Facebook Answerman! http://facebookanswerman.com Thu, 01 May 2014 17:14:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 The New “FB Newswire” Announcement Pisses Me Off! And Should Piss You Off Too! http://facebookanswerman.com/the-new-fb-newswire-announcement-pisses-me-off-and-should-piss-you-off-too/ http://facebookanswerman.com/the-new-fb-newswire-announcement-pisses-me-off-and-should-piss-you-off-too/#respond Thu, 01 May 2014 17:14:10 +0000 http://facebookanswerman.com/?p=272 facebook_piss_off_icon_by_angrydogdesigns-d73uuwnDid you catch Facebook’s announcement about the new page called “FB Newswire”?

I did and in this podcast I talk about why it kinda pisses me off!

FB Newswire Announcement

News Feed Algorithm Change

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Facebook just killed Timeline Contests! http://facebookanswerman.com/facebook-just-killed-timeline-contests/ http://facebookanswerman.com/facebook-just-killed-timeline-contests/#respond Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:17:05 +0000 http://facebookanswerman.com/?p=267 facebook-contestJust a few months ago everyone was praising Facebook for finally loosening the requirements regarding Facebook pages running contests.

You may recall that Facebook required that all contests be run via a 3rd party app on the page and no form of entry could be done on the Timeline or news feed itself.

That all changed on August 27, 2013 with the new “rules”:

We’ve removed the requirement that promotions on Facebook only be administered through apps.

Now, promotions may be administered on Page Timelines and in apps on Facebook. For example, businesses can now:

  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page
  • Utilize likes as a voting mechanism

Woohoo!!!

Now page admins could ditch having to learn complicated apps and could save the money spent on them for other things — like Facebook Ads.

timeline contestImmediately every blog related to Facebook marketing — including ours here at Post Planner — began writing blog posts on how to best implement and run a “Timeline Contest“. We all wanted to take advantage of the new opportunity Facebook gave page owners by helping small businesses use them the correct way.

Granted the best contests for growing a brand and making money are likely still run via 3rd party apps — because of the ability to gather emails — but the Timeline Contests got/get much more engagement due to the fact that to enter one only had to Like or Comment on a post. Such as the example below:

A page simply posts a photo or text update, asks fans to Comment or Like on the post and then selects a winner — I prefer to use this FREE tool to select winners from Timeline Contests.

Easy Peasy right?!

But wait.. Did Facebook just change the rules?? Again?

Facebook’s Latest Attack on Businesses Killed Timeline Contests!

killed timeline contestsFacebook has been and will continue to tweak the news feed in order to show what they think the “best” content is for users.

Without an algorithm our news feed would be overwhelming and simply suck — ever try to read every tweet from everyone you follow on Twitter? you can’t…

But did you catch the latest update Facebook announced regarding the news feed?

Facebook is calling it “Like-Baiting”:

“Like-baiting” is when a post explicitly asks News Feed readers to like, comment or share the post in order to get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive.

People often respond to posts asking them to take an action, and this means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed. However, when we survey people and ask them to rate the quality of these stories, they report that like-baiting stories are, on average, 15% less relevant than other stories with a comparable number of likes, comments and shares. Over time, these stories lead to a less enjoyable experience of Facebook since they drown out content from friends and Pages that people really care about.

The improvement we are making today better detects these stories and helps ensure that they are not shown more prominently in News Feed than more relevant stories from friends and other Pages. This update will not impact Pages that are genuinely trying to encourage discussion among their fans, and focuses initially on Pages that frequently post explicitly asking for Likes, Comments and Shares.

On the surface this basically tells me that if you have built a page around constantly asking your fans to Like, Comment or Share a post your posts will no longer be prominent in the News Feed.

This could be a good thing as most of the pages that focus on this aren’t providing quality content, but rather just entertainment. Although some might argue that isn’t being social about entertaining? And I’d say yes.

Facebook gives this as an example of the type of post they don’t want to see on the News Feed:

like baiting

Unless you run a page that is constantly posting this type of post you can agree that there isn’t much value in this post.

(Side note it’s pretty obvious when you search for this page that it’s a fake page created just days before the News Feed announcement likely created by Facebook just to show what not to do.)

Now is where you as a business owner should start getting a bit pissed off — I know I am!

If you look at every Timeline Contest every page has posted — including the example from Post Planner above — the post asks fans to Like or Comment to enter the contest.

As that’s the whole idea of the Timeline contest and is what Facebook said is allowed as entry to a contest.

My conclusion based on these changes is that any post containing the words “Like, Comment or Share” will be shown to less people — which means your Timeline Contest may be dead before you even launch it!

Facebook says the update is mainly targeting pages that frequently post asking for engagement, but how are they defining “frequently”?

No one knows.

Are Timeline Contests Dead?

facebook-dead-bwI don’t know to be honest.

But I’m afraid this change will result in less Reach, which will result in less engagement on Timeline Contests.

If posts are being penalized based on the pure text in the updates or the images used then as page owners we will need to adjust our posting strategy in order to maximize our Reach.

The way I see it I see it you should immediately stop using Like or Comment on your Timeline Contests and perhaps replace them with other words that hopefully Facebook isn’t targeting — although we both know they will eventually once people start over using these words.

Instead of the word “Like” maybe use “thumbs up” . Instead of “Comment” use “caption”.

But doing that seems awkward and even worse.

Plus you are required to state your rules to your contest and will be forced to say “Like” or “Comment” in the post somewhere.

Which leads me back to my original thought that this News Feed update killed Timeline Contests.

Or has at least made them much tougher to manage and get exposure.

Perhaps it’s time to go back to using 3rd party apps to run your contests, gather leads and etc. Which makes sense from Facebook’s perspective as you’ll likely need to run ads to gain more exposure to your posts leading to the ads…

I recommend the following companies to run contest via apps:

Do you think Timeline Contests are dead?

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9 Ways to Game the Facebook News Feed (this Stuff Really Works) http://facebookanswerman.com/9-ways-to-game-the-facebook-news-feed-this-stuff-really-works/ http://facebookanswerman.com/9-ways-to-game-the-facebook-news-feed-this-stuff-really-works/#respond Thu, 20 Mar 2014 15:59:45 +0000 http://facebookanswerman.com/?p=250 game-the-facebook-news-feedPage owners often complain that Facebook is dead, when the reach of their posts plummets.

Fewer fans are seeing content from some businesses, and those companies are crying foul. They claim Facebook is out to get page owners by charging them money to show posts to more fans.

For those complaining, I have this advice:

Stop whining & do something about it!

Complaints won’t get you anywhere.

It’s time we all take control of our pages — and here are 9 ways to get your Facebook posts in front of more fans:

9 Ways to Game the Facebook News Feed (this Stuff Really Works)

It’s still pretty simple to get your content in front of fans, even with all the changes to Facebook’s news feed algorithm.

And more posts means more engagement, which generates new leads & sales.

game-the-facebook-news-feed1. Figure Out the Best Times to Post

Just because you read somewhere that posting at breakfast, lunch & dinner is best, doesn’t mean it’s true for your page.

You need to post when YOUR fans are actually on Facebook.

If hardly anyone is logged on at 9am, don’t post then — at least don’t do it very often.

To find out when your friends are on Facebook, go to your page Insights & click “Posts”.

You’ll see a graph like this:

 game-the-facebook-news-feed

I see that throughout the week 10am is when most Post Planner fans are on Facebook.

However, hovering over each day shows more detailed results.

We need to make sure we post at around 10am to potentially reach the greatest number of fans.

game-the-facebook-news-feed2. Post Consistently & Often

The most successful pages on Facebook have clear content strategies.

And the strategies don’t involve only posting once a week — or sometimes 10 times in 1 day & just twice the next.

You must post consistently & often to keep your followers engaged.

Facebook’s news feed algorithm often gives the most visibility to the last 50 people & pages a user interacted with. As a Facebook marketer, you want your page on as many of those lists of 50 as possible.

But you can’t be on every fan’s list — so don’t even try.

You need to come up with a posting schedule that suits your followers. For some pages that might mean 1 post a day, for others it could mean 20!

It all depends on your page & your fans.

If people are not engaging with your page by Liking, sharing or commenting on your posts, you either need to change the frequency of the updates or test different types of posts to see what works best.

But before you make adjustments, stick to a content calendar for at least a week to determine what works & doesn’t work on your page.

This is why I use the Queue schedule feature on the Post Planner app. I never worry about what time to select when scheduling a post or what type of post to schedule — all that’s determined in my app settings.

Once set up, I simply add posts, click “Queue” and it’s done. So freaking simple!

To learn more about Post Planner’s Queue feature visit: Setup your Queue schedule.

game-the-facebook-news-feed3. Size Photos Correctly

By now we all know that photos typically get more engagement on pages than other kinds of posts.

But make sure to post images that are optimized for the Facebook news feed & your Timeline.

Facebook recommends making images 1,200 x 1,200 pixels so they can be shown properly in different places around the website.

Once you upload an image, Facebook will resize it as needed depending on where the image is being viewed.

Sticking to the correct dimensions is key because the Facebook algorithm considers this when ranking images in the news feed — more visibility is given to posts with images that are sized correctly.

Canva will help you create great images to share on Facebook.

game-the-facebook-news-feed4. Post Questions

One of the quickest & easiest ways to get fans commenting on your posts is to ask them questions.

We try to do this at least once a day on the Post Planner page & always get a response.

People love answering questions — but keep a few things in mind when asking yours:

  • Keep questions short — 80 to 100 characters
  • Make sure questions can be answered with 1 or 2 words — the easier the better
  • Going off topic is ok — but don’t do it every time

Coming up with questions for your fans can be tough — and it takes time.

I use Post Planner’s Status Ideas Engine to find rad questions to ask on my pages:

game-the-facebook-news-feed

There are more than 1,000 questions to choose from & the engine’s super easy to use.

game-the-facebook-news-feed5. Post Fill-in-the-Blanks

Another great way to get people commenting is with a fill-in-the-blank post:

As with a question, keep your update short & make it easy for fans to reply.

Require only a 1- or 2-word response, since more & more of your fans are viewing your Facebook page on their mobile device.

 

WARNING: Facebook did recently note, however, that reach for text updates for fan pages may decrease moving forward:

Through testing, we have found that when people see more text status updates on Facebook they write more status updates themselves. Over time, we noticed that this effect wasn’t true for text status updates from Pages.

The latest update to News Feed ranking treats text status updates from Pages as a different category to text status updates from friends. Posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends and we are working to improve our ranking algorithms so that we do a better job of differentiating between the two types.

This will help us show people more content they want to see. Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates …

But it’s still too soon to trash text updates completely, and focus only on photos & links. We just don’t have enough data yet to declare that reach is down consistently on text updates.

That might change 6 months from now. By then, however, Facebook will likely change the news feed again!

The key for any page is a strong mix of posts. Don’t post the same types of updates over & over — fill-in-the blank posts & questions can help.
game-the-facebook-news-feed

6. Post Links with Wide Image Previews

Link posts on Facebook could see greater reach due to recent changes to the news feed algorithm. This would be great for all page owners — but especially those who have their own websites.

Your goal as a page owner is not only to get engagement on posts, but to get people clicking the links & drive traffic to your website.

Facebook has made some terrific improvements to how links appear in the news feed — on desktops & mobile devices.

Instead of a small thumbnail image with the title & description, we now get wide image previews on the news feed.

Here’s how it used to be:

game-the-facebook-news-feed

And here’s how it is today:

game-the-facebook-news-feed

Big difference, eh?!

The wider image is much more compelling to viewers — and these changes resulted in more people clicking links.

A fan will be taken to your web page whether they click the image, title or description on the link!

But make sure the image with your post is optimized to look great in the news feed. Facebook recommends making the image 1,200 x 627 pixels — a goofy aspect ratio of 1:91:1.

Images smaller than 400 x 209 pixels are reduced to the older, smaller thumbnail image preview.

game-the-facebook-news-feed7. Appeal to Your Fans

While we all use Facebook to sell things, we need to make sure we stay human & always genuinely interact with our fans.

This means posting content that excites them & motivates them to comment.

But to succeed at this, you must first know your fans.

I run the Facebook page for my church & it would be silly for me to post updates about Miley Cyrus on that page!

It’s not my target demographic & obviously not in the best interest of the page.

Instead, I post images with scriptures & positive thoughts, articles about bible study & links to our events & podcasts.

You have to understand Facebook’s news feed algorithm to get the most out of your page, but you also need to know your audience & make them the top priority.

Put your fans 1st & your page will experience greater long-term success.

game-the-facebook-news-feed8. Use Clear Calls-to-Action

When posting text updates, photos or links you need to convince your audience to take action.

And don’t just assume they know what you want them to do.

 

Adding the phrase “Click LIKE” to a photo post will always get more engagement.

State clearly what you want people to do & give them a compelling reason to take action — especially if you’re trying to drive traffic to your website.

I know many folks criticize posts from Upworthy & BuzzFeed, but these organizations crush it with great calls-to-action that result in lots of people clicking their links.

Visit those Facebook pages to get ideas for your posts.

game-the-facebook-news-feed9. Keep Mobile Users in Mind

Hundreds of millions of Facebook users only access the website on their mobile device.

They never view Facebook from a computer!

My brother is one of them. He’s never on a computer, but always on his iPhone.

So it’s imperative that your posts are easy to engage with while on the go.

Brief updates are critical for getting attention in crowded news feeds — as are powerful visuals.

And make sure links you share are mobile friendly.

Here are a few ways to test your site to see what it looks like on mobile devices:

game-the-facebook-news-feedNow to Review 9 Ways to Game the Facebook News Feed

  1. Figure Out the Best Times to Post
  2. Post Consistently & Often
  3. Size Photos Correctly
  4. Post Questions
  5. Post Fill-in-the-Blanks
  6. Post Links with Wide Image Previews
  7. Appeal to Your Fans
  8. Use Clear Calls-to-Action
  9. Keep Mobile Users in Mind

Apply these tips & you’re sure to boost visibility for your brand on Facebook!

Would you add any advice? Let me know in the comments below.

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5 Reasons You Should NOT Run a Facebook Page for Your MLM Business http://facebookanswerman.com/5-reasons-you-should-not-run-a-facebook-page-for-your-mlm-business/ http://facebookanswerman.com/5-reasons-you-should-not-run-a-facebook-page-for-your-mlm-business/#respond Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16:20:21 +0000 http://facebookanswerman.com/?p=229 raise handRaise your hand if you or someone you know on Facebook posts often about a product they are selling?

Put your hand down silly — people are going to think you’re nuts!

On a daily basis I see friends and family members posting on Facebook about the newest product they are selling.

Maybe it’s candles, weight loss supplements, electricity, cell phones, 3D eye lashes or whatever.

While there’s nothing wrong with being involved with an MLM company it becomes rather obnoxious when all you talk about on your profile is the latest wares you are peddling.

Don’t get me wrong times are tough and I’m all for people making a buck — and I’m all for MLM/Direct Sell companies.

In fact I’ve been a member of many MLM companies and learned some hard lessons of what to do and not do on Facebook when it comes to selling.

Should You Start a Facebook Page for your MLM Business?

excitedMany people will join a new opportunity and get extremely pumped about the product, the compensation plan, bonuses and etc.

They blast out links constantly on their profile until they annoy everyone and then someone tells them they should start a Facebook business page to showcase their products and reach more people.

Fair enough — better to do business on a page anyway right?

So you start your page and ask all of your friends to LIKE it — whom you may have already annoyed posting about the product on your profile — and you start posting about the product, how great it is and etc.

No big deal right?

I’d say WRONG!

Here’s why…

5 Reasons You Should NOT Start a Facebook Page for Your MLM Business

1) You’ll Leave the Business

shiny-objectNo matter how much you love the product you are pushing the likelihood of you still selling that product 3, 6, 9, 12 months from now is pretty limited.

Most people in MLM companies fizzle out in 2-3 months.

They get bored or discouraged and move on to other things.

If you have created a page around a particular product and get out of that business your page is basically dead now and any work you’ve done on it is pointless.

2) Parent Company Goes Out of Business

What if you built a page around say the product Scentsy (as shown below) and at some point that company goes out of business?

scentsy facebook page

Now you’re left with a Scentsy related page with a few hundred followers that you can’t use.

They won’t be interested in hearing about another product you are peddling.

And typically Facebook won’t let you change the name after getting a certain amount of fans.

So now the page you’ve worked so hard on to get more Facebook Likes is useless.

3) MLM Company Does Not Allow You to Run a Facebook Page

not-approvedMany MLM companies do not technically allow you to create websites or Facebook pages using the company name.

You could find yourself getting removed as a distributor or worse yet get a cease and desist letter in the mail!

You should dive into your distributor agreement to see if you can even use the company’s name or logo online.

You’ll be shocked to see that most say you cannot do this.

Scentsy technically owns this page now and could probably make a submission to Facebook about a duplicate page and take it over.

If you dive into Facebook’s terms of service you’ll find that if you aren’t an official representative of a company you can’t run a page in the name of the company:

A Page for a brand, entity (place or organization), or public figure may be administered only by an authorized representative of that brand, entity (place or organization) or public figure (an “official Page”).

Unless you are Scentsy you shouldn’t have a page named Scentsy — or any other MLM product.

4) Causes Confusion

mass confusionI bet within 30 seconds I could name at least 30 of my personal friends and family that are selling some other MLM product.

Imagine if they — along with the millions of others selling products — all had a Facebook page about their MLM business!

There would be brand confusion.

Who is officially a rep from Scentsy? Can’t I just buy from any of them since it’s all the same product?

Too many pages about a product diminishes the product to me and causes confusion among consumers.

5) You’re Branding the Company Not YOU!

branding on facebookThis reason is the biggest reason to not start a Facebook page for your MLM business in my opinion.

Cortney Scott submitted her Scentsy page for me to review on a recent post on the Post Planner page and while I think the cover photo looks great I think Cortney is wasting her time with this page.

Minus her name being on the name of the page do you see Cortney branding herself in anyway in the Cover Photo or Profile Picture?

Nope..

She’s branding the Scentsy company.

Great for Scentsy, bad for Cortney.

If another Scentsy rep pops up on Facebook those that have Liked Cortney’s page are likely to go and give that page a LIKE as well.

Now who do they buy from???

And again what happens when Cortney leaves Scentsy or they go out of business?

So What Should Distributors of MLM Product Do On Facebook?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn my opinion….

You shouldn’t sell MLM products at all on Facebook.

Why?

Because after the 10th post you’ve annoyed everyone about your product and no one wants to talk to you — trust me I say this from first hand experience….

You likely won’t get any negative comments on your posts about the product you’re selling but you’ll also notice less and less comments on your posts — this is probably because people are hiding you from their news feed now.

I also advise against starting a Facebook page for your MLM business because of the 5 reasons above.

So what should you do to get the word out about your great product on Facebook??!

Be Relational.

Be Real.

Be Genuine.

Be Positive.

Be Giving.

DO NOT SELL…

See what I’ve learned over many years of studying MLM companies is that those that are the most successful never do a sales pitch — especially on Facebook.

Instead they live a life that is positive — both online and and off — and attract people to them.

I can think of many leaders in the direct selling industry that do this incredibly well and have a massive following and make loads of cash in MLM companies — yet I couldn’t tell you what product they are selling.

Guys like David Frey, Art Jonak, Mike Healy, Eric Worre and many others.

chasingWhy?

Because they let people chase them instead of chasing people.

Create a presence online where people ask you what you do for a living — instead of you puking it all over them with your 15 posts per day!

Keep conversations about your product to private messages (that others start, not started by you).

See selling products in the MLM industry is not about blasting 1000s of links per day on your Facebook profile, page or in Facebook groups.

It’s about building relationships with people 1-on-1.

And you can’t do that posting links on Facebook to buy your junk…

If you want to start a Facebook page start one around YOU!

Brand yourself as a motivational speaker or trainer or coach.

When it comes to posts on your Facebook page keep it light-hearted, positive and motivational.

Create a website or apps on your page that captures email addresses and etc. From there feel free to email about your products and offers.

But never try to sell your MLM product on Facebook. Let people ask you what you do…

What Do You Think?

I’m I being to harsh about this?

Can someone have long term success running their MLM opportunity on a Facebook page?

Sound off in the comments.. And be sure to share this with your MLM counterparts.

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Debunking the “Facebook Fraud” Viral Video http://facebookanswerman.com/debunking-the-facebook-fraud-viral-video/ http://facebookanswerman.com/debunking-the-facebook-fraud-viral-video/#respond Fri, 28 Feb 2014 16:58:17 +0000 http://facebookanswerman.com/?p=237 facebook-fraudAre Facebook Ads a “fraud”?

If you are in the social media marketing niche you’ve seen the video from Veritasium that has circulated titled “Facebook Fraud”.

I’ll share it below but in this post I want to offer up my opinion of this YouTuber’s experience with Facebook Ads.

Personally I think he’s full of sh*t!

Let me explain why..

 

Are Facebook Ads a Fraud?

This is the 2nd video ranting about Facebook this YouTuber has posted and with both of them he’s gotten tons of views and press — and likely made lots of money on YouTube ads…

His first video was called “The Problem with Facebook” and oddly enough was posted to a secondary YouTube account, not his main account.

It got 1.2 million views while whereas the average views of his previous 22 videos saw 78k views.

The Facebook Fraud video has garnered 1.2 million views and just 3 days.

“Facts” Stated in the Video

facebook fraud factsBefore I give you my opinion on the video let me list out the facts he gave in this video

  • Virtual Bagel created in 2012 by Rory Cellan-Jones spent $60 on Facebook Ads and generated 3000 Likes for his fake page. 1600 Likes in the 1st day with a $10 ad spend, predominantly from Egypt, Indonesia and the Philippines — which were regions targeted in his ads.
  • Veritasium page saw rapid growth by using Facebook Ads — no mention of whether or not those ads were targeted to certain regions.
  • 30% of Canadians and Americans that Like the Veritasium page have engaged the past month.
  • 40% of Germans who Like the page are engaged.
  • 60% of Austrians who Like the page are engaged with posts.
  • Less than 1% of the 80,000 page Likes from “3rd world countries” are engaged with the page — he claims these 80k Likes came via Facebook Ads.
  • US State Department paid $630k to acquire 2 million fans but only got 2% engagement.
  • Created a senseless page called “Virtual Cat” for his experiment.
  • Paid $10 to Facebook ads targeting cat lovers in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK — resulting in 39 Likes.
  • All of these Likes were from the countries he targeted — Derek noticed that these profiles had Liked lots of random pages.
  • Derek hypothesesis that click farms are having users click on Ads and Liking other pages in order for the profiles to look real.

UnPacking the Claims

I want to dive a bit into these “facts” — first we’ll look at Virtual Bagel.

Virtual Bagel Experiment

virtual bagel facebook page

The Virtual Bagel page was created in the summer of 2012 — nearly 2 years before this “Fraud” video was made.

The creator spent $10 on Facebook Ads and got 1600 Likes — which is a pretty damn good ad spend IMHO.

Those ads were targeted at the Unites States, the UK, Russia, India, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

He did narrow the target to people under 45 years of age interested in cookery and consumer electronics.

In addition to the first $10 in ad spend he targeted additional ads just at the US, UK and India and at one point just to users in the UK.

When it was all said and done his page had grown to over 3000 Likes.

The problem I have with all of these stats is no number is given on how many of these 3000 Likes were a direct result from the Ads. There are no screenshots of the Ads Manager, just simply his words.

Were all 3000 a result of ads? Or were some organic and just happenstance? Which is possible today and especially was true in 2012.

I suspect he didn’t share any detailed results of the ads because it wouldn’t have made good press.

See he targeted his first round of ads to people in the countries that tend to not get any engagement — India, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

My theory is this was done on purpose to try and make Facebook look bad — although this is exactly the users the advertiser targeted!

So yes the Likes came from those countries and they came faster and at a cheaper cost than the US or UK — that’s common sense.

unlike-fan-pageMy 2nd problem is his assumption about users Liking lots of pages.

In his article he points out 1 particular profile that Liked the page that appeared to be a fake account using images from Cristiano Ronaldo — a famous Portugese soccer player.

Perhaps the account was fake, or perhaps this person just loved the soccer player — who knows.

He also points out this profile had Liked over 3000 pages and found that alarming — he and Veritasium conclude that no real person can Like that many pages…

REALLY?!

I beg to differ seeing as I have personally Liked over 4200 pages:

like facebook pages

I’m neither a bot nor someone working at a “click farm” as Derek would suggest and assume.

I just choose to Like every page I come across — partly just for the heck of it but partly to experiment with what it does to my news feed.

So to conclude that people can’t Like lots of random pages is idiotic and not scientific whatsoever.

Veritasium Page’s Engagement Is Bad?

veritasium facebook page

In Derek’s video he claims to have used some free ad money he got from Facebook and by doing so got 80,000 new Likes.

But did you notice something?

Nowhere does he show the breakdown of demographics of the Likes as a result of the ads.

If he did get 80,000 Likes from a $50 Facebook Ad spend he should be launching a product and teaching others — as many internet marketers would love to do this.

But he doesn’t share that at all — and this is a problem to me.

He says he continued to grow over several months as a result of these ads — without offering any look into how he targeted these ads.

facebook theoryWithout this information his “findings” are simply theory.

He then details the engagement rate on his page’s posts by country.

Just to recap this is the engagement the last month he’s getting:

  • 30% of Canadians and Americans who Like the page
  • 40% of Germans who Like the page
  • 60% of Austrians who Like the page
  • Less than 1% of the 80,000 page Likes from “3rd world countries” are engaged with the page

Hold on for a second!

He’s getting 30% engagement from his Canadian and US fans?! And he’s bitching about it?

That’s pretty good in my book — most page owners would love that kind of percentage.

He does not however reveal how many of his Likes are from those countries, my assumption is 25% based on a statement he makes later.

Instead he focuses on the lack of engagement from the 80k Likes in countries like Egypt, India, Philippines, Pakistan and etc.

Depicted in this graph with all of the large bubbles on the left hand side representing this non-engaged countries:

engagement of likes

These 80k fans result in less than 1% of the engagement on the page and account for “75% of my Likes as of recording my last video” — the Problem with Facebook video.

His page has grown quite a bit sense then and is now over 142k Likes, which will make his engagement stats not as controversial.

I’m not surprised that these 80k fans aren’t engaging in his posts.

If they are real people he’ll need to target them by language and timezone — which I’m doubtful he attempted.

But we can’t fully blame Facebook ads for this growth.

How are we to know if he or someone else bought fake fans for his page?

It would be very easy for me to go to Fiverr right now and buy a bunch of Likes for any page on Facebook — and these would be from “fake” accounts or at least from accounts that will never engage.

I can’t fully put the blame on Facebook or Facebook ads for these 80k Likes — as we have no way of knowing they came from ads unless he shows us the results in his Ads Manager.

Virtual Cat Page

 my virtual cat

Derek created the Virtual Cat page as a joke to test his theory about fake Likes on Facebook.

As you can see his page has grown to 4500 Likes now due to the popularity of his video about the page.

In his video he says he spent $10 on a Promoted Page ad targeted at the US, UK, Canada and Australia and as a result got 39 Likes.

He targeted people who had “cats” as an interest and didn’t get a ton of Likes but the results are not bad by any means.

He doesn’t mention this in the video but I have found out from his Facebook posts that he spent another $15 that ended up with a total Like count of 262 for the $25 spent.

Again when using targeted ads you’ll pay more for Likes so I see no issues with his ad spend as it relates to the number of Likes.

He states that all of the Likes he got from the Ads were from the countries he targeted — I don’t see the gripe do you?

But he then goes into the rant that many of the profiles that Liked the page had Liked 1000s of page and had Liked competitor pages such as Jeep, Lexus, Mercedes and Vovlo.

As well as Liking other non-sense pages — which he finds alarming and disturbing.

His hypothesis then is that these profiles must be fake and are a part of a Like farm that is liking not only pages they are paid to Like but also Liking pages on ads — in order to seem more genuine.

He gives this as an example of a profile Like pages around the globe to prove his point:

like farms

But this example is flawed and does not relate to his Virtual Cat page at all.

He’s giving an example of a profile being in Egypt or Liking pages — although all of the Likes on his page were from the areas he targeted, the US, UK, Canada and Australia.

So how does this explain the 262 Likes on his page?

It doesn’t at all — it’s simply a diversion he created on the video to distract and make you assume it’s factual when in fact it’s not at all.

Had he shown the profiles of the initial 39 people that Liked his page and found they were fake that would be one thing, but he didn’t. As all of those Likes are from areas he targeted and maybe a few had liked a ton of pages.

Again I refer to myself seeing as I have Liked over 4200 pages.

He’s also pointing to a study in 2013 from Social Bakers that shows the average Facebook user has only Liked 40 pages and the average US user 70 pages.

number of Facebook Page Likes

But I can disprove this just by looking at the Page Like count of some of my friends:

  • Andrea Vahl – 1073
  • Mari Smith – 1531
  • Jon Loomer – 379
  • Chris Brogan – 266
  • Mike Gingerich – 2452
  • Ravi Shukle – 1689
  • Emeric Ernoult – 890
  • Scott Stratten – 672
  • Josh Parkinson – 829
  • Robert Scoble – 5379
  • Me – 4238

These are all real people — not bots or people working for “Like Farms”.

Yes they are all people in or around the social media space but I show you this to prove that you don’t have to get paid to Like alot of random pages.

Therefore this destroys what seems to be his entire point in the video — that anyone that Liked his random Virtual Cat page must be a fake user.

Sorry Derek but you’re simply WRONG!

Stating such an false statement is dangerous and hurts all of us — especially when others in the Facebook marketing niche begin spewing his video and data.

Other “Facts” That Are Misleading

At the end of the video he points out the most popular city for various pages — namely Facebook Security, Google and David Beckham.

Facebook Security and Google show Dhaka, Bangladesh as the “Most Popular City”:

facebook security likes

And David Beckham as Cairo, Egypt:

david beckham facebook page

I have a couple of problems with his assumptions about this stat.

  1. This stat changes often — currently Facebook Security shows Jakarta, Indonesia and David Beckham shows Bangkok, Thailand.
  2. This stat is not based on the most popular city of those that Like your page — which is what he is making you believe in the video. It’s actually the most popular city currently talking about your page.

Let’s sit on my 2nd point for a second.

The People Talking About This (PTAT) number is a direct reflection of those actually commenting on a page or sharing posts from it.

This means those people are interacting with the page in some form or fashion — Likes, Comments and Shares on posts or posting on the page.

So if we go by Derek’s theory that fake profiles are resulting in all of the Likes on these pages wouldn’t we also assume that these profiles are not interacting with the pages? Seeing as they are fake accounts?

Who cares if Facebook’s Security page is most popular in Dhaka or Jakarta? That doesn’t matter at all and doesn’t prove his point — in fact it disproves it.

Invalid Explanation of the News Feed Algorithm

Towards the end of the video he shows that if your page is full of fake Likes that means Facebook will end up showing your posts to less real people.

fake facebook likes

This is not true at all.

This assumption may have been true when the Edgerank algorithm was in place and only considered “weight, affinity & time decay” but gone are those days.

Now the news feed algorithm is much more robust and specific for each user.

The same can be said about posts from a page.

They are handled differently from posts from friends but people are going to see posts based on the new version of the news feed algorithm.

Which as you may recall focuses on your interactions.

In the past the algorithm (Edgerank) was based on your previous and long term interactions — meaning if you have commented on posts from XYZ biz page in the past then their posts are likely to show up more often, even if that interaction was weeks ago.

With Last Actor Facebook is keeping note of your last 50 interactions so that posts from those you most recently interacted with will show up on the top of your news feed — this will be interesting to see for someone like me who (easily) comments on 100 posts per day!

Nowhere does the new algorithm for pages suggest that if your engagement from fans is low your posts will be shown less to your fans.

This theory is basically saying that if you have 1000 Likes and 900 are fake that the 100 real Likes will see less and less of your posts based on no engagement from the fake fans.

Simply not true.

If those 100 real Likes do not interact then they won’t see the posts — but nothing I can find indicates that the Reach (post visibility) is controlled by overall interaction of fans on a page.

What Should You Do Now?

now what facebookFirst off don’t believe every video you see from a creative YouTube channel!

Second don’t believe every blog post you read — even ours — take time to look into things before believing it’s 100% truth.

Veritasium makes great videos and is a successful educational science channel on YouTube with over 1.2 million subscribers.

They have received tons of awards and I would imagine have made a huge chunk of money from their YouTube channel — although I don’t have a way to verify how much money they make from their channel, but they aren’t doing this for free!

Had this video simply been a dude on his laptop webcam ranting about Facebook Ads no one would have given it a second look.

But because it’s so professionally done and done by an established channel with tons of followers it’s gone “viral”.

In my opinion it’s mainly hype and doesn’t contain any facts we should be concerned about regarding Facebook Ads.

Should You Trust Facebook Ads?

I’d say 100% without a doubt YES!

But, you need to understand what you are doing with Facebook Ads and use them properly.

As mentioned in the Virtual Bagel example from 2012 the author targeted poorly by targeting users in countries that result in little to no engagement.

I love what Jon Loomer says about this:

If you still use Facebook ads as if it’s 2012, you deserve the results you get.

Facebook has done amazing things to Facebook Ads the past 12 months — making it both easy and profitable to run successful Facebook ad campaigns.

facebook targeted likesBut you will need to make sure you target correctly — that’s key.

Running Facebook Ads is partly the reason the Post Planner page is as successful as it is.

And I’d venture to say is the reason many people are successful on Facebook.

Resources to Follow

If you need some solid resources on running Facebook Ads I’d check out these articles:

Also be sure to Subscribe to our Newsletter and blog as I will be diving deeper into Facebook Ads over the coming months to offer more of my opinion on what works and doesn’t work for the small businesses using Facebook.

Lastly I want to know your opinion about this video: Is if Fact or Crap?

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Protected: 5 Elements of a Well Made Facebook Page http://facebookanswerman.com/5-elements-of-a-well-made-facebook-page/ http://facebookanswerman.com/5-elements-of-a-well-made-facebook-page/#respond Thu, 20 Feb 2014 20:29:50 +0000 http://facebookanswerman.com/?p=245

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7 Proven Ways to Grow a Facebook Fan Base http://facebookanswerman.com/7-proven-ways-to-grow-a-facebook-fan-base/ http://facebookanswerman.com/7-proven-ways-to-grow-a-facebook-fan-base/#respond Thu, 20 Feb 2014 16:52:14 +0000 http://facebookanswerman.com/?p=220 grow fansPerhaps one of the toughest things for any Facebook page owner — especially new ones — is growing a fan base.

4-5 years ago on Facebook building a page happened faster as there were less pages competing for our attention.

Today however business must have a clear plan in place to grow a sustainable fan base that is both growing and engaged.

But how does someone do this?

Evolution of a young plantHow to Grow a Fan Base on Facebook

I ran across an old inforgraphic on the KissMetrics site called “The Importance of a Fan Base” recently that really caught my attention.

While many of the stats on the graphic are dated — it was originally made in December of 2011 –the concept of the information on growing a fan base is still valid today.

By now I think we all understand that businesses are gaining loyal customers via social media — so no need to beat that dead horse.

But how do you grow a loyal customer base?

KissMetrics gives us 7 ways to do this and it can be applied to any social network — not just Facebook.

fan-base

7 Ways to Grow a Fan Base

missile on target1. Define Your Target Market

Every business must know exactly who their ideal customer is BEFORE going into business — and especially before getting started on Facebook.

Not all 1.2 billion Facebook users are your ideal customer.

For example I’ve mentioned in various blog posts that I have an inflatable business I run on the weekends renting out bounce houses in my local area.

My target market is hyper local and predominantly those with kids.

If I drill down further on Facebook I tend to target females as they are the ones in households that tend to plan parties and make purchasing decisions.

With this knowledge in hand I can now run ads promoting my page and target females within a 10 mile radius between the ages of 25-45.

To show that I have correctly identified my target market check out the demographics of my page with currently 390 fans:

know your target facebook market

86% of my fans (335) are women and 60% of the overall fan base is females aged 25-44.

Realistically I know my page will likely never grow over the 1000 fan mark as there are only about 7400 Facebook users in a 10 mile radius of me.

potential fans of space walk gatesville

If I drill down further to my target audience of women ages 25-45 I have an even smaller potential fan base of just 1580:

targeted fan base on facebook

For your business you must do the same type of targeting.

Targeting is important on Facebook because gaining fans that aren’t potential clients and aren’t going to engage with your page will kill your business on Facebook.

I’d rather have 100 targeted and engaged fans than 10,000 people that Liked my page but will never buy.

2. Get The Tone Right

tone

Now that you have defined your target market you need to start talking to them — via posts to your page.

In addition to just talking to them you must talk like them, think like them and act like them.

Using my bounce house business again as an example if my main target audience is moms aged 25-45 in my local area I need to post things that appeal to them — it would be stupid for me to post about things not happening locally or things that predominantly appeal to men or those without kids.

By crafting my page posts to appeal to my target market I will build trust with them as they will see me as “one of them”.

3. Identify Which Types of Engagement are Effective

boost facebook engagementEvery Facebook page is unique and post types that work on one page may not work on another.

That’s why it’s so important to test what works on your page and what doesn’t.

I do this often on every page I admin to see what did well and what didn’t. If I see a post was really successful I’ll post something similar again.

Likewise if a post bombs I won’t revisit that type of post again.

Some post types I would highly recommend are:

  • Questions – People love to answer yes/no or similar 1 word answer questions (just keep it relevant)
  • Photos – Pictures will likely always win on Facebook as the site lends itself to be very visual
  • Fill-in-the Blanks – These types of post allow for a quick answer and people love to give their input on a light hearted post
  • Contests – Facebook contests will typically do well if you have a targeted fan base. Just don’t do them too often and be sure the prize is relevant to your page.

4. Look at it as a Long Term Investment

long term visionDitch the “If You Build It They Will Come” mentality — that only works in Kevin Costner movies!

Marketing on social media takes times and you must be willing to be patient.

Back to my bounce house page I have spent roughly $150-200 on Facebook ads to grow the page to about 400 Likes — that are super targeted mind you.

In my case about 90% of my business so far has come from Facebook. To put that in perspective since starting the business the last week in October 2013 to today ( January 29,2014) my gross revenue is $2700.

All that from about $150 in ads to build the page and boosts posts — and this is the off-season of bounce house rentals due to the cold weather.

This initial $150 investment on my page will pay off huge dividends over the next 12 months. If I only rent out 1 bounce house per week that’s $5200 in revenue! I’ll take those returns any day!

And realistically I will average 2-3 bounce houses per week and throughout the Spring and Summer will average 1-2 slide rents (at least $200 per rental). So my $150 in initial ads to grow my fan base could equate to easily $10-15k in revenue!

So continue to build your page and grow those relationships with your fans — they may not buy today but you should be hopeful they will down the road.

5. Keep it Real, Relevant, and Relaxed

keep it realI love this thought of the ” 3 R’s”…

While growing your fan base you must keep things real, relevant and relaxed.

Don’t get frustrated that sales aren’t immediately coming in and thus you start blasting sales posts every hour on the hour.

You’ll run off your fans in a heartbeat — and they won’t come back!

In the beginning you may only need to post once per day, or perhaps once every few days. Don’t overwhelm your fan base by over-running their news feed right out of the gate.

Let them start to get to know, like and trust you — then  you can ramp up the posts a bit.

While consistency is important, quality is the goal here while growing your fan base.

6. Create a Schedule of Updates

facebook posting scheduleThe worst thing a page can do — especially at the beginning — is posting sporadically.

2 posts on Monday, 4 on Tuesday, zero on Wednesay, 7 on Thursday, 1 on Friday and none on the weekends…

Doing this will destroy your page — although many of you are doing this.

Setup a schedule of what time of day you are going to post and how many times per day you’re going to post and stick with it.

On my bounce house page I am experimenting with posting twice per day — once in the morning and once in the evening — and posting either images or text updates.

I’m doing this using the “Queue” feature in my Post Planner app so that I know for a fact I’m not posting too much and that posts are planned out in advance:

queue schedule in Post planner

I’m also reposting the same 15 images in my queue rotation using the Re-Queue feature in Post Planner. While mixing in text only status updates to get interaction and engagement on the page.

The Queue feature basically allows me to plan a post and add it to my Queue — which then makes that post take up the next open spot in my Queue.

To Queue a post you must be a Guru member of Post Planner.

My times are setup as shown above and now I simply enter my post and hit the “Queue” button:

queue post in post planner

Once the post is in your plan you’ll notice a muted circular arrow next to the post. Once you click that arrow it turns bright green and now your post is Re-Queued:

re queue posts in post planner

What this means is that whenever there is an available spot open in my Queue this post will automatically be re-added to my planned posts!

This especially works great for re-posting evergreen blog posts — like we do on Post Planner.

The Queue function has taken the headache out of me having to remember to plan posts and the re-queue makes so that I will always have content going to page. Overtime I will change out the posts that are re-queueing so that it’s not the same content ever 10 days or so.

What I want you to grasp is that having a posting schedule is imperative for any successful page. Decide what and when you’re going to post and then plan it out and stick to it.

7. Monitor and Measure

monitor facebook insightsYou’ve figured out your target audience, you’re keeping the right tone in your posts, you’re posting the right kind of posts to get engagement, you’re investing in the page long term, following the 3 R’s and sticking to a schedule — But now what?

Now you need to sit down at least once per month and evaluate the Insights of your Facebook page and see what worked and what didn’t work.

Not doing this is sure to cause your page to fail.

I can’t tell you what results are good or bad for your page — as each page is different.

But if you look at your past posts and have ZERO engagement obviously that didn’t work and you need to adjust.

The key here is being aware of your results at least once per month.

Grow Your Fan Base!

Now that you know these 7 tips on how to grow a fan base apply them to your Facebook page — as well as to your efforts on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and etc. Although measuring results on those sites is much more difficult.

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Stop Bitching About Facebook Changes! http://facebookanswerman.com/stop-bitching-about-the-free-rent-on-facebook/ http://facebookanswerman.com/stop-bitching-about-the-free-rent-on-facebook/#respond Tue, 28 Jan 2014 20:48:14 +0000 http://facebookanswerman.com/?p=217 1095109_10201068144958648_1852898568_n99% of the time the past year or so I’ve bit my tongue when I hear Facebook page owners and other Social Media Marketers/Mangers griping about Facebook changes.

Pre-2013 I would complain about everything and call everyone out when I thought they were being stupid.

But I found that no one likes “that guy” and I had become known by many as a griper and complainer — which was never my intention.

I simply thought I was being helpful, but discovered I was actually hurting myself in the long run.

But I have to speak up for a moment about something that is really bugging the crap out of me…

And it’s all of the Facebook page owners and Social Media “Experts” griping about changes to the Facebeook news feed algorithm for pages.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH PEOPLE!!!

Why Are Page Owners Griping?

The recent wave of complaints has come from Facebook’s most recent announcement that text only updates from business pages would no longer be as prominent as other types of posts (links, photos and videos).

Here is what Facebook said:

The goal of every update to News Feed is to show people the most interesting stories at the top of their feed and display them in the best way possible. We regularly run tests to work out how to make the experience better. Through testing, we have found that when people see more text status updates on Facebook they write more status updates themselves. In fact, in our initial test when we showed more status updates from friends it led to on average 9 million more status updates written each day. Because of this, we showed people more text status updates in their News Feed.

Over time, we noticed that this effect wasn’t true for text status updates from Pages. As a result, the latest update to News Feed ranking treats text status updates from Pages as a different category to text status updates from friends. We are learning that posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends and we are working to improve our ranking algorithms so that we do a better job of differentiating between the two types. This will help us show people more content they want to see. Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.

That last sentence is what has ticked off a nation of Facebook Page Owners:

Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates….

switching to google+Immediately I began hearing the cries of many on how Facebook is now dead to them and it’s “Time to give Google+ some serious thought…. again!”

Come on people… Really?

Did you not pay attention to this entire announcement by Facebook?

This is good news for pages running their BUSINESS properly on Facebook IMHO!

The end of that last sentence is why:

… but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.

Did you catch that??!

As a page owner you may see an increase in engagement on photo, video and (most importantly) link posts!

See the biggest thing Facebook is trying to combat is page owners trying to “game” the news feed by posting a text only update with the link all ugly in as just text, such as this example from Facebook:

facebook text update with link post

The reason marketers were doing this as it was widely known throughout 2013 that text updates were getting the highest “Reach” — at least based on raw stats.

But the update is horribly ugly and in my opinion is not going to drive traffic to websites — which should be your #1 goal as a Facebook Page Owner.

Instead Facebook recommends pages to post links as link updates that now provide a full width image preview on the news feed:

facebook link post with full width image preview

Posting a link in this manner will drive a ton more traffic to your site than putting it in as simply text — or worse yet just posting a text update and adding the link in the comments.

** Side note — I’m kinda surprised to such a low amount Likes and comments on these posts by Forbes. With 875k Likes you’d think they would get more engagement. But that just goes to show you that you must have targeted fans and post things they want to engage in…

Our Focus on Facebook Pages Has Been Way Off

For far too long the focus by page owners and those training page owners has been on how to get more engagement — ie Likes, Comment and Shares.

Which is great and is a very vital part of running a successful Facebook BUSINESS Page — but it’s only a small portion of why you have a page.

I was thinking of a way to explain the problem and I think this quick image from the Facebook Answerman sums it up:

entertain

Don’t get me wrong I love to get people engaged on posts and love to see a high Like, Comment and Share count on my posts — but if we stop there we’re missing the point of having a page to begin with.

You’re running a business and businesses need to make money to survive…

The real focus of a Facebook BUSINESS Page should be to drive traffic to their own website — where you control everything — and drive sales. Period…

Sure some pages are community type pages that give out announcements and etc, I get that.

In fact locally in my home town I pay close attention to what our school district is posting, the local churches and etc. None of them are driving traffic to a website as none of them are “selling” anything on their site persay.

So this new update to the news feed algorithm for pages may hurt those types of pages. That’s why perhaps a group could be better in those instances or people need to be instructed to turn of notifications from those pages or put them all in a list so they can follow them easily.

But in reality this type of page makes up only a very small percentage of pages on Facebook — and an even smaller amount among those griping the loudest.

Stop Bitching About The Free Rent On Facebook!

free rent on facebookThis heading and title of the blog may sound harsh but it’s so imperative that people get this thought through their heads.

As businesses we have been running our businesses virtually rent free for years.

Facebook doesn’t charge us a fee to start a business page.

There is no fee to add apps to our pages, images, run contests or post updates.

Zuckerberg could have easily never allowed businesses to be on the platform in this manner if he so wanted — granted it might not have grown like it has but it would have been more social.

My opinion has always been that marketers ruin every social platform they come across.

We saw this with the downfall of MySpace and didn’t learn from it.

Now we’re seeing it with Pinterest, Vine, SnapChat, Google+, and even Instagram.

I wish marketers would just leave those sites alone!!!

As a user the experience is ruined once marketers flood the site with sneaky ways to gain attention.

Sometimes a site just needs to remain for people in my opinion…

But the good news for marketers is that Facebook doesn’t charge anything to set up your shop on Facebook. There is no monthly fee — ie RENT…

Can you do this in the “real” world? Heck no!

I dare anyone to try and set up a brick and mortar business inside an established, highly trafficked, shopping center and get free rent, utilities and advertising.

It’s not going to happen.

Scott Stratten from Un-Marketing sums up alot of what I’ve been saying in his keynote at New Media Expo recently:

I’ve watched this video 5-6 times today and it speaks volumes! People need to watch and hear this!

For some time now I’ve been saying that every, yes EVERY, post you make from your Facebook BUSINESS Page is an advertisement — and Facebook is letting you post that ad for free!

You may say that your post is simply to give information or share great content or a funny photo, but it’s advertising.

If you really think about it, any post you make from a business page is an ad — even if it’s posted for engagement & not sales.

As we all know, some of the best marketing doesn’t sell, but rather just promotes brand awareness or good will toward a brand.

Just look at this recent Christmas Surprise Santa stunt by WestJet that went viral:

Did WestJet technically try to sell anything in this video?

Nope. But you’ll remember their brand now because of the amazing stunt they pulled off.

It’s the same with your page posts. Maybe today you post a great photo of a cat that goes viral, and then tomorrow you post about a special.

The post about the cat gets 100 Likes & comments — but no sales.

And then the post about the special gets 15 Likes & no comments — but 2 people buy.

Both posts are “ads”, if we’re being honest.

They were posted to expose your business to more people & cause them to know, like & trust you.

Hopefully you’re catching my drift here.

Posts by business pages on Facebook are ALL ads.

social-media-managers-out-of-work

So it was great when free ads were reportedly reaching 16% of our fans — even if people scoffed at it.

But we shouldn’t be surprised that exposure for the same free ads (posts) has declined.

The space is getting crowded & we thus have fewer opportunities to display free ads to our fans & other Facebook users.

And it thus makes sense that we now have to spend money to expose our advertising to more people.

I love what Jon Loomer said about setting up your shop on rented land:

There’s an old saying that I’m likely about to butcher: Don’t build your house on rented land.

For the slow folks, your house in this example is your business and rented land is Facebook. But it doesn’t need to be Facebook. It could be YouTube, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

I’ve seen too many businesses attempt to run entirely within a single social network. No website. No email list. Or those two things are very low on the priority list.

This is dangerous. And people who run their businesses this way are those who are bound to be most upset about any changes Facebook — or any other rented land — makes.

What Should Page Owners Do In Light of Facebook Changes?

what nowThere are lots of things page owners can do in response to these changes — and future Facebook changes:

  1. Continue griping about the changes
  2. Delete the Facebook page and go elsewhere
  3. Do Nothing
  4. Post content that is both engaging and that results in web traffic and sales
  5. Set a realistic Facebook Ad budget and spend money to expose posts (ads) to more people

Many of you are stuck on #1 and will continue to wallow in your own self pity — I kinda feel sorry for you and I can’t help you if you choose that path.

Some of  you may choose to delete your Facebook page and take your business elsewhere. But I dare you to find out what the Reach of a post is on Twitter or Google+… There is a reason they don’t report that number to you! As it would be even lower than what it is on Facebook.

There will be some that do nothing and keep posting as they were — and will get the same results.

The smart page owners and marketers will do #4 and #5 though.

I don’t recommend that every post be you selling something or trying to drive traffic to your site. Doing so will annoy people and they will ignore you over time. I’d mix it up and post things that engage people and mix in link posts between the light hearted content — we do this on the Post Planner page and it works great btw.

Here are some great resources on posting ideas:

You’ll also need to set a realistic ad budget for your page — this is a business afterall that you are allowed to run RENT FREE!

Maybe you can only do $50-$100 per month in Facebook Ads — that’s fine.

Start somewhere and then be smart with how you spend those ad dollars. If that $50 monthly investment results in at least $51 in sales you’re ahead and shouldn’t be complaining at all!

Here are some handy resources on running Facebook Ads:

Ok.. It’s your turn…

Do you think the changes to the algorithm are fair for pages? Should pages expect to have to pay to play?

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PhotoShop is Dead! http://facebookanswerman.com/photoshop-is-dead/ http://facebookanswerman.com/photoshop-is-dead/#respond Tue, 21 Jan 2014 17:17:46 +0000 http://facebookanswerman.com/?p=208 photoshop is deadOne of the toughest things about running a Facebook page — or any social media account — is creating quality graphics.

I have openly admitted many times that I am not a graphic designer and although I have an old version of Photoshop I can never figure out what to do with it & get frustrated within the first few minutes.

Which means I either create really crappy graphics or just give up.

Well I’m very excited today to introduce you to a new site that I came across & have been beta testing that will improve your ability to create great graphics & will make your Facebook businespage.

That site and app is called “Canva” — and it totally rocks!

What is Canva?

Canva was created by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams. Originally Melanie and Cliff created a site called Fusion Books that allowed schools to create yearbooks online.

The team wanted to take the technology further and help end the headache of learning Photoshop and thus Canva was born.

What Does Canva Do?

Canva makes graphic design super simple for everyone — including graphic phobes like myself!

  • Canva allows everyone to create professional quality designs
  • Is optimized for social media graphics — especially Facebook
  • It’s used completely online — no software to download!
  • It’s free to use

You may recall in a recent blog post called “4 Facebook Posts to Get More Likes” I used custom images to showcase the tips. I used Canva to create these images — and it only took me a few minutes to do it!

In addition to using the app to create images for blog posts I’m also using it to create cover photos for small business pages and to create images to showcase my products — as seen in the examples below:

space walk bounce house

space walk cover photo

(the phone numbers have been intentionally blurred out for this blog post)

If I had attempted to create either of these images using PhotoShop or just on my own I’d never get finished and it would not be as precise or clear — and it would have taken me a lifetime!

The cover photo image took me a whopping 2 minutes — and most of that was uploading photos!

How do You Use Canva?

Creating designs with Canva is super simple and to show you how to use it I think showcasing a presentation via SlideShare I created using Canva is appropriate! You can view the embedded slideshow below:

As you can see using the app is quite simple and will allow you to create amazing graphics quickly for not just your social media accounts but also your web pages and even for print!

In addition to some of the features shown in the presentation Canva can also create:

  • Documents
  • Presentations
  • Blog Graphics
  • Facebook Cover Photos
  • Social Media grapics
  • Cards
  • Photo Collages
  • Posters
  • Invitations
  • Business Cards
  • or Use a Custom Dimension you choose

Canva is free to use — although some elements will require a fee if you choose them.

The paid elements come into play when you choose an image created by Canva themselves or by a designer that has added their work to the site. Most, if not all, of the paid images will only cost you $1 — which is much cheaper than any stock photo site.

Canva for Designers

Canva isn’t just for beginners like me either….

Canva has partnered with the world’s best graphic designers, illustrators and photographers to provide millions of images and designs to choose from.

We aim to be the best layout, mockup and collaboration tool you’ve ever used. Enjoy seamless collaboration with your clients and team without the need for endless back-and-forth emails.

See with Canva you could be a designer creating images for your clients and openly share the work with them so they can see your mockup quickly and easily. And even allow them to do some editing.

For those in the social media graphic niche imagine creating a cover photo for a client and instead of emailing them and waiting for a response — or worse yet them not having the program to open your creation — you simply share the mockup with them and they can see it live online and can add text changes to it.

If you are a designer you could also create images and designs that could then be purchased by others inside Canva. Anytime someone uses one of your designs you get a royalty!

Overall I think this is one of the best apps to hit the market in a very long time — especially when it comes to graphics.

The fact that I can quickly upload any image from my computer or sync my Facebook images with Canva makes it even easier to use!

vip accessGet VIP Access to Canva!

I have teamed up with Canva to offer anyone reading this post the chance to get immediate access to Canva — no waiting line — and to get a $10 credit towards any paid images you choose to use!!!

To do this simply click here: GET CANVA VIP ACCESS FROM POST PLANNER

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4 Facebook Posts Guaranteed to Get More Likes & Comments! http://facebookanswerman.com/4-facebook-posts-guaranteed-to-get-more-likes-comments/ http://facebookanswerman.com/4-facebook-posts-guaranteed-to-get-more-likes-comments/#respond Fri, 17 Jan 2014 01:32:06 +0000 http://facebookanswerman.com/?p=205 likes on facebook postsRaise your hand if you are looking to get more likes and comments on Facebook?

My guess is this statement is true for pretty much everyone.

Especially those that run a Facebook page.

If you hop over to Google and search for “Get More Likes on Facebook Posts ” you’ll get 315,000,000 results!

get more likes on facebook posts

And pardon me if I point out (brag) that 2 of the top results happen to be I wrote on the Post Planner blog!

I show you this screenshot only to prove to you that there are a ton of people searching for more ways to get Likes on their Facebook posts — and subsequently there are tons of bloggers trying to give advice on how to get more Likes on Facebook posts.

I’ve written on it numerous times and 99% of the time you may notice that my advice stays consistent and is rather similar.

I want to re-visit the topic today and give you some easy to digest graphics to both view and share with others.

4 Facebook Posts to Get More Likes & Comments

posts for more likes

So let me break down this image for you to truly grasp what I’m trying to convey.

1) Post Pictures

post photos

It’s long been a “known” fact by Facebook Marketers that posting photos will get engagement — this is still true today.

The reason for this is we are a very visual society and the more our world — and Facebook users — use mobile devices only, the more being visually appealing will be important for pages on Facebook.

Pictures and graphics are quicker to digest than a simple text update and are easier to share.

Plus photos catch our attention easier than a simple text update.

Some advice on posting pictures to Facebook:

  • Don’t violate any copyrights — I’m no lawyer but don’t slap your logo on an image that you didn’t create
  • When possible post graphics you created
  • Use photos you take yourself with your camera or phone — just make sure it isn’t blurry
  • Don’t clutter the graphic with too much text
  • Mix it up — don’t just post photos
  • Don’t post photos if you’re trying to drive traffic to a website — that’s what link posts are for

2) Fill in the Blank Updates

fill in the blanks

If you love getting comments on your Facebook posts then post Fill-in-the blank updates!

In general I’ve found that people love to give their input on these types of updates.

Some advice on posting Fill-in-the blank updates on Facebook:

  • Keep the update short — 80-100 characters
  • Make the post personal — appeal to the users’ senses or emotions
  • Require short answers — if the blank involves writing a sentence comments will be low, but if it’s 1 word you’ll see results
  • Don’t be afraid to get off topic — not every update has to be about your product/business/niche so feel free to say something like :

My all-time Favorite Band is ________.

3) Ask Questions

ask questions

On the Post Planner Facebook page asking questions has always performed very well for us.

My advice on asking questions is:

  • Keep the question short — 100-140 characters long (like a tweet)
  • Ask Questions that can be answered in 1 to 2 words
  • Asking Yes/No or Like/Dislike questions get great results
  • Multiple Choice questions are favored as well — But keep the choices to 3 or less!

4) Run a Facebook Contest

facebook contests

**Disclaimer- I LOVE contests — especially on Facebook. I’ve won countless contests from free apps, t-shirts and even a 55 inch Samsung LCD TV valued over $3500!!! Thanks Nick Unsworth!!

The great thing today about Facebook contests on pages is the rules have for the most part been eliminated.

You no longer are required to house your contest inside a 3rd party app on your page — although there is still tons of reasons to use an app to run your contest.

Today you can simply post a status update to your page and ask your fans to Like or Comment to enter the contest.

That’s it!

Across all niches I have seen contests get great results — and I truly believe your page can see results with contests as well.

Some advice on running a Facebook Contest:

  • Give away a prize related to your business — you don’t need to give away an iPad!
  • Keep the entry period short — for contests run purely on Liking or Commenting on a post I’d start and end the contest within 7 days.
  • Follow through — makes sure to actually award the prize!
  • If you’re running a Timeline only contest (ones that only require a Like or Comment to enter) remember you cannot require entrants to share the post to enter. You can encourage it, but that cannot be the method of entry.
  • Combine a Timeline only contest and a contest in an app — You could require entry to your contest to be something such as “Like this post and enter your email address at the link below in order to enter.” This way you get the engagement on your page — which helps your news feed rankings — and you get an email address to further market to later.

Hopefully you’ve found that these 4 types of posts while being simple are rather effective at increasing the Likes and Comments on your Facebook posts.

Curious how a complete graphic moron like me created these graphics for the post? Stay tuned for another blog post where I reveal an app that will eliminate the need to learn Photoshop and is tailor made for creating images for Facebook!

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