Top tweets and takeaways from our Facebook NFO panel

liveworld post by: liveworld

Written by former LiveWorld employee, @BryanPerson.

I had a blast moderating a panel discussion on Facebook News Feed optimization at the BlogWorld & New Media Expo in New York City this year.

Sharing the stage with three other marketers — Helen Todd from Sociality Squared, Chad Wittman from EdgeRank Checker, and Dennis Yu from BlitzLocal and Webtrends — in the day-to-day trenches of all things Facebook marketing for companies and brands meant we could deliver plenty of actionable insights for the BlogWorld audience.

Here are the “top tweets” from the session:

More Facebook marketing insights

And here are a some of my own favorite moments and takeaways from our discussion:

* Beware of acquiring low-value fans The danger of constantly running promotions and gimmicks is attracting new fans who won’t truly be interested in your more substantive posts and calls to action later on. They’ll “Like” your Page for the coupon or freebie, but will have little inclination to interact with subsequent status updates. You’re not gaining brand loyalists, and your damaging the collective engagement rate of your Page in the process.

* Targeting your Facebook fans with relevant content. Helen really hammered home the importance of publishing posts that match the actual interests of the fans. As a brand, that means putting on your “real person” cap and thinking about the type of status updates that regularly catch your attention and that you would want to tell your friends about. And to know if your instincts are correct …

* … Measure, measure, measure! From Insights to the data available through the Graph API, Facebook can tell you which posts are winners and which ones fall flat, whether your content is resonating with the appropriate demographics for your brand, and how successfully you are driving fans to your corporate website or other digital channels. So, be sure your marketing efforts include regular measurement, evaluation, and tweaking as necessary.

* Smaller brands can compete. Chad shared an example of a 20,000-fan online coupon company outperforming a 500,000-fan major US cable TV network in terms of overall News Feed impressions and ongoing engagement (likes and comments). Why? The smaller company publishes richer (lots of targeted photos and videos) and edgier (not vanilla!) content, taps into a current events that are on the minds of their fans, and posts regularly to a group that is always hungry for fresh, new content.

* Be organized and nimble. Content calendars are an important part of the planning process and help you to stay on track with consistent Wall postings. But sometimes you need to throw out the script, kill off that that status update you planned two weeks ago, and replace it with a post that better reflects the evolving sentiment and interests of your fans. And that can only happen when 1) you’re listening to what your fans are telling you with their comments and questions, and 2) staffed appropriately that you can switch things up.

* Real-time response. Dennis wowed the crowd with a live demo on a client’s Facebook Page. Dennis showed the value of posting a status update in the form of a timely question (“What are your plans for Memorial Day? – verify”), which generated a dozen likes and comments from fans in a matter of seconds.

* Advertise to fill in the gaps. Facebook advertising and Sponsored Stories give marketers a golden opportunity to nurture and/or reconnect with existing fans. Running ads at a particular demographic with clickthroughs to an interactive tab or application on the Page, for example, can help re-engage them with your content and drive up their EdgeRank affinity to your brand’s Page, providing a News Feed visibility boost for future status updates.

This post is part of an ongoing “31 Days of Facebook Marketing” series from LiveWorld, a social media agency that offers moderation, insight, and community programming Facebook services for Fortune 1000 brands.

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