Tips on Social Media and Facebook Marketing

Target Your Posts

Hidden in Facebook’s myriad settings options is the ability to target Page posts to specific users based on their age, gender, location, relationship status and other criteria. Brandon McCormick, Facebook’s director of communications, wouldn’t say whether a targeted post gets a greater organic reach within its subset of users than a post broadcast to all a Page’s fans. But anecdotal evidence from TIME’s Facebook account indicates that targeted posts reach a large percentage of the fans they’re aimed toward in some cases. Even without a boost in reach, a smartly targeted post is more likely to engage those users that do see it. Brands can enable post targeting by selecting “Edit Settings” from the “Edit Page” drop down menu in a Page’s admin panel.

Use Photos, But Make Them Original

Plain-text status updates have secretly been one of most effective types of posts for boosting organic reach for years, but the company announced in January that it would be reducing the distribution of text posts and increasing distribution of others. Photos, when used correctly, can be a win for both audience engagement and reach, and they align with the increasingly visual nature of the social network and its spinoff apps. But be wary of “meme photos,” stock images with humorous or dramatic text layered over them. Facebook has reduced their reach in a quest to promote what it deems “high quality” content.

Protect your Domain Name and Links

Facebook and other social media sites are targeting links that are posted multiple times in any given hour. In order to offset spamming of the same link social media sites especially Facebook has set up detection procedures that track the amount of times the same link is posted in a given hour and or day. If your link is being posted too frequently it can be blacklisted and your account can be placed in what’s called “Facebook Jail” for a time frame of days to weeks. Your account can also be closed. Also people who feel you’re posting your link too much can and do mark your link as spam without you ever knowing it, this is reported directly to Facebook. When marketing any link/url on Facebook especially an affiliate link be sure to attach it to a purchased domain name, then convert the domain name using link converters like this will give you an extra layer of protection. Research shows that image adds get much more attention than randomly posting links, so learn how to create ads that contain your domain name. Post on your Facebook page or in the news feed no more than 3 times a day maximum. This keeps others from viewing your content as spam and they are more likely to view your content because it’s not posted too often. Facebook and other social media sites do not monitor images the way they do links, so create images with your domain name on the image and post. If you’re going to include a link do no more than 3 times in any given hour. If you want to post more frequently use the groups however post images without links because the groups are monitored also for excessive links being posted. Once your domain name is black listed you will not be able to use on Facebook.

Post at Odd Hours Figuring out the best time to post on Facebook has been an elusive goal for social media practitioners for years. Consider this, though: with 757 million people now visiting Facebook every day, maybe you don’t want to post something at the same time as everyone else. If the type of content you’re posting might appeal to people who are awake late at night or early in the morning, try posting during off-peak hours. Remember that it’s easy to schedule a Facebook post in advance.

Start a Conversation

An increasing number of items that appear in the News Feed show a user’s friends engaging with other content—liking, commenting or sharing a post from another friend or Page. If you can get a conversation started with a post by asking a question, it’s more likely that your Page will be pulled into other users’ feeds. Make sure the questions are pertinent to your organization, though. “If you’re a small restaurant, [fans] would rather see what your specials are that night than for you to ask how their day is going,” McCormick says.

Be Engaging

This may seem obvious, but remember that Facebook’s ultimate goal is to keep as many people as possible glued to the social network for as long as possible. If your posts keep people engaged, as measured by likes, comments, shares and time on screen, the social network will reward you with further reach. Spam up your page with excessive posts that no one likes or comments on, and your reach is likely to decline even faster than everyone else’s. The company now regularly resurfaces content that is more than 24 hours old if it’s receiving heavy engagement from users. “Brands are competing for a very, very small pool of space when they’re looking for organic reach,” says Nate Elliott, principal analyst at Forrester Research. “The best way to do that is to offer relevant content that attracts user engagement.”

Cross-Promote With Other Pages

Get mentioned in a post by another brand, and your Page could show up in the News Feeds of users who don’t already like your organization. Facebook added this feature in February, but stressed that such cross-promotions have to make logical sense in order to earn extra reach. Ensuring that the two Pages have a large pool of overlapping fans can help. Pepsi, for instance, could mention its subsidiaries like Frito-Lay and Gatorade in a post, or a city tourism page could work to cross-promote that town’s popular restaurants.

Hop on a Trending Topic

Facebook took a cue from Twitter earlier this year and introduced trending topics that attempt to summarize the biggest news of the day. When users click on a trending topic, they see a mix of content from other users and Pages about the story. Posts from friends or Pages a user is connected to get higher placement in the trending feed, so if the topics are relevant to your brand, consider joining the conversation or providing a useful link.

Buy an Ad

Facebook, of course, says this is the most straightforward solution. The company has simplified its ad unit offerings in the last year in effort to attract more customers. “If you’re a business, advertising is probably the best bet for you because what you really care about is guaranteed reach,” McCormick says. “It’s not a great marketing strategy throw something out there and hope somebody sees it.” He points out that Page fans still matter for paid posts because Facebook offers discounts on ads that can be delivered with a social context (basically showing a user that one of their friends also likes the brand featured in an ad). More Page fans means more opportunities to provide this context and buy cheaper ads. Be sure to view the Leads Sources area of for high converting lead sources to grow your business.


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