Tuesday, 31 March 2015

'What Should I Post on Facebook?' 12 Facebook Tactics Working Right Now

If you feel challenged by Facebook marketing these days, you should know you’re not alone.
In an increasingly crowded news feed, Facebook’s algorithm updates can make it tough for brands to get much notice.
In fact, brands are now responding to plunging organic reach on Facebook by posting more content to Instagram than they are to Facebook, according to a report by research firm L2.
But don’t despair; there’s plenty of life left in Facebook yet. We’ve been scouring the web to find out what’s working on Facebook right now—all the tactics, new additions and post types you need to know today.
Here are 12 top tactics to take a look at adding to your Facebook marketing toolbox.
Facebook tactics

1. Post native videos

Our Number One strategy for your Facebook marketing right now? Video.
“Let’s talk about video: Facebook is absolutely taking traffic from Youtube right now with video.
What happens with autoplay, it’s all psychology. They come in through your newsfeed, start to see a tiny bit of movement, boom, it draws them in. They’ll stop and play your video. Make it short, quick and easy, with a call to action.”
Since then, even more evidence of video’s prowess has emerged.
Social media analytics company Socialbakers looked at more than 670,000 posts by 4,445 brand pages to find that video posts had organic reach of 8.71%, far higher than text-only statuses’ 5.77%, link posts’ 5.29% and photo posts’  3.73%.
SocialBakers study

Here at Buffer, we’ve seen the video effect firsthand. Notice anything about the two posts from our Facebook Insights with the highest reach and interactions? Both videos!
Buffer video analytics

3 ways to use video on Facebook:

Post it natively: Posting directly to Facebook seems to provide better results than linking to video from sites like YouTube or Vimeo
Choose a featured video: Facebook allows you to pick one featured video that gets a prominent place on your Page. Here’s ours right now:
featured video
Create video playlists: Group related pieces of content together in a Facebook video playlist (Note: This one may not be available to everyone just yet)

2. Share quote photos

A tactic that is still going strong is creating and sharing quote photos. Mike Gingerich, writing at Social Media Examiner, does a great job of explaining the perennial popularity of these pics:
“People love inspirational quotes that motivate them or elicit a particular emotion, which in turn can lead to post interaction, especially shares.
A Facebook share plays a huge part in social proof and can result in many new friends of fans finding (and liking) your page. These new eyes are an opportunity for you to start the relationship-building process.”
I really love the awesome job Kim Garst of Boom Social is doing with shareable quotes. Check out the engagement she gets with images like these:shareable quotes:
At Buffer, we believe so strongly in the future of social media images like these that we created a new tool to help you make them quickly and easily.
We’ve also written about lots of other image-making tools so you can be sure to find the best one for you.
Note that there’s some evidence that posting photos to Facebook might not be the best strategy right now, so your mileage with this tactic could vary.

3. Target your organic posts

If Facebook is limiting your posts to a smaller audience, why not make sure it’s exactly the audience you have in mind?
Targeting was once more of an ads feature, but since Facebook has rolled out new tools for publishers, more brands seem to be experimenting with targeting audiences for even organic posts.
Social Media Examiner did some experimenting with mixed results: They discovered that some targeted posts “definitely had higher engagement than posts that didn’t use targeting.”
The authors at SME concluded that this tactic seems to have potential particularly for smaller pages.
If you might fall into that category, here’s a great guide to getting started targeting from Social Media Week:
Jon Loomer has quite an in-depth guide if you’re interested in diving into this topic at length.

4. Engage your CTA button

Late in 2014, Facebook introduced a call-to-action button designed to bring a business’s most important objective to the forefront of its Facebook presence.
For visitors landing on your page for the first time, make sure you make the most of this addition and add the most appropriate CTA available.
At present, page admins can select from seven calls to action:
  • Book Now
  • Contact Us
  • Use App
  • Play Game
  • Shop Now
  • Sign Up
  • Watch Video
CTA button

5. Try dark posts

Dark posting on Facebook is publishing a post that does not appear on your page’s timeline. Instead, these posts are targeted to a select audience of your choosing.
Why might this be helpful? Split testing is one great use of dark posts. You can create three or four different variations of the same post, then send them out to see which type performs best (without flooding your timeline with each and every variation).
Here’s how to find this Facebook tool:
Click Power Editor in the left column of your Facebook ads manager. (Note: Power editor is only available for Chrome browsers.)
power editor facebook
From here, you’ll want to click Download to Power Editor at the top of the page to download the accounts you want to manage.
Strata Blue has put together a list of very detailed instructions on where to go from here in order to build your dark posts. You can follow their instructions to try this out.

6. Zero in on your key topics

A recent Moz whiteboard Friday focused on the topic of driving traffic from Facebook and included lots of solid tips from Buffer pal Rand Fishkin.
One I’d like to highlight here is Rand’s tips to learn what works for you on Facebook by using Buzzsumo:
“Learn what does work in your topics in Facebook. There’s a great tool for this. It’s called BuzzSumo. You can plug in keywords and see the pieces of content that over the past six months or a year have performed the best across social networks, and you can actually filter directly by Facebook to see what’s done best on Facebook in my niche, with my topics, around my subjects. That’s a great way to get at what might work in the future, what doesn’t work, what will resonate, and what won’t.”
You can search for specific keywords on BuzzSumo, or filter by your own domain to see what you’ve created that did well that you could drive inspiration from:
Buzzsumo for Facebook idea generation

7. Up your posting frequency

Another no-nonsense tactic to counter lowered Facebook reach is to simply up your posting frequency.
Writing on Social Fresh, Dennis Yu observed that overall, total interactions per day on Facebook increase linearly with posts per day.
At the same time, negative feedback doesn’t seem correlated to posting more frequently:
negative feedback
Dennis notes that some pages post 30-40 times per day and get less negative feedback as a proportion of total engagement.
If you’re able to keep a close eye on your Facebook Insights, why not try upping your Facebook frequency?

8. Get creative with Trending Topics

As Facebook moves ever closer into real-time when it comes to Trending Topics, I find myself clicking on these newsy topics more and more often.
And when I do, I notice that right below the details of whatever news item I’m checking out are more posts from others I’m connected to or even a few degrees away from. For example, checking out the latest news on “The Walking Dead” brought me this post from marketer (and future Buffer Social guest post author!) Jeff Goins.
Jeff Goins trending topics
Jeff’s post is a great example of taking advantage of Trending Topics in a way that feels personal and organic, not spammy and forced. Could you something similar?

9. Study your negative feedback

Sometimes discovering what your audience didn’t like is one of your best strategies for making them happier with your content in the future.
Facebook Insights offers up four types of negative feedback (find it under the “Posts” section):
  • hide post
  • hide all posts
  • report page as spam
  • unlike page
negative feedback
Facebook offers you these stats as a raw number; however it might be handy to think on this number as a  ratio relative to your overall interactions as well.
Studying negative feedback can help you better identify which types of posts your audience perceived as spam or chose to hide at a higher rate. Over time, you might discover patterns to help guide your post types, themes and language use.

10. Keep testing

No doubt Facebook is a different place for brands than it has been in the past, but success is still possible. Facebook offers this as a guiding strategy:
Organic content still has value on Facebook, and Pages that publish great content — content that teaches people something, entertains them, makes them think, or in some other way adds value to their lives — can still reach people in News Feed. However, anticipating organic reach can be unpredictable, and having a piece of content “go viral” rarely corresponds to a business’s core goals. Your business will see much greater value if you use Facebook to achieve specific business objectives, like driving in-store sales or boosting app downloads.
With that in mind, I enjoyed this case study from Search Engine Journal of a set of experiments that grew organic reach 219% in a month. The article offers plenty of inside peeks to help you recreate a similar testing strategy:
Facebook case study

Two more tactics to keep an eye on for the future

I thought I’d leave you with a few really creative examples.
These two up-and-coming tactics may not be available to all of us right now, but they’re a good sign of where Facebook could be headed soon.

11. 3-D ads

For Saint Patrick’s Day, Jameson promoted its whiskey with the first 3-D video Facebook ad—an attention-grabbing video of a shot glass skating across a bar.
I happened to be targeted by this ad, and the autoplay of video plus the breaking of Facebook’s visual frame definitely caught my attention!

12. Cinemagraphs

Cinemagraphs — still photographs that incorporate subtle, looping video elements — could be another future eye-catcher on Facebook, taking utmost advantage of Facebook’s video autoplay.
AdWeek reports that Facebook is banking big on the stylized GIFs as it introduces them to advertisers, and the Wall Street Journal notes that Heineken has been used cinemagraphs on Facebook for the past few months.
HubSpot has collected a bunch of neat cinemagraphs on their blog. Here’s one:
cinemagraph example
Can you imagine using images like this in your marketing one day soon?
 Have you been experimenting with any new tactics or types of posts on Facebook? I’d love to hear what’s been working for you in the comments!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Google+ is Changing, but How Will it Change Your Business?

It’s no secret that as underutilized as it is in the social media world, Google+ has been a powerhouse for search engine optimization. From personalized search results to improving organic reach, the Google+ platform has been a go to source to start building SEO for businesses.
Google+’s number one spot might change as a result of an upcoming platform reorganization.
Communication, photos, and streams: those are the three areas Google+ developed under the hood of their social media platform. According to recent statements made by Google VP Bradley Horowitz, the tech giant will be focusing and developing these areas individually as opposed to cramming them all into one service.
This move makes sense, seeing as social media has been distilled to two major features: messaging and photos. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp is a clear indication of this trend.
Google+ has already been a favorite of photo junkies, thanks to its large offering of storage space, as well as quick and easy editing tools that let you share images on the fly. Google Hangouts has also been a major boon for communication between individuals, businesses and online seminars. Strengthening these two core facets is a logical progression.
That leaves streams out in the cold. It isn’t entirely clear how Google plans to change sharing content and participating in communities, or its effect on SEO, but a shift in focus away from sharing random links and statuses means Google+ is optimizing itself for current trends. Whether this means Google+ will take on a corkboard approach for photos like Pinterest, or put a focus on communication within communities has yet to be seen.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on these upcoming changes that are rolling out and how they affect SEO ranking. In the meanwhile, keep building those circles, engaging in communities, and sharing photos!
Not sure how Google+ can work for you? Anchor Social is a full service digital marketing agency that knows the ins and outs of the industry. Reach out and contact us today if you need more information!
The post Google+ is Changing appeared first on Anchor Social.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Where Are Your Customers in Social Media?

Organic reach has become the bane of many social media marketers.
Staying up to date with Facebook’s algorithm changes is rapidly becoming a full-time job, and gettingrobs your brand message into your fans’ News Feeds without paying for it is specialist work.
This can become even more apparent in the retail sector, where a brand’s social media presence is not just about brand building and engagement, but also about actually driving customers to purchase products.
It’s a fine balance to strike, but a recent survey conducted in January 2015 in the UK offers some insight into consumer preferences.

Facebook is Maturing

The demographic profile of Facebook is changing.
According to eMarketer, the age group that will show the biggest increase in the share of Facebook users in the coming year is 65+ year-olds.
The baby boomers are finally realizing that they can keep in touch with their children and grandchildren via social media, and that it is not as technically out of reach as they had perhaps once thought.
However, the other major age groups are set to remain pretty static, supporting the findings of the UK survey. A key point in the research is that the 25 – 34 year-olds, the biggest slice of the Facebook pie, really want to see retailer promotions in their social news feeds, particularly on Facebook.
This is good news for Facebook as it is the 25+ age group who are the ones willing to spend the most money on ads. It’s also good news for retailers as the same age group is the one most likely to make a purchase via a promotion on a Facebook page.
In the past, brands have invested a lot of time and effort on their Facebook pages, and with solid results. As we know, the recent string of algorithm changes threaten to nullify those efforts unless companies are willing to fork out for ads. Promotions, however, offer a way to maximize the social ROI by showcasing products, offering discount, directing visitors to brand websites, and offering rewards for customer engagement and, ultimately, purchases.

Millennials Are Using Their Own Channels

For the younger, 18 – 24 year-old demographic, Facebook is losing its appeal as they move on to other channels not populated by their parents, and increasingly, grandparents. The vast majority of these young adults still have a Facebook account, but they are less and less likely to use it.
The same is true of an even younger demographic, the 12 – 18 year-olds, who have taken to channels such as Instagram and Snapchat in their droves.

So Where Are The 18 – 25 Year-Olds?

This millennial age group has an increasingly strong presence on Twitter. The UK survey revealed that 18 – 25 year-olds want to hear about retail promotions and offers specifically in their Twitter feeds.
This is backed up by separate research conducted by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research who found that as many as 85% of US Millennials follow a brand or company on Twitter to get a coupon or discount. However, as with Facebook, they are not the biggest spenders.
The UK survey found that 29% of consumers follow their favorite retailers on social channels simply because their updates were interesting or funny, whereas, 33% follow only for offers. This offers compelling evidence for a balanced approach to content marketing where interesting content alongside offers and promotions is key to retail success on social media, particularly with younger demographics.

Promotions in Social Media Drive Sales

One interesting finding of the survey is that many consumers will only make purchases when a promotion is available.
This is very important information for retailers to consider in their social media marketing activities. Simply trying to gain followers and fans on social media is being replaced by more concerted efforts to use social media to convert sales. According to the 2014 Internet Retailer Social Media 500 Guide, referral traffic from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube increased 41.8 percent from 2013, driving 51.5 million unique monthly website visitors. The use of promotions in social media will undoubtedly drive this referral rate even more.

Savvy Marketers Will Lead The Way

Social media channels are undoubtedly critical in creating engagement, and they increasingly drive sales, but marketers would be well advised to maintain an even spread in their digital marketing activities.
Research has shown that promotions have a real effect on the behavior of consumers on both sides of the pond. It is the savvy retailers and social media marketers who will be the ones to reap the benefits of this knowledge.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

8 Ways To Spruce Up Your Brand’s Social Media Presence

Running a profitable operation presents its own set of challenges for small business owners. And if they’re not in an industry that’s appealing to the masses, chances are they’ve struggled at some point or another to successfully market their unique products or services. Fortunately, social media presents the opportunity to increase brand awareness in a fun and engaging manner.
Here are some ideas to consider along with ways in which certain companies have used social media to expand their reach.

1. Post Useful Content

Your followers are crunched for time, so you must post content that captivates their attention and adds value to their lives. Otherwise, they will simply overlook future posts or unfollow your company page. Identity theft protection, for example, isn’t necessarily a sexy industry, but LifeLock has a sizeable social media following because their posts provide useful tidbits of wisdom regarding identity theft and ways to protect yourself. And with identity theft rates on the rise, who wouldn’t want to have access to this pertinent information?

2. Skip the Sales Pitch

Consumers dislike the idea of being sold. Instead, they prefer to be in charge of the purchasing decision and move at their own pace. But if you’re constantly shoving sales pitches down their throats via social media, they may become irritated and take their business elsewhere.

3. Encourage Feedback

Even if you’re in an industry that may not be exciting to the average consumer, loyal supporters take pride in knowing you value their opinion and want them to be a part of the conversation. In fact, Starbucks has taken the solicitation of customer feedback to another level by creating @MyStarbucksIdea, a Twitter page solely dedicated to customer experience.

4. Switch It Up

Not only should you avoid posting identical content across platforms, but what you post should also be diverse. Some followers prefer videos while others take a liking to infographics. The idea is to provide a little something for everyone. And don’t forget to share useful content from other pages.

5. Mascot or Spokesperson

It doesn’t take a massive marketing budget to implement a mascot or spokesperson into your branding strategy. To effectively do so, consider creating a Twitter and Facebook profile for your new symbol and infusing it with a dose of humor so your followers can connect with it. Just think of Mayhem from AllState, who not only serves up a good dose of amusement via television but has his own Twitter and Facebook pages where he keeps the laughs going.

6. Infuse a Little Humor

There’s not much one can say about toilet paper beyond its texture, but that didn’t prevent Charmin from creating a strong social media presence. The clever Twitter hashtag, “tweetfromtheseat,” has soared Charmin’s following to new heights and changed the way consumers nationwide view toilet paper.

7. Product Giveaways

Host a contest or giveaway to attract new customers. But remember, the key is to get participants to spread the word about your brand as a condition of entering to win. Encourage customers to do so through a testimonial, product review, or simply by sharing the company page with friends.

8. Consistency is the Key

If you’re crunched for time or considering ditching your social media efforts altogether, take a step back and develop a posting strategy. Once you’ve done so, use a social media management platform like HootSuite to Tweetdeck to schedule your posts in advance to ensure you remain on schedule. It may take several months to see results, but the effort and hard work won’t be in vain.
What are your ideas for sprucing up your brand? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me @suereynolds. I’d love to hear from you.


Friday, 27 March 2015

How to Fast Track Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

So, you have decided it is time to launch a social media marketing campaign. Good for you! Whether you are just starting a business or you have finally decided it is time to jump on the social media bandwagon like everyone else, you need to know how to fast track your campaign.


When you are trying to launch a social media marketing strategy quickly, it is tempting to jump in without giving much thought on how you are going to go about it. Unfortunately, if you are trying to just wing it, your followers and fans will pick up on that. Even worse, winging your social media marketing strategy could prove to be a turn-off for prospective customers, even driving them toward your competition.
It is certainly understandable to have a desire to kick start your social media marketing strategy. In order to attract followers and fans and convert them into loyal customers, you need a social media strategy based on a clear plan. Begin by thinking about what is that you want to accomplish through your social media campaign. This can vary from one brand to another, and may even depend on the type of business in which you are involved. For instance, your goals might include increasing brand exposure, promoting products or services, or interacting with customers. Keep in mind, however, that it is not enough to know your goals; you must also take the time to understand your prospects' goals. Understanding the needs of your audience will give you the ability to interact with them in a more effective manner. Additionally, knowing your audience's interests will help you to understand how to develop a successful content strategy.  


Many brands make the mistake of thinking that the best way to jump start a social media marketing campaign is to develop a presence on as many platforms as possible. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to maintain this type of pace. Not all social media networks may be suitable for your brand based on your goals and business. The best course of action is to start small with just one social network. Which network is best for your business? This depends on various factors including the nature of your business. For instance, if you are primarily B2B, then LinkedIn is a good choice. Are women the majority of your customers?
Consider Pinterest. Regardless of the type of business in which you are involved, you usually cannot go wrong with Twitter. A fairly easy platform that does not take long to learn, Twitter provides you with access to a massive user base. Although Twitter has struggled with slow user growth during the last few months, USA TODAY reports that the site still has 288 million monthly active users, which is certainly large enough to launch your social media marketing campaign. As your company grows, you can begin experimenting with more social media networks.


Regardless of how well you plan your social media marketing campaign, you will accomplish nothing if you do not simply jump in and get started. Planning is great, but do not make the mistake of spending so much time planning and that you fail to execute. There are actually many steps you can take to increase your social media exposure. Begin by making certain you have included the appropriate social media icons on your brand's website. The inclusion of such icons will make it much easier for those who visit your website to follow you on their social media network of choice. The easier you can make it for people to connect with you, the larger you will be able to grow your following. You should also link your social media profile to your company's website. With this strategy, if someone stumbles upon your profile via a retweet or a share, they can learn more about your brand.


One of the most common reasons that many brands fail to succeed with social media is that their strategy is hit-or-miss. You cannot succeed with social media marketing if you only post when you have a spare moment. An effective social media marketing campaign requires that you plan ahead and make it a priority. The number of times that you should post will depend upon the platform you have chosen to use. It is important to recognize that even posting once a day may not be enough to gain exposure. This is particularly true on popular platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. If you only post once daily, the reality is that most people will not see your post as a result of timing and newer posts pushing your post to the bottom. Research from Buffer indicates that the top brands adhere to the following social media posting frequency:
  • Pinterest: 5 posts daily
  • Twtter: 3 posts daily
  • Google+: 3 posts daily
  • Facebook: 2 posts daily


One of the most important things you can do to quickly grow your social media presence is to post interesting, valuable, shareable content. The type of content that will perform best will also vary based on the platform you are using. For instance, visual content tends to perform better on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. While image-based content can drive engagement, it is also important to maintain a balance. Your ultimate goal is to convert followers and fans into customers. Avoid having the bulk of your content comprised of information about your company and products. Sharing and retweeting content shared by others can be a great way to offer a diverse mix of content that will keep users engaged and sharing.
Keep in mind that while there are many things you can do to fast track your social media marketing strategy, do not expect overnight results. It takes time. Following these steps can help you to launch a successful social media marketing campaign and begin growing your followers. 
fast track / shutterstock