Facebook Pages 101: Q&A for Facebook Page Owners

findyoursearch at flickrWe get a lot of questions related to digital marketing in our day-to-day encounters with various people offline and online – colleagues, friends, acquaintances… Not surprisingly, a lot of those questions are related to Facebook marketing. Some of them are pretty basic and others a bit challenging.

Of course, most of the page owners are not digital marketers, but people from different walks of life who happen to manage a Facebook page for whatever purpose. The kind of people who wanted to get their hands dirty and do something challenging to increase the engagement or sell their products through Facebook, which is really a good thing.

So, we hoped to answer the most common questions of theirs in a blog post, and the result is the below Q&A that we believe any Facebook page owner might have in his/her mind who is looking to promote their FB page.

Why do some people recommend that I always add PNG images in my Facebook posts?

Less compromise on quality. You might have had a frustrating experience of uploading good quality images on Facebook only to see them smudged or degraded otherwise in quality after the upload. PNGs have higher file size, it has higher quality, which means better images on your pages. So it is always a good suggestion to upload all your Images to Facebook in PNG Format.

I have an audience size upwards of 5000 on FB. Why are my [organic] posts not reaching most of them?

Well, there are numerous factors that determine the reach of your posts. There have been widespread accusations that Facebook has been suppressing organic reach in favor of paid advertisements. But we’ll stick to the factors which we can control.

Let’s say about 70% of your FB audience are from India and the rest are spread all over the globe, and you’re feeling super-active (or sleep-deprived) and make a post at 2: 00 AM IST. Your Facebook post will target all the fans of your page, and an engagement-to-reach ratio is calculated with your total number of fans as the audience size.

Now, the initial Engagement of your post is important or else it won’t reach more people. In other words, the early engagements for your post decide the fate of your post for the rest of its life. To get the super-engaging post you should be super creative (Social Media Examiner has covered lot of interesting tips on this front).

Coming back to our example, posting at 2:00 AM is a really bad idea, because the engagement-to-reach ratio for your fans from India hugely influences the overall ratio for all of your fans. If I screw up there, I screw up everywhere. So you should post your news at a suitable time, considering the geography of all your audience. The best way to figure out the best time to get your audience engaged? Facebook Insights has what you need.

The gist is this. Always keep in mind about

  1. Time
  2. Engagement (Creative Post)
  3. Targeting

What are the other options would you suggest to get higher reach?

It is a good idea to limit the audience reach by targeting your organic posts to the right people. Facebook allows you to target your post by demographics. In addition to that, you can also target your post to the people who have specific interests (you could find this one under the “News Feed Targeting” tab in the pop-up). This way, the overall audience reach is limited, but more targeted, which will help you achieve a decent success rate.

FB post targeting option screenshotI am not getting any Clicks or Impressions for My ads. What could be the reason?

(Very often, this question comes from people who want to test their ads on a minimum budget – quite a good thing to do when you’re testing the waters. And they mostly happen to set a manual CPC close to the minimum bid that FB suggests.)

  1. When your budget is minimum, your overall reach will be constrained based on the budget you provide.
  2. Look at your ad delivery type. If you had chosen accelerated delivery, keep the maximum bids 10 – 20% higher than what Facebook suggests, because in accelerated delivery, your ad enters all available auctions using your maximum bid amount. If you keep the bids exactly the same as what Facebook suggested (i.e. the least suggested bid), the chances of winning the auction becomes very less.

The scenario is that your ads will try to win the auction, with your minimum budget, and within the constrained audience reach, which sounds quite a bad option.

Suggestion would be:

  1. Change the delivery method to “Standard”,      (OR)
  2. Change the max bid to 10 % or 20 % higher than the suggested bid.

Can I create a poll in my Facebook fan page?

No, that featured has been removed from Facebook. Who knows whether it is temporary or permanent!

Can I get a “Verified” signature on my page? How?

Definitely No. 🙂 Well, it takes lot of time and effort, and you should be lucky enough to fall in the eyes of Facebook. You’d rather ask that girl out next time.

Can I use third party tools to post in Facebook?

Frankly, I am old school. I prefer the traditional way of posting in Facebook. Well, I don’t prefer much of automate-your-posts social media tools. But there are lots of other interesting tools available that also deal with social media analytics; some are free and some are very affordable.

  1. Hootsuite
  2. Sproutsocial
  3. Buffer (preferred by most)

Some talented social media strategists discuss about the social media tools in this thread.

I have a higher “Relevance Score”. Will it have an impact on my ad cost and delivery?

Yes. A higher relevance score means the cost of your ad delivery will be less. Because, as obvious as it is, Facebook always wants to show the right content to the right audience. But you should always remember that the relevance score has only a relatively smaller impact on the cost and delivery. Your Bid amount and budget always matter the most.

Always remember that the relevance score should not be considered as one of the most important metrics when measuring the outcome.

If you’re doing a “website clicks” ad, and your relevance score is not too good, you’re still achieving your goal. In that case, you should run your campaign without considering the relevance score.

How do I track my Facebook campaigns in Google Analytics?

You can track “Clicks to website”, “Conversion” & “Boost post” type campaigns through Google Analytics. Tagging your URL with custom campaign parameters will enable Google Analytics to track your Facebook Campaigns separately in your Google Analytics.

Google URL Builder is a free tool which will help you tag your URL with parameters, which in turn will help Google Analytics to track your Facebook campaigns separately.

Megalytic.com have written a detailed blog post on how to track your Facebook campaigns separately in Google Analytics.

My Facebook App Install is not showing in Facebook ad dashboard?

  1. Create a Facebook App ID.
  2. Always keep the developer handy
  3. Download the SDK , and add it in your Application
  4. Link your ad account to your Facebook App.

Facebook has given a very detailed explanation on how to run an App installed ad. Have a look into the App Events. These app events will add some important metrics to your app dashboard and App Analytics, which will help you do a detailed analysis of your mobile application.

I’ll close the Q&A here. Please feel free to drop your suggestions or corrections in case you find one 😉 in the comments section.

The Marketing Problem with Facebook’s Promoted Posts & Why It Will Live

FacebookMark Cuban is the latest to take Facebook on for its new promoted posts; probably the first brand to shout it out. This recent spree got started when a blog post titled ‘Facebook, I Want My Friends Back’ from the blog ‘Dangerous Minds’ got a wide attention on the web, in October. But let’s dial back a bit further.

A Little Background

By nearly the end of April 2012, Facebook was looking at a good news and a bad news together. The good news was that the company had just topped 900 million active users a month and the number was quickly expected to touch 1 billion (which it did last month). And the bad news was that the company’s first quarter profit fell by 12 per cent.

It was an awkward position for Mark Zuckerberg: A huge, loyal user base that created and consumed content at his website, with far less ways to monetize. He shortly after told TechCrunch in retrospect that the company had been relying too much on HTML5, and that it would shift its focus more to mobile. And he was right at that.

So the problem with mobile really was how you serve your display ad units within Facebook’s single column feeds in mobile devices. And by May 2012, the company seemed to have found a solution, and the promoted posts for brands were rolled out. Posts that are ads. Users won’t feel annoyed of ads (perhaps because they don’t know they’re looking at one) and the brands could selectively promote some of their posts, just like they did with ‘promoted tweets’.

It is a small, but an interesting chain of events since the company went public: a drop in the profit, more focus on mobile, the ‘promote’ button for pages, Facebook’s massive crackdown on fake accounts and likes, and finally the unannounced, but more vigorous execution of ‘promoted posts’. It fits in if you say Facebook pushes for money. And it fits in if Facebook says it wants less spam on the user’s wall.

The Sides That The Partners Take

The company continues to maintain that it’s all against spam and it is not broken on purpose. But the page owners think otherwise. Some call it ‘bait and switch’. Some call it ‘artificial scarcity’ for reach. Whatever it is, they all agree that Facebook has deliberately suppressed their page reach and selling it in bits for dollars. And there is some very optimistic view on this as well.

There have been increasing complaints about huge drop in the reach and the money people were forced to put to keep the ship afloat.

Tip Of The Iceberg?

It’s absolutely okay if Facebook wants to make money, and that’s what a business does. But all this heat was about how Facebook did it. Dalton Caldwell has laid out his perspective on what he calls as Understanding Like-gate in his blog. It makes sense, especially the ‘candidate stories’ generated by Facebook’s Open Graph.

That goes well with the company’s increased focus on mobile monetization. But then, we are really missing something here, aren’t we?

The open graph stories are indeed good candidates for promoting. But they don’t represent the real change we are seeing here. Those open graph stories have not been that visible before, neither are they now. The actual stories which appeared in the likers’ walls, which lack the same reach now, are manual posts/status updates published in the pages’ walls. There is a big difference in the purpose of these two kinds of candidates. And that presents the real problem for marketers in opening their wallets for promoting their Facebook posts.

The Marketing Funnel Cut To Its Bottom

Pay hereThe beauty of having a Facebook page, and the very purpose of it, is that you can reach your potential buyers in all levels of your marketing funnel. You can get to the top of the funnel and do brand awareness campaigns, educate your likers, let them know of your latest offers, perks, features, changes or whatsoever. You could feed them with information and keep them engaged with your page. You could trust your ‘like-base’ for your next viral marketing campaign.

But now, when you could no more trust the ‘organic’ posts to do your marketing, you’re forced to push your page posts down the funnel and look for direct responses; to make the posts worth the spend. You no longer want to invest in building the likes and doing your brand awareness, info-feeding, engagement posts.

With the numbers I have come across so far, it looks like a single post could cost a marketer anywhere between $2 and $6 per thousand impressions (depending on the reach, number of followers, etc.) which compares well against the industry numbers. But the nagging difference is that the other forms of impression ads are conceptually meant for direct responses. So, for the promoted posts to really compare with the rest, the pages will have to cut off the funnel and do more of the direct-response kinds, unless the business has the stomach for more, that is.

But Why Should It Work?

Facebook’s huge strength, you know, is its enormous user base. Whatever combination of demographics you’re targetting, the website almost always has that audience. You could try and guess, but there really is no competitor to Facebook in providing you with the target market as big as it does; a market that is active and is vulnerable to your marketing efforts. More than anything, users want to spend their time there, even crazily.

Twitter has a great size of active users too, but it works best for improving one-on-one relationship with your customers. Plus, the feeds are so fast that you are not that worried about your ‘organic’ posts quickly being scrolled away. And it definitely doesn’t help cover your entire marketing funnel as effectively as Facebook.

The engagement in Google+ is already a big challenge and you don’t have a say in mobilizing your Facebook likers there. Pinterest, Tumblr, whatever alternatives you choose, you know that you are losing it in size and variety.

So, practically there is no competitor with a comparable marketplace to Facebook’s. Not yet. And the ‘promoted posts’ are here anyway. Now, all a marketer can do is either open his wallet for posts that are worth or educate his likers to add him to their interest list and hope that the organic posts work.

Meanwhile, Facebook tries to make peace with the marketers with its Page Notifications and perhaps more effectively with the Pages Feed. Yeah, the annoying numbers in the left navigation might be able to convince the users to click on the button once in a while.