This is a live-blogged post during the 2012 Penn State Web conference. This session was presented by Amy Mengel.
Facebook in the early years included throwing sheep, no news feeds, and brands using profile pages.
F8 Conference: September 2011 and recent changes
- Timeline for personal profiles is announced
- March 2012 brands converted to the Timeline format
- Newsfeed: EdgeRank algorithm changed and “top stories” was created
- Facebook also gave users control over the frequency that they see updates with the ability to mute
- Every piece of activity falls into the Ticker
- Today: More fan page tools. You can schedule posts in advance, give admins different rights, etc.
- Facebook: Driving toward ads.
- Through reach generator you can make sure your fans see your stories. Designed for big brands with big budgets. Available to pages with 500,000 fans or more and $25K+ Facebook ad budgets.
- Promoted posts for fan pages, a pay-as-you-go model.
- Fan pages alone are a weak way to reach people.
Paid, owned, and earned media should be the blend of your content on Facebook. All three together can be very effective. The amount of time spent agonizing over their Facebook pages, when they post, and what they post can result in a lot of effort for a potentially low ROI.
- 84% never see the content on your Page.
- And less than a third of prospects will “like” your Page.
- Among millennials, 70% rarely or never visit Facebook fan pages.
The key is getting other people to talk about your brand.
- Create quirky content that people are inclined to share, like video. Create content that is appealing, surprising, and interesting. The viral video isn’t just goofy but also conveys your institution’s messages. (Note: You can’t hang a content strategy on having everything be viral.)
Example: BYU Mathletes Rap Music Video. How do you pitch a math all star during March Madness? Creative and fun but also makes you realize BYU has a great math program. This is much better than a press release, right? And it only cost $500. The University communications office wrote the rap. They recruited a couple hundred students to be the crowd. They put it together over the course of the week.
- Get people talking about you on your site with a Facebook comment box.
Example: Purdue 5 Students. The key is to make sure what is on your site is engaging and worth commenting on.
- Interest Lists allow you to curate content from a variety of sources and curate lists that appeal to a variety of your interests. Only currently available for personal profile pages. A separate news feed is created on your navigation bar. Similar to Twitter lists.
Example: None yet! Start with a prominent figure on your institution. Have them create an interest list full of relevant information. Allows you to plug your content with third party content. Promote it to students, parents, faculty and encourage people to follow the list.
Make an interest list of famous alumni.
Select popular local businesses, restaurants, or places on campus.
What do college students share? (Analysis of 93K posts from 113 institutions.)
55% -- status updates
20% -- photos
17% -- links from external websites
8% -- other
Less than 1% -- check-ins
What are the topics they’re posting about?
- Harvard survey shows that talking about ourselves activates the same parts of the brain as money and food.How do you get people to include your institution when they’re talking about themselves online? Provide a context for bragging!
- Supply students with personalized content infused with brand messages.
- Students share college’s messages in Facebook via their own status updates.
- Engagement Rate = (# likes and comments on a given date / # of wall posts made by page) / total # of Fans of a given date x 10
- Giving people personalized content that they can like and share, like student achievements, in their timeline is four times more likely to receive likes/comments than the average post.
What does it all mean?
- Fan pages are just one part of a Facebook strategy, and often the return isn’t as great as the effort to maintain them.
- Facebook users are driven by what they see in their newsfeed, and this is most often content from their friends - infiltrate!
- Get people talking about you. It’s more trusted, more authentic, and EdgeRank likes it more.
Have a solid content strategy that can play on many channels and move/float where people are flocking to.