Facebook

Facebook in 2015 – What Marketers Need to Know

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Facebook infographicLove it or hate it, Facebook continues to be an important tool in a marketer’s digital tool kit.

On their Q3 earnings call, Facebook released the following mind-blowing statistics:

  • 35 billion people log into Facebook each month
  • 864 million daily active users
  • 64% of monthly active users log on every day
  • 1 billion video views each day in September 2014

Here are just 8 things your organization or company needs to understand about Facebook as we enter 2015:

  • 2015 will be survival of the fittest.

According to Facebook, the average user has about 1,500 new items they can see in their News Feed when they log on. Some people have as many as 15,000! There are 30 million active Facebook fan pages, and 700 million people use Facebook Groups daily. That is a LOT of competition for attention.

In 2015, getting attention on Facebook will require more time spent on research, writing great content and creative visuals. Seeing Facebook more as the cornerstone of your online presence and less like a one-way, publishing platform will help tremendously. How can Facebook augment your successful communication and fundraising efforts already underway, such as storytelling?

  • Promotional posts will get buried.

As started in January, overtly promotional posts will not get as much organic reach in the News Feed (read: they will get buried).

I wrote about this in my last blog post, and I don’t think that this is something to worry about for the majority of us. However, it is certainly something to pay attention to as a bigger trend.

  • Native links and videos will get preference.

Native links are links to outside websites that you post inside the Facebook status window. To go along with this recent push for native links, I am loving the “save” feature that allows users to save these articles to read later, right inside Facebook. (I used to take screen shots or email the link to myself! Talk about inconvenient!)

Native videos are videos that you upload right inside Facebook, rather than posting the link from YouTube or Vimeo. If you do post these on your Page, your Facebook Insights will include views and a call to action link. No matter where you post your videos, the ones that work best on Facebook are those that entertain, inform or educate on a particular topic.

  • The free lunch is really, really over.

Getting results from ads is hard work. Just read some of Jon Loomer’s great stuff on this topic.

Facebook advertising will be required in 2015 if you want to reach more of your fans, get new fans on your page and promote your events, posts, etc. I suggest that you get training on the topic, attend webinars and read blog posts. You can also get professional development on the subject.

  • Vanity metrics are so 2014.

Vanity metrics are the numbers that may make you feel good, but do not necessarily translate into more funds raised or more event tickets sold. For example, you may boost a post and get 5,000 more people to see it, but what does that really do for your organization in the long run?

As Facebook guru and trainer Mari Smith says, “Stop striving for the ‘Metric of More’ and instead focus on the “Metric of Meaning”

  • Unresponsiveness is unacceptable.

When you open the Facebook can of worms and create a Page or a Group, you have a new responsibility. You need to be available to answer questions, comments and feedback from your new online community.

If you are not willing and able to monitor Facebook and get responses to people within 24 hours (less than 12 hours is more ideal), then do not bother.

  • Facebook Groups will become more useful.

Facebook Groups now have their own standalone mobile app! This is hugely useful if you drive a lot of engagement from a Group.

Lifehacker wrote about how underrated Groups are, and I tend to agree. Groups are great for keeping a dedicated, specific, niche audience updated and engaged.

Note: Facebook Groups are very different from Facebook Pages! For more on this, read this post by The Social Skinny.

  • Facebook at Work will come online.

Facebook At Work is a super secret project/new website where Facebook users will create professional profiles, completely separate from their personal ones.

It is designed to compete with LinkedIn, and will have similar functionalities to Basecamp and Yammer, where colleagues can chat together and collaborate on projects. It’s important to pay attention to this announcement, as Facebook At Work could provide an alternative to LinkedIn and even Dropbox and Google Drive for file sharing.

My number one piece of advice for Facebook marketing in 2015 – Don’t rely on Facebook.

Diversify!

Focus on creating a fantastic online experience for your donors and potential donors who visit your website. Use video, a great blog and dynamic email newsletter to keep in touch with your supporters and showcase your impact. Use social media channels to bring new people into the fold.

What is your biggest Facebook marketing challenge?

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Guest post by Julia Campbell (originally appeared on the J Campbell Social Marketing blog). Julia Campbell is Principal of J Campbell Social Marketing. Her blog is at www.jcsocialmarketing.com and she is active on Twitter at @JuliaCSocial

Meet #UMBSocial Speaker – Noah Freeman

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Noah Freeman - Social Fulcrum Noah specializes in social media marketing & ad optimization and works across the firm to support analytics, customer reporting and optimization. Prior to joining Social Fulcrum, Noah built his own Facebook marketing agency. Outside of work, Noah chases his two children and races in Ironman Triathlons.

 1. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? –

 I had a previous career in quantitative finance, and for the past few years have been bringing my quantitative, testing based approached to online customer acquisition.

2. When did you start to work in social media? 

2 years- I started working with my first client on Facebook social, content and paid marketing, and grew the business from there. 

3. How does a typical work day of you look like? 

At a small but constantly growing agency, there’s no such thing as typical! However at any given day/time, you might find me teaching a course on paid placements, meeting with potential clients, setting up conversion tracking for a new project, and/or optimizing an existing Facebook campaign to lower our clients’ cost-per-acquisition. I spend a lot of time drilling down into the minute details of a Facebook Advertising campaign looking for ways to boost its performance, but spend just as much time outside of the office, educating people on what we do.

4. Do you have a role model in social media. Someone who inspires you? 

My social media role model would probably be Gary Vaynerchuk. His small agency has seen amazing success, and he “gets” social in a way that many other “experts” do not. I love his books; particularly how he focuses equally on engagement (which is great) and sales (even better).

5. What is the hardest thing about social media? 

The hardest thing about social media is the need to very quickly adapt to the changes that take place on a regular basis. Algorithms change, best practices change, Facebook Advertising feature change, new platforms become popular, etc. Always being up-to-date on the newest announcements and updates, and being able to pivot client campaigns accordingly in real-time, is a big part of my job.

6. What do you see as some up-and-coming trend in social media? 

The biggest and most relevant trend right now is the movement away from a free or all-organic approach. Advertising options on the most popular platforms have been around for a while, but amidst algorithm changes and an increasingly noisy social media space, its become that much harder to reach people, let alone convert them, without paid promotion. Where advertising and social media marketing were previously separate, the two need to support one another in order for brands to see success online.

7. Can you name us a brand or company that you admire for their great social media strategy/execution? 

Gotta love Oreo! I know that their awesome display of real-time marketing during Super Bowl XLVII is old news by now, but that move was genius and speaks volumes about the culture and pace of their marketing department. In general, Oreo consistently creates perfectly on-brand content for their social media channels that is native to the particular platform (e.g. you won’t see them posting the exact same thing on Facebook and Twitter – so important!) and communicates to their customers that Oreo really gets them.

8. Did you make any social media mistakes in the past or is there anything you would avoid in future?

The biggest thing I would avoid, and recommend that others avoid, in the future is putting all your social media eggs in one basket – or relying too heavily on social media to begin with. Don’t get me wrong – social media is a great way to connect with prospects, keep them engaged, and drive conversions. But we don’t own our social media channels or audiences, and are pretty much always at the mercy of these platforms when it comes to any changes they may implement that make it harder to communicate with customers. A good way to protect yourself and/or your brand against this is to try to convert your social media followers to newsletter subscribers, because this is a list you’ll always own and have control over.

 9. To be successful in social media, you need to ..?

To be successful in social media, you need to understand the primary reasons why people use social media (hint: it’s not to buy your products). People use social media to watch funny cat videos, share photos of their friends, and ultimately communicate something about themselves. So you must be able to implement social media marketing in a way that seamlessly contributes to this user experience; not interrupt or distract from it. 

10. Where can we find more about you and you work?

LinkedIn

www.socialfulcrum.com