Articles in the Facebook Category

June 1 2011

Facebook Ads Can Target More than Meets the Eye

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Facebook’s advertising platform is great for audience targeting in that you can target its 500 million users based on a user’s location, demographics, interests and education and workplace. In addition, although Facebook does not advertise the fact that occupational targeting is available, it most certainly is, along with the ability to direct your ads to users who “Like” your competition.

In order to target a user’s occupation, you can enter job titles in the “Precise Interests” box under “Interests”:

If you are seeking a way to target a specific industry or even a certain company of an individual, you can use the “Workplaces” section under “Education & Work” targeting.

For example, if you are trying to sell hospital scrubs to people who work in hospitals in the Miami, FL area, you can isolate users in the target city and then enter names of hospitals in the area. Users that work at the specific companies you listed in the area you are specifying will see your ad.

You can also direct your ads to users who “Like” competitor companies, in addition to finding users who “Like” yours.  In the same “Precise Interests” box, you can list names of competitors to target. For example, if you are a lesser-known sneaker brand, you may want to target other brands of sneakers like: Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Reebok, Puma, Converse, etc., which will put your ads in front of users who like similar products.
As you can see, there are more ways to target Facebook’s 500 million users than meets the eye. The social network promotes the capability to target its users by location, demographics and interests, but if you dig deep, you can find innovative ways to reach a very specific audience that fits the goals of your company.

May 16 2011

News Feed Optimization

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Did you know that Facebook has an algorithm in place for what you see in your News Feed? No…?  Well I didn’t either, until today. It is called EdgeRank.

You may have not recognized it, but Facebook’s News Feed only displays a portion of the posts generated by your friends. (I always had my sneaking suspensions)… Well, this algorithm can potentially affect the reach of your Facebook updates.

The EdgeRank algorithm is said to be in place to enhance the user experience. In short, it is all about making sure that users see relevant and useful information in their News Feed. The measuring stick for EdgeRank is displaying information your friends found relevant by virtue of interaction. (i.e. commenting, liking, sharing).

From a more technical perspective, Facebook views every item that shows up in a user’s News Feed as an “object.” A good example of an object would be a person’s status update. Now, should any user decide to interact with that status update (say, by commenting on it) they are creating what Facebook terms as an “Edge.” Other interactions on Facebook can be actions such as tagging, sharing, and liking.

To explain how EdgeRank works, it is simple: The more interaction your posts get, the greater your EdgeRank. The greater your EdgeRank, the more likely your posts will show up in the News Feeds of a majority of your fans or friends (see, simple enough). If you are interested in your current score, you can check it here.

So how can you improve your EdgeRank?

1). Spread The Word!

Be sure to post and share links with others, such as photos and videos. Interaction happens when a user wants to investigate one of those posts or links. Not only can you post links to your own website or blog, you can also post information from other sources that you think your fans or friends might find interesting – it’s called being social, and it can potentially spread like wild fire and attract a lot of attention.

2). Stay Up to Date

Information on Facebook is shared at an extremely rapid pace, so in a short time your post can go from the top of News Feeds to the bottom. And users are more likely to share what is at the top of their News Feed than the bottom. Also, if a post starts to get feedback you are not looking for, you can post something new and swing the population back in the direction you intended.

3). Continue to Be Interactive & Ask Your Fans to Share

Even if you’re new to Facebook, don’t hesitate to ask other users to share your information or click the like button for your posts. A good strategy is to pose the question, such as “like this post if you agree with (fill in the blank)” This should help you to encounter less resistance.

May 11 2011

What’s Open Graph Protocol?

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Open Graph Protocol is something many people  have never heard of before. If that includes you, no worries – just keep reading. By the end of this blog post, you will know more about it (and how it can help your website) than most majority of people out there. If you are a person who likes to empower the circle of colleagues, please share this information with them.

So, Open Graph Protocol. What is it…?

In short, it is a set of meta tags that you insert into the coding of your website that will enable you to further integrate your website into the social network stratosphere.

 

Open Graph Protocol on Facebook allows you to tag things, such as “Like” buttons. By coding action items, such as “Like” buttons, you will have the ability to integrate your website into the Facebook platform, whereby users will be able to find links to your website through friends of theirs who have visited and performed an action on your site. 

Let me further explain because it gets really cool at this point:

Let’s say you added a Facebook “Like” button on your web-page (tagged it with Open Graph Protocol) and a visitor to your site decided to click it. Because you tagged the “Like” button, your website will integrate into the Facebook network and create a connection between your website and the visitor. That created connection with your visitor/Facebook user means your page will now show up in the “Likes & Interests” area of that user’s Facebook profile.

 

Optimizing the social action calls of your site with Open Graph Protocol tags can be quite powerful, and here are two reason’s why: 

  1. It is obviously a social world out there on the web, so having Like buttons will go a long way until, of course, we see more traction with Google’s upcoming +1 Button.
  2. Taking the extra step toward coding these button on your website with Open Graph Protocol will enable all your website to have more of a social presence.

Yes, Open Graph Protocol tags can go a long way toward helping your website in Facebook and around the internet. By using Open Graph Protocol your website will show up in same places that Facebook pages do (e.g. search).

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