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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.

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Social Media

Don’t let your Instagram vanish without a trace – have a backup plan

(SOCIAL MEDIA) In a weird glitch, multiple Instagram accounts vanished out of thin air. Don’t be stuck up the InstaVanish creek without a paddle… or at least a backup in place.

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Poof, gone

Can you imagine being locked out of your own Instagram account for no rhyme or reason? Well, dozens of people just found out, and they are PISSED.

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Thankfully, we’ve got a solution to make sure you don’t lose out if it happens to you.

First, some context

According to coverage from Consumerist, “Several Instagram users began complaining about the disabled or deleted accounts on Twitter today [July 6], noting that they received no warning or explanation for why their accounts were no longer active. The affected accounts appear to cover a wide range of users, from business owners, to fan and personal accounts.”

Via Twitter, Instagram did acknowledge a known bug causing the issue and said, “we’re working to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

However, the response came hours after complaints began, possibly because the issue allegedly affected a very small number of user accounts.

Furthermore, while Instagram gave instructions to users on how to reconfirm their identities and recover their account, they aren’t guaranteed to work.

So, bearing all that in mind, we here at American Genius recommend backing up your entire account in order to preserve your content.

Use what they give you

If you still have access to your account, you can utilize Instagram’s recently-launched Archive function. This lets you take photos off public view without removing them from your account; only you will be able to see them.

However, this does you no good if you’re already locked out, nor does it save posts that are publically available.

For that reason, we recommend a third-party backup option for your profile content.

A’int no party like a third party

You have a few different options. Our favorite one utilizes IFTT (If This, Then That). Using this automation tool, you can write a conditional function that says if you post a new photo to Instagram, it will automatically be sent to a cloud drive, such as Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox.

Along with the benefit of multiple storage options, we love this solution because you can set it and forget it.

That being said, it is not a complete solution; IFTT will ONLY backup up new photos, instead of old ones. To backup your entire collection of old memories, Instaport seems to be a crowd favorite.

Instaport is a free service that lets you download a backup of your entire account.

Once you download this backup, you could upload it to your preferred cloud storage provider, then set IFTTT to send future backups into that same folder.

Better safe than sorry

Using these tips, you can avoid being a total victim of an Instagram screw-up. Hopefully, this recent one will resolve shortly.

#InstaVanish

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How to quickly make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the masses

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Most of us have a love/hate relationship with LinkedIn, but no matter your feelings, you should be the one who stands out in a crowd – here’s how.

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Your LinkedIn is your brand. That’s it. Whether you are job hunting (or people are hunting you), or are showing off your business, insight, acumen, or simply networking; your profile on LinkedIn needs to stay appealing and not drive potential headhunters, bosses, clients, or networking groups bananas.

Let’s start with a three part list of what you MUST do, what you SHOULD do, and what you COULD do.

Here’s what you MUST DO (as in, do it now).

  1. Get a #GREAT LinkedIn photo. Nothing sells you like the right profile picture. No selfies. No mountain biking. Get a professional headshot. Don’t lie about your age. Wear what you wear when you’re on the job. Smile. People are visual.
  2. Simplify your profile. Cut the buzzwords. Cut out excess skills that don’t add to your vision or that don’t represent the kind of job you want. (i.e. most of us can use Outlook but few of us need to mention that skill because we don’t support Outlook). Focus on the skills that are important.
  3. Keep it current. Your LinkedIn should reflect your career and current responsibilities. Update the description. Add new projects. Change your groups as you change in your career and move towards new levels. Indicate when you receive a promotion.
  4. Extra, Extra! Headlines. Don’t use something lame for your headline. How would you want to catch a headhunter to look at you if you could only say 10 words? Make it standout. There are thousands of managers – but only one you.
  5. Custom URL. Just do it. Pick your own URL. It’s FREEEEEEE.
  6. Get the app. Make LinkedIn a part of your mobile life and check it more often than you do Snapchat.

Here’s what you SHOULD DO (Set aside some time at Starbucks and go do this in the next month).

  1. Tell your story. Your summary should bring to live the content of your career. Don’t leave that section blank. Spend some time crafting a cool story. Run it by your professional mentor. Send it to your English major friends.
  2. Connect. Add colleagues. Add partners from other organizations. Use connections to broaden your network. Synch your profile with your address book. Add people after a conference.
  3. Endorse your connections. Identify people you’ve worked with and give them the endorsements – which can get them to come endorse you!
  4. Ask for recommendations. Ask a colleague, partner, or manager to write you a recommendation to help advertise your skills.
  5. Add a nice cover photo. Again, visual people. Some more on that here.

Here’s what you COULD DO (If you’re feeling dedicated, what you can do to give yourself an extra edge.)

  1. Share your media. Upload presentations, videos, speeches, or projects that you can share. (Don’t violate company policy though!).
  2. Publish original content. LinkedIn has a vibrant publishing feature and sharing your original work (or content you’ve published elsewhere) is a great way to share your voice.
  3. Post status updates. Share your reactions. Share articles. Repost from influencers. Be active and keep your feed vibrant.

That’s a quick list to get started. So go start your LinkedIn makeover (and I’ll go do the same). Let’s get connected!

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Innovative widget places Instagram Stories right on your website

(SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS) Increase your social media reach with this neat new free to use Instagram Stories widget for your company website or personal portfolio site.

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Instagram Stories are a great way to integrate video into your marketing strategy. If you’re already investing time and money in this successful strategy, might as well feature Stories on your website too, right?

Well lucky you, Fastory recently released a free widget to add Instagram Stories directly to your site to feature your nifty marketing efforts on desktop. Even though mobile is still dominant with younger generations, desktop users need some love and access to Stories, too.

Fastory CEO Sylvain Weber noted the “widget is the only one fully based on the brand new Instagram Graph API (no private API, validated by Facebook himself).” This pretty much means Fastory is ahead of the game with the newly opened up API, and are basically development pioneers.

Drive awareness and build loyalty by spreading the wonder of your Instagram Stories far and wide with the Stories Widget. Simply log in to Facebook to get the widget, then sync your Instagram Stories stream.

Next, all you have to do is copy the provided HTML code and paste it on your website. Hooray, now you have a widget that automatically updates your website with your latest Stories.

Keep in mind you’ll need an Instagram Business Account for this to work.

If you have more than one business Instagram linked to Facebook Pages, just select the one you want to use from the drop-down menu when getting the widget code.

You can continue that process to select multiple Instagram accounts and generate widget codes for each of them.

Free for a limited time, you can also utilize the Memories feature, keeping a collection of your Instagram Stories on your site instead of having them disappear after twenty-four hours like usual.

All the Stories featured on your site also include a “follow us” button to encourage user engagement and gain you more followers.

Looking for help jazzing up your Instagram Stories? Fastory was originally created as an easy to use design platform to create and customize Stories.

Their mobile-first marketing suite offers drag & drop design featuring animated headlines crafted in Adobe After Effects, fonts from Google Web Fonts, and motion design.

Story creation and editing is collaborative with varying roles and levels of privileges. Plus, you can track visitors in real time to identify drop off points and areas for improvement. Contact Fastory for Story creation pricing information.

And on the free end of things, check out the Instagram Story Widget.

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