Facebook Fan Page Best Practices with Mari Smith [@InboundNow #18]

    by David Wells

    Date

    April 28, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    mari Mari Smith , coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day , joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot's Social Media and Inbound Marketing Podcast !

    Mari has been coined "the pied piper of the online world" by Fast Company, is a frequent contributor on Social Media Examiner , a well known speaker in the social media space, and the go to expert when it comes to all things Facebook marketing .

    In this episode we chat about:
    • What types of content work best within Facebook to boost engagement
    • What is the sweet spot in terms of posting frequency
    • What Facebook's "EdgeRank" is and why you should care
    • Why having a custom landing page tab is critical for every Page
    • The best third-party Facebook apps Mari recommends.
     

    Check out the full transcript of the episode here: Facebook Marketing Best Practices and Tips with Mari Smith

    What Types of Content Should You Be Sharing Out?

    "I like to recommend a mix of what I call your own intellectual property and OPC, other people’s content. I like to strike a balance roughly about 50/50."

    Questions work well when posting through to Facebook. Mari references a Buddy media study that states your posts should be under 80 characters.  Short and sweet.

    A large number of fans never actually come back to your fan page after they like it, so it's important to keep your content relevant and "like-provoking" so they continue to see it in their streams. Check out our post on 20 Examples of Great Facebook Fan Pages for ideas on how to keep your fan page engaging.

    Frequency of Posts

    "I think for most small businesses you’re going to want to post about twice a day, maybe two to three times a day. That’s my sweet spot, and I’m getting close to about 40,000 fans right now. I know if I post anymore, my hide and unlike rate goes up, unfortunately, people hiding stuff from the news feed."

    Edge Rank, What It Is and Why it Matters

    Edge rank is "a very complex ranking algorithm that Facebook has under a lock and key."

    Every piece of content passes through this algorithm and then decides which content should actually be shown to the end user.

    The edge rank between your page and each user is unique based off three main factors:  

    Affinity - "The first factor is what’s called affinity, which really the relationship. If you and I are interacting a lot, if I interact with your fan page a lot, I’m going to see your posts more. If we’re friends and we I interact a lot, I’m going to see your content from your profile more. The less someone engages with you, the less affinity score."  

    Weight - "which is the type of content. I mentioned about photos getting a little bit of a better weight. Photos, videos, links, status updates, and then unfortunately third-party apps are way down at the bottom. They get less weight to them than other types of posts. They get less weight than manual posts."  

    Time Decay - How recent is the post? Older posts are obviously shown less frequently.

    What Time to Post?

    Look for high traffic windows.

    Mari likes to post at her peak hours 7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m. Pacific and then at about 1:00pm PST.

    "Now what’s fascinating, and this was also in the recent Buddy Media study , is that it varies depending on industry."

    Leverage your Facebook insights and look into your fan base demographics. You might have some fans in Australia or Europe that want content at their peak traffic hours.

    Facebook Page Insights

    Impressions = how many times the content has been rendered, not necessarily how many eyeballs have seen it.

    Instead of looking for the impressions Mari suggests "to focus on is the feedback percent. You mentioned likes and comments. It’s an aggregate total of the likes and comments divided by the number of impressions and that gives you a percent."

    Mari also suggests keeping an eye on the unlikes and hides on your page. This is the Facebook equivalent of unsubscribes.

    Recent Facebook Changes and Why They Are Awesome !

    Browsing as your Facebook Fan Page is a fantastic way to reach out and connect with other like businesses.

    Why Custom Iframe Tabs in Facebook Rock!

    "Jeff Widman of BrandGlue had a study where they did a split test ads and they drove ads to custom landing tab and another set was driving just to the wall. They found that the custom landing tab will convert visitors to fans at a rate of about 47% versus the wall which is about 26%."

    The welcome tab is something you should most definitely have set up. They allow you to convey to the user what to expect from your page and offer a significant conversion opportunity.

    Custom Apps for Custom Facebook Landing Pages

    Use Facebook @ Tags

    One of the most under utilized features of the Facebook wall is using Facebook's built in @ tagging feature.

    When referening other peoples content always like their page (while logged in as your page) before sharing out the content. This will allow you to @ tag them in the post and have the content show on your fan page wall and on whoever you are taggings wall.

    Connect with Mari Online

    You can follow Mari on Twitter @MariSmith and connect with her on her blog , also don't forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of her book, Facebook Marketing: an Hour a Day .


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