Archives for fans

Facebook Updates Become Nodates

Though most of you won’t ever notice, but Facebook is removing yet another feature from Fan Pages. You will no longer have the ability to update your fans via email. I am sure many of you are saying, wait! I had the ability to email my fans? Well, yes you did.  It was possible to send an email updating all of your fans about events or happenings on the page.  You could even target these updates based on location or gender.

But you are probably asking yourself why you have never received one of these updates? Well, it is likely that you have and did not know it. When Facebook updated their email service, they created their version of a spam box. It is a file on your email called “Other” this is where Facebook puts any email that it thinks is likely spam or unwanted. Of course this means any email from a fan page. They only way around emails not being filtered into this other box was to go into your email, open up a message and then move it to your “messages” box. Of course non of us ever did that. In fact, most of us never even go into the other box.  Writing this post promoted me to go into it for the first time in over 6 months.

Since all fan page emails get shoved into other as soon as it is sent, Facebook has decided to remove the option entirely. Often times when a big update goes through, like Facebook email, certain things don’t function the way they were anticipated. Though Facebook wants people to use their network as a primary email address, most people are not. Very few people look at Facebook as a way to communicate with people not on the social network, and they definitely do not view it as a replacement for their primary email address. So the spam filter is under utilized and generally ignored.

They will be removing the update fan option on September 30th. So there is still time to send emails that no one will see.

5 Tips for Boosting Facebook SEO

Facebook Search

Is your Facebook Fan Page helping your SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is not just for websites. You can also optimize your Facebook Fan Page for better search results. Not only will this help your searches inside Facebook, but it will also help with traditional search engines like Google and Bing. Plus, you’ll increase brand visibility for your Facebook Fan Page and the total visibility of your brand.

70% of brands have not optimized their Fan Pages and are missing out on some great search engine ranking opportunities.

How to boost your Facebook SEO

  1. Get a vanity URL
    The number one thing you need to do is get a vanity URL. This means that your URL is www.facebook.com/brand instead of, for instance,  www.facebook.com/page/brand=87465249. >Tech Tip: If you can’t get your actual brand name, get a vanity URL with your most used search term.
  2. Link to your Facebook Fan Page
    Linking to your Fan Page from your website will let you capitalize on the SEO done on your website. It gives you an inbound link which will help boost your FB SEO. In fact, link from all your pages. The more links, the better the SEO boost. >Tech Tip: Make sure your anchor text is something like “Brand Name on Facebook” and link it to your vanity URL, e.g. www.facebook.com/brandname – not www.facebook.com/brandname=sk?872635
  3. Use your brand name in your post
    Search engines scan the content of your page. If you use your brand name it will help boost the SEO for name recognition. >Tech Tip: Now you can tag the text in your posts for added SEO boost.
  4. Get links to your posts
    Get people to Like your posts. The more people share and Like your posts, the better the SEO value – Likes count as links! >Tech Tip: Post things that ask for social engagement; comments, sharing and Likes. This will drive up your engagement and thus your FB SEO
  5. Use Fan Boxes
    Facebook lets you put Fan Boxes on your website that can show your fans and feature your recent posts. This is a good way to build engagement and drive more fans to your site. >Tech Tip: If you don’t have many fans yet, set your fan box to show recent posts until you get more than 25 fans.

5 Ways to Breathe Life into your Facebook Fan Page

Tip Jar

  1. Show off your Peeps!
    A great way to get people interested in your page and in what you are doing is to include them. Pictures of abstract things, pretty landscapes or funny cats are great, but to get people involved with your page, post things that are relevant to them.  And what is more relevant to them than, well, them? Post pictures of your fans at events and in your store. Post pictures of your staff or of people using your product. People love to see pics they can relate to.
  2. Be funny!
    Everyone loves humor – it shows off your less serious side. It shows that you are not all about business and sometimes you like to cut loose. Social media is powerful because it allows people to get past the company front. It allows businesses the opportunity to become more human to their customers. Humor is the perfect way to break through that 4th wall. Of course, be sure to keep it light and within appropriate boundaries.
  3. Be interesting
    Are your posts thought-provoking, do they spark debate or are they fun? Etsy does a great job on their fan page by sharing some of their quirkier items. Their fans have a high likelihood of commenting on the product and sharing it on their fan page. Ultimately you want to share things that will engage your audience.
  4. Ask questions
    Asking for your fans’ thoughts or opinions is a great way to engage them. It encourages their involvement, which means they will be more invested in the issue. They will be interested in what other people say in response, and more likely to interact further. Once you get someone commenting on and participating with your page, they will be more likely to do it again. So ask your fans what they think; you might get some interesting and valuable feedback.
  5. Behind the Scenes
    We all want to see the man behind the curtain, just ask the Wizard of Oz. Show pictures and share stories about things that happen behind the scenes. Social media shares the personality of your business, and people like to see what happens behind the public front – it makes them feel more involved and in the know!

Facebook lets you Unlike your Fans

black and white picture of screaming fans

Are your fans enthusiastic or crazy? Facebook is giving you control with regard to who Likes your page!

Facebook has added a great new feature for Fan Pages, the ability to unlike a page or person.  This may not sound so revolutionary, but it is because it gives a page control over who Likes their page. Facebook has finally made a big move to help out businesses!

In February Facebook made some big changes to the Fan Page. One of these was allowing Fan Pages the ability to Like other Fan Pages. However, there was a problem.  When you are a profile and someone wants to be friends with you, it has to be a mutual decision; they have to send you the friend request and then you have to approve it. But Liking a page was a one-way relationship – all you had to do was go there and Like it.

Issues arose because some pages were Liking a page and then posting inappropriate content. The page could remove the content, but they could not do anything about the page that Liked them.  Thus, they were being left open to more spam and also being associated with the spammer pages appearing in their list of Likes.  For instance, say a hate group Liked your page. If you went to their page you would be listed amongst the pages they had Liked. With the the Fan Page’s ability to set their featured page, you might even be a featured Like, and see your Fan Page displayed prominently on their sidebar!

Facebook has now given control to Fan Pages to Unlike  and remove a Like from their page.  You also have the ability to ban someone so they will not be able to post, or otherwise interact with your page.

This new feature doesn’t just let you kick people off your page, it will also help you engage better. You can now sort your fans by people and pages, so you can clearly see all the pages that Like your page. This gives you more opportunity to interact with other pages and deepen your relationships on Facebook.

This is an excellent new Facebook tool that will really help boost engagement and give more control over what happens on your page.

 

Facebook’s Got Questions!?!

Facebook has rolled out another update. Here’s the latest: Questions has been unleashed on the Facebook world.  Now you can poll all your friends or fans, right from your status update!

Questions is a new feature that allows you to create a poll to post in your status update. You can ask any question, then add as many answer options as you wish for responders to choose from. The “options” are your poll choices. You can even offer “Allow anyone to add options” to let people write in their own answer, if they do not want to choose one of your pre-sets.

Questions on Facebook

When you create a poll, it appears in your newsfeed and on your wall.

If you have a personal Profile and you post a Question, it looks like this:

 

Facebook Question in the newsfeed

In the newsfeed the Question appears as the full poll, showing profile thumbnails of people who have answered.

If you post a Question from your Fan Page, it looks like this:

 

Questions post on fan page

When you post a Question from your Fan Page, it shows up as a link instead of showing the poll.

As you can see, there is a big difference between how Questions appear on the newsfeeds and walls for Fan Pages and Profiles, and there is an obvious benefit to posting as a Profile. However, what makes Questions so exciting is its potential for business use.  This could be a great tool for crowd sourcing or crowdsurfing, and engaging your fan base with your page. But it is also less likely that anyone would take the poll if all they see is a link.

If someone does actually click through and answer the question, it will show up as activity in their news feed (as either the link or the whole post – Facebook is still testing this).  For now, the Fan Page link situation is inhibiting the use of this feature as an interactive business tool.  Maybe Facebook will change it as they work out some of the kinks. Meanwhile, a great blog, Ignite, breaks down the Fan Page Question posting process.

In any case, if you’d like to try out this interesting new feature, get Facebook Questions.

Is Facebook Censoring Your Fan Page?

Peering over the Facebook Fan Page Wall

What do people see when they look at your Fan Page wall? Hint: it probably isn't the most recent post.

The new Facebook Fan Page overhaul was unleashed on the world last Friday. Now that we are finally past all the glitz and glamour of the new features, we can look at the one big glaring problem.

The Wall.

Is Facebook censoring your Fan Page? Yes and no. It is not actually censorship per se, it is their new algorithm sorting your posts and choosing which ones get face time on the wall and which ones don’t.  Why is this not censorship? Because the choice is based off popularity, not the type of post.

People are noticing

As more people are switching their pages over from the old format to the new they are starting to notice a problem with the wall. Not all posts are visible, and the posts that are showing up are not in chronological order.

Triangle Ranch Facebook Post about the Fan Page wall issues

Triangle X Ranch is a ranch in Wyoming. They have an active Fan Page and share many beautiful pictures.  As a former Wyoming resident (Gillette, in case you are wondering), their pics tug at my nostalgic heart strings.  And though the images make me happy, I’m still glad I don’t have to live in -20 degree weather for half the year, lol.

Since the change over to the new Fan Page, Triangle X Ranch fans have started to notice that their posts are not showing up on the wall. Many people are wondering if this is a glitch. Unfortunately it is not.

The new Fan Page has an algorithm in it that displays the posts on your wall in the order that Facebook deems the most popular, instead of showing everything in chronological order.

How do they define popular?

Good question.  We don’t know yet.  New Fan Pages that do not have many page views or interactions are also having their posts sorted, even if there is no “popular” post yet.

What can you do?

Unfortunately not much. You can restrict your wall view to only showing posts by your Fan Page. This means that any fan interaction would be hidden from public view.  Personally I do not think this is a good option.  Fan posts are important for growing your network and building your community.

So, if you don’t want to restrict your wall there really is nothing you can do.  The official rollout of the new Fan Page is happening in March. Hopefully, Facebook will listen to our complaints and fix the wall (which never needed fixing in the first place).

Anyone out there posting to Facebook about this yet? Let us know.

Facebook Fan Page gets Engaged!

The Facebook logo with an engagement ring around it

Facebook got engaged! Now businesses can use Fan Pages to interact with their fans...with much less limitation!

Facebook is getting engaged! The businesses proposed, and they said yes!  We can all rejoice and tell our mothers.  Ok, maybe it is not quite that exciting, but if you are a business it should be.  On Friday the new Fan Page design was released to the world (or at least made available to a segment of the world until the official roll out in March). One of the hot new features in the release was the ability to use Facebook as your Fan Page.  This was a gift of engagement.

What this means

When you go to your Fan Page, in the right hand menu bar, at the very top, there is a line that says “Admins”. This shows you who the admins are for your site, and is only visible to them.  Fans do not see this.  Directly under that line is a list of Fan Page operating options:

the operating option for the Facebook Fan PageThe first line says “Use Facebook as…”. This allows you to operate Facebook as your Fan Page. You can post comments on people’s posts,  “Like” other pages and post on walls as your Fan Page name.  You can do nearly everything you would do as a profile.

This means you can use Facebook as your business or brand, while keeping all your brand activity tied to your fan page.

Previously, if you wanted to comment on pages or posts as your brand you couldn’t do it. Many people would create additional profiles for their businesses just so they could talk to people on Facebook in a location other than their Fan Page.  There are many businesses who opted to only have a profile instead of a Fan Page, because of this limitation. However, this limited them to a fixed number of friends. They also risked being deleted, because you are not supposed to use personal profiles for business purposes.  That is why Fan Pages were created .

How it affects engagement

The simple Facebook rule for business is this:

If you want to have an effective fan page, you need to talk to your fans.

If you talk to your fans you will increase your reach. You will be passively networking through your interactions with people.  This was easy to do with a profile and hard to accomplish with a Fan Page.  Now you can post everywhere! You can put your business page in front of as many folks as you are willing to talk to!  You just  increased your capacity to network infinitely.

However, you also increased the chances of being flagged for spam. Just because you can now post anywhere, it does not necessarily mean you should.  You can still be marked as spam if you are not using your new communication channels with care.

Remember, engagement is about talking to people, not about putting your link out there as much as you can. If you join conversations, and have something interesting to say, you will get people to your page and your website.

New Fan Page Layout: Good & Bad

Lauren MacEwen making a grumbly face

Another Facebook update? Sigh. Although this one is mostly good, the not-so-good is something you need to know!

Oh no, not another Facebook update! Yup, on Friday Facebook announced that they did a major overhaul of the fan pages. There are some really great changes, and one really bad one.

The Good

  • Profile style layout

    The layouts now share the same style as the redesigned profile. This streamlines pages and profiles, making them easier for people to use, because they share similar features.  Plus, the new layout is more contemporary and allows for better visibility of some page features, like recent photos.

  • Posting as a Page

    You now have the option to post comments on other people’s pages and profiles as an individual, or using an identity based on your business brand. Previously, you could update your posts using your “brand” name, but you couldn’t interact with another member of the Facebook community as your brand. When you posted on someone else’s wall, you had to do it from your profile. This caused people to create additional profiles that were branded for their business, so they could comment and network with other business pages. Now you can choose to comment as your brand (e.g. from your fan page) or as yourself.

  • Photo Strip

    The photo strip you are now accustomed to seeing in your profile is now on your page.  Instead of the photos being the most recently tagged images of you, they are the five most recently uploaded photos.  There is no worry about fans posting pics to the photo strip, because it only uses pics that have been loaded into photo albums, and that must be done by an admin.

  • Change your Category

    You can now change the category of your fan page.  It used to be that once you picked a category for your page you were stuck with it.  As companies grow and change, so do their categories.  Someone might go from a local business to corporation or non-profit.  Now it is convenient to do this.

  • Featured Likes

    A page can now Like another page. These Likes are featured on the left side panel of your page.  Beyond that, you can also assign “Featured Likes”, meaning you can designate special pages you wish to focus on.  This is great for businesses with multiple divisions or brands, as they can now feature their other pages. It is also a way to show favor to another page by giving them prime passive advertising real estate on your page.

  • Featured Page Owner

    Just like Featured Likes, you can feature a page owner. This will also appear on the left side panel. This is a great way to draw attention to a person who manages multiple pages.

The Bad

  • Filtered Wall

    Facebook is now filtering your wall posts. You have 2 choices. One is to only display the posts from your page, which will appear chronologically.  The other is to display all posts; this is usually a better setting because it creates engagement on your page, showing that you and your fans interact with each other. However, Facebook is filtering these posts based on popularity. That means two things are happening: not all posts, tags or mentions are being displayed on your wall, and what does show up is not being shown chronologically.  Posts from today are directly above a post from last week. Or a post from three weeks ago might be at the top of your wall.

So, that’s an overview of the newest changes. I will spend more time talking about them this week, especially the filtered wall issues. Stay tuned!

Fan Page Simplified

Many people have difficulty setting up Fan Pages. The process can be overwhelming and result in constructing the wrong kind of page. If you are establishing your fan page, do you set it up as a business or a brand?  Is it local? There are questions when it comes to setting up your fan page that don’t seem like a big deal at the time. But the way you deal with them might affect people’s ability to find you, and can keep you from having access to features that would benefit your business.

Facebook seems to have realized this and created a new work flow that is designed to help you navigate the confusing waters of Fan Page creation.

The new work flow combines text and images to break down choices for you:

Teh new menu for chosing what kind of fan page to set up

The images help answer questions about what the categories mean, and which one applies to you.

When you pick a category, you also have more choices regarding what sub-category you want.  So if you sell airplanes, you can choose that. If you are personality or a local celebrity, you can let your audience know if you are an artist, a writer or a producer.  The sub-categories might seem redundant, but they help when people are searching for you, especially if they do not yet know YOU.  If they are searching for artists named Joe, and you are a Joe who listed as an artist, you are more likely to come up in their search and thus increase the potential for the organic growth of your page.

So what are the categories?

  • Local Business or Place of Interest

    If people actually come to your place of business, then you want to be listed here.  One of the newer features in pages is the ability to put in your location. This will show a map of where your store or office is located, helping drive people to your store or office.

  • Company, Organization or Institution

    Choose this if coming to your place of business is either not an option, or not encouraged. This is perfect for non-profits, online businesses or offices that do not see clients.

  • Brand or Product

    If you are marketing a particular product and want to draw attention to that, rather than the business behind the product. If you are working on branding rather than company relations, ie. Ecomagination, this is your category!

  • Artist, Band or Public Figure

    This is for people promoting themselves, or their musical group. Even if you are just a regular person who decided you wanted a fan page, this is the place for you.

  • Entertainment

    For entertainment purposes only: remember the poodle with the tin foil hat or the page trying (and succeeding) at having a pickle get more fans than Nickleback? Or my personal favorite “Pretending to use the force to open automatic doors“.

  • Cause or Topic

    If you are raising awareness or want to have an ongoing discussion regarding an issue, this is your place. This is helpful for non-profits or political issues. It is also useful for pages related to a single topic of conversation like “Why do there have to be bullies at every school?”

    Here’s more great info on creating Fan Pages.

Is your community page stealing your network?

sillouette of two men having lunch

As I am sure many of you have noticed, Facebook has community pages. These are pages that have been created because the Facebook bot has noticed that your page, website or company name has been mentioned repeatedly in people’s posts. When I first discovered the community page for SM Cubed, I was pretty excited. I felt like it was a nod from Facebook. Since then I have changed my mind. Now it often seems like a community page is stealing the network from your actual fan page.

Think of Facebook’s community page for your business as a duplicate page.  Now when someone searches for you, they will see your page and another page. Your page may have your logo, but so might the other one. The other one will also have “company” written underneath it as a subheading that seemingly gives it authority.  The problem is that it is not the page created by you, it is the page created by Facebook.

Sometimes this will cause enough confusion that people interested in fanning your page will actually fan the community page.  This means that your custom landing page and communications are not being seen by any of the people who “liked” the other page instead.

JCPenny Community Page in Facebook search

The social path gives some great examples of community pages and search suggestions with auto-populating causing huge confusion. They focus on  JC Penney, which also has some variations if the spelling. If you look at the above image, note that none of these suggested pages are the real JCPenney Fan Page.

Some primary pages aren’t even showing up in searches, only the community page. This means that when people search for your page they may only be presented with the option of going to the community page.  If this is happening to your page you can remedy this situation by making sure you have claimed the vanity URL for your page and that you have done some SEO to help your Facebook search results.

The best thing to do is to claim your community page.  This is a process that will allow you to establish yourself as the “owner” of the page and it will be merged with your Facebook fan page. This puts the control back in your hands.

Do you have a community page? If so, what have you done about it?