Monthly Archives: October 2012

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Romney in a Landslide: Using Facebook Data for Predictive Analysis

Election coverage is filled with plenty of subjectivity, so here’s a little more:

Based on Facebook data, Mitt Romney is set to win in a landslide over Barack Obama, claiming 391 of the 538 votes from the Electoral College. That’s not exactly matching what the media or polls are saying … so how did I get there?

The Inspiration

Facebook’s EdgeRank Algorithm says that a Like is worth less than a Comment because a Like is a more passive form of engagement, while taking the time to type something out is seen as more active engagement.

I believe that the same can be said for people who Like a Facebook Page versus those who actively join groups or type something out in the interests section of their personal Page. Continue reading

You Don’t Pick the Platform, the Platform Picks You

You’ve launched every social media channel you’ve read about and added all the accoutrements to your website. So why aren’t they all performing the same? You’ve committed time, budget and energy. What’s missing?

The answer might just be nothing.

Does your business need to be on Pinterest? Is your business missing out on huge opportunities by not using Instagram? Are you missing out on revenue because you’re not using Facebook, or Twitter single-sign on for your e-commerce site?

What’s the right answer? What’s overkill? Which social media platform(s) should you pick? Continue reading

All Truly Great Thoughts Are Achieved on Twitter

When was the last time you stopped and really thought about social media? I’m not talking about strategy, or metrics, or the most efficient methods of raising the virality of your posts. Stop thinking like a marketer, or a business owner, and start thinking like a philosopher. In short, stop asking ‘how?’ and start asking ‘why.’ Why do consumers visit Facebook? Why do teenagers, industry influencers, and celebrities devote hours a day to watching text scroll by on Twitter? In most cases, we can safely say that they aren’t there to visit you.

Social media is supposed to be fun, funny, entertaining. America’s businessmen aren’t wasting their workday on Facebook reading about B2B sales opportunities. They’re tending virtual farms. They’re chuckling at the latest Memebase post, or making plans with buddies for after-work drinks. Continue reading

3 Signs Your Social Media Plan Needs Work

We all remember those great Ronco commercials. Ron Popeil would show you an amazing product that seemed to get better with every feature and then excitedly announce that you could also “set it and forget it!”

The ability to “set it and forget it” is just as appealing to companies as it is to homemakers. Like most industries, social media has its fair share of “ninjas” and “gurus” selling buzzwords because they can’t sell results. One of the big buzzwords has been “automation.”

While some components of the marketing process can be automated, social media needs to evolve along with the goals and objectives of your company. When it doesn’t, companies end up working from outdated, inefficient or non-existent social media plans, making their social media efforts outdated, inefficient, and their results non-existent.

So, how do you know if your company’s social media plan was a “set it and forget it” project?

1. Your social media goals are not connected to larger business objectives

Why do you create commercials, run ads in magazines and send direct mail to prospects? The reasons will vary based on the objectives but they will always be tied to the goals of the business. Social media is no different.

Before beginning any social media effort, you need to research, analyze and align objectives. Every effort should further the goals of your business. Your social media plan should be designed from the ground up with that in mind.

2. You never developed a Content Calendar

Posting strong, consistent content is important. If you’re only posting content when your company issues a press release, you’re ignoring a crucial component of doing social well: it’s not about you it’s about your audience. At Make Me Social we use robust Content Calendars that target posts by audience, theme, post style and platform. We leave room for real-time posting and one to one Community Management, but every Community Manager starts the week with a set of optimized content that can be used on the days and times that historically have the highest engagement. If you’re not posting consistently, you can’t expect consistent results.

3. You’re violating the Facebook Terms of Service

Whether you have a personal Facebook Page set up “as the brand” so that you can friend people or you’re telling people to share a post in order to win a prize, you’re violating the Facebook Terms of Service and your Page can be deleted by Facebook without any warning. The Terms of Service continue to evolve with the network, so it’s important to stay on top of any changes.

If you don’t know if you’re violating the Terms of Service, you can read through them here: https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys watching old wrestling interviews like this one. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

More Changes at Facebook, Strategies Begin to Shift

On September 20th, Facebook announced that they had altered their EdgeRank formula once again, reducing the weight of organic reach in brand page posts. Facebook users on tablets and mobile were seeing their newsfeeds cluttered with posts from brands, which was leading to slowdown. Facebook feared that the result would be a drop in brand page likes, or even a drop in usage of the platform. During the announcement, Facebook insisted that “this isn’t to penalize brand pages, and that engagement shouldn’t be affected…”

However, as EdgeRankChecker and InsideFacebook all noted, the timing is suspect.

When the dust cleared, and the data came out, it was revealed that brand pages lost an average of 6.5% of their Reach. There were also notable drops in Virality, Engagement, and Viral Reach scores. This sudden drop happened to occur in the middle of Facebook’s largest push to sell promoted posts.

Facebook EdgeRank Checker Algorithm Update Results

Image and data from EdgeRankChecker.com

Facebook is moving toward a place where ad spend and promoted posts will be the only consistently efficient way to grow a brand page. Community Managers (and social media agencies) take the issue of promoted posts very seriously. They require a shift in strategy that acknowledges that content is no longer king without a court of advertisements to support it.

It may only be a 6% change, but the ripples of that alteration will change the way brands (and the agencies that support them) need to approach social media.

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Tim Howell

Tim Howell is a community manager and data analyst for Make Me Social. He studied fine art, psychology, and international pop culture at Bowling Green State University. In his spare time, he is a novelist and social activist.