This presentation was delivered in the fall of 2013 to student association managers and staff. The presentation has a focus on social media management, marketing and channels. The focus is excellence within Facebook, Twitter and other channels with a small budget. I wish I could share all of my presentations, but here’s a public one so please enjoy!
Uh oh. Facebook changed the News feed again. Sending Marketers in a panic everywhere, the changes to the Facebook News feed were released Thursday and they are, well, expected. This change isn’t drastic for users of tablet applications and mobile apps that have used the black left hand navigation bar for some time, replacing the somewhat cleaner but clunkier existing white navigation. Where the change is dramatic is decentralization, content and implications for the brand reach.
Facebook’s newest change allows users to navigate from a selection of options rather than one, busier News Feed. This will help the User experience in that they dictate the categories of information seen. This was their intent in some of the last News Feed modifications, however, users simply didn’t change their content settings or really make much use of the Close Friends option. The idea is for users to read the News Feed similarly to a News Paper. With the growth of their older demographics and negative growth of teenagers, this is in line with where Facebook is headed.
Here are the categories:
- Top News (Major stories of each section)
- All Friends
- Following (for pages)
- Photos (see: Instagram)
- Games, Music (two separate tabs but not worthy of their own bullets on my page)
- Close Friends
For Page Managers, this means slightly less visibility overall. Where you can win is in the photo section. Friends usually have a lot of photos, but pages generally have even more, and they can dominate the Photo section.
With the added emphasis to photos and videos, its pretty clear where our focus as page mangers will have to be. Yes, the focus has always been on content, but this is even more crucial now. Many top brands are already embracing this, by providing content directly into photos, allowing for more clicks and eventually a higher Edge Rank.
Here we have the Lakers Facebook page, they are sharing a photo that most people can read the majority of the information but many people will click to expand to read the smaller font.
Albums have also been redesigned, rewarding pages who upload multiple pictures. This shouldn’t be a major change for some brands who often posted collage pictures in order to enhance media clicks. Having 5+ photos will likely be a good target for brands, engaging users and ultimately increasing their visibility.
With these changes to a News Paper type experience, the All Friends section is likely to be a hit with users, much the same as the photo section (see: Why Facebook bought Instagram) however, where we may lose our traction as brands is in the Pages section. While I’d like to think that users love my brands (who doesn’t), the reality is, many of them only “Like” my brand (see what I did there?).
As Page Manager’s I see that there will be two choices, either invest more into visual content, or invest more into ads. Without one of these two mechanisms, I’d be willing to bet that your post views will decrease overall. Facebook is under increasing pressure to sell more ads, and these new changes force the brand’s hand in many cases to get in front of users by paying for it.
There is also a not-so-insignificant undertone in all of this, content is moving towards a more chronological approach, based on the early signs. Brands will need to be more conscious of when they are posting and less conscious of how often they are posting. Matching posts with Facebook’s peak times will be essential for maximum Edge Rank reach and achieving your goals.
In summary, what can you do to stay current with the changes?
This presentation, slightly modified from another deck I use, was delivered to 4th year Marketing students at Laurentian University in Sudbury. Here’s an overview of the presentation:
- What are social marketers doing today?
- Which channels are they using, or considering?
- How can you measure your success?
- How can you measure your success AND explain it to your CEO?
- Best Practices
- What is everyone wishing they were doing
I presented this topic to the #pseweb conference in Toronto recently. It did spark some debate among colleagues and it was great to see people really start to consider what they want to post on their own social media pages.
We took 10 Canadian University and College pages from accross Canada and analyzed their levels of interactions per post on Facebook. The results were very interesting and correlated nicely to the overall impact of the Facebook page. Have a look.
With the government of Canada announcing a May 2nd election, it prompts me to think that there will certainly be a new type of campaign this April.
Politicians will rely heavily on social media support from their most loyal partisans and use all resources at their disposal to sway the undecided. Already, I’ve seen Ignatief and the liberals reserve the headline ad of facebook with a 30 second spot from Michael.
I will be closely following the evolution as well as the new initiatives that will certainly emerge. I doubt it will be enough to simply have a page and create a discussion. The winners will have to innovate, persuade and deliver.
With the Super Bowl representing Television’s biggest event, ever, it creates an advertising platform that makes marketers salivate. How could I resist talking about it?
A few stats to establish the reach; 30-second spots averaged 3M$ (roughly 100,000$/second) and the game that was watched by 100M people. Of those commercials, only 17% included Social Media influence – baffling. OK, some brands like Telecomm companies don’t want to have a social presence (can you imagine the volume of complaints?). I think the take away here is of that 17%, who did it well? Here’s a look at the auto-industry.
In my view, the clear winner for what they did before the Super Bowl even begun. Sharing their Darth Vader impersonator early, they spread the commercial through social media and hit 12M views (now at 18M) on YouTube before kick-off. They did a great job by not sharing their social addresses at the end of the commercial in my view – taste over efficiency here.
Chrysler and Eminem
To me this commercial dwarfed Lipton’s Brisk lengthy spot by focusing on a sense of community and featuring the story for the underdog. Their measured up favorably online as their spot was cited nearly 20,000 times online in the first hour it aired. It didn’t have built in social media, however it was rock solid it didn’t need a tweet push.
Ford Motor Company
Can’t remember or YouTube Ford’s commercial? You won’t. They sat out the Super Bowl in favor of reaching out to bloggers and engage over the landscape. Winner. If you think Chev did a better job, remember they friended someone before a first date and read an audio facebook feed, give me a break.
I went back and forth a couple times on this one. On the one hand, they did have some solid spots but I just can’t get past their facebook feed being read by the car. This ad just ruined their commercials for me
To see these ads visit Ad Age . One last note, why can’t advertisers make it easy for us and provide their Facebook URLs or Twitter addresses instead of “find us on Twitter” – no way I am searching for your name from my BB
In any large organization, social media usually involves many moving parts – even more so in HigherEd, where many silos exist throughout the organization. Enabling the various content managers throughout the organizations to be cohesive and further to that, create a sense of community (online) can be challenging.
Here are some strategies from around the social realm to help you.
1 – Initiative: It sounds fundamental to say, but working together instead of passing the buck can be crucial to prospects finding the right answer. Allowing prospects to “ask a question once” can allow each content manager to learn a little more of each department as well as “show off” your helpfulness.
2 - Accountability: Participating in social media can be fluidic with staff changes and is sometimes something that is left to the wayside. Creating a sense of accountability, by promotion for “sanctioned” channels or enabling regularly updated channels to be featured on the web will allow you to bring value added to active participants in social media. Think of it as backing up a New Year’s resolution.
3 – Collaboration: As Vanilla Ice says “Stop. Collaborate and Listen“. Whether it’s a friendly inter-departmental re-tweet (the best kind of RT) or an integrated content schedule, working together can avoid mixed messaging as well as provide timely updates to a wide range of screens.
4 - Communication: This is something that can break down barriers and conquer the continual learning curve within social. The group also provides a venue for exchange of ideas, success stories and of course, horror stories. Tufts University, is an example of this in Highed. Coupling this in person working group, with an online presence for quick hits, is a great way to create a sense of community.