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Facebook metrics: building a strategy around free data

One of the most obvious social media metrics available to you is right beneath your nose. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your Facebook page.

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The difficulty of monitoring

We hear it all the time: one of the best ways to have an effective and thriving online presence is to monitor who is looking at your content and which elements of your marketing are seeing the most success. You’d be surprised to know, however, that many people leave social media out of the mix. It’s understandable. Unless you use services such as HootSuite, where you can pay to monitor your social media metrics closely, it’s hard to really know how many people are actually seeing your posts.

There is one glaringly obvious metric, however, that you can easily monitor, and that is your Facebook presence. The social media giant makes it so easy for you. At the top of your Facebook Page (not profile, but business Page), you’ll notice an “admin panel” with a graph showing your overall reach and engagement in your Facebook postings over the past month.

If you look underneath each individual posting, you’ll also notice that you can see metrics showing how many people saw that particular piece of content. This might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Let me explain—I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard agents say that Facebook isn’t working for them and that they’re not getting any engagement. There are a number of reasons that this could be the case, but if you look at your metrics and see which posts had the most views AND the most engagement, you can tweak your content accordingly. You have the ability to find out what really works. These metrics also give you a more accurate depiction of your target audience.

Quick tips for tweaking your strategy

As you start using these numbers to tweak your social media strategy, I wanted to point out a few things that you should keep in mind:

This is a more accurate indication of your reach. Sure, you might have 600 fans, but underneath each post, it may say that it reached only 300 people. This means that you have 300 fans who read your content regularly, and those are the people who you need to try to engage. If you can engage more, that initial reach WILL increase.

The higher the reach, the more engagement you will get. In order to increase reach, however, you need to focus on engaging with the fans who ARE looking at your posts. You do this by focusing your efforts on creating conversation, not marketing yourself or using your page as a bulletin board for upcoming news and events.

With these two things in mind, you have probably figured out that your number one focus in re-doing your social media strategy needs to be engagement. Focus on obtaining interaction and building a presence based on conversation, and your overall reach will increase. This is the key to getting your brand the exposure that you’re looking for.

Next: obtaining engagement

The next step is figuring out how to go about obtaining engagement. This is a process that is best implemented through trial and error. No two strategies will work for the same target market. You have to try some different tactics and see what works. Once you start seeing a trend, you can figure out a strategy that works best for your business. Here are some common tricks of the trade that you can implement as you go about your new strategy:

•    Post at the right time. Most studies show that the best time to post content on Facebook is early in the morning or late at night. Avoid late morning or early afternoon postings. The objective is to post so that the most people possible will see it right away.
•    Include CTA’s in your posts. It might sound strange, but the Facebook postings that see the most success are the ones in which the page asks them to like or comment on a status. It prompts them to participate on your page.
•    Make sure your content has a purpose. You want what you put on your page to be interesting and valuable to the consumer, so if that means you go a day or two without posting anything, then that’s okay. You don’t want to post just for the sake of posting. Unless you have something exciting to share or something purposeful to say, it’s best to refrain from posting and focus your efforts on engaging with your network on their own Facebook pages.

There you have it. Don’t overlook the most obvious social media metric available to you. Use the numbers, review your current efforts and come up with a plan to change it and improve your online presence. That’s the secret to being “cutting edge” in the online marketing realm. Start experimenting.

Carrie Gable & the Real Estate Virtual Assistant team at RealSupport, Inc. work virtually for many top real estate agents & brokers nationwide, offering marketing campaigns, branding, website & logo design, listing marketing efforts, lead management, technical support, marketing presentations, social media setup & management, copywriting, blogging and much more.

Social Media

Why Trump’s lawsuit against social media still matters

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Former President Trump snagged headlines for suing every large social media platform, and it has gone quiet, but it still deeply matters.

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It was splashed across headlines everywhere in July: Former President Trump filed a lawsuit against social media platforms that he claims unrightfully banned him during and after the fallout of the January 6th capitol riots. The headlines ran for about a week or so and then fell off the radar as other, fresher, just-as-juicy news headlines captured the media’s eye.

Many of us were left wondering what that was all about and if anything ever became of it. For even more of us, it probably passed out of our minds completely. Lack of public awareness for these things is common after the initial media blitz fades.

Lawsuits like these in the US can take months, if not years between newsworthy milestones. The most recent news I could find as of this publishing is from August 24, 2021, on Yahoo! News from the Washington Examiner discussing the Trump camp’s request for a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit.

This particular suit shouldn’t be left to fade from memory in the shadows though, and here’s why:

In the past few years, world powers have been reigning in regulations on social media and internet commerce. The US is actually a little behind the curve. Trump may have unwittingly given us a source of momentum to get with the times.

In the European Union, they have the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), widely acknowledged to be one of the toughest and most thorough privacy laws in the world, a bold title. China just passed its own pair of laws in the past four months: The Data Security Law, which took effect on Sept. 1, and The Personal Information Law, set to take effect November 1st. The pair is poised to give the GDPR a run for its money for that title.

Meanwhile, in the US, Congress has been occupied with other things and, while there are five bills that took aim at tech monopoly currently on the table and a few CEOs had to answer some questions, little actual movement or progress has been made on making similar privacy protections a thing in the United States.

Trump’s lawsuit, while labeled by many as a toothless public relations move, may actually create momentum needed to push regulation of tech and social media forward in the US. The merits of the case are weak and ultimately the legislation that would give it teeth doesn’t exist yet.

You can’t hold tech companies accountable to a standard that doesn’t properly exist in law.

However, high profile attention and someone willing to continue to make noise and bring attention back to the subject, one of Trump’s strongest talents, could be “just what the doctor ordered” to inspire Congress to make internet user rights and data privacy a priority in the US, finally.

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Social Media

Even solopreneurs are doing live commerce online – it’s not just QVC’s game anymore

(SOCIAL MEDIA) When you think of watching a show and buying things in real time, it invokes thoughts of QVC, but social media video has changed all that.

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After the year everyone has had, one wouldn’t be remiss in thinking that humanity wants a break from live streaming. They would, however, be wrong: Live online commerce – a method of conversion first normalized in China – is the next evolution of the ubiquitous e-commerce experience, which means it’s something you’ll want on your radar.

Chinese company, Alibaba first live streamed on an e-commerce site in 2016, allowing buyers to watch, interact with, and buy from sellers from the comfort of their homes. In 2020, that same strategy netted Alibaba $7.5 billion in presale revenue – and it only took 30 minutes, according to McKinsey Digital.

But, though western audiences have proven a desire to be just as involved with sellers during the buying process, live commerce hasn’t taken off here the way it has elsewhere. If e-commerce merchants want to maximize their returns in the next few years, that needs to change.

McKinsey Digital points out a couple of different benefits for organizations using live commerce, the main one being an influx in traffic. Live streaming events break the buying experience mold, and consumers love being surprised. You can expect that prospective buyers who wouldn’t necessarily visit your store under normal circumstances would find value in attending a live event.

Live events also keep people on your site for longer, resulting in richer conversion opportunities.

The sense of urgency inherent in in-person shopping doesn’t always translate to online markets, but having a stream showing decreasing inventory or limited-availability items being sold inspires people to act expeditiously rather than sitting on a loaded cart–something that can kill an e-commerce conversion as quickly as it starts one.

There are a ton of different ways to incorporate live events into your e-commerce campaigns. Virtual auctions are popular, as are markets in which individual sellers take buyers through inventory. However, the live event could be tangentially related–or even just something impressive running in parallel with the sale–and still bring in a swell of revenue.

Screen fatigue is real, and there isn’t a true substitute for a brick-and-mortar experience when done correctly. But if you have an e-commerce shop that isn’t utilizing some form of live entertainment–even just to bring in new buyers–you’re going to want to try this strategy soon.

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Social Media

LinkedIn is nixing Stories this month (LinkedIn had Stories!?)

(SOCIAL MEDIA) LinkedIn tried to be like the cool kids and launched “Stories,” but the video feature is being shelved and “reimagined.” Ok.

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Creating the next big thing is essential for social networks to stay relevant, continue growing, and avoid shutting down. Sometimes, this leads to businesses trying to ride along with the success of another app’s latest feature and creating their cloned version. While the logic of recreating something already working makes sense, the results aren’t universal.

This time around, LinkedIn is saying goodbye to its short-lived Snapchat-like video product, Stories. In a company post, LinkedIn says it’s removing its Stories experience by the end of September.

Why is LinkedIn retiring Stories?

According to a post by Senior Director of Product at LinkedIn Liz Li, “[LinkedIn] introduced Stories last year as a fun and casual way to share quick video updates.”

After some testing and feedback, they learned this is not what users wanted. Seems like they could have beta tested with users and heard the same thing, but I digress.

“In developing Stories, we assumed people wouldn’t want informal videos attached to their profile, and that ephemerality would reduce barriers that people feel about posting. Turns out, you want to create lasting videos that tell your professional story in a more personal way and that showcase both your personality and expertise,” said Li.

What does this mean for users?

Starting on September 30, 2021, users will no longer be able to create Stories for Pages. If you’ve already planned to have an image or video ads run in-between Stories, they will now appear on the LinkedIn feed instead. For those who used Campaign Manager to promote or sponsor a Story directly from your Page, the company says “these paid Stories will not appear in the LinkedIn feed”, and the user will need to recreate the ad in Campaign Manager.

What’s next for LinkedIn?

According to Li, LinkedIn is taking what it learned from its finding to “evolve the Stories format into a reimagined video experience across LinkedIn that’s even richer and more conversational.” It plans on doing so by using mixed media and the creative tools of Stories.

“As we reimagine what is next, we’re focusing on how we can provide you with a short-form, rich interactive video format that is unique to our platform and that better helps you reach and engage your audiences on LinkedIn. We’re always excited to try out new things and learn as we go, and will continue to share updates along the way,” the company said.

Although Stories didn’t work well for LinkedIn as they hoped, one thing is for sure. LinkedIn isn’t giving up on some form of interactive video, and we can only hope they “reimagine” something unique that keeps users coming back for more.

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