been reading some stuff on companies that were planning on automating their customer service tweets and Facebook updates.  This in my mind is a terrible idea.  I recently asked people on my Facebook page where they turned with customer service queries, the replies were split mostly generationally, with the younger people saying Twitter and social media and the older generation using the phone as they believed they were more likely to talk to a human being.  Although age wise I belong to the older generation I turn to Twitter or Facebook for customer service.  Interestingly I do so because I feel I am going to get a response from a Human being and probably a better response too.  This story about American Airlines outlines how you can buy the loyalty and endorsement of a customer simply by communicating and saying sorry.  If you are a company thinking of automating your customer service via social media please don’t, we all appreciate the human touch and it’s the only real way to learn from your customer.

How social media helped save the Troy Library

This is a great watch, the story how one Library in the states raised funds using a clever campaign and social media. All the more amazing for it requiring people to vote to increase their taxes!

 

And from Spiderworking.com this week

Embed Tweets, Facebook & Google+ updates on your blog

This weeks cool toolSocialDitto is very handy for Bloggers who like to quote or show examples from social networks like Twitter and Facebook.  You simply input the URL for the post you want to share and it generates embed code for you.  More here.

Facebook’s newest advertising solution – Promoted posts


Facebook recently added a new type of advertising for business pages.  Now you can pay for a particular update to appear in more of your fans newsfeeds.  I was interested in this option as a way to recharge a stale audience or to perhaps promote a special offer.  But how many people could you reach? How would they work?  I experimented with it myself and this is what happened.

 

At the beginning of the week I noticed the ‘Promote this post’ option pop up at the bottom of the status update box on my Facebook page.  This happened around the same time that Facebook started showing me the % of my Facebook audience that I was reaching with each post rather than just the number of people reached and the number of people talking about it.

Both updates seem to have rubbed business owners up the wrong way.  It has been the case for a long while, at least since the newsfeed update last autumn, that pages are not reaching 100% of the people who ‘Like’ them.  Facebook have told us that on average only 16% of our ‘Likers’ see our posts.  This makes sense to a certain extent, Facebook users are making more and more connections so in order to stop our newsfeeds scrolling as fast as they do on Twitter, Facebook is selective about what it shows us.  In experiments I’ve noticed that if I post three times in succession from one of my test pages the first post will show on my feed but very often the second or third doesn’t, even when I have it set to ‘latest updates’.  If I want to see everything posted by everyone I can keep a close eye on the ticker.  As someone who likes 100’s of pages it’s a bit of a relief that I don’t see everything, I would be overwhelmed if I had to scroll through every update manually.

Facebook promoted post
Promote individual posts on Facebook to improve your reach

Quite rightly businesses are concerned about the push towards advertising, we’ve been given a free tool to play with and Facebook now seem to want us to pay to stay relevant, however, if you can be creative and are willing to spend a bit more time you can get results without spending.  There is a place for promoted posts but I don’t think it’s as simple as big businesses paying to promote all their posts.

Promoted posts aren’t for lazy Facebookers even if your post reaches your entire Facebook audience there is no guarantee they will click your link or buy something, you will need to take time crafting a post that will work and encourage sharing, interaction and sales.  They could be used occasionally and cleverly to achieve particular goals.

There are two occasions when I can see promoted posts working well

1. To get more of your ‘Likes’ engaging with you so that they will see more of your posts in future

Edgerank is the algorithm that dictates what pieces of your content arrive on the newsfeeds of which of your likers.  In very simple terms it is derived from the type of content you are posting, the amount of time it stays in a newsfeed and the amount someone has interacted with you previously.  Using a promoted post to reach more of your audience and including a strong call to action to ‘Like’ or ‘Comment’ means that those same people are more likely to see future posts from you even when they are not promoted.

2. To promote a specific offer

One of the biggest reasons for people to Like a page on Facebook is to hear about offers, so if you create a really good offer it might be worth paying for it to reach more than your usual audience.  Again, it’s not enough just to put up a status update with a discount code, you will need to spend time making sure you are going to get maximum return on your reach.  Creating a really strong image with the offer on it is one way to encourage more interaction and to be more memorable.  Think hard about your call to action, make it easy for people to redeem by either including a link to your offer page on your website or an easy to remember phrase that people have to say when they drop into your shop.

How do promoted posts work?

Before I wrote this blog post I thought I should try promoted posts out to see if they worked, how they worked and by how much €5 could improve my reach, with some interesting results.

Creating the post

Facebook promoted post
Create a strong post for promotion

 

I created a post that I would like to get more exposure, the sponsor video we created for ‘Blog Awards Ireland’.  Prior to posting the video had received 128 views.

I included a strong call to action for engagement at the top of the post.  I rarely ask for people to click Like but I knew that this would encourage the post to become more viral and get shared on tickers and newsfeeds of the people who clicked the Like.

I included a secondary call to action, for sponsors to email us at a specific address.  This would be harder to measure as the same email appears on most of our marketing material and our website. It was also far further down the post so many wouldn’t see it.

Thirdly I intended to measure video views.  The video was posted to YouTube and I shortened the link that I posted to Facebook using Bitly so that I could measure click thrus.

Choosing the promotion options

Facebook promoted post options
Choosing your budget

Once the post was constructed I clicked the ‘promote’ button and I got a few options.  I could either pay €5 to promote it but Facebook couldn’t guarantee the reach or €9 for which they promised to reach 1,700 people (way beyond the number of Likes on my Facebook page).  I went for the €5 option.

The results

Not surprisingly, because of the call to action I instantly started to get people clicking the like button underneath the post,  the post will be promoted for three days so even as I type this the number of likes is growing.  It’s currently at 49.

Because people were clicking ‘Like’ the post was getting seen by more people outside the pages fan base it was getting shared in the newsfeeds of the people liking the post and I was seeing a huge increase in viral reach.  None of this could be put down to the fact that the post was promoted though, more the strong call to action.  At 4pm just under 6 hours after I made the initial post I checked my statistics and noticed that only 1% of my page likers that had seen the post had done so due to the promotion.

What I did discover is that the post was reaching newsfeeds long after it was posted.  I got comments on the post that it was appearing at the top of news feeds set to top news and I’ve even seen it appear in my own newsfeed today.  I’m wondering will this continue until the three day’s are up?  This longevity is a massive benefit if you are promoting an offer, we usually expect posts to last for around three hours.

Facebook promoted post results
Likes and comments due to promotion

This afternoon the statistics for the post are that 38% of my pages likes have seen the post and Facebook tells me that 3% of these are due to the promotion. That’s 188 extra people, it also tells me that this has resulted in 2 comments and 3 post likes. I’ve only spent €1.85 of the €5 so far so I’m hoping to see that increase over the next day.

facebook promoted post reach
Viral reach was strongest

38% may sound impressive when you sit it alongside Facebook’s claim that most page posts only reach 16% of their audience but if I look back at posts from the last couple of weeks I can see a couple that reach above 40%.  Although the number of people who have seen the post is high at 871, with just 2 comments and 3 likes the promotion cannot be held responsible for the viral spread so it would seem that a simple yet strong call to action can buy you far more reach than an ad.

As for the video, although my call to action was to Like the post I thought it would be interesting to note any increase in video views, Youtube records 20 views since the post went live.  My Facebook insights attribute just 4 to my post, I also shortened the link to the video using Bitly and can see that there were 17 clicks on the video via that link, this means the shares that I gained (none of them due to the promoted post) gained me those extra views.

In conclusion

Yes promoted posts can work, they will help you reach a portion of your audience that don’t normally interact with your page but you need to have a strong call to action and you need to choose the right one.  Imagine I had chosen to ask for a share or for people to watch the video instead of for the like?  My campaign could have been far further reaching and may have gained Blog Awards some sponsors.  Maybe I could have captured more from that 3% I reached due to the promotion.  However most of the benefit I got from the post, most of the likes and all of the shares came from people who regularly contribute so by crafting the right post in the first place my reach would have been almost the same.

Have you tried promoted posts? Would you try them?  I’d like to hear your thoughts so do leave me a comment.

Using Tweets, Facebook or Google+ updates to illustrate a point in a blog post can be a great way to showcase peoples reactions to a specific event, or simply to tell a story.  Adding these kind of posts can be a lot of work though, you need to screen grab and edit the image before adding it to your blog, if you want people to see the original post you also need to hotlink the image.  That’s where this weeks cool tool SocialDitto comes in handy. You simply give it the url of the post you want to share and it gives you an embed code.

Here’s how:

Find a post on either Twitter, Facebook or Google+ that you want to embed

Click on the timestamp of the post

Copy the entire url (web address) from the address bar in your browser

Go to SocialDitto and paste the url into the box provided

Click on Ditto

Now copy the embed code and paste it in as HTML to your blog or website.

If you are using WordPress click on the HTML tab above your post and paste the code in there.

What I particularly like about this tool is that if you post an update this way it links through to the original post. Click on the name or link and it brings you directly to that user or link.

Give it a try and let me see the results, post your links in the comment box below.

Social Media roundup

This week has been a busy week at Spiderworking.com as we launched nominations for Blog Awards Ireland along with Lorna from Write On Track and our partner Beatrice Whelan.  It’s been amazing to see so many nominations for so many blogs come in. It does however mean I’ve had less time for reading and blogging.  Of course there have been some pretty massive news stories this week.  The LinkedIn password leak even made it onto the mainstream news.

I’ve some stories about that Linkedin crisis, Facebooks plan to allow under 13’s to join officially, storytelling and why you should never ever shoot vertical video.

LinkedIn privacy & passwords

linkedin privacy leak

On Wednesday this article popped up in my newsfeed.  It’s about the information that LinkedIn stores from your account via it’s mobile app, information that users didn’t know was being stored.  This is the latest in a long line of stories about iPhone and Android apps from social networks that are storing your information on their servers.  Bad as this was it was nothing compared to the news that broke later on in the day. 6.5million LinkedIn passwords had been leaked, that meant that all LinkedIn users were advised not only to change their passwords but to also change them on any accounts that shared the same password. More on the leak here.

Facebook & under 13’s

The current Facebook rules don’t allow persons under the age of 13 to join the network, however most of us know of at least one child that is under that age who is on the network, it’s simple to lie about your age and get on and in many cases it’s parents themselves that are assisting their kids to sign up.  That’s why the announcement from Facebook that it is looking to officially enable under 13’s to join makes sense.  The accounts will have some specific privacy controls making them ‘safer’ for younger people.  I’ve seen good noises coming from social media savvy parents so far but I wonder will this confuse the non computer savvy parent even more?  More on this story from CBS news.

Say no to portrait video

I thought I was old fashioned but the first tip on every single video course I teach is that videos should be shot landscape and never ever portrait.  Think about it, your computer monitor is a landscape display, your television set is landscape and as this very clever video points out even your eyes are landscape.  If I am an old fuddy duddy I’m in good company.

 

Beginners guide to Tumblr

If you don’t think you know what Tumblr is you’ve probably been reading them without knowing it.  Tumblr is a blogging platform that sits somewhere between microblogging (Twitter) and full on blogging (WordPress, Blogger etc).  Tumblrs contain snippets of news. I’ve been toying with the idea of setting up one for some time and I’ve finally found a need for one.  It’s a work in progress but I’ve created one for Blog Awards Ireland to collate and share anyone who blogs about us online.  Of course there are far more creative Tumblrs out there than this.  The Irish Times has one for it’s breaking news, and this one ‘Text From Dog’ makes me chuckle.

If you’ve got a great idea for a Tumblr and are a bit stumped like me this beginners guide from Mashable could help you get started.

Social media policy

Have you got a social media policy for your company?  It doesn’t matter if you are a one person business or a large corporation it’s important to put a document together outlining your policies, what are the rules for you, your employees and your community.  Having a policy in place makes it a lot easier to know how to react in specific situations. Here’s a handy guide to get your started from 123 Social Media.

Who uses what social media?

who uses what social network
Pinterest catches Facebook for most time spent on site

When putting together a social media strategy it’s important to identify where your target market resides online.  There’s no point putting a massive amount of effort into a Facebook campaign if the people you want to reach with it don’t use Facebook.  This infographic is a great basic guide to who uses what, it’s a good start to help you find your audience.  The most remarkable statistic for me is that Pinterest users spend the same amount of time on the site as Facebook users spend on Facebook.

Storytelling and social media

One of the things I love about social media is that it brings with it a way of communicating that is more honest, more real, more about people, more emotional.  At this stage we all know that the hard sell and broadcasting don’t work on the social web, we need to make personal connections and the only way to do this is to be personal  My final link of the week is this lovely post about using the social web to tell stories that create resonance.

The sun has been shining this week in Ireland and traditionally that means that many of us step away from our computers and embrace the outdoors.  I guess it’s not as simple as that anymore though.  With so many handheld devices that we use to access the Internet people are happily tweeting and Facebooking from the beach, from the park and from their holidays.  Of course this mobile trend has been one of the big talking points around the Facebook IPO, if you bought stock don’t panic Facebook ad’s will be coming to the mobile web soon.  Not such good news for users perhaps but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

This week I’ve found some good reads about Pinterest, some beautiful email marketing and we’ll be looking at why GM really pulled their Facebook ads and the new Bitly re-design.

GM Wanted to ‘take over’ Facebook pages

In the lead up to the Facebook IPO car manufacturer General Motors announced that they would be pulling all their Facebook advertising as they felt it wasn’t delivering sales.  There was a lot of talk and speculation about the move at the time.  Some pointed at GM’s less that inspiring Facebook pages, some said this was proof that Facebook advertising didn’t work.  This was no blow for Facebook either, GM spent millions on Facebook ads every year and the announcement before the IPO must have had some effect on the floatation.  This week it has emerged the reasons behind the decision. It seems that GM wanted more than the traditional advertising options offered by Facebook, they were not happy with the options on offer and wanted ‘page takeover’, this would involve far more intrusive ads for user. More here.

Bitly re-design

I’m usually quite positive about change, I realise that change is often hard because we have become accustomed to the way things work but if we are to progress it is necessary. However, when I logged into Bitly.com earlier this week and saw that it had changed I wasn’t happy.  Like lots of people I use Bitly not just to shorten links so they will fit into tweets but as an effective measurement tool. It’s good to know people are clicking my tweets and Facebook posts even if they don’t comment or share, it’s a good way to find out what sort of content people want.  So what’s the problem with the new design?  First and foremost it’s harder to use, it’s not just that not everything is where it used to be but it’s at least one more click to shorten a link,  it takes longer to do it and once you have viewing stats isn’t as intuitive as it used to be.   I understand what they are trying to do and I like the idea of a combination bookmarking site and link shortening site but this design is too complicated and will put people off. I’m still persisting with Bitly but if you want an alternative this article from All Twitter offers some great alternatives.

Tweets that Twitter won’t let you send

Did you know that if you share a two word Tweet starting ‘get’ on Twitter it disappears?  Seemingly it’s a throwback to the days when Twitter was just a text service.  It’s hard to picture Twitter this way now, by the time I’d joined Twitter it was a full web version.  Here’s a full list of things you can’t Tweet and more on why.

Beautiful email marketing

There was a time when people declared email marketing dead.  Not any more, surveys have shown that it is still the preferred way for many to receive offers and news about your business.  If you need some inspiration for your next e-shot you couldn’t go far wrong looking at these examples picked by Hubspot.  There’s one to fit any kind of business or mail out style here. My favourite has to be the cycling one… but cycling is one of my passions.

Ways not to measure your social media success

This year has seen a real focus on measurement and quite rightly.  If you or your staff are going to devote a large portion of your time to using social media you need to know you are getting a return on that investment.  It’s not nearly as hard as you might think but getting the focus right is important.  It’s not enough just to count the number of Likes or Followers you have, you need to find a way to equate what you are doing with a goal.  That’s why I picked this interesting article from The Sales Lion to share with you this week. 10 misleading social media metrics.  Worth a read, it may even change the way you use social media completely.

Creative Pinterest marketing

Almost every week I must mention my astonishment at the rise of Pinterest and it seems the rest of the social media world is with me.  I’m using it, I know people who are passionate about it and one thing is for sure, we can’t just ignore it.  I’m always on the look out for creative uses of Pinterest and I find this article from Jeff Bullas fascinating.  I particularly like the idea of a behind the scenes board, a great way to personalise your business and something I must have a think about for Spiderworking.com.

Don’t feed the Trolls

It’s always important to think about what you will do if you are attacked on social media.  In most cases you will try and resolve any issues, it’s a great way to showcase your customer service and to promote yourselves as a caring brand.  There are some exceptions however and Trolls are one of these.  I’m not talking about the Trolls that sit under bridges, an Internet Troll is someone who posts something to provoke a reaction, very often if you respond they will come back with another unreasonable retort.  If this happens this is the time to end the conversation, engaging with them will just provoke more unusual behaviour and can escalate into something that will cause you a lot of time and pain.  In more simple terms… never feed the Trolls.

And from Spiderworking.com this week

Manage Your Instagram Account from The Web

This is a real must have tool for all Instagrammers. Statigram allows you to manage your account from your computer, lets you view stats and even allows you to add your feed to your website or Facebook.  Definitely worth checking out. More here

Facebook changes

This week saw Facebook finally introduce post scheduling and the long awaited 5 types of admin.