Over the past couple of months, Facebook has really shaken up the online marketing space with a brand new algorithm that drove many of us crazy, a new ad campaigns page and a brand new user interface. Change is always difficult, but it seems Facebook’s changes have really hit a nerve with businesses that are reliant on their Facebook page for customer and user engagement.
We, at Vodio use Facebook to spread the best videos on the web. Although we reach quite a large audience with every post, we, like everyone else, have had to start promoting (paying for) posts.
Let me perfectly clear, I am a big believer in organic growth and building a real community rather than just shoving advertising down people’s throats and I would never suggest buying likes. That being said, we are always looking for new ways to grow our online community and along with Google+ and the Vodio Twitter account, Facebook is our main source of traffic and promoting posts has now become a given when using the Facebook marketing funnel. Promoting a post does not mean asking for likes! Promoting a post is like raising the volume on your content so that more people who might be interested in your VALUABLE content will hear your message. If they are not liking or engaging it means your content is of no value to them and has nothing to do with the amount of money you paid Facebook!
As most of you probably did, I joined forums and Facebook discussions in order to get a better understanding of the new Facebook algorithm. What I found was a lot of upset people who were complaining and cursing out Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg for the recent changes. Like everyone else, I too was annoyed and frustrated with the new Facebook changes but I was not interested in venting, I was interested in figuring out how to work in the most efficient way to take advantage of Facebook’s potential marketing reach.
First 3 Keys To A Successful Facebook Page Is Track, Track & Track!
The first thing I did was to track every post that went out on the Vodio Facebook page. Here is a list of things I suggest you keep a close eye on.
– Time of post
– Key words
– Picture Quality and content (Human Face Vs. No humans in the picture)
– A call to action in the post (Watch, Video, Click, Download…)
At first everything looked completely random. I couldn’t figure out why some posts were reaching tens of thousands while others reached only a couple hundred. As I published more posts, a picture started to take form, a pattern of specific words, specific kind of pictures and specific times produced better results than others.
Remember: Numbers and results are stronger than your opinion!
It doesn’t really matter what you thought people would like. If you see that specific posts are reaching more people, then that is the right way to post and your opinions are going to have to take a back seat!
First Major Breakthrough On Facebook
I was racking my brain along with the rest of the Vodio team, trying to “break” the new Facebook algorithm.
What a waste of time and energy!
There was nothing genius or creative about my first discovery, it was actually quite obvious.
Considering 95% of Vodio posts are videos, I was adding the words [VIDEO] or [WATCH THIS] at the end of each post.
What I found was when I posted a picture with a visual call to action instead of the word [Watch] or [Video] or [CLICK HERE] both my reach as well as my engagement numbers (LIKES, COMMENTS and SHARES) skyrocketed and results were 500% better than posts without a VISUAL call to action.
The effect was immediate. Every post picture that had a visual call to action had a 500% improvement when it came to reach and engagement. One word of caution, Facebook doesn’t like when you place a ‘Play’ button on a picture and it doesn’t play in the Facebook page but rather redirects the user to a company landing page with a video. While the post will go through, Facebook will not let you promote that post. (Every now and then one gets through)
PROMOTE ON FACEBOOK BUT MAKE SURE YOU KNOW TO WHOM!
After two weeks of promoting posts all my insights were in the green and things looked good. The only issue was, I was getting Likes, Comments and Shares from only two countries; Turkey and the US.
While both countries have been giving us some great traffic, we were missing out on the rest of the world. I opened up my “All Campaigns” page on Facebook and was surprised to find that when I promote a post to people who Like our page and their friends, Facebook is only promoting to fans in Turkey and the US.
I never defined any specific countries as my target but I guess Facebook thought they were doing us a favor by limiting our posts to the top two countries at the time they made the user interface changes to the Facebook Ads page. The way I see it, I wasted two weeks of payment. Ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but it would have been nice if Facebook would had let me know that only two countries are being targeted and how exactly I could change those targets or add to them.
I reached out to a great friend and a Facebook know it all, Aaron Lee Wei Ren (If you are not connected with him yet, you should be!) and he pointed me in the right direction. If you open your page ads manager and click on a specific campaign, then click on ‘Edit Creative’, you can change almost everything about whom you are targeting.
Aaron recently wrote another piece on how to go viral using Facebook and if for some reason you didn’t see it, here it is: Your Facebook Will Probably Go Viral If You Follow These 5 Tips
Facebook allows you to really zero in on your market. Everything from targeting a specific country or city and even by interest or online behavior.
I do not know why or understand the decision but you cannot change the targeting settings for all posts but must make the changes for each individual post. On the one hand, it really makes one wonder how Faceook makes their decisions but on the other hand, it might help you get in to the habit of targeting each post to its most relevant audience.
Facebook is still the most powerful (by numbers) tool for social media marketing but like any tool, correct use is critical and can make all the difference between a great brand and a waste of money.
What other advice would you give for a successful Facebook page?