social media

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

Why do we need another social media conference in Boston? 

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I was recently interviewed by Horst von Wendorff for the Venture Cafe Podcast Series, where I could answer this question and explain what is special on the Social Media Days.

In the interview I talk about my own background and why we started the Social Media Days. I explain our unique perspective to social media marketing and the challenges that arise from the two-way interaction with the customer. We talk about tips on how to make authentic connections on social media and also explain the new digital media lab that we just have started.

If you want to know more and have a minute, please listen to the interview

Hope to see you at the next Social Media Day at May 7th

Werner

Telling Stories with Twitter

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Guest post by Robert Bochnak

UntitledLast Saturday night—while the younger set was out clubbing and bar hopping—my wife and I put the kids to bed and then got a little crazy ourselves.

That’s right. We spent the evening organizing Legos.

Picking through mounds of tiles and throwing them (my idea) into the appropriate colored bin (my wife’s idea) got me thinking. I wondered why so many pieces were tiny (probably to piss off parents like me) and why so many of the figures were missing pieces—there’s something sad about seeing Lego Wolverine both declawed and decapitated.

These observations aside, I also thought about the organization process and its relationship to social media event coverage. In each case, the goal is to take a number of disparate pieces (e.g., Legos or Tweets) and organize them into a coherent whole, like my wife and I did (see above).

But the process of transforming social media activity into a coherent story isn’t child’s play (sorry, I couldn’t resist the bad pun) and in this post I’ll share the approach I’ve followed in my role as social media manager for the Harvard Business School’s (HBS) alumni office.

Get Storified

I’ve covered 8-10 events on behalf of HBS since I started working there in early 2013 and I’ve followed the same pre-event approach for each. A few months before an event, I research alumni who are both attending the event AND are active on Twitter (see “Social Media Event Coverage: An Integrated Approach: Part 1” for more on this research process). Once the event begins in earnest, things get very hectic, with tweets being sent and photos being posted on Facebook. My goals for each event are two-fold; I want to generate as much real-time engagement with attendees as possible AND I want create a narrative around the event. To achieve the latter, I use Storify. This is a great tool since, naturally, tweets and responses are posted at various times during an event, and Storify allows users to arrange content in chronological order; and by organizing tweets this way, I’m able to create a coherent, linear story.

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Furthermore, I’m able to provide multiple perspectives on an event; it’s not just my tweets that fill the Storify. Alumni tweet their impressions of the event and share photos of how they are consuming the proceedings. I add these tweets to the Storify and also pose leading questions to propel the engagement forward. The challenge, of course, is to get alumni involved. This can be difficult since many attendees put away their smartphones so they can concentrate on the proceedings. To address this reality, I reach out to alumni who are not at the event but may be interested in a given topic being discussed.

A prime example of this approach in action is below. These alumni had just graduated from HBS, were active on Twitter, and had gone through the FIELD program. With this data in mind, I posed the following question to them.

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I followed the same approach with these alumni.

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By involving alumni in event coverage, it allows them to “write the event story,” and it also opens up a number of outreach avenues. Once the Storify is posted, I can tweet it to recent graduates who went through FIELD, alumni interested in venture capital, and classmates of the individual alumni included in the Storify. Also, since each alumnus/a quoted in the Storify receives an “automated” tweet (see below), it increases my chances that the content will be retweeted and shared with an even larger alumni audience.

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This is just a glimpse of the way we tell stories on Twitter using Storify (for more examples go to https://storify.com/hbsalumni) and if I had one piece of advice it would be to get started on this content creation/organization as early as possible. When you have a free moment—during a break or lunch—you should sort and organize your tweets so you can publish your Storify coverage as soon as possible once an event is over.

034971e (1)Robert Bochnak manages social media for the Harvard Business School’s alumni office. He’s also the former writer and editor of GradMatters: The Blog for Tufts GSAS. 

Follow Robert on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertBoc.

 

Pre #UMBSocial Storify

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People are already talking about #UMBSocial, have you joined the conversation?

3 Reasons You Should Absolutely Be Interested In Pinterest

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social mediaGuest post by Julia Campbell 

If you market your brand online, there is a good chance you have heard of the third most popular social networking site – Pinterest.

The photo and video sharing site is exploding in popularity. It has 70 million users, has registered over half a million business accounts and gets 2.5 billion page views per month. Whoa!

Note: Before jumping on any social network, your nonprofit should think about overall fundraising and marketing strategy and staff capacity first, and the tools second (Pinterest is a tool, not a strategy).

That being said, there are many compelling reasons why you should at least be interested in the fasting growing social network out there.

Here are my top three reasons why your brand should absolutely be interested in Pinterest:

  1. Pinterest is growing leaps and bounds. While 71% of online adults use Facebook and 22% use LinkedIn, 21% use Pinterest (more than Twitter at 18% and Instagram at 17%). It’s driving more web traffic to online publishers than Twitter, LinkedIn and Reddit combined.
  1. Pinterest is where the women are. As a general trend, women make up more of the population on most social net working sites – but they make up 80% of active users on Pinterest.

Women at virtually every income level are the driving forces behind household spending. When they give to charity and purchase brand products, they are more likely to spend more and be more loyal to brands.

  1. Pinterest is aspirational, not of the moment. What we pin reflects what we covet, what moves us, what we desire, who we want to be.

It works more like a Vision Board, rather than an off-the-cuff, in-the-moment statement of what we are eating or where we are hanging out. 

Of all the social networks out there, Pinterest posts (called pins) last much longer. Pinterest pins have a half life of over one week! (A tweet is 5-25 minutes; 80 minutes for a Facebook post.)

People pin photos on Pinterest to share with friends and to save for later.

Personally, I pin things that I want to remember and refer to later – fun ideas for crafts and gifts, things to do, articles to read.

You can’t save Facebook posts or tweets (other than the favorite function). In this way, Pinterest is unlike every other social network.

Do you want to learn more ways that you can use Pinterest to promote your brand?

Join me and dozens of other social media experts on May 14th for a day devoted to social media!

In my session, Marketing Your Brand On Pinterest, you will learn why your brand needs to get on Pinterest, now; the difference between a personal profile and a Company profile; examples of brands are kicking butt on Pinterest and why; the nuts and bolts of viral pinning; the qualities of a highly re-pinnable image; ways to integrate your efforts with your other social media platforms.