Page to Page Facebook Activity Works Friday, Jan 6 2012 

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Image via Wikipedia

I’m an organic social media type fellow. I love to be behind my master dashboard (something my company cooked up which will soon be available to the public) and schedule posts and watch real time analytics. In short, I love talking to people and telling stories about my clients.

So when my employer (@everymerchant) gave me access to a Facebook page our biggest client “forgot” about (our contract was to run all *existing* social sites, so I was prevented from creating one for them! Dumb, eh?) I got excited. Not because the page was doing well, it certainly was in rough shape, but because I had a veritable blank slate to work with.

My challenge? Build a facebook following under brand restrictions (can’t be edgy) and with zero advertising budget. DAMN!

So I fell back on the old tactic which started my career (and, incidentally, raised me a few grand in college which I promptly spent on beer and horror movies- worth every penny!).

I talked. Online.

Brain crushing, eh? But I didn’t just “post into the air” to zero followers hoping that somehow, someway, someone would accidentally search for my brand and randomly be enthralled by my wit and high quality content. I “rode the ticker” by doing targeted “page to page” likes and engaging other brands which, while not in competition with my client, that my client’s customers would frequent. I didn’t just log in and spam, “CLICK MY PAGE” either. I spent a few minutes every day having real conversations with folks in the threads and showing a genuine interest in the topics.

Well every time I logged in to my client’s account a new notification popped up in the corner and my engagement levels sky rocketed. To be fair- facebook is kind in that it doesn’t provide Insights that go below “zero” so the only direction my client’s analytics *could* go was up.

In short this was just targeted advertising. If I jumped into a major discussion with folks I already knew were interested in my brand all it took was a few basic practices to inspire them to click on my client’s icon.

I kept my posts short, 1 or 2 sentences at most. In long discussion threads all but the most passionate will skip over the big blocks of text (tl;dr). Also if your post is between two other people in an active exchange your potential customers simply have to read your post to get to the next post (its human nature, we’re taught to read *everything* in grade school, not skim)(don’t debate me and tell me Internet users just skim, its different in real time chat when the posts are not in excess of 140 words).

I kept my posts relevant and made sure to generate discussion, not debate. Even if I was just agreeing with a previous poster, or the original poster, I contextualized my replies in a way that agreed with my client’s message and company.

I kept my voice and posts consistent, when they saw my client’s avatar they knew I wasn’t going to suddenly bend left and confuse people. I was a reliable source of opinion.

In the end, the other brand’s I communicated with benefited from longer converastions which kept users on their page longer, and my client benefited from increased visibility and… the only analytic most clients even look at… more “likes”.

So if you’re a small business owner- log in as your Facebook Page and cherry pick a couple dozen pages with whom you know you can have good discussions. Watch as the followers of that brand, and their friends who see their posts in the Ticker, discover your brand.

 

 

A Hashtag Lesson Thursday, Aug 25 2011 

Image representing AOL as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Twitter hashtags are a great way to catagorize your posts, imply sarcasm and simplify. But how do you use them to maximize your impact?

There are three types of hashtags (#) on twitter: Social, News Stream and Orphans (hat tip to Rob @questional for the last one).

Social:

These are hashtags that are used for discussions and chat. My favorite is #pubwrite and I have a #pubwrite stream running on my tweet deck. Throughout the day people will include the #pubwrite tag in posts and others will reply with the #pubwrite tag. Its like an old AOL chatroom on twitter without the need to @ every individual #pubwrite savvy user. When you include a social tag you are saying, “This comment is directed at other tweeps using the same social tag.”

News Stream: This is a hashtag that usually moves too quick to engender conversation and is usually reserved for news and culture niches. #antisec is a good example. When LulzSec made the “Antisecurity” movement popular all articles, posts and information about it generally funneled through the #antisec hash tag. When you use a News Stream hashtag you’re usually giving links, information or commentary about that news item. If your content is good or your commentary relevant you may get a retweet or comments on the link you posted.

Orphans: These are hashtags that people probably don’t have a stream set up to follow and are usually never used again. Most of the time they offer context or humor on the preceeding posts. An example would be: Off to the DMV #seeyounextcentury. No one is looking for the #seeyounextcentury hashtag and no community around it exists, but it does offer a little humor and explains the users feelings about going to the DMV.

Do not cross the streams, guys- if you do you’ll make yourself an outsider very quick. Do not treat Social streams as News Streams and don’t expect a Social aspect to rise in a News Stream. And never think that your Orphans are anything but that.

How do you find social streams? Ask your friends what a good #hashtag for whatever topic your interested is. “Are there any good Hash-Chats for Marketing? Where can I find a good hashtag for journalists to talk in?” For news streams? Just watch your stream, they’ll pop up if you’ve properly developed your community to reflect your interests and work life! If you don’t see useful hashtags on your stream then think about adding different users or using list filters to seperate your professional or personal contacts so you can watch closer.