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How to Make Your Brand More Visible in the New Facebook - iCrossing

How to Make Your Brand More Visible in the New Facebook - iCrossing

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Published by iCrossing
Facebook gave savvy marketers a gift with its new Page layout (launched in March, 2011) and creation of Sponsored Stories. Now brand pages can become far more engaging and visible – and advertising more hyper-targeted. But only marketers who take the time to understand the new Facebook will prosper. Let’s take a closer look at how brands can succeed in the new Facebook world.
Facebook gave savvy marketers a gift with its new Page layout (launched in March, 2011) and creation of Sponsored Stories. Now brand pages can become far more engaging and visible – and advertising more hyper-targeted. But only marketers who take the time to understand the new Facebook will prosper. Let’s take a closer look at how brands can succeed in the new Facebook world.

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Published by: iCrossing on Mar 10, 2011
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© ICROSSING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
FACEBOOK UNVEILS NEW BRAND PAGES, SPONSORED STORIES
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Changed the Pages. Facebook introduced a new Page layout, and more interestingly, the ability for Pages to act more likeuser proles — which allows brand Pages to be able to interact with and engage with other Pages, just like a person can.This new capability brings with it opportunities for increased brand visibility and engagement as Pages interact with otherPages and their audiences.
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 Also, status updates and wall posts no longer appear in chronological order, but are ordered based on Facebook’sEdgeRank algorithm — a move that makes the concept of visibility, and the importance of content publishing andcommunity management, even more critical for marketers to succeed on Facebook.
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 Announced a new advertising product. Facebook launched Sponsored Stories, an expansion of its Social Ads offering,which pairs a brand’s ad with actions that an individual's friend has taken (such as "liking" a Page). Sponsored Storiesnow pairs brand
content 
(such as status updates and Wall posts) with the actions of an individual (such as "liking" or"sharing") to create hyper-targeted, socially intimate advertising opportunities for brands.
Written by:Shawn Shahani, Sr. Audience ManagerNick Roshon, Natural Search Strategist
ICROSSING POV:
Facebook just gave savvy marketers a gift with its recently launched new Page layout and creation ofSponsored Stories. Now brand pages can become far more engaging and visible – and advertising morehyper-targeted. But only marketers who take the time to understand the new Facebook will prosper. Let’stake a closer look at how brands can succeed in the new Facebook world.
First, a quick recap on what Facebook did:
IN CASE YOU MISSED THE NEWS
A NEW FOCUS: EARNED VISIBILITY
To succeed with the new Facebook, marketers need to appreciate something that sounds geeky at rst — which is the impact ofFacebook's EdgeRank algorithm on content visibility. With the revised Facebook Page layout, status updates and wall posts nolonger appear in chronological order, but are ordered based on Facebook’s EdgeRank — a move that makes visibility even morepertinent to success Facebook.Statuses and posts no longer default to appear in chronological order. Instead, such content is ltered as "Top Posts," ranked byFacebook’s EdgeRank algorithm.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR BRAND MORE VISIBLEIN THE NEW FACEBOOK 
Stephen Sharma, Manager, Strategy & PlanningAlisa Leonard, Director, Strategy & Planning
 
HOW TO MAKE YOUR BRAND MORE VISIBLE IN THE NEW FACEBOOK 
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© ICROSSING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
MARCH 2011
Instead of using links to determine importance like Google’s PageRank, EdgeRank uses "'ikes" and comments to determineimportance (known as edges).In addition to this shift toward merit-based visibility, marketers should note another important change: Pages now have the ability toengage with other Pages, just like people can. This change creates opportunity for greater content propagation and visibility acrossFacebook. But be careful! Engaging with other Pages takes insight and skill. Expert community management is crucial for success.Marketers need to consider these new elements of visibility when engaging in Facebook. Success is predicated on an insights-informed content strategy supported by expertise in community engagement. Engagement programs should be adaptive. Theyshould leverage your inputs from your Page’s Insights Dashboard, qualitative insights from your community manager and performanceinsights from across your media mix to inform new content and engagement.
PAID VISIBILITY: SPONSORED STORIES
Sponsored Stories constitute another way for the marketer to become more visible on Facebook. With Sponsored Stories brandscan target highly valuable friends-of-fans from the actions of individuals interacting with their content — creating a new form of"word-of-mouth" in the Facebook age."[It’s] a way for marketers to sponsor activities that happen throughout the NewsFeed," said Product Marketing Lead Jim Squires inan interview with Mashable. And making it to that News Feed is crucial. No matter how interesting a brand’s content program, visibility is required to get usersto interact with it. You should approach Sponsored Stories with the mindset of a beta tester. Using a fan’s own network, as thefollowing check-in story shows, Starbucks creates an interesting, new soft sell for Pages to encourage interaction.
 
MARCH 2011
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© ICROSSING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR BRAND MORE VISIBLE IN THE NEW FACEBOOK 
BEST PRACTICES
Let’s take a closer look at a few best practices for success in the new Facebook:
1. ACTIVATE AUDIENCES IN DIGITAL DIALOG
Engagement is not simply about posting content. Activating audiences through dialog inuences consumer behavior andaffects the frequency with which users engage and interact with Page content, increasing afnity.Higher afnity increases the strength of the connection between the individual and the Page, meaning that you’ll be able toreach someone’s own Newsfeed more often than competing content. Focus on topics and consumer-centric questions that areaimed at enhancing the customer dialog. Answer and respond to comments.Posting consumer focused-questions and soliciting user feedback can be a great way to generate dialog. But be genuine. Don’t just post questions because you feel you need to meet a content quota. Dialog should be uid, and in many casesengaging in genuine dialog can lead to exciting opportunities.This is where expertise in community management, more than ever, becomes crucial to the success of any Facebook initiative.
2. VARY YOUR CONTENT
If engagement will ultimately increase the reach of your message, a simple call to action such as “what do you think?” addedto any post drives signicantly more engagement than declarative posts without a call to action or question.And your posts don’t all have to be status updates (though they perform great in optimizing for the Top News feed). Postimages, polls and even video and see how your fans interact with them. It may surprise you thatFacebook actually ranks sixth in the U.S. in online video viewing. So evaluate the diversity of your content.Recency is also highly weighted by EdgeRank for gaining visibility on the Top News feed. Frequent, fresh content is importantto gaining relevancy, so long as you do not post too much. Careful though: don’t post too much,as posting too frequently (particularly if content isn’t relevant and engaging) is the leading reason users will make the effortto actually unlike a Page.Find a balance by regularly reviewing and assessing your Page’s Insights Dashboard, noting when fall-off occurs, when fanactivity is highest, and what kinds of posts and topics generate the most interaction.Remember, it’s a good idea to post during hours of high trafc, typically between 11 a.m. EST and 5 p.m. EST. In case you’rehaving difculty recalling that window, there’s no coincidence that this captures the workday of most Americans.
3. CURATE CONTENT – AND ENGAGE WITH INFLUENCERS
Now that Pages can act more like Proles and interact with other Pages on Facebook, marketers are faced with new engagementopportunities and challenges.This new functionality empowers brand Pages with the ability to share content and engage with inuencers and theiraudiences – and also creates a potential for spam, irrelevancy and hindering user experience. People will not perceive asspam a genuine interaction with other Pages so long as the interaction is relevant and transparent. But posting your owncontent to another Page without context or personalization may be unwelcome. So be sure to do your due diligence andunderstand a Page’s audience, tone and behavior before engaging.Crafting a content propagation program based on initial research and insights is the key to creating an effective Page interactionapproach. Taking time to observe and analyze community behavior is essential to successfully building relationships and creatingvalue for consumers. Curating content through sharing or liking another Page’s posts is a low- barrier way to engage withinuential Pages and their audiences. Fans will appreciate that your Page offers high-quality and diverse content. Inuencer Pageswith whom you engage will be receptive you as you demonstrate value to their audience through relevant content and dialog.Having a community manager who understands how to navigate the nuances of community and inuencer behavior becomeseven more important given these new opportunities.

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